Air  Travel, Making Connections, Connecting Flights

Once you find a suitable flight with adequate connection time on the web,  call the airline and see if there might be a better price.  If yes, or if the price is the same, book with the airline website.  If  not, book on line and secure a seat assignment or call the airline to secure a seat assignment.  The seats forward are apt to be more comfortable..  

The forward ride is quieter and more comfortable and you leave the airplane sooner to make your connecting flight.

You will have a better chance at getting a
seat assignment if you have frequent flier accounts with your usual airlines.  The account could allow you to secure an assigned seat on airlines that hold back assigning seats until they issue a pass at the terminal.
Some websites charge extra to assign seats.
Can you Save Time and Money On Air Travel
.Have flexibility in your travel days if possible. Significant savings can result if you can change your dates to accommodate both the flight out and the return.
Investigate Saturday to Saturday flights. This day is often undersold; business travelers are off and vacationers have reached their destinations.

Don't travel on Holiday weekends and school vacation weeks if possible. Think twice about Florida at Christmas and February vacation, Mexico during December, and Europe in August.
  • Early Flights
Try to book your travel in the early part of the day. If you miss a connection you could still have time to make another. Late in the day and evening there will be fewer flights and by 9:00 PM most airports roll up the carpet and become uncomfortable hotels.

.  
Book your flight on weekdays if possible. Mid week rates are lower, lowest usually on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Look in to Saturday to Saturday flights
Air Travel:
Make Realistic Connections while Saving Time and Money On Air Travel
  • Security, TSA
The Transportation Safety Authority publishes a helpful web page listing the latest security procedures.  These tips can save you time and money through security check points.
You might have to discard expensive cosmetics if they are in containers over 100 ML.  Use plastic Ziplock bags.  The objective is to speed through security to make the next connection.

Air Travel Making Realistic Connections, Connecting Flights:


Many flights fly through hub airports and require you to make a connection, often more than one. It is therefore important when booking your tickets to reduce the number of connections while keeping  in mind the time it will take to move from one plane to another, from a domestic terminal to an international terminal, and to go through customs and immigration.


Connection Times

  • Two Hours Domestic
Two hours or more of connection time for a domestic flight is a good target when booking a flight  (these are scarce, you might find many offering one hour or one and a half hours)
  • Three Hours International
Three hours for an international flight might seem like too much but three hours between flights for an international trip is not unreasonable. If your first plane leaves the gate late or arrives late and there is a big mob going through customs, immigration, and security, you could miss your connecting flight.  Give yourself a three hour cushion on an international flight.   Flights through Shannon and Heathrow can require two to three hours because of delays and huge numbers of passengers moving through the airport.   

.  Air Travel Connections

Connecting flights are important. You can save money on air travel if you shop as early as possible but price is not the only consideration.  Shop on the web for the best price but more importantly, the best connections. (layover times)

Some low priced flights offered by web based flight sellers come with unrealistic connection.  Can you really run from a
domestic terminal to an international terminal and then go through customs and immigration in an hour?  
When you shop for air tickets on the web, you will see many
unrealistic connections at the low end of the price scale; some with either inadequate time or far too much time between connections.
Airport Delays
With some airlines and airports reporting  15 to 20% delay rates in arrivals and departures during the last few years, you should be sure you leave enough time to make a connection. Try to have at least one and a half to two and a half hours between planes in case your plane is late arriving.
On an international flight it is not unreasonable to give yourself three hours to make a connection after going through custom and immigration.
If you go through Shannon or Heathrow you will want at least two hours, better three.

  • Carry-On Luggage
Another important consideration in your connection planning is your carry-on luggage. The modern airports are huge and sprawling terminals that could require a long walk between gates.  Wheeled carry-ons can rmake that bearable
You are allowed, in most airport and on most domestic airlines, a
carry-on that will fit in the overhead and a personal bag, computer case, or pocket book for instance that will fit under the seat.  Excess weights can cost extra in checked luggage so the temptation is to overload the carry-on.  This load can be a killer if you need to haul  your carry-on from one gate to another or from customs to  immigration and then to your next terminal.
Most airlines allow one free checked bag but charge $25 extra dollars and up for overweight checked luggage (over 50 pounds) The temptation might then be to overload the carry-on but keep in mind you then must carry it or wheel it to make a distant connection.  Many travelers are now traveling lightly with just two carry-ons and no checked luggage.
Early morning flight will allow you time to make connections to other flights and give you options    
Air Travel Connections are important if you want to save money and time on air travel.  Shop as early as possible on the web for the best price but more importantly, the best connection layover times.
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Air Trave;l Connecting fights must allow enough time to go through security, customs, immigration
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