Journeys involving more than one flight(23 Posts)
I have no experience of making journeys that involve connecting flights, so would welcome advice from more experienced travelers. If a website such as Skyscanner comes up with journeys involving connecting flights, is that a reliable indicator that in the normal course of things you will comfortably have enough time to make the connection? Or will they happily sell you flights with very tight connection times? If you're a frequent flyer, do you have a rule of thumb as to what is a "comfortable" connection time? What are your rights if you miss your second flight due to your first flight being late? If you check in luggage, does that go straight through to the end destination or do you have to pick it up at the middle airport and check it in again? TIA
Not necessarily, make sure you've got a decent amount of time for transfers yourself. I'd say absolute minimum of 1 hour between flight times (I had a 45 min one know, and made the connection by the skin of my teeth).
No idea about rights or luggage though
The time between flights will depend on the airport, and I have no experience of skyscanner so I can't answer that question. However I have previously missed flights because the first flight was delayed, and the airline has arranged a new flight and accommodation/food etc. if necessary. In my experience luggage is checked in at the start and goes straight through until the end, you don't have to pick it up at the middle airport.
If it's the same airline and it's booked as one trip, then even if you do miss your connection they will put you on next available. This happened to me recently. Transit was 2/3hr but we were delayed 5hr so no chance of catching original connection.
I would allow min. 2 hours between flights if I had a choice. More like 3-4 if it was different airlines because that means you need to collect bags and re-check in.
Connection times depend on the country you are connecting in, and the particular airport. So, for instance, if I'm flying to the US and connecting in say Washington, that needs at least 4 hours on the way out as you have to clear immigration, then customs, redrop luggage, go through security etc. On the way back 2h would be fine, and luggage goes straight through.
If I was connecting through Schipol 2h would be OK, a smaller airport 90 minutes.
In my experience, computer systems are really bad at connection times.
If you buy your flights as one ticket, then if you miss your flight due to the first being late the airline will sort it out. If you've bought two sets, then its your problem.
...and do check that it is the same airport. It's not unknown for these consolidator sites to sell you the impossible!
I strongly suggest booking a through ticket with the same airline.
1.5 hour connection at Frankfurt....I made it, my luggage didn't!
55 mins at Bahrain....all 4 of us and most of the plane made it.
If it's the same airline you could go onto their own website and see what flights they would connect with- we often travel with ba and they won't let you book a flight if the connection time is too tight.
Where are you trying to get to? Some through routes significantly better than others- also consider if you miss your connection when the next is and how the airport will serve you in that time
we've always had 2 hour break between flights going through Dubai and thats about enough time to get off the first plane grab a coffee and a smoke and jump on the next plane.
make sure your connecting flight flies into the right airport got caught out in Bangkok landed in one airport and our homeward flight was leaving from another with 3 hours to get bags clear immigrations again and a hour taxi ride to the other airport. made it just!
so my passport now shows a day trip to Thailand along with a day trip to Cambodia. so that's pretty cool.
I usually have a connection of 2 hours and make this comfortably. Only ever missed my connection once due to delays taking off at the start of the journey. Due to poor weather where we were landing it meant 100 other flights also needed redirecting! Thousands of ppl to redirect took hours! The airline were brilliant they fed us and put us on a flight to Frankfurt where we were able to get the next available flight to the final destination. No other flights were available that day (1 a day from that airport). Our bags did not make the transfer as we were given 5 minutes to get from the desk to the gate for the Germany flight. Bags arrived on the following days flight and we were reunited. Since then I have always travelled with one change of clothing and a sachet of shower gel! Ive done the journey countless times with differing airlines and bags have always followed us onto the 2nd journey apart from this mishap.
1.5 hours - didn't make it as first flight delayed by an hour. And just because they have duty to get you on another flight (if on one ticket) it doesn't mean it'll be the next flight. And our luggage didn't turn up until a few days later either.
That makes it all sound worse than it was. Just be prepared for what might happen.
If you say book a flight to London - then a package holiday from there you may have gaps in your insurance. You need to find one that covers flight delays or cancellation. Can't think what it's called. We booked it via Axa as a self booked holiday so each journey was covered
Also, only book a connection if both flights are with the same airline - if it involves two different ones, one can change the flight time and knacker your connection, and I don't think you have much recourse, if any.
We once had a 45 minute connection at Stockholm - we made the second flight, our case didn't. But the staff at Heathrow were brilliant, they found us at the carousel while luggage was still coming out, told us that our case would be delayed, and arranged for it to be delivered to us the next. It was a minor inconvenience, but brilliantly handled. Still, I now allow two hours for a connection.
Many airlines are in alliances ( ie BA and American Airlines) so as long as you haven't booked completely separate flights ( which some people do to keep costs down, but come unstuck if the first flight is badly delayed) you don't need to worry if the journey contains a variety of airlines.
Thanks all for your helpful replies. Would be grateful for your help with another question. I've noticed on Skyscanner searches, it will have details of the airline and then give details of who it is operated by, eg "Partly operated by Jet Time" etc. What is the significance of who it's operated by? Also, it comes up with a list of people you could book through. Is there a reason not to simply go with the cheapest? If so, how would you decide. TIA.
You are told who is operating the flight because "operating" the flight is a legal (aviation) term. You can buy your tickets from a variety of sources e.g. Travel agent, direct with airline, booking site ..... Who you buy from isn't always who is operating the flight,
It matters mainly when it comes to determining under which jurisdiction a company works, therefore any entitlements which may apply.
Reasons you may not go with the cheapest .... Same as you wouldn't always buy the cheapest car or chocolate bar.
If you have loyalty cards / points from booking one option over another.
Is the cheapest genuinely the cheapest, are you comparing like for like? Sure you're getting the same level of flexible ticket, for example? Does the cheapest ticket include all added extras? Times the same? Have you included travel to / from airport or parking if considering two different options - I.e. One flight might be cheaper, but not if you take into account all ancillary costs.
The "partly operated" bit usually means that it's advertised as, say, a British Airways flight but BA will codeshare or sub-contract one leg to "Jet Airways". You'll often see it if you're booking, say, a trans-Atlantic flight which will be with a "big" name to "big" airport, then the shorter, local flight operated by "local" airline.
Be very careful if you are transiting within the USA. I flew from the UK to North Carolina, allowed 2.5 hours for connection on to Florida and missed my onward flight due to horrendous immigration queues and slow baggage reclaim. I made the next flight, my bags made the one after me.
If you have a Trailfinders store nearby they are brilliant at organising flights.
I couldn't beat their prices trying to book it independently.
We are taking 2 flights to get to our destination. They were able to tell me which plane was the best/newest to go on.
I also know we will be looked after should we miss a connection
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