8 Things to do If You Think Your Layover is Too Short
Layovers can be stressful, but especially short layovers. Every airport is different, and it’s hard to tell if your layover is long enough to make your connection.
When booking a flight, you should always give yourself plenty of time in between flights, especially if you’ll have to go through customs and immigration. But what if you’ve already booked and you think your layover is too short?
Here are 8 things to do to reduce your chances of missing your connecting flight.
1. Change your flight
If you notice your layover is too short, consider changing your flight.
Call the airline and see if there’s a better connection by either taking an earlier first flight or a later second flight. Explain why you want to do this and ask about any applicable change fees.
It’s possible this option might not be reasonable if the cost is too high. In that case, ask what the airline’s policy is if you miss your connection.
Unfortunately most airlines put the responsibility on the passenger to make the connection, which means they wouldn’t be any help if there are no delays and you miss your connecting flight.
>>Check out these layover perks you never knew about.
2. Change your seat
If you think your layover is too short, do what you can to get an aisle seat and a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible on the flight before the short layover. This will make it easier for you to get off the plane quickly once your flight lands.
Either choose your seat online or ask at check-in if they can change your seat. Explain that you have a short layover. You never know, it could lead to some helpful sympathy.
If you don’t have an aisle seat and you aren’t able to change your seat, talk to the people sitting next to you. Someone might be willing to switch, or at the very least, they might let you squeeze ahead of them when the plane lands.
Also talk to the flight attendants about the possibility of moving to the front of the plane towards the end of the flight. It won’t always work, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
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3. Pack up your carry-on
Flights can be boring, so you probably have a book, Kindle, music or something else to keep you entertained. But if you think your layover is too short, don’t wait until the plane lands to pack up everything.
When the plane starts to descend, pack everything back into your carry-on bag. This means you’ll be ready to go the moment the plane is on the ground and the seat belt sign has been turned off.
Don’t waste time repacking things into your carry on bag when you could be making your way off the plane.
4. Travel carry-on only
Speaking of luggage, if possible travel carry-on only. Short layovers aren’t just a problem for you; they’re a problem for checked luggage too.
It takes time for baggage handlers to unload the plane, and then for the luggage to get sorted out and redistributed to connecting flights and baggage claim. Even if you make your connection, your bags might not.
If you think your layover is too short and you travel carry-on only, you won’t have to worry about your luggage getting left behind during your layover.
>>Find more packing tips here.
5. Ask for your connecting gate
Sometimes the flight attendants get a list of gates for connecting flights. They will usually make an announcement towards the end of the flight, but if they don’t, just ask if they have a gate listing.
That way you’ll know if you’re flight is landing in the same terminal as your connecting flight or if you’ll have to change terminals.
This will probably only save you a few minutes on your connection, but every minute counts when you have a short layover on your hands.
6. Look at the airport map
Before you even leave home, search for the airport your layover is at along with “terminal map” so you can get an idea of the layout ahead of time.
This will help you feel a little more comfortable once you arrive at the airport, though remember that airports have plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction.
Another good place to look for airport information is the World Airport Guides website. It has terminal maps for some airports, listings of which airlines use which terminals, transport information, plus restaurants and other services.
7. Don’t make any stops in the airport
Many people use layovers for bathroom breaks and food stops. But if you think your layover is too short, it’s not worth taking the chance.
Either go to the bathroom on your first flight or wait until you’re on the second flight. Even five minutes could cause you to miss your connection, and sometimes those bathroom lines are really long.
As for food, pack some snacks in your carry-on or buy something on the plane if food is not included with your flight. You can also buy something at your first airport and save it for later.
>>Read: Can you bring food on a plane?
8. Wear comfortable shoes
I think this is a good idea for flying no matter what, but it’s especially important if you think your layover is too short.
Uncomfortable shoes, high heels, or new shoes you haven’t broken in yet will slow you down. You want to be able to walk quickly, or even run if it’s absolutely necessary, to make your connecting flight.
Small things can go a long way if you think your layover is too short. Politely ask for help along the way, do what you can to save time, consider traveling with only carry-on luggage, and prepare ahead of time.
You might also enjoy:
- Carry-On Luggage Size Chart with over 170 Airlines
- Is your layover long enough?
- How to maximize a long layover
- How do layovers work?
- Can I leave the airport during a layover?
April 5, 2023 @ 6:24 am
I am flying from Amsterdam to Detroit and I am an American citizen. I have 3 hours to get from Gatwick to Heathrow. Do I have to collect my checked bag? Do I go through customs? Is it possible to make this flight? Is there anything I can do to speed up any of the steps (security at Heathrow)?
