Flight Connection, Most of the time the benefit of traveling with a connecting flight relates to the privilege of traveling cheaper with a flight. So what is a connecting flight? Connecting flights refer to those flights that require you to change your flight at different airports. For example, imagine you are flying with Emirates from Heathrow airport to Beijing in China. As Emirates doesn’t operate direct flights from London Heathrow to Beijing, you will need to depart the aircraft in Dubai and board a new Air China flight (or even connect to another Emirates connection flight) at Dubai International airport in order to get to your destination. In this case, your flight is called a connecting flight.
Flight Connection Must To Know Tips
- Look for the required time for flight Connections at the connecting airport. To eliminate the risk of losing your connecting flight you have to know the minimum time required for you to connect to another flight at the connecting airport. Each airline sets a minimum standard connecting time at each airport it serves, and post it on their websites. Usually, the minimum connection time for international flights is 3 hours at big airports. With each connecting flight you book as a single flight ticket, the airline’s system should automatically adjust the minimum time required at your connecting airport. In this case, for any reason that is not your fault if you miss your connecting flight, the airline has to put you on the next available flight with no other charges. Some of the minimum connecting times shown on the flight tickets are short for some big airports. In some cases, flights with connecting time as low as Thirty minutes or even less than an hour for domestic-to-domestic connections are still short for big international airports.
- Avoid flying with multiple separate flight tickets if you have to connect to another flight. Fly on a single flight ticket when you need to connect your flights. The benefit of having a single flight ticket when you have a flight connection in your itinerary is that it usually provides for checking baggage from origin to destination, including interline transfers.
- where possible fly with one airline or alliance on connecting flights where possible.
Connecting Flight FAQs
What Is A Connecting Flight?
Connecting flights require passengers to leave the plane and board a different aircraft in order to reach their final destination. For example, imagine you are flying with Lufthansa from London Heathrow to Shenzhen in China. As Lufthansa doesn’t operate direct flights from London Heathrow to Shenzhen, you will need to depart the aircraft in Frankfurt and board a new Air China flight at Frankfurt airport in order to reach your destination. This flight is called your connecting flight. Connecting flights are often parts of interline agreements, in which airlines agree to handle passengers whose flight itinerary involves traveling on multiple airlines.
How Do Connecting Flights Work?
If you are traveling on a single ticket connecting flight procedure is very easy.
What is a single ticket?
This means that your flight is booked on one ticket. Yes, there might be two or even more subsequent flights but you have booked them as one. Sometimes that’s not an option, when you book a connecting flight with low cost airlines.
When checking in your luggage in most cases it will be checked through to your last stop. When arriving at the connecting airport all you have to do is to go to your next gate and wait for the next flight. There might be a security check in the terminal at the connecting airport. But mostly you don’t have to do anything about your luggage. It’s being taken care of by the airport personnel.
If, however, you have booked your flights separately – it’s different.
Mostly you will have to take care of your luggage yourself. What’s even more important, you may have to enter the country you’re traveling through, which means a visa might be necessary. Even if you aren’t leaving the airport and are only collecting your luggage to check it in for the next flight.
The Benefit Of Connecting Flights
If you want to have a flight connection you should have extra time available and be more flexible. Being flexible with the flight route you take, is another way to get a cheap flight. Most of the time it is cheaper to fly with connecting flights than taking a direct flight to your destination. Flying direct may sound great. But not always taking a direct flight is an option. If you do not mind to get to your final destination a few hours late, booking a connecting flight can be way cheaper than a non-stop direct flight. Travelradar search filters will let you filter flight itineraries by direct flight, 1 stop, 2 stops, 3 Stops, etc. At Travelradar we introduce connection flight under the “cheapest” flight Tab.
Self Transfer Vs. Airline Transfer On Connecting Flights
What about connecting flights with different airlines? Yes, it’s possible.
