Avoiding Problems With International Airport Connections
Avoid Airports with Multiple Terminals for International Connections
When flying to an International destination you want the process to be as smooth and comfortable as possible especially if you have to deplane and make a new connection. When buying your ticket there are a couple of things to consider to make your transition as easy and stress free as possible.
Firstly make sure there is enough time between connecting flights so you aren’t literally running from one gate to another. Remember that if your first plane is delayed it could mean you miss the connection. So check what weather conditions are likely to be at the time of travel and plan your time accordingly. Much better to have time for a coffee, meal and washroom break between flights than to be running from one to the next. This is especially important if you have to change terminals and if you have to go through security a second time for the new flight. If you need help ask your Travel Agent to help you plan your trip.
Some airports are better than others for connections so if traveling where you may have to change terminals this information is worth noting. Brett Snyder at Conde Nast Traveler highlights the three worst U.S. airports for international connections and what to look out for when considering an airport as a connection stop.
The 3 airports are:
1. O’Hare International Airport in Chicago
2. John F. Kennedy Airport in New York
3. LAX in Los Angeles
and if traveling through Europe I would also add
1. London Heathrow
2. Frankfurt in Germany
These airports have one thing in common: they all have multiple terminals, many of which aren’t connected behind security. This means you may have to go through customs and security again if you exit one terminal and enter another if the terminals are not connected behind security (moreover, make sure you are not carrying anything illegal, though such items as TSA approved tactical pen will not be confiscated). Besides the time and energy taken to move from one terminal to another as I’m sure you realize going through security a second time can be tedious and time consuming especially if there are long lines. This is exaggerated by the fact you have already been through security once and have now come off your first flight likely tired after a long flight and made even worse if you have elderly persons or children in tow.
If you picked up that bottle of water or soda you will need to drink it or dispose of it again. If you purchased duty free on the first flight and have to go back through security for the next flight they are likely to confiscate your duty free liquor. This has happened twice were it was confiscated from my clients when flying into Amsterdam and onto Scandinavia. If buying liquor make sure to buy on the second leg if you have a terminal change – check with the store when buying it so you don’t get caught out.
Before taking your next international flight, check your routing, get advice from your Travel Agent on connection times for your particular connection airport and check online for the layout of the connecting airport so you can see exactly what you will encounter if changing terminals.
If you can’t avoid going though a connecting airport that you know could mean a terminal change and possible second security check, make sure to leave plenty of time between your flights so you are not rushed and stressed about missing your connection.
Being aware and prepared can save you a lot of time and stress and make your flight more relaxing and enjoyable. There is nothing worse than sitting on the first plane wondering if it’s going to arrive in time to make your connecting flight. Been there, done that!!!! it’s hard on the head particularly if you have time frames to meet at your arrival destination.
Plan ahead for a smooth trip.