April 5, 2023 @ 2:48 pm
Hi John, 3 hours to get from Gatwick to Heathrow sounds really tight! When you fly from Amsterdam to London, you are leaving the Schengen Zone. This means you will have to go through immigration and customs at Gatwick, because you are entering the UK. You will have to claim your checked baggage. Then you can make your way from one airport to the other. Then once you’re at Heathrow, you’ll have to check your bags and go through exiting passport control to get stamped out of the UK, and you’ll have to go through security. I’m really not sure this is doable in only 3 hours. I found this article with some good info about transportation options for you to get from Gatwick to Heathrow: https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/heathrow_gatwick.html. The tips I have listed in my article will help you shave off a few minutes here and there, but none are dramatic help besides changing your flight. But it really might be worth seeing if you can get an earlier flight from Amsterdam to Gatwick, or a later flight from Heathrow to Detroit. At the very least, make sure you know your airline’s policy if you miss your connection.
January 22, 2023 @ 3:24 pm
My husband is flying from Toronto to Salt Lake City with only a 30 minute layover in Detroit. This will be his first time flying with a layover.
How does it work with customs/immigration? I can’t imagine 30 minutes being enough time to do that and get through in time to catch the next flight.
The layover is so short it seems impossible to make it but it was the only flight that worked with when her needed to leave and arrive.
January 22, 2023 @ 8:20 pm
Hi Jocelyn! I agree, 30 minutes sounds painfully short. One thing he has going for him is that the Toronto Airport (and most major Canadian airports) actually has US border control, so he will actually go through customs and immigration and get stamped into the US while he’s still physically at the Toronto Airport. That will save him time for sure. I haven’t flown through the Detroit airport, but it looks like airlines don’t overlap from one terminal to the other, so that should mean whichever one his first flight lands in should be the same one his next flight leaves from. Look here for more info: https://www.ifly.com/detroit-metropolitian-airport/terminal-map There’s a description of each terminal and it lists out the airlines, so unless he has two completely different airlines, that should help. The only other thing I can suggest is for him to see what other flights his airline has from Detroit to Salt Lake City that day, that way if he does miss his connection, at least he knows his options for getting on a later flight.
January 6, 2023 @ 6:19 pm
Hi. I have a connecting flight of 1hr 50 min from London to Tirana (Albania). Is that enough time?
January 7, 2023 @ 8:09 pm
That depends on a few things. Is your layover in London? If it is in London, where are you originating from? Or are you going from London to somewhere else and then to Tirana? The biggest issue is whether you can bypass customs and immigration at the layover airport since that can take a lot of time. 1 hour 50 minutes could be enough time but it might not be, it’s hard to know without knowing more details.
December 10, 2022 @ 8:53 pm
Many thanks for your prompt reply.
Appreciate the advice and it is useful.
December 9, 2022 @ 2:53 am
I am flying on Jetblue flight managed by Etihad from LA to JFK Ter4 terminal 4, NYK. There is 1 hour 50 minures lay over time and have a connecting flight to Abu Dhabi from Terminal 5.
Do have to collect baggage at terminal 5 and take it to terminal 4 or Jetblue will take it directly?
Is 1 hour 50 minutes layover sufficient at JFK to catch connecting international flight?
December 9, 2022 @ 2:35 pm
Hi Santosh! Normally your checked luggage would be tagged to your final destination and transferred from one flight to the next when you’re flying from the US to another destination. BUT I’m not sure how closely linked JetBlue and Etihad are with their partnership. If you were able to book the whole thing on one itinerary/transaction, chances are JetBlue will be able to tag your luggage to Abu Dhabi and transfer it in JFK, but I can’t be sure. You’re best option is to call JetBlue and ask ahead of time, otherwise they will be able to tell you at LAX when you check your bags. As for your layover time, I can’t make guarantees, but I think that should be enough time to make your connection, assuming you don’t have to claim and recheck your luggage. The US doesn’t really have any exiting passport procedures, besides the airline looking at your passport when you check in, so there isn’t any extra stuff to do during your layover.
December 7, 2022 @ 5:35 pm
This article is somewhat encouraging as I was given a 35 minute layover in Detroit. Wish me luck!
Do you know what happens if I don’t catch my flight?
December 9, 2022 @ 2:27 pm
Oh wow, 35 minutes is not long at all! I hope you make it! If you don’t make your connection, speak with your airline. Some are better than others about booking you on the next flight. Unfortunately I have heard stories of people getting no help from the airline, that the airline sometimes says it’s up to you to make sure you have enough time to make your connection, but many airlines will be more understanding and try to fit you onto the next flight. Good luck!
September 15, 2022 @ 8:11 pm
Hello. My sister is flying from Munich (MUC) to Jacksonville FL with a 1 hour 40 min layover in Charlotte (CLT). That leg is on Finnair. Flight to Jacksonville is on American Airlines. Will she have to collect and recheck her luggage in Charlotte?
September 22, 2022 @ 3:30 pm
Hi Natalya! Yes, when she lands in Charlotte, she will have to go through customs and immigration, plus claim and recheck her bags. This is because it’s her entry point into the US. She will most likely have to go through security again too.
