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My KLM booking says:

Minimum Stay  The minimum stay requirement is 4 day(s) or your stay must include a Sunday.
Stopover      Stopover is permitted at a fee of 75 USD.

My questions:

  1. Is it 75 USD to prolong for any duration, as long as there are flights and vacant seats, or will I also be required to pay the difference in ticket price?

  2. Does Minimum Stay apply to the Stopover?

  3. How do I make use of this option?

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I think you may be under the impression that you can add a stopover to your ticket for $75 once you've already booked it. This is NOT usually the case. When it says "$75 stopover" in the fare rules, it means that when you initially book the ticket, an itinerary with a stopover (that meets all other requirements in the fare rule, and if seats for this fare class are available), will be $75 more expensive than one without a stopover. If you want to add a stopover, you will also have to pay change fees, there would have to be seats available for this particular fare class, etc. –  Eugene O Jul 13 at 1:40
    
@EugeneO So the fare rule is intended first and foremost for the booking system, and my only benefit from knowing it is being able to 'predict' what the booking system will get me? –  Ilya Jul 13 at 21:55
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Yes, but sometimes it's useful for predicting your ability to change your ticket (for example if the fare rules say "no stopovers permitted", you know that adding a stopover will require you to switch to a different, probably more expensive fare, whereas if it says "$75 stopover, changes $150" you know you can can add a stopover for $225 as long as there are seats left in that fare class and as long as the new flights meet all other rules of that fare. –  Eugene O Jul 13 at 23:11
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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The exact rules and implementation of stopovers varies a bit between airlines. I don't know the KLM specific answer, but at a high level the answer is the same for most airlines.

Price

In general, you pay the same price for the airfare, plus the extra for the stopover. However there can be cases where the airfare will go up due to the addition of the stopover.

Airlines break fares down into multiple "buckets", and then control availability on each flight based on those buckets. Certain flights may not have specific buckets available, and as the flights are priced based on these buckets, there may be no "cheap" seats available on those flights. The number of seats in the cheaper buckets varies based on things like the number of tickets that have been sold, and the day of the week the flight is on (eg, the cheapest seats might only be available on a Tuesday!)

When booking a stopover, you normally need the same fare bucket to be available on both legs of the flights. So say you're looking at flights on a Tuesday (cheap seats available!), but then add a stopover for a few days and depart the stopover city on a Friday (no cheap seats!) - then the total price will go up. In fact, you'll normally end up paying the higher fare for both legs of the flight. Plus you'll still pay the $75 for the stopover!

Minimum Stay

No, Minimum stay doesn't apply for stopover - but you'll still have the original minimum stay requirement (if any) at the destination point. ie, 3 days at the destination and 2 at a stopover point does NOT meet the requirements for a 4 day minimum stay.

Booking

Generally the best way to book is to use the "Multi-City" search on the airlines website (or a 3rd party website), and list the stopover city as one of your legs. eg, if you're flying AAA-BBB via AMS and want a stopover in AMS, then enter this as two legs in the search - AAA-AMS on one date, and AMS-BBB a few days later. The website will look after pricing this correctly, including any stopover fees and working out the lowest fare buckets available.

Note that sometimes the fare you'll end up with won't be a single fare with a stopover. Sometimes it's actually cheaper to book two separate fares (eg, one from AAA-AMS, the second from AMS-BBB). If this is the case it'll automatically be handled by the booking engine so you don't need to specifically worry about it.

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