Non-stop flying: about the preference among air travellers for direct connections

People who travel to and from the Netherlands by air show a clear preference for travelling without transfers. An alternative for such a direct flight is not necessarily an indirect flight, with a transfer, but could also take the form of selecting a different destination, departur from a different region or not flying at all.

The general preference in favour of direct flights does apply less to long travel distances (intercontinental). The greater the travel distance, the more common it is for travellers to make a transfer, even if non-stop connections are available. This is because on longer flights, the transfer results in relatively less loss of journey time than on shorter, continental flights. The lack of alternatives for air travel, fewer departure options and less competition between airlines also play a role in opting for a flight with transfer, rather than a direct flight.

Business travellers transfer during their flight more often than holidaymakers, even if direct flights are available. This is despite the fact that business travellers are often willing to pay more for a direct flight. However, these travellers are less often ableto opt for a different travel date, and it is more difficult for them to fly to a different destination than it is for holidaymakers. In addition, for business travellers, the price difference between direct and indirect flights are considerably greater.