July 30, 2022 @ 2:17 pm
My son will be traveling DTW to MCO on Spirit at 10:20, he then has a Frontier flight to Nassau leaving at 11:10. Thoughts?
August 2, 2022 @ 11:51 am
Hi Angie! I’m assuming those flights are booked separately? If so, I think this is risky since these aren’t partner airlines, even more so if he has checked baggage. If the Spirit flight is delayed and he misses his Frontier flight, neither airline is obligated to help rebook him. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable with a flight combo like this unless I had several hours for the layover. Flights are being delayed constantly these days, so I’d be worried about him missing this connection. He might want to look at booking an earlier flight to MCO or a later flight to Nassau.
June 18, 2022 @ 7:03 pm
Travelling Air Canada/Lufthansa from YYC to ZAG, connecting in FRA.
Will 90 minutes be sufficient for connection?
July 4, 2022 @ 11:40 am
Hi Jan! 90 minutes in Frankfurt could be a little tight, but it’s usually easier in the direction you’re going. Croatia is not in the Schengen Zone, but Germany is. This means you should be able to bypass customs and immigration in Frankfurt, which will save you time. When you get off the plane, look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and you should be able to bypass immigration. You’ll probably have to go through security again before the FRA-ZAG flight.
June 14, 2022 @ 1:16 am
Hello! I am leaving from Calgary (YYC) and going to Abu Dhabi, with a layover in Toronto Pearson (YYZ). My layover is 1 hour and 26 minutes, but I found out that my flight from Calgary will land in Terminal 3, and the flight to Abu Dhabi will depart from Terminal 3 as well. Will this be enough time, as I can stay in the same terminal?
June 15, 2022 @ 7:57 pm
Hi Michelle! The Toronto Airport website has a nice connections guide where you put in your airline and cities and it gives you info: https://www.torontopearson.com/en/connections/. If your arriving flight lands in the same terminal as your departing flight, I don’t think you have much to worry about. Your layover is a little short but if you don’t have to deal with anything extra, I wouldn’t worry about it.
March 5, 2022 @ 4:13 pm
Your travel advice is awesome! We are traveling from MCO to SLC to Idaho falls airport. Our layover between SLC and Idaho falls is 70 minutes and I’m pretty sure we have to change concourses. I’ve heard that the newly remodeled SLC airport is huge and it’s hard to get from one side to the other. Is this enough time?
March 9, 2022 @ 11:45 am
Hi Megan, thank you! I haven’t flown through SLC in a few years, so I’m not sure if it was before or after the remodel, but usually an hour or so is enough time for a domestic layover. I found this page on the airport’s website, and if you scroll down a little, there’s a section that gives walking times from different terminals, which is helpful to know. Obviously I can’t make you any guarantees, but I think you should have plenty of time for your layover.
October 13, 2021 @ 8:23 am
I land in Athens Greece at 7:45 and our next flight to the small island chania in Greece is at 9pm? Is this enough time?
October 14, 2021 @ 10:40 am
Hi Steph, it depends on where you’re coming from. If your flight to Athens is coming from outside of the Schengen Zone (so if you’re flying from the US or Canada directly to Athens), you will have to go through customs and immigration in Athens, which means that layover time might be a little tight. Not impossible, but it wouldn’t make me comfortable. If you have to connect somewhere within the Schengen Zone, like Paris or Amsterdam as an example, you will go through customs and immigration there, so you won’t have to do it in Athens, which means your layover will be a little easier. Also, is your flight from Athens to Chania on the same itinerary as your flight(s) to Athens? If it is, your checked luggage should be transferred, which is great. But if you booked it separately, you’ll have to claim any checked luggage and re-check it with the next airline, and that will take time.
June 21, 2021 @ 6:57 pm
We scheduled a flight with Delta from ABQ to Redmond, Oregon and back. the flight to and from with a connection in SLC plenty of time for connection. Delta has rescheduled our return fight going first to Seattle from Redmond then from Seattle to SLC and then to ABQ then layover in Seattle is around forty minutes.. we have never been to Seattle airport and I have some walking limitations.. what would be best thing to do?
June 22, 2021 @ 11:27 am
Hi Cheryle! That stinks that you now have 2 layovers! First thing I’d do is call the airline and see if there are any other options that work better for you with only one layover and hopefully a longer one. If there really are no other options besides the one they just rescheduled you to, ask about assistance with getting from one gate to the next due to physical limitations. Generally the airline doesn’t handle those golf cart type things, but they might in certain airports, and either way, they can point you in the right direction. You might have to contact someone at the airport to set it up. But it means you should have someone waiting for you when you get off the plane who will take you to the next gate, which will save time, and they should be able to tell the airline employees at the gate that you’re on your way.
