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  1. Doug
    October 19, 2019 @ 5:54 am

    I am flying Virgin Australia from MSP to LAX to Adelaide, Australia. Is three hours a long enough layover at LAX for the connecting flight to ADL?

    • Ali Garland
      October 21, 2019 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Doug! I can’t guarantee anything, but I think 3 hours is plenty of time for your layover at LAX. You might have to switch terminals, which might mean having to go through security again, but that’s about it.

  2. Fred
    October 15, 2019 @ 10:22 am

    Hi, I will be flying United from HNL to IAH with a 47 min. layover in LAX. IS that long enough?

    • Ali Garland
      October 15, 2019 @ 11:29 am

      Hi Fred! LAX is a big airport, so it depends on how far you have to go to switch from one flight to the next. If you can find out what gate the HNL to LAX flight normally lands at and what gate the LAX to IAH flight normally leaves from, you’ll have a better idea if that’s long enough. 47 minutes is usually long enough for a domestic layover, so I wouldn’t worry too much, it’s just that LAX is so big. Try searching for your flights here: I don’t know which specific flights are yours, but it looks like the gates are close. Maybe check that for a few days and see if they consistently use the same gates.

  3. Jaimi
    October 12, 2019 @ 4:17 am

    Hi, I am Australian travelling Honolulu HNL to Rome FCO. I am looking at a 3h52m self transfer at LAX, then 2h45m self transfer at LGW. What do you think? Thank you so much!

    • Ali Garland
      October 14, 2019 @ 11:23 am

      Hi Jaimi! I think nearly 4 hours for the LAX layover sounds like plenty of time, even with the self transfer. If you have checked luggage, you’ll have to claim your bag and recheck it, and then you’ll have to go back through security to get to your next flight. But I still think you have enough time for that. For the LGW layover, you probably have enough time, but that one is definitely going to be tighter. Again, if you have checked luggage, you’ll have to claim it and recheck it with the next airline, but that means you’ll also have to go through immigration and customs, and then you’ll have to go through exiting passport control and security after checking your luggage. So you have more things to do with less time. If you are traveling with only carry on luggage, you can probably follow the signs that say “transfer” or “transit” or “connecting flights” and bypass customs and immigration in LGW, and that’ll save you a lot of time. But you’ll also want to be checked in for your LGW to FCO flight by that time so you can show your boarding pass to security. I hope this helps!

  4. Mikey
    October 10, 2019 @ 4:58 am

    Hello, I’m flying from Nassau Bahamas to Orlando with a 21 hour layover is this long enough?

    • Ali Garland
      October 11, 2019 @ 12:45 pm

      Hi Mikey! I don’t know where your layover is, but a 21 hour layover sounds long enough for just about anything. It’s definitely long enough to make your connecting flight. It’s long enough to leave the airport and go explore whatever city your layover is in. It’s long enough to consider getting a hotel to get a few hours of sleep. I hope this helps!

  5. Lewis
    October 2, 2019 @ 3:05 pm

    Hi, I’m flying into Boston from the UK in July 2020, with a layover of 1hr 38 mins before an onward flight to Orlando. How does this sound for time?

    • Ali Garland
      October 3, 2019 @ 11:47 am

      Hi Lewis! It really depends on the lines that day. One hour 38 minutes could be plenty of time for your layover, or it could feel a bit tight if the lines are long. I can’t make you any guarantees, but if it were me, I’d probably feel ok taking a chance on that layover. Also worth looking at what other flights your airline has from Boston to Orlando, that way if they have a later flight you could either decide to switch to that flight or take a little comfort knowing if you miss your connection, you could probably get on a later flight. If you miss your connection because the first flight is late, the airline will rebook you. If the flight isn’t late and you still miss your connection, it’s really up to the airline if they’ll charge you or not to rebook you.

      • Lewis
        October 3, 2019 @ 2:58 pm

        Thanks, much appreciated!

  6. Marco
    October 1, 2019 @ 3:20 pm

    Hi, I´m taking a flight from SYD -Australia to SAO- Brazil with a 8 hours layover in LAX airport as my second flight LAX-SAO will be in the same airline (AA) at the same day I wonder if I´ll have to grab my checked luggage and hold it till the second check in time or the airline company will take care of it giving me time to perhaps explore LA city carrying only my personal items. Thanks

    • Ali Garland
      October 3, 2019 @ 11:38 am

      Hi Marco! You will have to go through immigration and customs at LAX, so you’ll also have to claim and recheck your luggage. I haven’t flown through LAX in awhile so I don’t know what their set up is there, but some airports have a place to recheck your luggage by placing it on a conveyor belt immediately after customs, which means you won’t have to carry it far at all, but I don’t know if LAX is like that. If not, you’ll have to take your luggage back to the luggage drop counter. Sometimes with long layovers like you have, the airline won’t take your luggage that far ahead of your next flight, but that’s really up to the airline. My suggestion is to call AA’s customer service and ask what their policy is, and maybe they’ll know if LAX has a luggage drop/check-in right after customs. And if you do decide to go into the city during your layover, really make sure you calculate out the timing. LA is a huge city, and you’ll still need to be back at the airport a decent amount of time ahead of your next flight to get through security. Read about leaving the airport during a long layover here.

  7. DLC
    September 21, 2019 @ 1:54 am


    In November, I fly from IAD to LIMA, with a 55 minute layoff in SAL. I read SAL airport is not a big airport.

    Is this 55 min layover enough time to catch next fly to LIMA.


    • Ali Garland
      September 24, 2019 @ 11:00 am

      I’ve never flown through SAL, so I can’t say for sure, but since you’re not actually entering El Salvador, you shouldn’t have to deal with customs and immigration, so 55 minutes is probably fine. When you get off the plane, look for signs that say “transfer” or “transit” or “connecting flights” and go that way, which should let you bypass immigration. You’ll most likely have to go through security again, but that’s about it.

  8. Megan R.
    September 10, 2019 @ 6:03 am

    I am a US citizen flying out of Montreal YUL and going to Portland, Oregon with 1hr 20min layover in SFO. I will have checked luggage because United only allows a 14lb carryon. Is that enough time to collect my bag, go through customs and back through security?

    • Ali Garland
      September 11, 2019 @ 10:51 am

      Hi Megan! Several airports in Canada, including Montreal, have US border control procedures, which means you’ll actually get cleared into the US while technically still in the Montreal airport. You can read more about it here: This means you won’t have to deal with customs and immigration in SFO, and your luggage should get transferred from the first flight to the second automatically. You will land in SFO as if it were a domestic flight. So you won’t need as much time for your layover, and I think 1 hour 20 minutes should be fine.

  9. Aimee
    September 4, 2019 @ 9:09 am

    Hey, Please can you help me. My flight layover is in lax before arriving back in Sydney but it is only 1 hour long. Am I going to make this?

    • Ali Garland
      September 4, 2019 @ 11:13 am

      Hi Aimee! It depends on where you’re coming from and what part of the airport your first flight lands in. If your first flight is within the US, it’ll be easier to deal with, but if you’re flying from somewhere outside the US, you’ll have to go through immigration and customs, and that will take longer. You can find terminal maps here, and if you can find out where your first flight lands and where the next one takes off, at least you could see how far you might have to go and whether you’ll have to go through security again. I’d be a little nervous with only one hour at LAX because it’s a big airport, and international flights usually board earlier than domestic flights, so you really won’t have much time. Check out my post with tips on what to do if you have a short layover.

  10. Donna DJ
    August 26, 2019 @ 8:33 am

    Hi!! Thanks so much for the info on this. Just wanted to double check – I have a Philippine passport, and will be taking Alaska Airlines from Anchorage to LAX with a layover in Seattle. Been trying (and failing) to see how big Seattle airport is and how far gates would be at the maximum as I am traveling with 2 senior citizens. Is 2 hours and 10mins enough of a layover in Seattle? We are definitely checking in luggage. First time flying Alaska Airlines, so I don’t know their track record with delayed flights. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks so much!

