Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If you want to know if there are flights from airport A to airport B, what do you ask?

-Are there flight connections between airport A and B?

-Are there airlinks between airport A and B?

-Are there connecting flights between airport A and B?

What is the best word?

share|improve this question
    
Why not just "Are there any flights from airport A to airport B?" Generally, when you ask about a connecting flight, it would be a single point. For example, "I want to fly from New York to San Franciso. Are there any connecting flights through Houston?" –  David Schwartz Jul 21 '12 at 23:43
1  
“Airlink”? Huh? –  tchrist Jul 22 '12 at 0:55
1  
I agree. By asking simply 'are there any flights from Airport A to Airport B?' the question appears to be answered before it got off the ground! –  Tony Balmforth Jul 22 '12 at 10:52
    
@TonyBalmforth "got off the ground" - appropriate wording! –  Ste Jul 23 '12 at 18:19

1 Answer 1

One would typically ask, "Are there any direct flights between A and B? If there are no direct flights it may still be possible to fly from A to B via some other city. In which case it may be described as a flight from A to B with a connection in C. Or sometimes simply "I've got a flight from Phoenix to Detroit through Pittsburgh."

share|improve this answer
    
This explains it rather well. As for when to use the word connection, the number of connections (which is short for connecting flights) is one less than the total number of flights. Washington to Atlanta to Denver to Ogden is three total flights, or one flight with two connections (and also one brutal travel day). –  J.R. Jul 22 '12 at 1:01
2  
-1. A direct flight is a single flight number between two points with intermediate stops. A nonstop flight has no intermediate stops. There are significant differences between the two for things like frequent flyer mileage and segment accrual, fare construction, and fare and upgrade availability, and the terminology is absolutely not interchangeable if you are interacting with an airline or anyone in the travel industry. –  choster Jul 22 '12 at 1:52
    
@choster- Having looked at Wikipedia, I will acknowledge that it appears to agree with you, but I have never in my life heard of that distinction and I disagree wholeheartedly with it. If an airplane lands anywhere but my intended destination, it did not go there directly. So I will continue to call a non-stop and a direct flight equivalent. I have never gotten into trouble doing so and I don't anticipate any in the future, but thanks for pointing it out. –  Jim Jul 22 '12 at 5:39
    
@choster: I applaud you detecting and making the distinction, which also flew over my head, but I still think the -1 is harsh. Say I asked a travel agent to book a direct flight between two cities, and the plane made an intermediate stop. If I asked the travel agent about this later, and the agent told me, "You didn't ask for a non-stop flight, you asked for a direct flight. You never had to change planes, did you?" then I'd be miffed and would probably never work with that travel agent again. This may be one of those cases where language between the layman and the specialist differs. –  J.R. Jul 22 '12 at 7:26
    
@J.R. A responsible travel agent would confirm, "By direct, do you mean non-stop?" As I noted the distinction has significant consequences, especially for international travel where taking a technical stop can add hours of travel time yet forfeit thousands of qualifying miles, and it is irresponsible ever to advise someone to say direct when nonstop is intended. –  choster Jul 22 '12 at 9:07

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.