June 10, 2021 @ 10:59 am
Hi! I will be on a flight from Shanghai to SFO via Delta, with layover in Incheon and then change plane in Seattle. My biggest worry is the transit in Seattle where I have only 1 hour 10 minutes to go through custom and immigration, and claim and recheck my luggage, not to mention I am also bringing a pet in cabin. Is it possible to make it within that time frame especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic? I am a US green card holder if that makes a difference. Thank you!
June 13, 2021 @ 12:40 pm
Hi Sandy! Your layover probably isn’t impossible…but it is rather tight. I haven’t personally flown at all since the pandemic started, so I don’t have firsthand experience about whether things are taking longer or not. Some people are saying things are faster since fewer people are traveling, but I think that’s changing with US travel, and many are starting to see pre-pandemic numbers of people at US airports. The pet is a big thing too, which will most likely take more time at customs since they have to check your paperwork. Is there a way you can get a later flight out of Seattle? I would personally be nervous with only an hour and 10 minutes for this layover.
November 14, 2020 @ 12:22 am
Hi! My daughter has a flight EDI-AMS-OTP and the layover in AMS is of 1 hour. The arrival is at Gate A08, and the departure at Termina 02, gate D26, or D26 or D18, or D52 (these according to KLM’s flight status of recent flights).
Is this enough time for someone that has no checked luggage, but also very little experience of flying unattended?
November 17, 2020 @ 1:35 pm
Hi Adi! One hour might be a little tight, but it’s definitely doable. Since EDI and OTP are both outside the Schengen Zone and she is simply transferring through AMS, she shouldn’t have to deal with customs and immigration. She will probably have to go through security again though. She should look for signs that say “transfer” or “transit” or “connecting flights” once she lands, and look for signs leading her to the D gates. She should also look for a departures board to confirm the gate she’s looking for. And any information desk will be able to help her with directions. AMS is a big airport but it’s well organized and well sign posted, and she shouldn’t have any problem finding people who speak English.
February 26, 2020 @ 11:13 pm
I have a flight from SFO-ICN-NRT and the layover for ICN-NRT is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do you think that will be enough time? Thank you.
February 28, 2020 @ 9:04 pm
Hi Nicole! Since you’re not staying in ICN or Korea, but instead continuing on to Japan, you should be able to bypass immigration and customs, which saves you a lot of time. When you land look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights”. You will probably have to go through security again, but I think you’ll have enough time since you shouldn’t have to do immigration. I suggest getting all the way to your gate and see how much time you have left before deciding to do things like get food or go to the bathroom though.
December 5, 2019 @ 2:24 pm
I have an upcoming flight from Tokyo to Denver on Delta through Seattle. There is only 1 hour connecting time which means I need to go through Immigrations and Custom and make it to the connecting flight to Denver in less than an hour. Praying my flight from Tokyo will arrive early enough. Anyhow, I called Delta to ask for a guarantee to be able to do all of these in time, their answer was yes. I am still worried and I already have a plan in the evening of the arrival day in Denver. Do you think I can fully trust Delta representative? Thank you.
December 9, 2019 @ 2:31 pm
Hi Spud! I don’t think they can ever guarantee that you’ll make it through and to your next gate in less than an hour, but if there isn’t much of a line, customs and immigration could go quickly. Seattle isn’t a huge airport, and not the busiest for international arrivals, so maybe there won’t be too much more than your flight arriving at that time. Probably not much you can do at this point, but try to get an aisle seat as close to the front as you can on the first flight, that way you can get off the plane quickly once it lands.
November 19, 2019 @ 3:37 pm
I am traveling jet blue from Seattle to new York and arrive in New York at 930 pm. I then have a flight at 11 pm traveling from New York to Dubai through Emirates. Is this enough time to go through the processes of unboarding security and reboarding on my other flight ??!? Help
November 19, 2019 @ 5:19 pm
JetBlue and Emirates are partner airlines, so if you’ve booked your flights together on one itinerary, your checked luggage should automatically get transferred from one flight to the next (but always verify this when dropping off your bags) which means you probably won’t have to go through security during your layover. I suggest searching for an airport terminal map for whichever New York airport your layover is in and see if you can figure out if all the terminals are connected beyond the security checkpoint. Most airports are set up this way, but not all. If you don’t have to go through security, an hour and a half should be plenty of time. If you do have to go through security, it’s still possible, and I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I can’t make any guarantees, but head straight for your next gate.
November 6, 2019 @ 2:14 am
My wife and I will be flying to HND this March from BOS with a 1 hour 40 minute layover in Minneapolis. My concern is the Boston flight being late and not making the flight to Tokyo in Minneapolis. Do you think this is enough time?
November 6, 2019 @ 10:59 am
Hi Joshua! I think that’s plenty of time for your layover, even if your BOS to MSP flight is a little late. If it’s very delayed, there is a possibility you could miss your connection. But 1 hour 40 minutes should be fine, and I’d even say an hour is probably enough time for a layover. If your flights are booked together on one itinerary and your first flight is delayed enough that you miss your second flight, the airline should get you booked on another flight.
