are non-stop flights cheaper than connecting flights?
I'll see a flight from Chicago to France that connects in Cincinnati for $1,181. But a non-stop flight from Chicago to France is $469. I thought connecting flights were cheaper.
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No, connecting flights are not necessarily cheaper. If both the nonstop and connection are on the same carrier, they will typically charge the same price for both. If the nonstop and connection are on different airlines, then each carrier sets its own price. In this case, the nonstop flight is on a different airline than the connection. American, United, and Air France operate nonstop from Chicago. The flight through Cincinnati must be on Delta since they have the only Cincinnati-Paris service. Delta will set its own price and may decline to match the $479 promotion because they will probably lose a lot of money on it. (You may see Delta on schedules for the nonstop flight and Air France on schedules for the connection, but those are so-called "code-share" flights. Delta does not operate its own aircraft nonstop from Chicago to Paris and Air France does not really fly via Cincinnati. A code-share is when an airline lies about its schedule and puts you on a different airline. Incredibly, this is legal.)
Connecting flights often (not always) are cheaper, when you compare apples to apples. But if you try comparing apples to oranges, you may go bananas.
The only hard and fast rule about airline fares is that they will change. Do not look for logic in fares, as there isn't any. Just shop around. Regards, Dan