While direct or nonstop flights are the best travel option, they aren’t always available to your destination, within your timeframe, or within your budget. Connecting flights open the realm of travel possibilities immensely; but, there is some risk involved. Ed Perkins, of SmarterTravel.com, provides a list of insider tips for stress-free flight connections.
Minimum Connecting Times
Each airline has a minimum connecting time for each specific hub they travel to. Most airlines post minimum connecting times on their websites. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to find minimum connecting times between two different airlines, however. The International Air Transport Association compiles extensive research on minimum connecting times, including times between different airlines, but this information is not available to the public.
The minimum connecting time is the minimum amount of time the airline estimates travelers will need for security checks and terminal changes. Minimum connecting times range from as short as 30 minutes, to as long as an hour. If you book as a single itinerary, through one airline, the airline is obligated to put you on the next flight at no extra charge, should you miss your connection.
One-ticket itineraries are the best option when you cannot get around a connection. With one-ticket itineraries, your bags are almost always checked all the way through to your final destination, which means less work and stress for you at the airport.
One Airline or Alliance
Try to book through only one airline (or an airline alliance). Airports typically have airlines and their partners grouped closely at the terminal to streamline the connecting process.
If you book with two different airlines, you run a greater risk of penalty if you miss your connection. If your first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight, the second airline can treat you as a no-show and make you purchase another ticket, or jump through hoops to get on a later flight.
Other Important Information
• Research which hubs are best for your destinations
• Create a baggage plan ahead of time
• Avoid taking the last flight of the day out of the connecting airport
• Try to sit toward the front of the plane’s cabin
• Allot enough time for yourself
Connections may seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be, let one our our representatives assist you today. Call +1 718-361-8818 and plan ahead and do your research to avoid future headaches – read more.
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