November 4, 2019 @ 4:21 pm
January 15th I fly into Charlotte Airport on flight AA279 from ft myers fl and then try to catch the flight from Charlotte AA1988 to San Antonio with a 40 minute layover. Is that enough time? I will probably have to go to different concourses. Can you ask for transportation from one gate to another? Is it quicker? Can they let you leave the plane as soon as you land? I don’t have the funds to change flights in order to get to see my granddaughter graduate. My ride is picking me up when we land.
November 5, 2019 @ 11:12 am
Hi Nancy! A 40 minute layover is a little tight, but not impossible for a domestic layover. I haven’t flown through Charlotte in many years, and I can’t find any info that indicates whether or not the concourses are connected beyond the security checkpoint, so I can’t say for sure whether you’ll have to go through TSA again to switch terminals. I don’t think it’s a huge airport though, so I don’t think it takes long to walk from one section to another. If you have mobility issues, you can ask the airline about assistance to get to your next gate. I definitely recommend trying to get an aisle seat and a seat as close to the front as possible. I’ve timed myself getting off the plane from about row 15, and it often takes me about 10 minutes from the moment the plane gets to the gate and turns off the seat belt sign until I’m out of the plane.
November 2, 2019 @ 7:33 pm
Hi there! I’m looking at flights from ANC-MNL and I’m currently eyeing one that goes
The website lists that there’s only a 1hr. and 30 min. layover in Narita. Will this be enough time to get me through customs and immigration? Or should i find another one with a longer layover? Thanks!
November 4, 2019 @ 11:42 am
Hi Dihan! You shouldn’t have to go through customs and immigration at NRT since you’re not staying in Japan. As long as all of your flights are booked together on one itinerary, the airline should transfer your checked luggage from one flight to the next. So when you land in NRT, look for signs that say “transfer” or “transit” or “connecting flights” and you should be able to bypass customs and immigration, though you might have to go through security again. I can’t make you any guarantees, but if it were me, I’d probably be fine with an hour and a half layover there.
October 6, 2019 @ 2:21 am
Hi! I am travelling with Alaska from LAX -YVR with a 45 minute layover in Seattle. Will that be enough time to make my connection ?
Thanks a bunch
October 7, 2019 @ 4:36 pm
Hi Riley! I can’t make you any guarantees, but it’s probably enough time. The US doesn’t do any exiting passport control, so you won’t have to do anything different. At most you might have to go through security if you have to switch from one part of the airport to another and they aren’t connected beyond the security checkpoint. I can’t find a decent map of the airport to determine if you can get to all concourses without having to go through security again, but that would be my only concern. But I think you have a good chance of making your connection without issues.
September 10, 2019 @ 7:46 pm
Hi, I have an international flight in November with 2 hours layover in Newark (DFW->EWR-BOM). Recent flight stats shows that DFW->EWR flight is often delayed by 30+ minutes. so that might leave me with just about an hour. Is 1 hour enough time?
September 11, 2019 @ 11:09 am
Hi Raj! The US doesn’t do any exiting passport control procedures, so the only issue would be if you have to go through security again in Newark. I haven’t flown through Newark in awhile, but according to this site, it sounds like you might have to go through security to change terminals. You could contact the airline and see if they have an earlier DFW-EWR flight they could switch you to if you’re nervous about the layover. Otherwise, just try to go as fast as you can to get to your connecting flight. Also, if there are a lot of connecting passengers, sometimes the airline will hold an international flight for a few extra minutes.
August 22, 2019 @ 4:55 pm
Hi, I have flight on Sep 4th ORF-ATL-MIA with 36min layover. The aircraft is MD-88 to ATL and Airbus A320 from ATL to MIA. Departure Time is 4:20pm ORF – 6:10 ATL, 36min layover, depart 6:46pm from ATL to MIA. I bought that ticket directly from Delta airlines website. They have plenty flights with that layover time like, there is literally another one 2h later starting 6pm from ORF with same 36min layover. I tweeted to Delta about that what if i miss that connection, what if my luggage miss that connection or from which concourse im gonna be departure and they just replied that terminal information is available 72hrs prior to departure and that connection time in ATL is valid. Nothing more. Do you have some experience with that? I have online check in just 24hrs or so ahead of flight to choose the seat because my ticket is Basic economy. And I need to catch my cruise from Miami on Sep 5th at 1pm. Do you think that I can be there on time if me or my bag will miss that connection?What Delta can do for me in that scenario? Thank you for any response. – Eduard
August 24, 2019 @ 11:41 am
Hi Eduard! First, you want to make sure anything you absolutely have to have for the cruise is in your carry on bag. So even if you plan on bringing more/bigger toiletries than are allowed in a carry on bag, I’d highly recommend bringing some travel sized ones to keep in your carry on. Make sure you have some clothes in there, so if your bag does get delayed, at least you’ll have a few other things to wear. Also, just because they don’t announce the terminal info until 72 hours ahead, doesn’t mean it will be different from the current info. It might be different, but it might not be. So you can look at https://www.atl.com and put in your flight and see what gates your flights are landing at and taking off from today. You can usually find historical info too, though I haven’t looked around on that specific site. But then check again the day before your flight to be sure. And since they have plenty of flights throughout the day, even if your bag doesn’t make the connection, they’ll get it on the next flight to Miami, and usually they will deliver your bag to you, but you’d have to verify that with them if this happens. If YOU miss your connection, they will probably just put you on the next flight to Miami. Sometimes airlines aren’t as helpful about it if your first flight landed on time and you still don’t make the connection, but if they have tons of flights with that connection time, they probably think it’s reasonable for you to make it, so try not to worry about it too much.
