Connecting flights… you either love them or you hate them, many people hate them because of the layover. Whether the waiting time is one hour, or 8 hours, making sure you’re around to catch your connecting flight can sometimes be a little trickier than it seems. What if your first flight is delayed? Or you go to explore and find yourself miles away from where you’re supposed to be? Don’t worry; we’ve got some great tips that will make multiple connecting flights less stressful to catch!
Before you even book that connecting flight you’ve had your eye on, you absolutely must know your connection times. This is our number one rule on how to make a connecting flight. Here are a few things to consider:
- The minimum time for domestic connections at majority of airports is just 45 minutes however we recommend making it an hour instead just in case.
- Domestic to international flights, we recommend increasing the connecting time to 90 minutes.
- Check if you will be flying with two different airlines, especially if you have to change terminals, increase the time to 2 hours.
- Give yourself more time if you’re visiting a big and/or busy airport
- Give yourself more time in school holidays
If you check both the boarding times AND departure times before you book, you should be all good to go.
If for any reason you have to have a short connection, there are a few things you can do to help avoid missing your airline connection. I’d advise to bring just carry-on luggage, it’ll make getting to the next flight a lot quicker. You can also choose an aisle seat near a door so you will most likely be one of the first out – saying that, don’t barge your way out, please don’t be THAT person.
The dreaded delays
Everyone’s worst nightmare is that their first flight is delayed so you end up missing your connection. You are less likely to be delayed when flying early, so if you can we’d strongly advise it; you don’t want to be messing around with overnight stays because you missed your connection. If you do end up missing your flight because of a delay, contact your airline immediately and they will be able to assist.
Fly with one airline
Sometimes you might need to change airlines with your connecting flight, and this is a lot more hassle than if you fly with the same airline. Because you will be flying with one airline, you will have one single ticket for your flights, and if you miss your flight they will send you on the next flight free of charge.
If you do fly on two separate tickets (usually two different airlines) and you miss your flight you COULD have your seat cancelled by the airline and you will be expected to buy a new ticket for the next available flight which is a nightmare. Plus you’ll have to do the whole baggage and security checks again and that’s takes precious time from your waiting time. If you can avoid flying on two tickets we recommend doing so, if not, give yourself a layover of at least 24 hours just in case! Then that way you could even enjoy a spot of Duty Free Shopping – check our tips for duty free shopping and get yourself a bargain whilst waiting.
Find your terminal
If you need to change your terminal, we recommend doing this as soon as you get to the airport and don’t stray too far so you don’t miss your flight.
Still wondering on how else you can ensure you make your connecting flight? Click here for some more tips. Just before booking remember to give yourself plenty of time, nobody wants to be stuck at the airport paying up another £300 for another flight that you missed.