Scrolling through flight itineraries to find the perfect route can be a mind-numbing process. If you are fortunate enough to find a direct route to your final destination, then lucky you.
The harsh reality of air travel is many routes require multiple flights. The stress of catching that connecting flight is all too real and a dilemma every traveler will one day have to face.
Whether you are a travel novice or seasoned veteran, here are some scheduling tips to ensure smooth sailing when making that connection.
If you are pressed for time when arriving at your layover, take the initiative and select a seat towards the nose of the plane. This will normally require a few extra bucks, but pales in comparison to having to purchase a new flight altogether. Save yourself precious deplaning time if you are sweating that connecting flight.
To be in full control of the scenario, book an aisle seat. You can unclasp your seatbelt, grab your bags, and jet to the next gate.
When booking your flight ticket, pay close attention to your departing airport. It would be wise to brush up on which airports experience the most frequent and lengthiest delays. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best in order to make your connecting flight in time.
U.S. airports that should be on your radar for painstaking delays include Hartsfield-Jackson International (Atlanta), LaGuardia International (New York), Logan International (Boston), O’Hare International (Chicago), and Newark Liberty International (Newark).
*Source – CBS News *
It can be frustrating trying to find an itinerary that has the price and convenience to your satisfaction. With a little digging on airline booking sites, you can find two separate flights on different airlines to get you to your destination at a lower cost.
The price may be lower than a single airline booking on one itinerary, but this is a risky endeavor. If your first flight suffers a major delay, or is canceled altogether, then the ticket for your second flight can potentially go to waste.
With a single ticket, you at least have the luxury of being placed on a later flight at no extra charge. You lose that privilege when you book two separate tickets on different airlines.
If you dare to be bold to save money on your journey, give yourself as much cushion as possible on that first leg. Not just a measly three or four hours, widen the gap between flights to 12+ hours if you can. Better safe than sorry!
The safest bet is still to book a single ticket.
Read the fine print in your online booking. Avoid an expedition through your connecting city and ensure your connecting flight departs from the same airport you landed at.
This would be a rarity when booking a single ticket but is a factor you need to consider if booking two tickets. Keep in mind that not all airlines depart from the same location in cities serviced by multiple airports.
If that cheaper second leg requires you to haul your luggage across town to another airport, plan your schedule accordingly.
Research transportation routes, costs, and timetables to ensure you know how to reach the next airport should you decide to go that route.
The thought of the airline losing your luggage can be stressful. Sometimes you might hop on the connecting flight in time, but your bag gets left behind. With thousands of flights in and out of major hubs per day, mistakes will inevitably occur.
Should this happen to you, the airline will be liable for the missing items. Still though, it is not a pleasant feeling arriving at your final destination with most of your belongings trailing behind.
If you do not want to risk your luggage missing your connecting flight, take your bag(s) on board with you. Read the airline’s carry-on policies closely to know the bag and weight limit per passenger.
That should be the first thing you do once you reach your connecting airport. It may say on your boarding pass which gate your connecting flight departs from, but it could have changed mid-flight.
Before trekking across the airport, give the nearest flight monitor a quick scan to read the most updated info.
Popular routes will have multiple flights per day due to demand. If possible, book the earlier connecting flights for your itinerary. This guarantees you have a backup flight should your first flight be delayed. Another booking risk is scheduling a connecting flight that is the last of the day to depart to your final destination.
Missing a connecting flight that is the last of the day will force you to choose between sleeping overnight in the airport or staying at a nearby hotel. The same strategy can be applied to the first flight of your journey. To ensure you are on time for your connecting flight, book your first flight as early as possible.