10 ways to handle a tight connection

4079981298_37ce535983_n1. Book wisely. If you need to be somewhere really important, it’s probably not a good idea to book your flights with less than an hour between them. Even an hour is pushing it. An hour and a half is good. Two hours, even better. Whatever you do, don’t take the last flight out! Delays happen. So do cancelations.

2. Pay the extra fee. If you’re the anxious type and travel is stressful, pay the extra fee to sit closer to the front of the airplane and be done with it. Why start your trip out on the wrong foot and the risk a snowball effect. Because once something goes wrong, everything seems to follow suit. Better to be out a few bucks than to miss a flight! It’s worth it just to relax.

3. Check your boarding pass. Many airlines print the boarding time, not the departure time, on the boarding pass. Depending on the equipment type (smaller vs. larger aircraft), you can usually tag on another 30 to 40 minutes to your connection time. Read the fine print.

4. Switch seats. Ask a flight attendant if you can move closer to the front of the cabin on landing. Unfortunately, most flights are full these days and just because there’s an open seat up front doesn’t mean you’ll find a spot in the overhead bin for your bag too. If you’ve booked a tight connection, you might want to make sure your carry-on luggage fits under the seat in front of you.

5.  Relax: I know, I know, easier said than done. Just know that while it might feel like it takes forever to disembark, the truth is almost everyone is able to deplane in less than 15 minutes. So take a deep breath and … exhale. Put in your earphones and play the most relaxing music you have. Then get ready to run. Here’s to hoping you wore appropriate shoes to sprint across the airport terminal.

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Photo credit: NewbieRunner

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “10 ways to handle a tight connection

  1. Barry in La Jolla

    Indeed … along the lines of “never give up”, a late night flight from LAX pulled out while I was still running between terminals. Shocker: when I arrived at the gate, a quick call to the pilot brought the plane back to the gate, opened the door, and let me on. The looks on the other passengers’ faces were priceless, and I thought I was in a dream. Never give up … strange things *do* happen.

  2. Foredeck

    Here’s a tip on the “converse” of this situation. If you’re connecting with a comfortable connection time, try to stand by on departures to your final destination ahead of yours. At least note their gate. If they call a delay on your scheduled flight, you can try to get on (or may already be on, if you’ve stood by) the earlier flight. This works mainly on high volume hub-hub routes. It saved me and my wife from 3+ hours of tedium in DFW on a trip to LAX when an MD-11 decided it had had enough for the day.

  3. Great tips to handle a tight connection. Thanks for sharing such a useful information with us!

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