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I'm trying to get a visa for Canada, but that's beside the point. While I wait, I play with flights online, looking at prices. I found that occasionally there's this weird multi-stop flight that shows up from Auckland, New Zealand to Nadi, Fiji, to Christmas Island, Kiribati, to Honolulu, USA, to Vancouver, Canada!

Now, these only have stopovers of like 1-3 hours, so it's for a refuel or to drop off passengers. Certainly not enough time to get off.

However, if it were possible, I'd like to change the flight to include stopovers of a day to a week - I'm not fussed - I'm flexible, but I'd love to spend even a day in some of these places.

Most online booking sites don't seem to include stopover functionality, however. Kayak allows you to display only flights with a certain length stopover, but this is in the realm of hours, merely to let you configure it not to strand you in Manila or LAX for too long.

Is there a way to search online flights to configure stopovers of days in length, or do you have to book separate flights?

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Before you do that, it's probably best to look up the fare rules governing the flight. That'll let you work out if extending the stopover will be easy and cheap, or crazily expensive! –  Gagravarr Jun 29 '13 at 14:53
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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

ITA's Matrix can do this, and pretty much anything else you can imagine:

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Two major caveats:

  1. You can't actually book tickets with Matrix, but it can give you an exact description of the fare rules used for the construction that you can bring to a travel agent.

  2. Many cheap fares explicitly exclude stopovers, so your itinerary may cost a lot more if you add some. So start with finding the stopover-less fare in Round-trip/One-way and read the small print of the fare conditions. If stopovers are allowed, then try to reconstruct the itinerary with stopovers added in using the Multi-city search.

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Jeezus my brain just exploded when I saw the number of routing code options on that page! o.O –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 14 '12 at 12:01
    
So to clarify, multi-search is the only way? You can't search for a return flight, choose X as the stopover airport, and somehow say 'stopover of 2 days?' –  Mark Mayo Jul 14 '12 at 2:26
    
Doing a multi-search for A-B-C-A, with two days spent in B, is pretty much exactly that. –  jpatokal Jul 16 '12 at 0:43
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You can specify multi-city routes on booking sites such as Kayak and then those typically get booked as one-way legs (and thus presumably costlier) rather than an extended stopover.

What I would suggest is to using Kayak (or your favourite flight search engine), look up the airlines that have a stopover. Then go over directly to the airline's website and go through the booking process until it shows you the fare rules. Read the fare rules for a section on stopovers: I've done this previously and found that on certain routes airlines offer free or at-additional-cost stopovers, only at specific airports though. I haven't excercised this option but presumably you'll need to call up the airline to do so because I haven't seen airline booking systems being able to accommodate this in their online booking process.

If that doesn't work, look at whether RTW tickets will be cost-effective for you.

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Try harveyworld.co.nz Not bought from them, but looks like you can specify the length of a stopover.

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