One would think that a direct flight is a non-stop one, right? Not so in the airline business as my example from yesterday illustrates. When booking an airfare one should always check whether the flight is non-stop vs direct and understand the differences between the two. Airlines like direct flights because they get better visibility on the distributions systems that the travel agents use. Also some of the airport related and segment fees are lower when one flight number is used for multiple flights.
Couple of months ago I was searching for options getting to Lhasa from Beijing. I thought that I would need some elite qualifying miles (EQM’s) on Continental’s/United’s program to make me a million miler, and thus granting me lifetime Star Alliance Gold status. Air China is Star Alliance carrier so in order to get some EQM’s decided to choose their flight.