    • Ali Garland
      August 26, 2019 @ 10:52 am

      Hi Donna! In general, I’d say 2 hours 10 minutes is enough time for a domestic layover. If the other people you’re traveling with have any sort of mobility issues, you can contact the airline and ask for assistance. They might be able to help get your group from one gate to the next with either wheelchairs or one of those golf cart type things. That way if it is a long walk, they won’t be overburdened.

      Also, I found this on the Seattle airport website: You can put in Alaska as your airline and Los Angeles as your destination and your flight number, and it’ll show you where that flight takes off from. It only has the next couple of days, but you could check the day before your flight. Also, if you look at the top of the website where it says “SEA-TAC AIRPORT”, if you click on that, it’ll give you a dropdown menu where you can choose departing, arriving, or connecting, so you could click on arriving and put in the same info and see where the Anchorage to Seattle flight is landing.

  11. Drew
    August 25, 2019 @ 11:23 am

    Hi. We are traveling from PHX to PHL early on a Wednesday morning. We have a connecting flight from PHL to AMS and only a 40 min layover. Will we have enough time to get off the plane and make it to our connecting flight in 40 minutes?
    (We are only packing carryon)

    • Ali Garland
      August 25, 2019 @ 11:53 am

      Hi Drew! 40 minutes is a little tight, but it depends on where your PHX to PHL flight lands and where the PHL to AMS flight takes off from. International flights tend to start boarding earlier than domestic flights because they are bigger planes, so at 40 minutes out, they might be starting boarding already. Doesn’t mean you can’t make it on the flight, but you probably won’t have any time to waste. Don’t stop for the bathroom in the airport, do that on the flight before you land in PHL. (I have some other tips for short layovers here.) Also, if you can figure out what terminals you airline uses, that could help you understand how far you’ll have to go during your layover. I tried looking on the PHL airport website for a PHL to AMS flight but I can’t find one. It wouldn’t let me change the date though, so I could only look at today, and maybe there just isn’t one today. This site it good for seeing which airlines use which terminals: Sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I hope this helps!

  12. Ali
    August 19, 2019 @ 5:15 pm

    We are returning to Manchester UK from San Francisco with a 7 hour layover in LAX, can we leave the airport (delta internal then Virgin onward trip home)?

    • Ali Garland
      August 20, 2019 @ 11:28 am

      Yes, but you want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport and through security before your next flight. I have more info about leaving the airport during a layover here. But the biggest thing is to understand that you don’t really have 7 hours. It takes time to get off the plane and through the airport. Plus however long it takes to get to where you want to go outside the airport. Plus the time getting back to the airport. Plus it’s usually recommended that you’re at the airport 2 hours ahead of your flight so you can get through security and whatever else you need to do. So once you know where you want to go outside the airport and how long it takes to get there and back, plus some cushion time, see what kind of time you’re left with.

      • Nazo
        March 5, 2021 @ 9:32 pm

        Hello Ali
        I have boocked a flight from Tunisia to Krakow (Poland) but it is a connecting flight (2times).
        From Tunis to Paris CDG ( I have plenty of time to change the terminal ) air france

        From Paris CDG TO amsterdam ,the same compagne air France

        From amsterdam Schiphol Airport, AMS
        to Krakow , I have to change the compagne KLM .
        the problem is when I get down in amsterdam I have only 50 mins layover to go to Krakow

        I have my checked luggage but I think they will take care of that I just need to carry on my cabin luggage

        do you think that there is enough time for them to transfer my checked baggage from air France plane to KLM plane
        Is it 50 mins layover enough in amsterdam

        • Ali Garland
          March 9, 2021 @ 10:53 am

          Hi Nazo! I’m glad you have plenty of time for your Paris layover, that’s where you’ll go through customs and immigration to enter the Schengen Zone. Your Paris to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Krakow flights are similar to domestic flights since they are all in the Schengen Zone, so you won’t have to deal with anymore customs or immigration checks. You probably won’t even have to go through security in AMS but I can’t make any guarantees. I think 50 minutes is a little tight but not at all impossible. I think that’s manageable as long as you don’t waste any time. And Air France and KLM are partner airlines, so I wouldn’t worry about that piece. You can probably check flight statuses on the AMS site (here’s the link for departures, and you can switch it to arrivals) and get an idea of where the Paris to AMS flight normally lands and where the AMS to Krakow flight normally departs from, and that’ll give you an idea of how far you’ll have to walk on your layover. And check out my tips for short layovers here.

  13. Megan Winter
    August 15, 2019 @ 2:45 pm

    Hi! I am booking two flights on different airlines(!). First is from Israel to Heathrow, landing at 10:30am. The second flies out from Heathrow to JFK, New York – how long should I leave for the layover? I have a few options: one leaving at 5:30pm, 7:30pm, as well as earlier ones at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. What do you recommend? I am worried the first flight may be delayed.

    • Ali Garland
      August 16, 2019 @ 11:39 am

      Hi Megan! When you say two different airlines, I’m going to assume you mean two different itineraries, that you’re booking one and then booking the other. This means if you have any checked luggage, you’ll have to claim it in Heathrow and recheck it with the second airline. It also means you’ll have to go through immigration and customs to get to your luggage, and then you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get to your second flight. All of that will take extra time. The 1:30pm flight might be ok, but that would definitely make me nervous if there are any delays. I think any of the other options would be fine, so it’s really up to you and your comfort level. But it’s better to have more time than not enough, and you can always use extra time to get something to eat in the airport, do some shopping, or hang out in a lounge.

  14. Amanda
    August 13, 2019 @ 4:55 pm


    Great articles! I found them to be really helpful and wanted to ask about a specific trip I have coming up to Spain via Norwegian and easy jet. We are considering booking a long saturday daytime layover to London Gatwick (approx 8-13 hrs with varying options) so that we can then travel to London. We plan to carry on. How long is enough time to do this? Are you familiar with luggage storage options and if a Visa is needed to visit?

    Thank you!

    • Ali Garland
      August 15, 2019 @ 11:46 am

      Hi Amanda! I don’t know where you’re coming from so it’s hard to say if you’ll need a visa, but if you’re a US citizen, you don’t need a visa to visit the UK. Otherwise, look up your nationality on the UK embassy website. I once did a long layover in London from Gatwick, and I had 11 hours, which was plenty of time. You’d probably be fine with a little less, but remember to account for the time it takes to get through immigration, get into the city, and then getting back to the airport, through exiting passport control and security, and being at the airport ahead of your flight. A longer layover might be better. You can take the Gatwick Express, which runs between Gatwick and Victoria Station, and takes 30 minutes each way. There are left luggage places in Gatwick outside of security, or you could look for a place through Stasher to store your bags for the day.

  15. Nikhil M
    August 13, 2019 @ 4:49 am

    Hey – I am travelling from Sacramento to Las Vegas on Delta / United. Both are giving me a short layover at LA and SFO respectively for a period of 45 minutes / 1 hour. Assuming 1 luggage would at least be checked in – will I still be able to make it to the other flight or should I be looking for American Airlines which gives me an hour and 40 minutes at LAX.

    • Ali Garland
      August 15, 2019 @ 11:37 am

      Those don’t sound like overly short layovers, although I might choose 1 hour at SFO over 45 minutes at LAX since LAX is such a huge airport. Another thing to consider is where your first flight lands and the next one takes off. If you will have to change terminals with one layover but not the other, I’d choose the one where you don’t have to change terminals because that’ll be a lot faster. Here’s a map of the terminals at SFO: If you click on “airlines” towards the left and then choose Delta, it shows some info about where Delta operates from, including “Delta Air Lines domestic flights are located in Terminal 1, Boarding Area C, Gates 40-48.” That sounds super easy, and you shouldn’t have to go far to transfer from one flight to the next, which means 1 hour is plenty of time for your layover. SFO would be my choice with this info!

  16. Anna
    August 9, 2019 @ 3:32 pm

    My apologies if this has already been asked. I have a flight from Hartford (BDL) to Atlanta (ATL), and then from Atlanta to Austin, TX (AUS). I’m flying Delta, and I only have 51 minutes in between these two flights.

    I only have a carry on so no checked luggage to worry about. I’ve also already been to the Atlanta airport, it does require running a bit to another terminal. But I was wondering, with no checked luggage, if that seems doable? I’m stressed about it knowing if there are any delays I might be screwed. Was also wondering if you know if Delta is accommodating if flights are missed because of a delay or something?

    Thanks so much!

    • Ali Garland
      August 9, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

      Hi Anna! A 51 minute layover is a little short but not impossible. If you do have to change terminals, just follow the signs towards baggage claim and the other terminals until you reach the tram. Take the tram to your next terminal, and head towards your gate. Helps that you won’t have to go through security again. It is a big airport, but it’s pretty well organized. (I used to live in Atlanta, so I might be biased!) If you miss your connection because your first flight is late, Delta should rebook you on a later flight. In general, airlines are pretty good about that kind of thing if it’s due to a late flight and both of your flights are on one itinerary.

  17. Bex
    August 5, 2019 @ 5:32 pm


    I’m getting a United Airlines flight from Bogota to Athens with a layover in New York Newark (2 hr 5 min).

    Is this enough time in Newark? Will I have to collect my bags and go through security if my final destination isn’t the US?


    • Ali Garland
      August 6, 2019 @ 11:45 am

      Hi Bex! Unfortunately the US makes every passenger go through customs and immigration, as well as claim and recheck luggage, even if your final destination is outside the US. So if you’re transiting through the US, you’ll have to do this too. This also means if you’re not a US citizen, you should check if you need a visa for the US. A 2 hour layover might be a little tight, but it could also be quick. Not an impossible layover.

  18. Jade
    August 3, 2019 @ 5:59 pm

    I will travel to US using k1 visa from philippines.just want to know if i can do my port of entry in hawaii and stay for a week with my fiance before fly to LAX going to his state.

    • Ali Garland
      August 4, 2019 @ 12:35 pm

      Hi Jade! I don’t know enough about visa questions to answer that kind of thing. But in general, you have to do immigration procedures in whichever airport is the first one where you enter the US, so I can’t imagine it would be a problem. But you should really ask the US embassy or whoever you were dealing with to get your K1 visa, since they would know the rules and how it all works. Sorry I can’t help!

  19. Nicola
    August 2, 2019 @ 3:59 pm

    Hi, I’ve visited Orlando from the UK several times with changeovers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia & Atlanta – each time we have had to go through immigration & collect luggage and then re-drop luggage – our stays were on average 2.5 hrs and it was a breeze in all of the airports. I have to say the US are very organised at this sort of thing, it has always gone without a hitch for us. I have stressed stood in the queue at immigration sometimes but we have always made our connecting flights. ?

    • Ali Garland
      August 2, 2019 @ 4:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Nicola! Glad to hear you’ve had good experiences!

  20. Cyenna
    August 2, 2019 @ 1:18 am

    Hi!! I am in desperate need of advice! I am trying to figure out with flights to book for my upcoming trip to Brazil, I live in Canada so unfortunately I will have to stop at least 2 times on the way there and back. I am not worried for the domestic layovers because in Canada those are super easy but I have never had a layover in the US and that is worrisome. The way the flights are connected I would have a layover in Canada and one in the US then I will go to Brazil however I am worried I wont have enough time for my US layovers. On the way there I am looking at a 3 hour layover in either Boston or New York or a 7 hour layover in Miami which is good because at this point I think the longer the better because I am unfamiliar with the US airports, so I’ll likely go with the Miami option. I need advice thought because I do not know if I will have to go through customs or anything during that layover or if I will have to collect my checked luggage in the US and if this will give me enough time. I also in advice for a return flight because the layovers in the US are much shorter on the way home, typically around 3 hours for all my options but they are planned differently, there is no layover in Canada they are both in the US, is this enough time? On the way home would I have to go through passport check or collect my luggage before heading back to Canada? Please please help!

    • Ali Garland
      August 2, 2019 @ 3:15 pm

      Hi Cyenna! Unfortunately the US makes every single person go through immigration, even if you’re only transiting through to another country, and you’ll have to claim and recheck luggage, so that will take some extra time. That said, 3 hours should be enough time in most cases. I can’t make you any guarantees, but I personally would be ok with a 3 hour layover. A 7 hour layover sounds really long, but if that feels more comfortable to you, go for it. You can use the time to get some food, relax in a lounge, etc.

  21. Stephanie A.
    July 29, 2019 @ 6:58 pm

    Okay, I’m stressin and need some reassurance. We are flying from Salt Lake City to Oakland with Delta. Then, we are flying from Oakland to Maui on Southwest. We will have to do some luggage collecting and re-checking, as well as security, etc. because it’s a different airline. Is 1.5 hours enough time to do this? It looks like the terminals are right next to each other at the Oakland airport, but my husbands got me in a panic now lol.

    • Ali Garland
      August 2, 2019 @ 12:31 pm

      Hi Stephanie! That is a tight layover, especially considering your flights are not on the same itinerary. Oakland doesn’t look like a huge airport, but according to their terminal map, which you can see here, Southwest is in one terminal while Delta is in the other. So after you land and collect your luggage, you’ll have to get to the other terminal to drop off your luggage with Southwest. Some airlines have a separate checked luggage drop off counter for people who have already checked in online, so that might help, but I’m not sure if Southwest does that or not. I’d definitely recommend checking in for the Southwest flight online and either using e-tickets or printing your tickets. That way you’ll have one less thing to do in Oakland. Also, if possible, on the first flight try to get seats as close to the front as possible, and seats on the aisle (or one of you on the aisle, the other in the middle seat) so you can get off the plane as quickly as possible. I hope this helps!

  22. James A.
    July 23, 2019 @ 12:25 am

    Hi!! Please help! I am looking to book a flight to Bali(DPS) from Los Angeles with checked in luggage. There is a connecting flight stop in HongKong with only 1 hour in between connecting flight to Bali. My question is.. should i book this flight or is it a bad idea? The flight would be purchased thru HongKong air website as a round trip. Would i have to recheck my bag in HK or only in Bali? If so, then 1 hour would definitely not be enough time.

    • Ali Garland
      July 23, 2019 @ 10:16 am

      Hi James! If you’re booking both flights on one itinerary (so both in one transaction, LAX-DPS) then I think one hour should be fine. I can’t make you any guarantees, but that isn’t so bad. You shouldn’t have to go through immigration in Hong Kong since you’re only transiting. Look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and you should be able to bypass customs and immigration, though you might have to go through security. Your checked luggage should also get transferred from one flight to the next so you don’t need to pick it up in HK, only when you arrive in Bali. I hope this helps!

  23. Katie
    July 20, 2019 @ 2:04 am

    Hi! Planning a flight for my semester abroad in the US, travelling from the UK so I was hoping for some advice, sorry if something like this has been asked before. First flight is from Edinburgh to Newark with a 2 hour 45 min stopover, then a flight to Pittsburgh. I was wondering if this was enough time between the 2 US flights, since I’ll have to go through security and everything, and also, if I’m flying with the same airline the entire time do I have to collect and re-check my bag at Newark or just collect it in Pittsburgh? Sorry not totally confident on what checked baggage means, this is my first time travelling and arranging it on my own!

    • Ali Garland
      July 22, 2019 @ 10:44 am

      Hi Katie! I think 2 hours 45 minutes should be enough time for your layover in Newark. You will have to claim and recheck your checked baggage (or maybe you call it hold baggage in the UK…it’s the baggage you don’t keep with you) when you arrive in Newark. It’s a US thing, they make everyone do it at the first US airport. So when you land, you’ll first go through immigration/passport control to get stamped into the US. Then you go to baggage claim and get your checked luggage. Then you go through customs. After customs, you recheck your luggage so it will go on the Newark to Pittsburgh flight. Some airports have a recheck area right there past customs where everyone can drop their luggage, which is super easy, but not all airports do it. If you don’t see that (and feel free to ask if you’re not sure!) then you’ll have to take it back to the airline’s check-in/luggage drop counter. And at some point you’ll also have to go through security again before you can get to the gate for your Newark to Pittsburgh flight. I hope that helps!

  24. uday
    July 17, 2019 @ 6:05 pm

    planning to book a flight for melbourne from delhi. find costwise cathey pacific flight [CX-698 & CX-163] most attractive. But, it’s having one layover of 4 hrs 10 mts in hongkong involving change of plane. bit worried on this count as we two are elderly people and have almost nil experience of going thru layover (that too involving a change of plane!) in international travel. can you advise me how to handle this? please tell me what all it will involve … will it involve the follwings:-
    – we to collect our check-in luggage in hongkong?
    – once againto to undergo baggage, passport , visa, immigration, security etc check?
    – distance to travel & how long it may take for us in hongkong airport to reboard for melbourne?
    – any other important tips and advice, please.

    thanks in advance

    • Ali Garland
      July 18, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

      Hi Uday! A 4 hour layover is plenty of time. As long as you’re booking all flights on one itinerary (as opposed to separate transactions) your luggage will be tagged to go all the way to your final destination and you won’t have to deal with checked bags during your layover. In most cases, you won’t have to deal with customs and immigration on your layover either since you’re just transiting through. When you land in Hong Kong, look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights”. You will probably have to go through security again in order to get to your next gate, just depends on where your first flight lands and where the next one leaves from. But just follow the signs to your next gate and you’ll either arrive or you’ll have to go through security first. You can’t really go wrong by following the signs to your next gate. If you get confused, ask an airport employee or look for an info desk to ask someone. And 4 hours is plenty of time, even if you get a little lost.

      • uday
        July 18, 2019 @ 5:37 pm

        thanks a lot. it’s of great help. thanks again.

  25. Pete
    May 7, 2019 @ 7:41 pm


    Flying Air Canada from Calgary to Phoenix with a layover in Vancouver of 1 hour and 35 minutes.

    We plan on just doing carry ons. Do we have to go through customs in Calgary and Vancouver? Or just one time in Calgary?

    Thank you for your input.

    • Ali Garland
      May 8, 2019 @ 6:39 pm

      Hi Pete! So your itinerary is Calgary to Vancouver to Phoenix, right? You won’t do any passport control or customs procedures in Calgary because Calgary to Vancouver is a domestic flight. Canada, like the US, does not do exiting passport control, so you won’t have to deal with that in Vancouver. However, Vancouver has US border control, so you’ll actually go through US customs procedures while still in the Vancouver airport. You can read about how it works here:

  26. Aelita
    April 11, 2019 @ 8:18 pm

    Hi Ali,

    Very helpful article! Haven’t booked my flight yet, but would like your advice. Will book an American Airlines flight to Amsterdam this summer from NY with a 1 hour 30 minute layover in Philadelphia. Flying in Business Class. Is that enough time? My other option is to book via London, (I think their layover is longer though) but the taxes & surcharges would be more expensive (although I’m using miles).


    • Ali Garland
      April 12, 2019 @ 10:29 am

      Thanks, glad to help! I wouldn’t worry much about that layover. When you’re leaving the US, you don’t really have to do anything different as compared to domestic flights because there’s no exiting passport control in the US. I haven’t flown through Philadelphia in years, but from a quick search, it looks like all terminals are connected beyond the security checkpoint, so you should be able to get from your first flight to the second without having to go through security again. I’d probably choose Philadelphia over London, but either is probably fine.

  27. Bettina
    March 26, 2019 @ 3:56 am

    Hi Ali! Sorry I did not see your article before booking flights. Somewhat worried now. International trip from ATL to IAD with hour and 19 min. layover before connecting flight to GVA. Return trip is hour and 53 min. layover in IAD before connecting flight to ATL. Mainly concerned about shortest layover. Should I be concerned?

    • Ali Garland
      March 26, 2019 @ 11:07 am

      Hi Bettina! I wouldn’t worry too much about the layover for your flight leaving the US. Your checked luggage will automatically be transferred to your next flight. There’s no exiting passport control, so there really aren’t any extra steps as compared to a domestic flight. You might have to go through security again depending on how the airport is set up and if you have to change terminals. I haven’t flown through IAD, so I’m not sure if there are separate security checkpoints for each terminal. But even if you do have to go through security again, I think that’s enough time, unless there’s a crazy long line. I’d probably go for it if I was doing that flight.

      On your return flight, you’ll have to go through immigration and customs, claim and recheck your luggage, and go through security again at IAD. That could take longer, but in general I think your layover time should be sufficient. It’s totally hit or miss whether the lines will be long.

  28. Thomas
    March 20, 2019 @ 5:29 pm

    Hello Ali!

    For my journey back to Europe I have to take a flight from Chattanooga (11:00 ) to Boston
    (16:29) with a change in Charlotte (1hour 50) then take my plane to Munich at 20:10. I have 2 deferents tickets an compagnies.
    Is 3h30 enough with checked luggage and an european passport?

    • Ali Garland
      March 25, 2019 @ 11:19 am

      Hi Thomas! So if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re flying Chattanooga-Charlotte-Boston with one airline, and then Boston-Munich with a separate airline. If you booked those separately, you’ll have to go claim your checked luggage in Boston, check it in with the next airline, and then go through security again to get to your Munich flight. I think 3 hours 30 minutes is plenty of time for that. There isn’t any formal exiting passport control in the US like there is in most of the rest of the world. The airline employee who checks you in for the Boston-Munich flight will want to see your passport, but that’s about it. So yes, I think you’ll have plenty of time.

  29. Eli
    March 6, 2019 @ 5:11 pm

    Hi Ali,

    I just saw your article – very interesting. I need some advise: I’m trying to plan my return flight, from Athens to Boston. I can do 1 of 2 things. I can do Athens – Rome – Rome – Boston layover is only 1hour and 55mins. Is that enough time? I know my luggage will be sent all the way to Boston from Athens, but after reading your article I’m afraid if there is a delay from Athens to Rome, I’m kind of screwed. Do you think 1hour and 55mins is enough time in the middle of the summer at FCO? I’m leaning towards Athens – JFK – JFK -Boston, which is a 2hour and 20mins layover, which is kind of longer, but even if anything goes wrong, there are hourly flights from JFK to Boston that i could jump on.
    The only reason I’m debating Athens – Rome – Rome – Boston vs the other, is that the one via Rome is about $200 cheaper, but might not be worth all the stress.

    Let me know your thoughts….thanks for reading my question!

    • Ali Garland
      March 8, 2019 @ 12:20 pm

      Hi Eli! I think either layover is fine. I personally might lean towards the Athens-Rome-Boston flight because going then you’re going through US customs and immigration at your final airport, instead of having to do it at JFK and hoping you can get through plus having to claim and recheck luggage. Lines in either airport are unpredictable, but I tend to think exiting passport control in Europe is faster than US border control. You’d do exiting passport control in Rome if you picked that layover, which essentially means waiting in line to get your passport stamped. You’re right about the other option though, it does help that there are frequent flights from JFK to Boston. I think it’s a judgement call. I’m not a fan of JFK, so I’d pick the Rome layover, but if connecting in JFK makes you feel more comfortable, that’s a valid choice. I don’t think there’s a wrong choice here.

      • Eli
        March 8, 2019 @ 2:53 pm

        Thank you for the speedy response!
        Now you made me think of another thing – if I do decide to take the Athens – Rome- Boston, – do you think passport control will be long lines in the middle of the summer, let alone last week of August, when everyone is trying to get back home? Then again, the flight from Athens to Rome is super short, it should only take 45mins, so even if there was a line, I would be fine, since I wouldn’t have to grab my luggage, since it’s heading all the way to Boston, unlike you mentioned JFK customs, and having my luggage with me and having to put it back on the flight…… I’m sorry i haven’t taken a connecting flight in ages – I usually take non-stop whenever I travel, but they stopped servicing nonstop Boston -Athens!arghhhhhh!

        • Eli
          March 8, 2019 @ 5:04 pm

          Actually now that i think, i might not need to do passport control in Rome, since I’m going it in Athens and it’s part of EU. So I would land and just go through security to my gate…

          • Ali Garland
            March 8, 2019 @ 7:53 pm

            Actually, you’ll go through exiting passport control in the last Schengen city you fly through, so if you book the Athens-Rome-Boston flight, you’ll go through passport control in Rome. The Athens-Rome flight will be similar to a domestic flight in the US. The line could be long or short, unfortunately it’s really hard to predict.

  30. Tom Dillon
    February 26, 2019 @ 2:47 am

    In general, is 1 hour 5 minutes a long-enough layover for domestic flight through DEN? April 2, 2019 flight from Grand Rapids MI to St George UT, flying United both legs. Round trip return flights about 10 days later

    • Ali Garland
      February 26, 2019 @ 6:22 pm

      Hi Tom! For most US airports, I think an hour is long enough for a layover. There are exceptions for some of the bigger airports, but I think you’ll be fine for Denver. It looks like there’s a shuttle train between terminals that’ll save you a few minutes if your gates aren’t in the same terminal.

  31. Ken
    June 26, 2018 @ 7:57 pm

    Hi Ali,
    Thanks for your posts! I’ve tried to review everything that’s been posted here before, so I’m not asking the same questions of you. But I’m still unsure what I should do, so I’m asking! I’m flying into LAX (American Airlines), arriving at 9:40pm, and have a 3 hour layover until my international flight to Taiwan (China Airlines) at 12:45am. I booked the flights separately, so will have to re-check luggage. At that time of night, do you think 3 hours is enough? My biggest fear is that there’s a flight delay into LAX. So, really, I’m wondering what the minimum time would be for a layover at that time of night. AT this point, it may be worth re-booking my trip to arrive at LAX a couple of hours earlier. Thanks for your insight!

    • Ali Garland
      June 27, 2018 @ 11:05 am

      No worries, Ken, there are too many comments on this post to dig through! This is a tough one. I’m assuming your flight to LAX is from within the US, so you won’t have to deal with customs and immigration when you get there. If you have two separate flights booked, you’ll need to go out to baggage claim and then recheck your bag, but if you’re already checked in for the LAX to Taiwan flight, it might be easier to drop off your luggage since some airlines have a separate line for baggage check when you already have a boarding pass. (I don’t know if China Airlines has this or not.) Then you need to get through security again and to your next gate. I feel like 3 hours should be long enough, especially if your flight to LAX is domestic. I can’t make you any guarantees though, so if you don’t feel comfortable with the 3 hour layover, you should consider booking an earlier flight to LAX. And if your flight to LAX is delayed enough that you miss your China Airlines flight, China Airlines is under no obligation to help you get on another flight. So that’s your real risk. I think 3 hours is probably enough time, IF your first flight is on time. If it’s not too much extra to rebook the first flight, it might be worth it for some peace of mind.

  32. Liz Rosio
    March 7, 2018 @ 4:17 am

    Hi Ali! Wonderful article, thank you for the post! So, unfortunately I didn’t figure this out until after I bought my tickets (I bought it all in one go-a package deal, so I think it’s an itinerary flight). I’m going to London England this summer for a month for school (will be coming back Sat, July 21st), but my return to the U.S. has me a bit worried. I’ve never traveled internationally or had to book my own tickets alone before, so I thought that an hour and twenty five minute layover would be okay, but now I’m not so sure. On my return, I will be leaving Heathrow airport and arriving at JFK NY airport at 2:50PM (approx. 1 hr after peak time, although still busy-according to my research) in terminal 4 (one of the better ones apparently?) I will have to go through immigration and customs, as well as rechecking my bag (I think). Then, my connecting flight leaves at 4:15PM, also out of terminal 4 (I think I may have to pass through security again to get back in). Will I have enough time to get through? Do they have fast lanes for connecting flights? Or should I contact someone in order to get something figured out (and if so, who?)? And if I do miss my flight, am I responsible to pay for a new one? I’m also traveling with a friend (she has never flown before) and I’m mostly concerned about her. What should I do? Thank you so much!

    • Ali Garland
      March 8, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

      Hi Liz! You will have to go through immigration and customs in JFK, plus claim and recheck your luggage. You will also have to go through security again before you can continue on to your next gate. An hour 25 minutes is a bit tight, though not impossible. The last time I flew through JFK, there weren’t any fast lanes for connecting flights, but it’s been a few years, so things could’ve changed. You would need to call the airline and ask what their policy is if you miss your connecting flight due to lines at customs (as opposed to the first flight being late) so at least you’ll know your options ahead of time. Often if you miss a connecting flight due to some reason other than the first flight being delayed, it’s your responsibility to rebook another flight. I’m not sure where your final destination is, but you could ask the airline about changing your second flight to something later if that’s possible. Also check out my tips for short layovers here.

  33. DLC
    July 11, 2017 @ 12:16 am

    I’m planning on flying from DTW to Medellin, with two connecting to FLL and Bogota. Flight lands at 9:33am in FLL, and flight from FLL to BOG leaves at 10:31am. The flight for BOG lands at 1:15, with a 2:15 hr layover. The flight for BOG leaves at 15:30 going to Medellin. I only have a carry-on bag.

    Will I have enough time to both catch the FLL (58 min layover) flight , and the Medellin (having to go through customs) flight….Thx

    • Ali Garland
      July 12, 2017 @ 10:27 pm

      Hi! The 58 minute layover in FLL is a little tight, but it’s not a huge airport, so I think you’ll probably be ok. The US doesn’t have any exiting passport control or anything, other than the agent who checks you in looking at your passport. When you land, you just have to find your next gate. The 2 hour 15 minute layover in Bogota doesn’t sound too bad either. Yes, you’ll have to go through customs and immigration, and maybe security, but I think you have enough time. You probably don’t want to waste any time, so I usually suggest going to the bathroom on the plane (so you don’t have to deal with it when you get off the plane) shortly before they start landing procedures, make sure anything you’ve taken out of your carry-on bag is packed up before landing, and go straight to customs when you land. Then find your next gate before doing anything else like getting food or whatever. That way you can see how much time you have left if you do want a snack. Enjoy your trip!

  34. Nicola Lawton
    June 19, 2017 @ 10:44 am

    Hi, When we originally booked our flight we had 3 hrs layover at Boston (flying in from Orlando before going off to Heathrow) – now they have changed the flight time from Orlando so we only have 58 mins to change flights in Boston – as we are leaving the US we don’t have baggage to collect or security but even still they shouldn’t be allowed to do this, its very stressful and when I called they don’t seem bothered by it. I’m trying to find out which gate we’ll land at and which gate we fly out of so I’m prepared to run! Any experience of Boston Airport?

    • Ali Garland
      June 20, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

      Hi Nicola, that does sound frustrating. A 58 minute layover in Boston on your way OUT of the US shouldn’t be too bad though. Here’s some info on the airport’s website about getting between terminals, in case you land in one terminal and depart from another: I haven’t flown in/out of Boston in many years, but it looks like the distances from one terminal to another aren’t too far. If you can get your seat changed on the first flight so you’re on the aisle and as close to the front as possible, you’ll be able to get off the plane quicker. Finding out your gate ahead of time will help some since you’ll be able to look at the terminal map. This one might be a little tight, but I think you can make it. Be sure to check out my tips for dealing with short layovers, and enjoy your trip!

  35. Christine
    May 6, 2017 @ 10:25 pm

    Found this blog while researching travel advice for my honeymoon… great info! How would this work for 2 international airports? We’re leaving from Quebec City (YQB) which has to make a stop in Toronto. We live in the US (Newark Airport). Do we need a long layover for passport check, etc.? When do they check our passport – Quebec or Toronto?

    We’ve only been on one other international trip, but we got nonstop flights (much easier!) Unfortunately YQB -> EWR is well over $400 one way, even though it’s a 1.5 hour flight. So we’re definitely doing a layover.

    • Ali Garland
      May 9, 2017 @ 11:05 am

      Thanks Christine, glad to help! So I think I understand correctly, you’re flying YQB to YYZ to EWR, right? You will go through passport control in Toronto to exit Canada. You will also most likely go through US customs and immigration while you’re still in the Toronto airport because it’s one of a handful of places outside the US that has US customs agents. So you will need some time there. The Toronto airport has a great site with info for connecting flights. Check it out here (you have to put in your airline and origin/destination info) and it will tell you what to do, including whether or not you’ll have to claim and recheck your luggage. But I don’t think you want to skimp on time here.

      • Robert Goss
        May 19, 2017 @ 7:03 pm

        i am thinking about booking a flight from ATL to SIN with a 1 hour and 50 minute lay over in ICN. is this lay over in ICN long enough?

        • Ali Garland
          May 22, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

          Hi Robert! I think that should be long enough. Since you aren’t staying in South Korea, you shouldn’t have to go through customs and immigration in ICN. When you get off the plane, look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and you should be able to bypass customs, go through security, and continue to your next gate.

          • Robert Goss
            May 22, 2017 @ 9:11 pm

            What about an 1 hour and 20 minute lay over in ICN?

          • Ali Garland
            May 23, 2017 @ 9:42 am

            Hmm…probably doable, but if your choices are 1 hour 20 minutes or 1 hour 50 minutes, I’d probably go with the slightly longer one. It’s not so long that you’ll be bored out of your mind at the airport, it gives you a little time to find something to eat, go to the bathroom and stretch your legs, and it gives you a buffer in case the first flight is a little late or there’s a long line at security. That’s how I’d decide on it anyway.

  36. Paul
    April 28, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    Hey Ali,

    Came across your site as I’m in the process of researching some things ahead of a Europe trip.

    I see that you are pretty busy with replying to posts and such so I will appreciate any advice that you are able to give me.

    Basically I found a flight on Norwegian Air’s website that takes us from Newburgh (SWF) to Bergen (BGO) overnight 2035-0955. The layover is 1 hour with the next flight leaving to Paris Orly (ORY) at 1055 AM.

    If the airline supplies this flight, do I have to worry about any layover issues?

    Thanks again for your time and blessings for you!

    • Ali Garland
      April 28, 2017 @ 12:26 pm

      Hi Paul! In general, if you miss your connection because the first flight is late and both flights are together on one itinerary, the airline will get you on another flight. If you miss your connection when there is NO delay, they usually put the responsibility on you. So if you land in Paris on time and it takes an hour to get through customs and immigration, therefore you miss your next flight, they might not be so helpful and they might not put you on another flight for free. I’ve never flown through Paris Orly before, so I’m not familiar with it, but it’s smaller than CDG (the main international airport in Paris) so maybe an hour isn’t so bad. Here’s a map and some other info about the airports and how to get around: And if you decide to take this flight, check out my tips for dealing with short layovers.

  37. Carolyn
    April 19, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

    Hi. I booked tickets a few weeks ago from NYC to Rome, with a connecting flight to Bari. The layover is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do you think this enough time? I don’t know Fiumicino airport – does anyone know how close the terminals are?

    • Ali Garland
      April 20, 2017 @ 5:27 pm

      Hi Carolyn! Here’s some info on which terminals serve which flights: A 1 hour 15 minute layover sounds a little tight considering you’ll have to go through customs and immigration in Rome, but it’s not impossible. There’s also a basic map of the airport and some more info about terminals here:

      I don’t think this layover is impossible, so if it’s your only reasonable option, it’s probably worth going for it and hoping for the best. Otherwise, you might want to contact the airline and see if there’s a later option to get from Rome to Bari. If you decide to stick with your original itinerary, check out my tips for dealing with short layovers.

  38. Suresh
    April 12, 2017 @ 4:38 am

    I have 2 hours and 30 mins layover in Orly Airport in Paris.

    I will be arriving at 10.55 AM from Venice and needs to catch American Airlines flight at 1.40 PM in Orly Airport in Paris.

    I will be checking in my luggage and my kids also will be travelling with me.

    Is this time sufficient ?

    Thank you and appreciate your time

    • Ali Garland
      April 12, 2017 @ 10:32 am

      Hi Suresh! Yes, I think that should be enough time. I’m guessing you’re flying to the US (because of American Airlines) so when you arrive in Orly, you’ll have to go through passport control to be stamped out of the Schengen Zone, and you will most likely have to go through security. Your checked luggage should be tagged to go all the way to your final destination, so you won’t have to worry about that in Orly.

      • Suresh
        April 13, 2017 @ 2:10 am

        How do i get my checked luggage be tagged to go all the way to the final destination ?

        I am planning to come from Venice to Paris [ Orly ] through easyjet and fly from Paris [ Orly] to New York through American Airlines

        The two airlines are different

        • Ali Garland
          April 13, 2017 @ 11:11 am

          Ok, you didn’t mention that before. That does make a difference since they’re two different airlines. When you get to Orly, you’ll have to claim your checked luggage, go to the American Airlines counter, check in for the next flight, and re-check your luggage with them. Then after that, you’ll go through passport control to get stamped out of the Schengen Zone, and go through security before reaching your next gate.

          Here’s some info about Orly: It looks like you might be landing in one terminal and leaving from the other, based on what they say about long haul vs short haul flights. But there’s a frequent shuttle between the two. Check the last paragraph where it describes how to get from one to the other.

          I think 2 1/2 hours might be a little tight, but it’s definitely not impossible. Exiting passport control procedures is usually faster than when you’re entering a country, so as long as the lines aren’t too long, that part shouldn’t be too bad. I hope this helps!

  39. Anna
    March 26, 2017 @ 11:04 pm


    I booked a vacation package from NYC to Mexico. I have a 2 stop flight on United to Cancun and a direct flight on the way back to NYC. My 2 stop flight originally had a layover of 1 hr 30 min in IAD (Washingsinton D.C.), but I see that they just changed the second leg of my flight and now my layover is only 56 min. Do you think that is enough time?

    Should I contact United since they changed the flight on me? I am worried about making the connection. I do not want to get stranded in DC for the night.

    Thank you.

    • Anna
      March 27, 2017 @ 4:54 am

      I meant one stop flight! Sorry.

      • Ali Garland
        March 28, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

        Hi Anna! A 56 minute layover when re-entering the US is tough! You have to go through passport control/immigration and customs, plus claim and recheck your luggage and go through security. If there are lines at immigration, this could take a long time. It’s not impossible, but personally I’d be nervous with such a short layover. I’d recommend calling the airline and asking what your options are and what their policy is if the flight to IAD is on time but you miss your connection. (If the flight is late, it’s usually their responsibility to get you on another flight, but not always the case if the flight is on time.)

        • Anna
          April 2, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

          Hi Ali,

          Thanks for your reply. I meant that the 56 min layover is on my way to Cancun so I would not be passing through immigration. The flight is LGA to IAD -56 min layover- and then IAD to CUN (Cancun).

          Do you think that is still doable?

          Sorry for the confusion.

          • Ali Garland
            April 4, 2017 @ 10:14 am

            Sorry, I misunderstood! Leaving the US is a little easier/quicker than entering because you don’t go through customs and immigration. You’ll just have to get off the first plane and find your next gate. You might have to change terminals, which can take some time, but I think you have a better chance with this one.

  40. sc
    January 29, 2017 @ 8:44 pm

    Hi Ali !
    I’m interested in booking a flight from Salt Lake City to Florence on Air France ,with a 1hr and 20 minute layover in Paris (CDG).I’ll have one piece checked luggage and a carry on.Is 1 hr and 20 min good enought in CDG ? There is another option with a 3 hr and 50 min layover. Do you think I would better choose a longer layover ?
    Thank you very much!


    • Ali Garland
      January 29, 2017 @ 10:49 pm

      Hi! I’d probably choose the longer layover. An hour and 20 minutes could be long enough, but CDG is a big airport, you’ll have to go through immigration and customs when you land in order to get stamped into the Schengen Zone, and you might have to change terminals to get to your connecting flight. It’s a tough call because lines could be short, and you might get through really quickly. But if the line is long or you have to get from one end of the airport to the other, you might not have enough time. 3 hours 50 minutes isn’t horribly long, and at least it gives you time to find something to eat. But if you decide to go with the shorter layover, be sure to check out my tips for short layovers here. Either way, I hope you have a great time in Florence!

  41. George
    December 23, 2016 @ 5:01 pm

    Hi Ali,

    I’m travelling from YYZ-EWR-HKG (staying for 2 weeks)-SIN. On the way back, I go from SIN-HKG-EWR (6 hour layover)-YYZ. I would really like to skip the last leg of my flight and stay in New York for a week or two before flying on a new flight back to YYZ (I tried calling and asking them if I could change the last leg, but they said it would cost $400, which is more than the cost to just book a new flight from EWR-YYZ). I know that hidden city ticketing is frowned upon, but I was just wondering if there would be a chance to pick up my checked bags at EWR during the customs/bag re-check and leave? Or would I only be able to do this with carry-on bags.

    • Ali Garland
      December 24, 2016 @ 6:12 pm

      That’s a tricky one, George! In general, you have to claim your luggage when landing in the US, even if you’re not staying in the US. I’ve heard of one or two airports starting to change this for transit flights, but so far my research has not confirmed anything. I hate to tell you 100%, but I think your chances are extremely high that you will still have to claim your checked bags in Newark. Which means, if you want to skip out on the last leg of your flight, it shouldn’t be a problem. Probably worth calling the airline, or even the airport itself if they have a decent customer service line, and asking for verification that you’ll have to claim your checked luggage in Newark. Obviously don’t mention why you’re asking. I’ve heard of airlines flagging passengers who no-show for one leg of a flight too much, but once shouldn’t be a big deal. I hope this helps!

  42. Odette Junio
    December 22, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

    Hi Ali,Thank you for the quick answer.I won`t be claiming my luggage in Atlanta because it will be picked up in Manila.I think you are right,I will be ok.I am just nervous because this is the first time for me to fly international with less than 2 hrs. lay over.Again,thank you.

    • Ali Garland
      December 24, 2016 @ 6:04 pm

      I understand! If it helps, flying internationally when leaving the US isn’t really much different from a domestic flight. The agent will check your passport when you check in for your first flight, and it’s possible the gate agent will check it again on the flight that actually leaves the US, but other than that, it’s just like a domestic flight. The US doesn’t have official passport control checkpoints for departures…which I find odd since the rest of the world does it, but that’s just the way it is!

  43. Odette Junio
    December 21, 2016 @ 9:49 am

    Hi Ali,
    I am travelling from FLL to MNL this Feb. flying Delta.I will be changing plane for international flight in Atlanta.I have another connection in Japan.My problem is, I only have 1 hr. and 14 min as my layover in Atlanta for the next flight.Is the connection too tight knowing that Atlanta Airport is huge?I will be flying Delta all the way through.I need your piece of advice.Thank You.

    • Ali Garland
      December 22, 2016 @ 10:51 am

      Hi Odette! I might be a little biased because I used to live in Atlanta and flew in and out of that airport all the time, but I think you’ll be ok. Yes, it’s a big airport, but it’s well connected with a train. When you check in for your flight out of FLL, see if they know the gate number for your ATL-MNL flight, that way when you land, you’ll know where you have to go. If they don’t have the gate number, there are departure boards all over, so you’ll still be able to find it pretty quickly. Follow the signs to baggage claim until you get to the train that connects all the terminals, and you’ll be there in a few minutes. The train runs every few minutes, so you won’t have to wait long. You probably won’t have time to waste, but I think an hour 14 minutes should be fine. Check out my tips for short layovers here.

  44. Rashi
    December 8, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    I am travelling from Canada to India and have stopover at Helsinki, Finland for 4 hrs. I hold Indian passport.
    My friend stays in Helsinki, so can i go to meet her outside the Airport or do I need to have transit visa to move outside the airport. Do Finland offers Transit visa because i have read some where that they didnt .
    Please Help!


    • Ali Garland
      December 10, 2016 @ 11:11 am

      Hi Rashi! I’m not a visa expert, but if Finland requires Indian citizens to have a visa to visit, then you’ll need one to leave the airport on a layover. Check the Finland embassy website to see what they require as far as tourist visas. Normally on a layover like yours, since you’re not staying in Finland (or anywhere else in the Schengen Zone) you would look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and bypass customs and immigration, then go through security and find your connecting gate. That way you would never technically enter Finland or the Schengen Zone. But if you want to leave the airport, you’ll have to go through customs and immigration and get stamped into Schengen. You’ll also have to go through passport control when you come back to the airport to get stamped back out of Schengen. So check the embassy website first, then do some calculations to make sure you have enough time to leave the airport on your layover. Sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer, but I hope this helps get you in the right direction!

  45. Ehab AlBadawy
    October 26, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

    Hi Ali,

    I’ll arrive at JFK on Nov 2nd at 7:00pm coming from Heathrow heading to RDU, will have a 1h 35m layover in JFK, and it turned out that I won’t be able to change the flight unless I’ll be charged for that. Will I be able to make it? Knowing that I’ll spend time in clearing passport and customs check-points.

    If it won’t be easy to catch the next plane, it turned out that the next one will be in the next day (about 12 hours apart) do you have recommendation about what I can do these time, it will be my first time in U.S. so I think getting to manhattan won’t be easy for me, also hotels near the airport is quite expensive. Would you recommend staying overnight at JFK?

    Please let me know.


    • Ali Garland
      October 27, 2016 @ 6:51 pm

      Hi Ehab! An hour and 35 minutes at JFK is really tight. If you can’t change your flight without paying a hefty fee and you’re going to go for it on this one, I think you just have to hope for the best and don’t waste any time. No bathroom stops, no food stops, and try to be one of the first off the plane. Check out my tips for short layovers here. If you do miss your connection and get stuck there, you can’t get better than NYC for nightlife…which is the time frame of your layover. You could go explore the city a little, just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport and through security. There’s info here about public transportation to and from JFK. I think getting a hotel or toughing it out at the airport are your options. If you stay in the airport, you might want to check out the lounges for a little more comfort, though that’s not free either. I personally hate trying to sleep on an airport chair or whatever, but I understand that springing for a hotel for the night, especially in NYC, is not cheap. Sorry I can’t tell you exactly what you should do, but I think you have a few options, even if none of them are ideal. Enjoy your trip!

      • Ehab AlBadawy
        October 30, 2016 @ 4:14 am

        Hi Ali… thank you for your kind reply, that really helps. I’ll try to do my best hopefully I could catch it!

  46. Susan
    October 9, 2016 @ 2:42 am

    Hi Ali,
    I am looking at the following itinerary and would like to get your thoughts

    AKL > SYD – 7:30 am-9:15 am (flight duration 3hr40min) on Qantas -Jet Connect
    2 hr 15 min layover
    SYD > LAX – 11:30 am – 6:30 am (flight duration 14 hrs.) on United
    2 hr 30 min layover
    LAX > ORD – – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (flight duration 4 hrs) on United
    Total 26 hr. 25 min
    All flights booked on one ticket through United

    1) Is a 26 hr /2 connection itinerary too ambitious? I know stamina differs with individual.

    2) Would I have enough time with my connections in both Sydney and LAX ?

    3) I know I would have to re-check my bag once I get to LAX, but, would I have to re-check bag after arriving in SYD from the AKL?

    4) While this has never happened to me before on an international flight, what happens if my bag is not on my flight once I get to L.A. and I cannot re-check my bag? Would I leave my bag so I can make your connection to ORD or would I miss my flight trying to locate my missing bag?

    Last question (I promise). I would like to stay overnight in ORD and catch flight home next day to DCA. I do not want to include flight to DCA on my ticket as a multi-city with United because it would cost too much so I would purchase a separate ticket on United.
    If for some reason, my bags got delayed and didn’t make LAX or ORD flight and couldn’t be reunited with me during my overnight stay in ORD, would the airline be able to forward bag to DCA even though the ORD to DCA flight was booked on a separate ticket?

    Your comments would be most welcomed. Thanks.

    • Ali Garland
      October 10, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

      Hi Susan! I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

      1) I personally try to book flights with as few connections as possible. That said, if the price difference is major, I’ll just deal with it. Yes, 26 hours with 2 connections sounds a bit painful, but New Zealand and the US just ARE far apart, so there aren’t many options that save you tons of time. If you can find a decent flight that goes from AKL to the US, that might be better than having to connect through Australia, but you still have to get across that ocean. If this is the best option for you price-wise or it’s with an airline you collect frequent flier miles, it might be the way to go.

      2) I think the layover in Sydney is probably fine. I’ve never transited through there before, but most airports have a way for you to bypass customs and immigration if you’re not staying in the country. Look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” when you land, and if you don’t see those, ask someone if you have to go through customs and immigration if you’re transiting. As for LAX, that might be a little tight but not necessarily impossible. It’s a huge airport with a lot of international flights, which means at any time of the day, you could be in line with hundreds of other people trying to get through customs and immigration. It’s a tough call, but if I’d say if there is another option that gives you more time, it might be worth potentially having extra time at LAX. If there really aren’t any other options, take the chance and do what you can to get through everything quickly. Check out my tips for dealing with short layovers.

      3) Most countries, other than the US and Canada, will transfer your luggage from one flight to the next. You should check with the airline to be sure, but I don’t think you’ll have to deal with your checked luggage in Sydney.

      4) I think you’d have to talk to the airline about what to do if this happens. Normally they’ll forward your luggage to your final destination if it gets lost, so I assume that’s how they would handle it in this case too. I think it would cost them too much to have you stay and wait for the luggage when you already have a ticket for another flight. I’m sure you can ask them about this ahead of time to see how they would handle it if it does happen.

      5) I think as long as all your flights are with the same airline, they can still forward it on to your final destination. If you get to ORD and still don’t have your luggage, find a customer service counter and talk to them. You’ll be in the system, so they should be able to look at your flight to DCA and re-tag your luggage if it does get delayed. Probably also worth talking to an agent in LAX about your ORD to DCA flight if your luggage doesn’t arrive in LAX. The sooner they can get a ORD-DCA tag on your luggage, the better. But hopefully you won’t actually have to worry about this!

      I hope this helps, and have a great trip!

  47. Barry
    September 5, 2016 @ 6:51 am

    Hi. We booked a vacation to Costa Rica. We are leaving from Newark Liberty. The best flight is American leaving at 6am to Miami 1hr 1min layover, then on to San Jose, also American. Will we have to go through security in Miami also since we’re not leaving the terminal, just going to another gate. We’ve learned to only take carry-ons too, so no baggage claims. Thank you for any advice. We don’t want to spend the first day of vacation in an airport. PS We don’t have to go through customs to leave the US , do we? Only when we get to San Jose. And of course when we return.

    • Ali Garland
      September 7, 2016 @ 7:48 pm

      Hi Barry! Correct, if your second flight leaves from the same terminal where the first one lands, you should not have to deal with security. Check out the airport’s map here. It looks like if your flights in D and your next flight takes off in D, you shouldn’t have to go through security again. And no, you won’t go through customs/immigration when leaving the US. The airline agent will look at your passport when you check in for your first flight, and it’s possible someone will look at it again in Miami before you board your second flight. You’ll go through US customs and immigration, plus go through security, at the first US airport you arrive at on your way home, which is where you’ll want a longer layover. I hope that helps, and enjoy Costa Rica!

      • Barry
        September 26, 2016 @ 3:54 am

        HI Ali….. Thank you for your response. Our return flight is nonstop so that’s pretty easy. We will enjoy Costa Rica, we were on the Pacific side last year and we’re going to the Caribbean side this trip.

        • Ali Garland
          September 26, 2016 @ 10:48 am

          Perfect! Have a great time!

  48. Noelle
    August 26, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

    Hello! I’m interested in booking a flight from Tokyo to NYC, with a 75 minute layover in HKG. I’ll most likely have 1 piece of checked luggage and a backpack as my carry on. Is this still pushing it?

    • Ali Garland
      August 28, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      Hi Noelle! I think you’ll be ok with that layover. You shouldn’t have to go through customs and immigration in Hong Kong since you’re not staying there, only transiting through to another country. When you land, look for signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and you should be able to bypass immigration. You’ll have to go through security again, so I don’t think you’ll have time to waste, but I think this is doable. Have a great trip!

  49. Toni
    August 25, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

    I’m travelling tomorrow morning from agadir to Casablanca through Royal air Moroc and land at terminal 2 and then have to go straight onto next plane again with Royal air Moroc to London Gatwick from terminal 2 so i land in same terminal I land at Casablanca at 11 and the next flight is at 12.05 so only an hour and 5 minute is this possible and I take it they will check my baggage straight through then I take it when I land in casa I just go to connections I’m so nervous as I’m flying with my autistic son

    • Ali Garland
      August 26, 2016 @ 10:09 am

      Hi Toni! Yes, they should check your luggage all the way through. When you land in Casablanca, you’ll have to go through passport control to get stamped out of Morocco. You might have to go through security depending on how the airport is set up. An hour and 5 minutes is a little tight, but not impossible. You should be able to follow the signs to “connections” or your next gate, and you can’t make a wrong turn and accidentally skip exiting passport control. When in doubt, ask an airport employee for help.

  50. Kevin
    August 19, 2016 @ 2:49 am

    I am flying from Kitchener ,Ontario Canada to Chicago with a 1hr35min layover connecting to Las Vegas will this be enough time to make my connection

    • Ali Garland
      August 19, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

      Hi Kevin! Honestly that sounds a little tight to me. You’ll have to go through US customs and immigration in Chicago, claim and recheck any checked luggage, go through security, and get to your next gate. Chicago is a big airport with several terminals, and you will almost certainly have to change terminals since there’s a specific one for international flights. I’d recommend asking your airline what their policy is on rebooking your if you miss your connection due to long lines at passport control with an on-time arrival to Chicago. And be sure to check out my tips for short layovers here.