👋 Get My FREE Flight Search Tool That Finds Hidden Flight Deals Like This...

...Unless you enjoy paying full price on tickets!

Published on

What Is a Connecting Flight: A Detailed Guide

  • avatar
    Jonathan Chum

What is a connecting flight?

A connecting flight is a subsequent plane that you need to board in order to get to your final destination. Depending on where you are going, one plane ticket may not be enough. When you purchase a ticket, it will clearly state whether you need to board a second, third, or even fourth plane. At the same time, if you are dealing with connecting flights, there is a lot that you need to think about.

Whether you are an experienced traveler, are leaving the country for the first time, or even driving to the airport for the first time in your life, you need to understand exactly what is going on with connecting flights. We use all of our experience to make sure that we provide you with the most accurate information. Therefore, trust us when it comes to connecting flights.We are going to cover a lot of important topics so that you are prepared the next time you go to the airport. Some of the topics that we will cover include:

  • The definition of a connecting flight
  • Important implications for airport security
  • Allowing yourself enough time when it comes to connecting flights

By the end, you will know everything there is to know when it comes to connecting flights. That way, you can navigate the airport like a professional.

A Connecting Flight Requires You To Change Planes

If you need to board a connecting flight, you need to change planes between your original city and your final destination. There are lots of reasons why you may need to board a connecting flight; however, the ultimate reason is that there is no direct flight from your original airport to your final destination.If you are originating from a relatively small airport, or your final destination is a small airport, there is a greater chance that you will need to board a connecting flight to reach your final destination. If you are interested in avoiding a connecting flight, you may want to look for a larger airport in your local area. The larger the airport is, the greater chance you will have of booking a direct flight to your final destination. This may be able to save you time and money.

Do You Need To Go Through Security a Second Time?

Usually, you will not have to go through security if you are boarding a connecting flight. There are some situations where you may need to go through a second security screening. Some of the most common situations include:

  • You are flying internationally and have to pick up your checked baggage before you get on a connecting flight, forcing you to go through baggage claim before you go through security a second time.
  • Your connecting flight is at a different terminal with its own security checkpoint, forcing you to go through security a second time.
  • There is construction taking place that forces you to exit the terminal before boarding your connecting flight, funneling you through security an additional time.
  • You may be selected for random screening before you get on your connecting flight.

If you are concerned about going through security when you board your connecting flight, you should speak with the agent at your original departure gate. He or she should know about any security implications before you board your connecting flight.

Will My Bags Make it To My Connecting Flight?

Usually, your bags are going to make it to your connecting flight before you do. The reality is that there is a more direct route to your connecting flight on the tarmac than there is through the airport. If you checked your bags, the airport code of your final destination should be printed clearly on the luggage tag.

Therefore, they will be marked for transfer when you hit the ground at your connecting destination. The people on the ground should be well aware of any implications when it comes to checked luggage and connecting flights. Therefore, you do not have to worry about your bags.

How Much Time Is Enough for a Connecting Flight?

The answer is that it depends. Usually, if you are booking a flight that requires connections, the software program will automatically build in enough time for you to meet your connections. Of course, it also depends on how far apart your arrival gate and subsequent departure gate are located. In general, any connecting flight that leaves a half hour or less after your original flight touches the ground is going to be too tight. Ideally, you would want to allow for at least an hour in case you have to change terminals. In the event that your original flight gets delayed, the flight attendant will usually allow anyone with connecting flights to disembark the plane first. You should let the flight attendant know that you have a connecting flight and that you may be a bit close on time.

Do Connecting Flights Wait for Passengers?

In general, connecting flights are not going to wait for passengers. On the other hand, if the connecting flight has a lot of passengers coming from a single plane, it may wait for that plane before it takes off. If you have a lot of passengers on your original flight with the same connecting flight as you, there is a greater chance that your connecting flight will wait.

Plan Accordingly for Connecting Flights

If you have a connecting flight, you should plan in advance. Make sure that you know where your connecting flight is leaving. Then, figure out how far away that gate is from your arrival gate. If you think you need more time to make your connection, consider changing your connecting flight. Think about airport security implications as well. If you miss your connecting flight, the airline should rebook you on another flight. In order to take care of this issue, you may need to speak with a gate agent or customer service professional.