Connecting flights allows one-stop service from any place to almost anywhere else. The process though also puts you at risk of missing your connection. So you can at least minimize it if you can never completely eliminate that risk. Here’s how you can do that.
Knowing the Airport’s Minimum Time for Connecting Flights
Each airline has some standards set for minimum connecting times at each hub it is serving. On an airline’s website, it can be difficult sometimes to find this information, but with any connecting flights you book as a single itinerary, the system of the airline will automatically adjust for minimum times at your connecting point if booking through either an airline’s website or a travel agency. If you still miss your connecting flight, the airline is responsible to put you on the next available flight with no additional charges.
Checking Schedule for Airport Connections
Always keep in mind that just because your preferred airline is selling you an itinerary with a tight connection, that doesn’t imply you should buy it in one go. Because getting off a plane and walking to a distant departure gate can easily take 30-minute connection close to zero. The experience can be stressful even if you make it in time and it may leave you with no time for things like visiting the restroom or buying a meal before your next flight.
Flying on a Single Ticket:
Any connecting itinerary you arrange on a single ticket follows with whatever connecting flight times apply. On tickets that are involving two airlines, that’s even true, as long as those airlines have interline agreements. The system of booking automatically incorporate at required times. And single tickets usually provide for checking baggage through from origin to destination, includes interline transfers.
Stick to One Airline on a Connecting flight
Where possible, try to book connecting flights on a single airline or on airlines that are partners. Usually, at big hub airports, the airlines try to make sure that their partner and gates are close together. They provide inside-security people-movers or shuttles to any gates they use if they are not close.
Select Right Hub for Your Connection
Often you have a choice of hubs, and you can avoid waste of time by avoiding the hubs that are most prone to delays. The worst big U.S. hubs according to current data for delays are the three New York-area airports, San Francisco, Boston Logan and Chicago O’Hare. The sunbelt hubs are generally better.
Sitting near Front of the Plane
Try to get a seat toward the front of the cabin on your first flight if you know you have a tight airport connection. Even if you have to pay, being near the exit door can save 5 to 10 minutes off your deplaning time on larger planes.