Minimum connection time – things you should know

Minimum connection time

When you use air travel for long distances, you will most likely have to change one or several flights. There are many benefits to this strategy, such as reduced costs and less time spent sitting down, but it also requires careful planning ahead. Your biggest concern should be the connection time between flights, and what you can do to waste the least possible time in airports. Here is what you should know!

What is the minimum connection time?

The interval between getting off of a plane and boarding another one is called minimum connection time. Usually, it is the time you need to get from the arrival gate to the next boarding door anxiously hoping that the airline will not leave without you.

Seasoned air travelers and industry experts recommend that you should leave at least 30 minutes between connecting flights. That should be the minimum connection time you require to swap planes even if your first flight had a slight delay.

How minimum connection time works

While flights often suffer delays, one thing is for sure in the air travel business: your plane will never leave earlier than the originally scheduled departure time. So, when using multiple connecting flights for your journey, you only have to worry about the inbound flight landing as expected.

Minimum connection time generally works, and most of the times you will reach an intermediary airport only to see your connecting flight having a take-off delay. In that situation, you can take your time and wander a bit around the airport terminal, since you will have more time to wait before boarding.

There are two unpleasant scenarios where minimum connection time becomes useless. One is when your first flight has a delay and you arrive after your connecting flight has already left. The second one is when you arrive at the intermediary airport and you see your connecting flight being canceled.

Fortunately, in both situations, you can find a suitable resolution for both your long-distance trip and your account.

What to do when minimum connection time does not work

So, you have your connecting flight leaving in 5 minutes, but you are still in the air on your first flight due to an unexpected delay. By now, you are almost sure of missing the next stage of your trip, so you should consider your next move.

Once you get off the plane, find an airline representative and ask for an official motivation of the delay that caused you to miss your connecting flight. Use their response to open a claim for compensation and demand you be refunded for all the inconveniences that derived from it. You should also employ the expert services of a professional company that can do all the paperwork and fights for your rights to be met.

As a side note, when counting on minimum connection time it is a good idea to plan ahead and make sure that it is a reasonable interval for your trip even if you have to pay an extra fee.