Last week, I wrote a post entitled When Should You Arrive To The Airport? As you can read in the post, there are a lot of variables like the size of the airport, whether or not you have elite status, TSA PreCheck, CLEAR, whether you’re checking a bag or not, etc.
Well, a reader asked me a follow-up question about how much time to leave between connecting flights. That’s a great question and again, there are a lot of variables and things to consider like the size of the airport, if the flight or airport historically has a lot of delays, how fast you can walk, whether you’re connecting to the same airline, etc.
Obviously, if the airport is massive or prone to delays, you’ll want to give yourself more time in between flights. The best option is to fly nonstop if you can. It’s worth the extra money, especially during a pandemic (being exposed to fewer people) and not having to worry about missing the connection or your bag not making it to your final destination.
The more flights there are, the more chances of misconnecting for you and your bags. And these days, you don’t want to miss a connection because flights are going out chockfull so there’s no place to put you. Depending on the route and the airline, it seriously could be days until you make the next flight and if you don’t have elite status on that airline, then you could really be screwed.
I know many travelers try to get the shortest connection possible but that’s not a good game plan for 2021 and probably even into 2022. And don’t fall for the airline booking engines’ algorithms either, when purchasing flights. They might offer you a 30-minute connection, which, while legal, is risky. Bottom line: I would give yourself at least 90 minutes when traveling domestically and a lot more if connecting internationally.
I just booked my next international flight since the beginning of the pandemic. I made sure to book a flight that will allow me to go through customs before I leave and don’t need to worry about it during my connection. Lots of strategy and I agree don’t trust the airline algorithms.