In a recent question somebody asked about a layover without mentioning how long the stop would be, thus implying it might perhaps be understood whether layover generally refers to a stop not requiring an overnight stay.
In Australia where I'm from we don't really use layover but we're familiar with it from American TV and movies, in which travellers never appear to take breaks between flights to stay a few days.
In Australia we do use stopover (it can also be spelled stop over and stop-over) and very often we do take a break on our flights, because they can be very long, to stay one night or many nights in a destination other than our ultimate destination.
So is it that layover means a short break where you just hang around in the aiport and stopover means a long break where you'll spend some nights in a second place en route to your destination?
Or is it that both words mean a stop, either short or long, and the only difference is which is the more popular in each country?
As evidence that they're not the same:
- We currently have two separate tags: stop-overs and layovers
- The post "The Difference Between a Layover and a Stopover" on
maphappy.orgstates "Technically, though, a stay in an intermittent city under 24 hours is a layover. Any minute over, and it’s a stopover."
As evidence that they're the same:
- The Wikipedia article for Layover says it's also known as a stopover and does not include any information differentiating the two. Stopover also redirects to Layover.
- The talk page for layover on the English Wiktionary says that all print dictionaries count them as synonyms.
- Forum thread on
As evidence that the issue is not totally straightforward:
- Neither of our tags have a tag wiki yet, suggesting they were not as easy to write as you might think. (I wanted to include how long the tags have existed but there seems to be no way to get this info even from the API)
- 2008 forum thread "stopover/layover" on
wordreference.comwhere some people seem to think they're the same, and others think they're different.
- 2011 forum thread "stop over vs lay over" on
wordreference.comwhich much the same mixed opinions as the 2008 thread.
- "What is the difference between stopover and layover ?" on Yahoo Answers mostly say they're the same with the lowest voted answer saying "I believe layover is overnight and stopover is an hour or more."
Note 1. I know I could've asked at
english.stackexchange.com but we are the specialists in the domain of travel terminology. Note 2. I'm specifically asking about how these terms relate to air travel if it's the case that the meanings are more specific in this subdomain than how they're used elsewhere.