A connecting flight is an intermediate point where the passenger changes the plane to reach at their final destination. Connecting flights are almost always less expensive than nonstop flights, but they are not always the good choice for travelers those who want to reach their destination on time.
Connecting flights are longer than direct or nonstop flights. When you are catching a connecting flight, there are many worries like: How long do you need to catch a flight? Do you need to recheck your baggage or will that be done automatically?
Every airline has its own rule. If you are traveling through a national connecting flight by the same airline, then they will transfer your luggage. But, if you are using an international connecting flight, then you will need to recheck your luggage at the first port of entry.
Due to such reasons, connecting flights are always the least desirable in terms of convenience. If you have already booked a tight connection, learn how you can make your airline connections smoother.
Make Your Plan in Advance :
Check your, itinerary. Your booking information usually does not say whether you change the planes at each stop or not. So, you can book or check your itinerary, through either an airline’s website or a travel agency.
Find an airport map. Most airport websites are lead to the map. Stash this in your carry-on luggage to save time. If there is a separate map for each terminal, print every one. You may need it when there is any change in the terminals.
Estimate the connection time. You can collect this information from the airport websites or from your travel agent.
- Allow 60 minutes when you move from domestic to a domestic flight. A 45-minute slope is dangerous, but if the first flight is short and two flights are run by the same airline then it is possible.
- Allow at least 2 hours if landing in another country. A layover shorter than 90 minutes is very risky.
- Add 30 minutes if you have gate-checked items. Make your plan smoothly for shorter connection.
- Choose a corridor seat as close to the front of the plane as possible, so you can take off first.
- Just think strongly about carry-on luggage only, so you do not need to checked baggage.
- Download the app to track flight delays, while you are on the plane.
Be Ready For Landing :
Pilots or flight attendants sometimes announce a gate change near the end of the flight or when you are taxiing to the gate. So, listen to all the announcements during your flight.
Collect your carry on items. If your connection is tight, gather your all carry-on items before your plane touches to the ground.
Gather your documents. Be ready with your boarding pass, passport, and customs for your next flight. And put them in a secure place from where you can easily access them, such as a purse or inside coat pocket.
Ask to move closer to the front. Due to any reason, if your flight is delay and do not make any connection with your next flight, then ask the flight attendant to help you.
- You can also ask your neighbor passengers directly, but remember be polite with them.
Catching The Next Flight :
Find your gate number. The first thing you have to do after getting off the plane is to find your next gate number. Sometimes the gate number on your boarding pass is incorrect because flights often change gates.
If you are in the crowd, then ask the flight attendants standing at the gate for takeoff. They can often tell you the gate number and exact instructions.
Go through customs and security if necessary. If you just traveled through an international flight, follow the signs to get to the security. The customs sector is usually divided into two rows, one for citizens and one for non-citizens. Stand in the line that matches with your passport. You may also need to go through a security screening.
- If there is a long line and you are running out of time, politely ask an airport employee, are you can go through a priority line so you can catch your flight on time.
Be calm and cooperative. Unreasonable reactions or referrals will usually slow down the process
Find your gate. Even if you have a lot of time, then immediately walk to your gate. Do not be afraid to ask directions from an airport staff.
- If you are traveling from an international to a domestic flight or vice versa, you have to probably change the terminals.
Relax. If you have time to spend, you do not need to stay at your gate. Most of the airports have restaurants, café, shops, and art exhibits. So, you can take rest for a while there.
Return to your gate on time. The exact boarding time is usually listed on your boarding pass. If it is not, get back to your gate 30 minutes before the departure time.
Contact the airline if you miss your flight. If you miss your next flight, immediately contact the airline.
- The airline contact information is available on your boarding pass. Or for faster results, you can contact to local representative at your current airport. You can also get this contact number on the airport’s website, or by asking to an airport staff.
- If you do not have phone service, visit the ticket counter.
Arrange a plan with your airline. If you miss your flight because of the airline’s fault, like delay or less inconvenience time. It is the responsibility of the airline to reach you at your destination.
If you miss the flight due to your own mistakes, then do not hesitate to ask for help:
- Many airlines will grant this, if you do not ask more than 2 hours of your scheduled departure. If there is an empty seat, or if a person agrees to abandon them then the standby passengers can travel on the plane.
- If your travel is urgent, ask the airline how likely is to meet with standby. If chances are low, then book your ticket for the next flight.
So, check out these tips that help you during the most unseasoned traveler and make your airline flight connections quickly, smoothly without worrying anymore.