The airline has a responsibility to get you to your destination. If your flight is cancelled or you miss a connection due to a delay (with flights on the same ticket) they have to make (and pay for) alternative arrangements.

But what about stopovers? are they required to provide transport to your stopover location? or only to your final destination?

This is potentially significant because as pointed out in this answer, the "destination" from a ticketing point of view may not be the same as what the traveller thinks of as their main destination.

  • 2
    The precise answer probably depends on the airline's contract of carriage and local law. In my experience, the practical version is that the airline is committed to either carrying you on your scheduled itinerary, or refunding your ticket price. If they can't take you as scheduled, they might as a compromise offer you a different itinerary, with or without the same stopovers. You'd have the option to accept that offer, or reject it and take a refund. Oct 25, 2016 at 21:50
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    If you actually want to get to your destination, your best bet is probably to accept, since the way ticket prices go, the amount of the refund likely isn't enough to buy another ticket at the last minute, if any are even available. Oct 25, 2016 at 21:51
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    Layover or stopover? No for layovers, yes (?) for stopovers.
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 25, 2016 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


The airlines are contractually obligated to transport you to your destination stations (usually an airport but a train station is also possible).

Keep in mind, a Stopover is different from a Connection.

So, if you're flying from New York to Los Angeles and book JFK-PHX-LAX with PHX as just a connection, the airline can cancel PHX-LAX and put you on a direct JFK-LAX flight and still meet their obligation. There's nothing you can really do about this if you really wanted to go to PHX.

However, a stopover is really just a long connection but since it's specifically part of the fare rules, it acts like a destination. For example, I've seen Cathay Pacific offers trans-pacific fares with a Stopover in Hong Kong that allows you to stay there for several days for the same fare as a connection.

But, if one flight is cancelled, you will probably have the option of going direct, or rescheduling to include the Stopover if you really want to go to Hong Kong.

  • That's all well and good but are they required (either by law in some countries or international agreement/industry standards) to offer an alternative flight with a similar stopover? The last sentence suggests they might not ("probably") but does not really state that unambiguously...
    – Relaxed
    Oct 26, 2016 at 8:28
  • I said you will probably have the option of going direct, thus foregoing the stopover or rescheduling to keep the Stopover.
    – DTRT
    Oct 26, 2016 at 11:33

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