August 19, 2019 @ 7:43 pm
Thank you for all the info.
August 17, 2019 @ 7:06 pm
I have a connecting international flight from JFK airport. Flying JetBlue from Atlanta to Cathay Pacific to HongKong. Will 2 hrs and 35min be enough. First time at JFK and flying solo trip on a long trip to Australia. Will I need to pick up my lugagge and check it in again? I’m assumming so as it’s international..
August 19, 2019 @ 10:58 am
So if I understand correctly, you’re flying from Atlanta to JFK to Hong Kong, is that correct? Also, are your flights booked together on one itinerary or did you book the Jet Blue and Cathay Pacific flights separately? As far as I can tell they are not partner airlines, so I think you probably booked the flights separately. What that means is that you will have to pick up your checked luggage in JFK and re-check it with Cathay Pacific. Normally you wouldn’t have to do this when flying OUT of the US if you’ve booked both flights on one itinerary, but with two different itineraries on airlines that aren’t partners, Jet Blue won’t be able to tag your luggage to get transferred to the Cathay Pacific flight. This means you’ll also have to go through security again after claiming and rechecking your luggage. The good thing is the US does not have exiting passport control procedures, so that’s one less thing to deal with. Cathay Pacific will still want to see your passport to make sure you have permission to go to Australia (check out my article on things to know before your trip to Australia) so if you check in online, make sure you go up to a Cathay Pacific employee at the gate at JFK before boarding and talk to them. I think 2 hours 35 minutes for your layover is a little tight but not impossible.
August 5, 2019 @ 8:08 pm
We have a connecting flight in Chicago with United Airlines, ExpressJet. Itinerary says we have a terminal change and only a 40 minute layover! Is that do-able?
August 6, 2019 @ 11:53 am
Hi Lynette! 40 minutes is a bit short! But I think it depends on whether or not you’ll have to go through security to change terminals. I’m not sure which Chicago airport you’re talking about, since there are two, but I suggest looking up the airport your layover is in and looking for a terminal map. If you know which terminal your first flight arrives at and which terminal your second flight leaves from, you can look at the map and see where they label the security checkpoints in between terminals. If you don’t have to go through security, 40 minutes might be ok, but if you do have to go through security, it’s a close call and depends on the lines and how long it takes to get through security.
August 2, 2019 @ 7:29 am
I have booked a flight with Lufthansa from Chicago, US to Mumbai, India via Munich and have a layover of 1 hour 40 mins at Munich. Do you think it should be enough considering I don’t have to go through immigration and customs?
August 2, 2019 @ 3:24 pm
Hi Rupal! Yes, I think 1 hour 40 minutes should be fine for your layover in Munich. You’ll probably have to go through security again, but that’s about it. Obviously I can’t make you any guarantees, but it’s pretty simple when you don’t have to deal with immigration.
August 2, 2019 @ 9:53 pm
Thank you Ali! Appreciate the response
July 23, 2019 @ 2:37 pm
We are flying from norfolk to fort lauderdale with a 45 minute layover in Atlanta. We are flying with delta. Is 45 minutes long enough to connect from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale?
July 27, 2019 @ 7:03 pm
Hi William! I think it depends on how far you have to go to switch from one gate to the next. Try looking at the airport’s website and see if your flights normally land and take off from the same gates every day, that way you can estimate how far you have to go. If your first flight lands close to where the next flight takes off, 45 minutes should be fine. There’s also a train that connects the terminals, so it’s not too complicated.
July 18, 2019 @ 11:39 pm
We are drop Paris and we booked a trip with Delta.
Paris -> San Francisco with Air France : OK
But we just saw that delta changed one flight.
We are supposed to do SFO -> Maui with a layover in LAX.
6:00 am departure
7:30 am landing in LAX
8:10 am departure to Maui (OGG).. all with delta.