But remember – if you’re be booking your flights separately, and, let’s say, your first flight gets heavily delayed, so you can’t make it to the next one. In situation like this it’s gonna be your responsibility to buy yourself a new flight or flights.
You may still be entitled to flight delay compensation for that first flight. But you’ll have to find a new flight and possibly book a hotel room yourself.
Such transfers – when flights are booked separately (from different or the same company) – are called self-transfers, or non-protected transfers.
The main difference between the two is what happens if the flight gets cancelled or delayed.
- Self transfer. If the first flight gets cancelled or delayed and you don’t make it to the connecting airport in time, then you miss the next flight. Because of that you have to book a new one. A travel insurance that covers such cases might help you in situations like these.
- Transfer protected by the airline. If you have booked a connecting flight from a traditional airline (some budget airlines offer connecting flights, too) then the airline will take care of you if the first flight is delayed or cancelled.
Another difference – in case of a self transfer mostly you have to take care of your checked luggage yourself. You have to collect it and check it in after every flight.
There are also transfers which are protected by the 3rd party. Such as separate flights bought via kiwi.com and which are protected by kiwi.com.
How To Book Connecting Flights?
Connecting flights with an airline protected connection are the easiest to book.
You can book them directly from the airline or via some third party service such as Kiwi, Expedia or eDreams. Just choose the origin and destination, select the dates and number of travelers, and press “Search”. Choose the flight, book and pay.
When booking flights via service like Kiwi, Expedia or eDreams, pay attention to the length of the layover and airport codes. Are you departing from the same airport you are arriving to?
The same holds true if you are buying separate flights – pay attention to the airport codes (names), length of the layover and minimum connection time.
Missed Connecting Flight Through No Fault Of My Own, What Should I Do?
Missed Connecting Flight Due To Airline:
If the missed connection is the airline’s fault (a delayed initial flight due to mechanical problems, for example), the airline should rebook you on the next available flight. If the next outbound flight is the following morning, the airline should either book you on another airline or provide accommodations and meals. But these arrangements are voluntary on the airline’s part; they’re not mandated by any law or regulation.
Missed Connecting Flight Due To Weather:
If inclement weather leads to a missed connecting flight, the airline will help you rebook but likely won’t offer any compensation for meals or accommodations. (That said, it never hurts to ask.) Travel insurance can be very useful in this type of situation, as it will often pay for expenses that an airline won’t cover.
Missing Your Flight Because Of Something Within Your Control
If something within your control causes you to miss your connecting flight, you’re essentially on your own. This could include mishaps like missing your first flight because you were sitting in traffic, booking too tight of a connection, or getting too distracted at the airport bookstore to hear your boarding announcement. The airline will almost certainly help you rebook, but it’s under no obligation to do so, and you may have to pay a change fee plus any applicable fare difference.
Keep in mind that airlines generally won’t assume responsibility for missed connections on two separate tickets. For example, if you book one leg of your trip on JetBlue and the second ticket on United, United will not take responsibility if JetBlue’s flight doesn’t get you to the connecting airport on time.
Connecting Flight And Luggage
What happens to your luggage during a connecting flight?
If you are traveling on a single ticket (the connection is protected by the airline), most of the times your bags will be checked through to your last stop. If you are not sure, ask the check-in agent.
If you have booked separate flights you’ll have to pick up and recheck your luggage at the intermediate point.
In any case pack a change of clothes in your carry on bag / personal item.
In case your checked luggage gets lost or arrives late.
Travel Insurance, Do You Need It For Connecting Flights?
When booking Separate Flights buy an insurance that covers flight delays.
Do it right after you book your flights!
So you’re covered in case there are some changes.
If you are buying separate flights yourself and plan to get insurance, take into account that there are minimum connection times, that differ from airport to airport.
If you buy separate flights with a layover that is less than a minimum connection time and you don’t make it for your next flight the insurance won’t help you.
Insurance will come in handy also if your luggage gets lost.