Recently I flew from London Heathrow to Auckland via Dubai with Emirates - the ticket as booked was a direct flight from Heathrow to Dubai, a short layover at Dubai, and then a flight from Dubai to Auckland which was advertised as "2 stops" but no layovers.

Based on prior experience, I took this to mean that I would remain on the plane at those two stops while others disembarked and embarked.

This was not the case - at Bangkok I was required to disembark and clear security again, and again at Sydney I was required to do the same thing, before flying on to Auckland, both times boarding the same aircraft with the same boarding card and taking the same seat.

The time given to do this in both cases were marginal at best - at Bangkok we rushed and made it through security, was back at the gate in 30 minutes and they had already boarded all the Bangkok origin passengers and were quite shirty with us "transit" passengers being "tardy".

The reasons given was that Australia required additional security at Bangkok for all inbound passengers, and at Sydney the plane needed to undergo decontamination.

If this was made apparent at the time of booking, I would have chosen a different routing, as it was quite a fuss each time, having to pack up, go through security with a lot of electronics etc.

Other than asking the airline, is there a way to determine if a given routing requires you to deplane at "no layover" stops?

  • 4
    A stopover is not a "hidden city," which has a specific meaning in travel parlance. I would advise replacing that term, as it is just confuses the matter.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 3:15
  • @choster as advertised, the stops fit the term "hidden city" as used for "hidden city ticketing" perfectly, which is why I used the term. The stops were not advertised as "get off, get on", just additional stops which for every other flight I have done as similarly advertised has meant a landing with other passengers getting off and on, with ongoing passengers remaining boarded. So I shall leave the wording as I originally used.
    – user29788
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 3:19
  • 2
    Hidden city ticketing is booking a flight to one destination but disembarking at an intermediate point on the journey. You seem to be traveling to the ticketed destination, thus my confusion. At the very least, it's a distraction from the actual question, which is about how to know what the disembarkation requirements will be for through-passengers on a flight.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 3:28
  • @choster and the stops at which I had to unexpectedly disembark and embark fits the term "hidden city" perfectly, regardless of whether I was ticketed to the final destination and actually travelling to the final destination or not. A "stopover" typically indicates that you have to get off the plane, which was not indicated in the ticketing, so I consider my use of the term just fine.
    – user29788
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


There are two options:

  1. You can google the flight route and add trip report to read stories from people that took that specific flight. Sites like Airliners.net or flyertalk.com should pop up. But check the date of posting as airlines tend to change routes while not always changing the flight number.
  2. A better option is to check sites like fr24.com and flightaware.com. Here you can see the route traveled by an aircraft and see where it has touched down and for how long it was on the ground.

For now Emirates has a direct service to Auckland, EK448/EK449

  • 6
    Your second option doesn't help the asker: they knew that their plane would land in Bangkok and Sydney. The question is how they can know if they'll have to get off the plane and go through security. Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 12:52
  • Thanks for the answer, the direct flight was unavailable when this travel was booked - as the Lions tour is on, it was probably sold out.
    – user29788
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 3:22

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