We will try to call delta tomorrow but if you have some advices…
Thank you !!
July 22, 2019 @ 10:35 am
Hi Fiona! A 40 minute layover does seem a bit short, but it’s not so bad for a domestic flight. If you can find out where your flight lands at LAX and where the next one takes off, you can see how close or far the gates are from each other. It might be a reasonable layover if the gates aren’t too far from each other. If you call the airline, you’d want to ask if they can put you on an earlier SFO-LAX flight or a later LAX-OGG flight. But you still need to make sure you have enough time at SFO to get through immigration and claim and recheck your luggage.
July 17, 2019 @ 5:38 pm
I will be flying from Moscow to Calgary via Frankfurt in business class. There is 1.10 hr layover in Frankfurt and I have to go from Terminal 2 gate D to Terminal 1 gate B. Ticket is issued by Aeroflot and FR-YYC is Air Canada.
I have never been to Frankfurt airport before and the ticket was booked by my company thru the agent.
Now I am curious if I can catch FR-YYC flight with short layover if Aeroflot is on time.
And in case I cannot make it, is Aeroflot or AC going to help.
Any advice on this or how to have quick transfer in Frankfurt would be much appreciated
July 18, 2019 @ 12:19 pm
Hi Hassan! That is a short layover, especially since you have to get from one terminal to the other. Technically you shouldn’t have to go through customs and immigration since you’re only transiting through and not actually going to Germany or anywhere else in the Schengen Zone. The odd thing for me is that normally Terminal 2 handles the international flights and Terminal 1 handles the domestic flights, so it seems weird that your FRA-YYC flight leaves from Terminal 1. If that’s the case, you might have to go through immigration in order to get from one terminal to the other. Unless they’ve changed things since the last time I flew through there, which is always possible. My other concern is that those two airlines are in different airline alliances, so they don’t normally codeshare. Are your flights booked as one itinerary or two separate ones? If they’re separate, you’ll have to claim your luggage and recheck it in Frankfurt, which will take more time. You also wouldn’t get your second boarding pass in Moscow unless you check in online ahead of time, if Air Canada will let you do it for an international flight. Also, if your flights are booked separately, if you miss the FRA-YYC flight, Air Canada won’t be much help. If they’re booked together on one itinerary AND your Aeroflot flight is late, Air Canada should be more helpful about rebooking you. But it’s always up to the airline if you miss the flight because of long lines at immigration or security with no flight delay.
Here’s a map of the airport and here’s info about transferring between terminals.
July 10, 2019 @ 7:08 pm
This whole discussion avoids the obvious issue that the airlines provide the flights without providing clear help in insuring that their own schedules work. My daughter is flying back from Japan from Narita to Detroit, then on to Norfolk. The only flight I could book had an hour layover. She always travels light, upgraded her seat, etc., but there is no wisdom in the airline only providing an hour between an international flight (requiring a customs stop) and a connection. Why do they even allow it, if they’re not going to take substantive steps to insure you can make the connection
July 11, 2019 @ 11:47 am
I completely agree, Blair. An hour might be long enough…but it might be way too short. The airline has no control over the lines at customs and immigration, but yeah, I wish they’d have a longer minimum layover time that they would offer for international flights for that exact reason.
July 3, 2019 @ 11:50 am
Hi Ali! Glad you’re still answering questions years later! Anyway looking to book a flight to Manila, Philippines from Honolulu, Hawaii with a stopover in Guam that’s 45mins. Both flight are on United. Will that be enough time? And will my luggage be okay?
July 3, 2019 @ 5:52 pm
Hi Henric! A 45 minute layover might be a little tight, but it doesn’t look like a big airport (I’ve never been to Guam) so I don’t think it’ll take too long to get from your arrival gate to the next departure gate. The US doesn’t do any formal exiting passport control, so you don’t have to worry about that step. And your luggage will be transferred from one flight to the next, as long as both flights are booked on one itinerary, not separately. Obviously I can’t make any guarantees, but personally I’d risk it, unless there was an option with a slightly longer layover.
June 23, 2019 @ 10:03 am
Hi..I have booked flight on Lufthansa from Delhi (India) to Toronto in single itenary. My first stop is at Munich with layover of 1 hr 05 min to connecting flight for Copenhagen then a layover of 2 hr 40 min to connect to Toronto. Is layover at Munich too short?
June 26, 2019 @ 11:21 am
Hi Sujata! It might be a little short since you’ll have to go through immigration and customs, plus probably security. Munich and Copenhagen are both within the Schengen Zone, so you have to go through immigration in Munich to get stamped into the Schengen Zone in order to get to the flight to Copenhagen. Then in Copenhagen you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out again before your flight to Toronto. I don’t think the Munich layover is impossible, but it all comes down to how long the lines are.
May 30, 2019 @ 3:56 am
I’m traveling from Muscat to Sydney and I have layover for One hour and 15 minute in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). Do you think that’s enough?
