1

I have a question about a short connection.

I am flying from airport A to airport C, and I have a connection at airport B where I have to change planes. I want to ask about whether the flight schedule allows enough time to make the connection.

  • What information do I need to include in order to get a good answer?

  • What tags should I attach to my question?

  • What sources of information might allow me to find out the answer on my own, without having to ask?

(This is meant as a canonical meta-question. Once this has a good answer, people asking about short connections could be directed here for tips on improving their questions.)

1

What information do I need to include in order to get a good answer?

  • The flight information. The airports and airlines at a minimum, and ideally the flight numbers. In some cases, the day of the week may be helpful. If you know the terminals used, please provide them.
  • Whether you've purchased the trip as a single ticket in one transaction or multiple tickets.
  • Whether or not you have checked luggage
  • If immigration/customs is involved, whether you'll be eligible to use the citizen/resident line
  • Any special factors: mobility issues, children, anything that could cause you to move slower than an average passenger.
  • Your tolerance for delays. If you miss the connection, will you be missing your child's wedding, or mildly annoyed?

What tags should I attach to my question?

Please also tag the airport where you'll be making the connection.

What sources of information might allow me to find out the answer on my own, without having to ask?

1

Here are the factors I would want to know to answer this question:

  • Through what airports are you flying? For airports with multiple terminals, if you are connecting at such airports, from what terminals do your flights arrive and depart?
  • On what airline(s) are you flying?
  • Is the booking on a single ticket, or on two tickets?
  • Do you have checked luggage?
  • What nationality are you, if you will be clearing customs and immigration at any of these airports. This can affect the speed of the customs and immigration process.
  • Do you hold membership in any trusted traveler or preferred security program, like TSA Pre, NEXUS, Global Entry, etc.?
  • Do you have any mobility issues? Are you traveling with any traveling companions that have any mobility issues? Are you traveling with any children? (If so, what age?)
  • How unwieldy is your carry-on baggage?
  • What time of year will you be traveling? (Weather can increase the risks of delays.)
  • the times of flights (airport security sometimes needs to be cleared, and it will depend on time of day as to how long it will take)

As for resources:

  • airline websites - generally discuss minimum connection times and the connection logistics at their hub airports. They'll also discuss customs and immigration issues (e.g. international connections, e.g. London to Toronto to Tokyo, or connections involving preclearance/juxtaposed controls, e.g. flights to the US from most larger Canadian airports)
  • airport websites - will discuss the connection logistics in more detail and give a sense of the timeframe required, along with customs and immigration concerns. They'll also often discuss whether bags need to be picked up during international transfers. You can also get a sense of what gates a given airline is likely to use, as some connections may involve a walk across a terminal, or even a terminal change (e.g. changing between the main United terminal to the regional jet terminal at Chicago O'Hare may involve taking a bus).

There are so many variables. Domestic-to-domestic connections can sometimes be made in just a few minutes, particularly at smaller airports. On the other hand, connecting at London Heathrow from an international flight could be difficult with a three-hour connection because this summer, some international arrivals have had processing times at UK Border Force of as much as 2 hours and 38 minutes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .