Sometimes, travelers flying to their destinations may require to either change flights or change aircraft before reaching the destination airport. Thus, in this case, you would be completing your journey via connecting flights from the airports that service the route.
In this blog, we will give you an overview of what is a connecting flight.
Connecting Flight Defined in Air Travel
A connecting flight in air travel can be defined as a flight itinerary where passengers can board another flight or airline in order to arrive at their final destination. Also, it is possible that there may be more than one connecting flight on your itinerary.
Usually, there are two ways to go about this. These are:
(a) Use the same airline for connecting flight(s), or
(b) Use different airline carriers for connecting flight(s)
Airline carriers usually include the connecting flight(s) in the itinerary, when you book a reservation in advance or purchase a ticket. This is to make it easier for you to catch the correct flight or aircraft and reach your destination without any problems.
When passengers need to travel on multiple airlines, airline carriers often form a part in their interline agreements.
Need for Connecting Flights over Direct Flights
You don’t always require connecting flights in order to reach your destination. However, there may be certain situations where you may need to purchase connecting flights in your itinerary.
Since most travelers will prefer direct flights, whether traveling to a domestic destination or an international destination, sometimes, such direct flights may not be available. Also, some direct flights may be expensive, thus, leaving travelers with no other option than to opt for connecting flights for the trip.
Thus, connecting flights are much cheaper than direct flights and some travellers do not normally mind booking multiple flights on the same itinerary.
Drawbacks of Connecting Flights
There are, of course, a couple of drawbacks to choosing connecting flights in your itinerary.
- If you need to change your flight at the airport, it is possible that you may have to purchase food and drink while waiting for your next flight. This could add up to your travel cost.
- If your connecting flights are scheduled for departure from a different airport, chances are, you may need to hire ground transportation in order to reach the airport. This again can add up a few extra bucks to your travel cost.
- When traveling to an international destination on multiple flights, you will need to check in your baggage again and go through the security check, if there is a separate entrance to the airport terminal.
- Also, when traveling to an international destination on multiple flights, for example, from the USA to Canada, you will need to go through customs and immigration or “border control” again at the connecting airport.
- If you are traveling with a group on connecting flights, be sure to have some extra time as the airline may provide a limited time for passengers to board the plane. This may depend on from one airport to another.
- You will require separate boarding pass for each connecting flight, whether it’s on the same itinerary or from different airports.
- Lastly, you cannot skip your connecting flight(s) en route to your destination. Doing so could have you pay a penalty and also impact your reward points for the loyalty program that airlines usually offer to their frequent flyers.
Connecting Flights and Layovers
It is important to note that connecting flights are not the same as layovers. There is, in fact, a difference between the two.
On the one hand, a connecting flight, as seen from the definition given above, generally refers to the procedure where passengers change flights or get on a different plane that is bound for the same destination.
Layovers, on the other hand, primarily refers to the time that travelers wait at the airport to catch their connecting flights in order to arrive at their final destination airport.
We have prepared a separate blog where we explained in detail about flight layovers. You can read them here.
Conclusion – What is a Connecting Flight?
Getting to your destination on connecting flights, whether on the same itinerary or via different airline carriers, will require you to manage your time, so you don’t encounter any problems throughout your journey.