May 31, 2019 @ 10:45 am
Hi Yaya! It might be a little tight, but not impossible. In most countries, you don’t have to go through immigration/customs if you’re only in transit, but the only times I’ve flown through KUL were to connect to another part of Malaysia or when Kuala Lumpur was my final destination, so I’m not positive. I can’t guarantee you anything, but I wouldn’t worry too much about this one. Don’t waste any time when you get off the plane, but I think you have a good chance at making it.
May 18, 2019 @ 12:29 pm
Hi, I will be flying for the first time to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from Philadelphia, PA. Coming back, I have to stop in Miami for 40 mins, before my connecting flight to Philadelphia. Is 40 mins enough time?
May 20, 2019 @ 7:09 am
Hi Barbara! A 40 minute layover in Miami sounds tight to me, although it helps that you’re technically coming from US territory and won’t have to go through immigration. (Though it does look like you have to go through customs when leaving the US Virgin Islands: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/us-virgin-islands/visas). You can go to the Miami airport website here and search for your flight from St Thomas to Miami and Miami to Philadelphia, and see what gates those flights arrive and leave from for a few days. That way you’ll know which terminals you’ll likely be dealing with, and if they’re near each other, you’ll have a better chance of making the connection. Domestic layovers are definitely easier since there are fewer steps involved.
May 14, 2019 @ 8:09 pm
I am flying from NRT to PDX and have only 50 mins layover for PDX – SLC. Would it be possible to make its through immigration and custom to catch up the flight to SLC?
For your information, It’s the same airline.
May 16, 2019 @ 8:52 pm
Hi Kan! I feel like 50 minutes is a bit tight, but PDX isn’t a huge airport, so it is possible. It mostly depends on the lines at customs and immigration, and sometimes it takes 15 minutes just to get off the plane. I’ve never flown through PDX so I don’t have any airport-specific advice, but some of the tips in this post will help you out. It might be worth finding out the airline’s policy about rebooking you if you miss your connection due to lines at immigration. Good luck, I hope you get through the lines quickly!
May 8, 2019 @ 10:05 pm
Hello! I’m flying out of CLE with a 50 minute layover in BWI to RDU with southwest. I did book it all in one ticket. I’m not sure if my gate is in the same terminal as my landing flight from CLE but i’m just a big worrier, I’m sure i’lol he able to make it but I wanted to see what you think. Thank you!
May 14, 2019 @ 9:52 am
Hi Evelyn! I found this: https://www.bwiairport.com/wayfinding, and when you change the airline drop down in the upper right side to Southwest, it only shows things “near” Southwest as those in concourses A, B, and C. So those must be where Southwest operates from, so I think worst case scenario, you’d have to switch from A to C. They’re not terribly long terminals/concourses, so I personally wouldn’t worry about a 50 minute layover there. When you get off the plane, look for a departures board to find your next flight, and then follow the signs. I understand about the worrying, I’m a worrier too! But I think you’ll be fine.
April 16, 2019 @ 10:58 pm
It’s the first trip of the family and I’m so worried about our short layover from Seattle SEA going to LA LAX we only have 1 hr and 16 mins layover ,, we are not familiar with the airport as well as the terminals and we are non immigrants it means we need to fall in line with the immigration window. Do you have any suggestions or tips because re booking is too expensive . Thank you
April 17, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
Hi Rachel! You didn’t say where you’re flying to, but I’ll do the best I can with this one. You mentioned immigration, which makes me think you’re flying from SEA to LAX to somewhere outside the US. If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry about exiting immigration/passport control. The US doesn’t do that. The airline will want to see your passport, but they’ll do that when you check in for your flight, or if you’re able to check in online, you’ll probably have to go to the gate agent so they can look at your passport and clear you in their system before boarding. I’ve had this happen before, and usually there’s a list of passengers they need to see before the international flight, but I recommend going to the gate agent yourself in SEA to save time. Then regardless of whether you’re checking in online or in person in SEA, when you get to LAX, you just have to find your next gate on the departures board and then follow the signs to that terminal. This site has some good info about getting around in LAX: https://www.ifly.com/los-angeles-international-airport/terminal-map. And if you happen to know which terminal your SEA-LAX flight lands in and which terminal your next one leaves from, you can use their little tool at the top to get instructions of how to get from one terminal to the next and whether you have to go through security again. I hope this helps!
April 6, 2019 @ 3:14 pm
I’m flying from London Gatwick to LAX with a 2 hour layover at DFW. Upon reading this I am very concerned. Do you think I will have enough time?
April 8, 2019 @ 1:40 pm
Hi Lucy! It really comes down to how long the lines are at immigration. If the lines are short and/or they’re moving quickly, 2 hours could be plenty of time. It’s not short enough for me to worry much, just know that you don’t really have time to waste until you get through customs and immigration and security.