Have A Tight Connecting Time Between Flights? You Shouldn’t

by Roni

I have learned so much about traveling since I have been working at the airport because I get to see so many things that I wasn’t privy to before. One thing I know for sure is that you should never plan your connecting flights too close together.

I was walking back from buying my food on the concourse when I saw a man and his wife banging on the door leading down to the gate, he was trying to get the gate agents attention because the flight was about to take off.

I went over to them and they both immediately started yelling, “WE NEED TO GET ON THAT PLANE! THIS ISN’T OUR FAULT!” I calmly told them I was going to try and see if they could still board. Well, turns out it was too late, the plane was ready to push back. They were LIVID. I warned the gate agent that these people were really angry and I walked back to my area.

Now, I understand that when you miss your flight it’s infuriating, especially if it isn’t your fault. These people landed and had to sit on the tarmack for one reason or another. Then by the time they got to their connecting flight they had just missed it. Trust me, I understand the frustration but here are a few things that you should never do in these situations:

1. Yell at the gate agent or at anyone else that is trying to help you.

Even though you are upset and your anger is justified, that does not give you the right to raise your voice at someone that has done nothing to you. That gate agent will do the best they can to help you but would you want to do your best for someone that was yelling at you?

When that man started yelling at me, trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was see if he could get on the flight. It was as if immediately all the desire to help left my body and I just wanted to go eat my food. I literally had my food in my hand and I was taking my personal time to help them and he started yelling at me. Not a good look so please, don’t do this.

 

2. Don’t plan your connecting flight less than 2 hours from the landing time of your first flight.

When you travel, you have to plan for the unexpected. Well, as much as you can because there are some things that will happen that you can’t possibly control. Planes are delayed for one reason or another. They land and then have to wait for a gate. Or they get to the gate and the ramp agents aren’t there (I’ll explain that one to you in a later post). Whatever the reason, delays happen. If you have a connecting time of an hour or less, you aren’t giving yourself any room for error. This is something I see people do all the time and I will never understand it.

There is almost always a later flight you can choose and when I fly and have to connect, I ALWAYS give myself more than an hour. This couple could have saved themselves the aggravation had they taken the later flight to start with. So you may have to wait a couple of hours. So what. Isn’t it better to go and sit, maybe have a drink and relax while waiting for your flight than having to run across an airport trying to make a flight?

 

 3. Let the fact that you missed your flight ruin your day

Things happen, especially when you travel. The couple above were arguing with each other after they had gotten their tickets for the later flight. Now, maybe they had some other issues going on but why let something that you can’t control ruin the rest of your day? It just doesn’t make sense because if you have missed your flight, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. The plane has taken off,  your bags aren’t on it and neither are you. It’s not the end of the world so don’t treat it like it is. If you get stuck in a city you aren’t familiar with, go and explore. If it’s too late to do that and you have to fly out the next day, go to the hotel that you now have to stay in and relax.

 

Do you think about your connecting times when you travel?

 

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3 comments

Kim April 26, 2013 - 5:47 pm

YES, we always think about connecting flights!! Great article. So you recommend about 1-1/2 hours? I haven’t figured out the exact time that would be ideal between flights! The worst is missing a flight, the 2nd worst is sitting in an airport for hours. I try to schedule so that there is always another flight out after the one I’m catching… just in case 🙂 The best airline to help you out: Southwest. If they are late, they always seem to alert the next flight. Amazing!

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Roni April 27, 2013 - 4:23 am

I wouldn’t do anything less than an hour and a half, but I would do it for at least 2 hours if I was buying a ticket. You wouldn’t believe how many times I see people running for a flight in a panic! I saw a girl the other day take a face plant down stairs and broke her nose because she was running for a flight. That was painful to see.

Southwest is a great airline all around, and they treat their employees really well. Thanks for stopping by!

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Fernanda June 28, 2020 - 6:15 pm

I so much love this advice. I’m traveling for the first time and it’s a multiple stops flight, but I’m trying to gather as much information and plan ahead of time as much as I can, people tend to take things for granted, you can’t control everything and unexpected situations happen. This world is all about rules and you also have to be respectful of other people’s time.

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