How can airports have flights to any destination you select on any day you need to fly?


How can airports have flights to any destination you select on any day you need to fly?

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Flights are scheduled about a year in advance. You’ll also see that not every city has a direct flight between them, some have layovers. Airlines have historical travel data that show where most of their travelers are going and when, and they set up routes thst are expected to be mostly full – if a route becomes unprofitable at a specific time and day, it’ll be discontinued (or new ones added if demand shows a need for it). This happens on a continual basis.

Lots of airports, lots of airplanes, and lots of connecting flights. As nice as it is to have a nonstop flight, most flights people take aren’t going to go directly to their final destination. If you want to fly from Florida to California, you can do it, but you might have a three-hour stop in Denver where you have to get off and switch planes first.

They don’t. The airports schedule daily routes that just fly back and forth. When you buy a ticket, they will schedule a series of flights that get you where you want to go. Sometimes you will have to fly to one airport, wait for the next flight, then fly to a different airport, and so on.

They don’t.

There is a flight to any given destination from some airport, somewhere in the world, on any given day. If you want to go to a place and there isn’t a flight to it from where you are, you fly to another airport that does have a flight to it, and then fly there. This is called a “connecting fligjt,” and sometimes there’s a lot of time between the two flights, called a “layover,” where you have to wait after flying in before you can fly out.

Part of this is because only certain airports are “hubs.” All the airports a given airline services fly in to this airport, and then out from this airport to wherever else this airline goes. That’s why so many flights go through Atlanta, Detroit, JFK, or O’Hare. Sometimes you have to fly to another airline’s hub and then take their flight out to your destination.

When I flew from Rochester, NY to South Korea, I had to fly from Rochester to JFK, JFK to Seattle, Seattle to Narita, Japan, and then on to Incheon, South Korea. There are no flights from Rochester to Incheon.

TLDR There are only flights to a given destination from some airport. You have to fly to somewhere that flies to your destination. Usually, in one or two steps, you can get to an airport where there’s a flight to where you want to go.

Most airlines use something called a hub and spoke model. You fly from small town to big city. Then big city to big city. Then big city to small city. It’s like how you can go from the small spoke of a wheel to the hub of the wheel in the middle, to the spoke on another part of the wheel.

Airlines make partnerships to enable this. Delta is an American airline. But they have deals with Air France, KLM, Korean Air, China Airlines, etc. So the first flight you take might be run by Delta, but the connecting flight is run by a partner airline.