Different airports have different guidance.
As a continent, Europe is home to a wide variety of airports that see a good deal of connecting traffic. Located between Asia and the Americas, many of the flag carriers of its constituent nations leverage this strategic position to sell connecting itineraries through their main hubs. But how long do you need to transfer at these?
London Heathrow (LHR) is the UK's largest and busiest airport, as well as being home to flag carrier British Airways. The oneworld founding member operates flights out of Terminals 3 and 5 at Heathrow, meaning that, while some connections are relatively straightforward, others require a more comprehensive transfer.
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For this reason, BA advises passengers whose connection requires an inter-terminal journey to allow at least 90 minutes between their flights. For passengers connecting within the same terminal, this figure drops to just 60 minutes. Elsewhere, Heathrow advises passengers connecting in Terminal 4 after 20:30 local time to allow an extra 20 minutes, with the reason being ongoing airport works.
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Germany's Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is a key connecting hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa, and the Star Alliance founding member operates a myriad of flights from this sprawling facility. Its minimum connection time is rather short.
Indeed, Hamburg-based legal specialists MyFlyRight note that the figure given is just 45 minutes, regardless of whether the flights are domestic or international. This could have the potential to pose problems, given that Frankfurt Airport consists of two passenger terminals. However, most connecting itineraries at the airport will involve Lufthansa flights arriving at and departing from T1.
KLM's Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) base is one of Europe's most notable connecting hubs, with over a third of its users being transit passengers. Simple Flying was among these in September while traveling from Bremen to Norwich via Amsterdam.
Photo: Jake Hardiman | Simple Flying
KLM advises that the minimum connection time when transferring between Schengen flights is just 40 minutes. This refers to 26 European countries between which flights operate without border control. Meanwhile, if a non-Schengen flight requiring a passport check is involved, the minimum time increases to 50 minutes.
Paris Charles de Gaulle
Over in France, Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is a popular airport among European travelers looking to leverage Air France's long-haul connections to visit the likes of Réunion and the French West Indies. The website easyCDG refers to similar guidance to London Heathrow, recommending 60 minutes for single-terminal transfers, and 90 for connections that require inter-terminal travel.
Spain's Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) is an ideal facility for passengers visiting Spanish-speaking Central and South America, with Iberia serving many destinations in the region. The Spanish flag carrier recommends at least 45-55 minutes when connecting between its T4/T4S flights, and as many as 165 minutes when other airlines and terminals are involved in the transfer.
How many of these European hubs have you connected through on your travels over the years? Do you have a particular favorite? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
KLM advises that the minimum connection time when transferring between Schengen flights is just 40 minutes. This refers to 26 European countries between which flights operate without border control. Meanwhile, if a non-Schengen flight requiring a passport check is involved, the minimum time increases to 50 minutes.How much time do you need between connecting flights Europe? ›
Although it's difficult to say exactly how much time should be left between connecting flights, you should always try to have at least an hour for domestic connecting flights and at least two hours for international connecting flights.What are minimum airport connection times? ›
For domestic flights in the U.S. minimum connection times range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and for international connections, from 1 to 3 hours.What is minimum recommended connection time? ›
What are MCTs? A Minimum Connection Time is the amount of transfer time, agreed in advance between airlines and airport authorities, that is considered sufficient for a passenger to make a connection between an arriving flight and a departing flight.Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in Europe? ›
The rule of thumb is to allow a minimum of 3 hours between flights if they are not part of the same ticket. Keep also in mind that should you miss your connection, you will not be protected by the EU Regulation 261/2004. As such, you won't be entitled to compensation for your missed connecting flight.Is 45 minutes enough time for a connecting international flight? ›
The recommended layover time for international flights is generally longer, as you will have to go through customs and immigration before boarding your next flight. In most cases, a 30-minute layover for domestic flights and an hour for international flights is considered a minimum, or short, layover.What if I miss my connecting flight Europe? ›
If you miss a connecting flight, and arrive at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation. This compensation is calculated according to the length of the delay and the distance to your final destination.Do I have to go through security again for connecting flight Europe? ›
These desks are normally exclusively for passengers arriving from a foreign country and connecting to another city in the United States. As such, there is not usually much of a line, and you will likely not need to pass through security again before heading to the gate for your next flight.Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in France? ›
60 minutes for connections within the same terminal. 90 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals.How long do you need to make a connecting flight? ›
The time someone needs for a connection varies from one airport to the other and from one flight to another. Usually with a domestic flight it can go from half an hour to one hour, and for international flights it can go from one hour to three hours.
1 hour for connections within the same Heathrow terminal. 1 hour 30 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals at Heathrow.How many times do you have to go through TSA on connecting flights? ›
For connecting domestic flights, you almost never have to exit and reenter security, though there are some exceptions at airports where the terminals aren't all connected. For domestic-to-international connection, it's still pretty rare that you have to exit and reenter security, even if you're changing terminals.Why is minimum connection time important? ›
If you're making a connection, the minimum connection time ensures you'll have enough time to reach your next flight.What connection time is too short? ›
My rule: never let the airline book you a domestic connection of less than 90 minutes. If they do, you stand an excellent chance of missing your flight, your bags being lost—or both. Overseas it's even worse. A legal connecting time at London's Heathrow Airport is two hours.Is 1 hour enough for a connection? ›
Yes, one hour is enough time for a layover when making a connecting flight in many airports. However, if you are flying from a destination known to have delays or flying international you may want to choose a flight that allows for more time. What is this?Is 1 hour enough for connecting international flights? ›
If you can't avoid connecting, don't book the shortest layover, because you'll be building in stress and the possibility of missing your flight. A 1-hour layover is not enough anymore. Thirty minutes, not a chance. In most cases, 3 hours is safe.Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in Amsterdam? ›
The minimum required transfer time at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is 40 minutes for Schengen flights and 50 minutes for non-Schengen flights.What happens if I miss my connecting flight due to immigration? ›
You'll get through customs in a couple of minutes (unless you are stopped for extra checks). It's immigration that can take time. If you have booked this as a single ticket and you meet the minimum connection time then the airline is responsible for getting you on the next available flight at no extra cost.Is 1 hour and 40 minutes enough for connecting flight? ›
Mayers recommends two hours as a standard buffer between flights to be safe. This gives you a cushion in case things go wrong during your journey. You'll definitely want at least a two-hour window if you've booked a “hacker fare,” as opposed to flying with the same airline your entire trip.Do you have to go through security again for a connecting international flight? ›
Is security check required for a flight connection? Yes, a security check is mandatory when you take a connecting flight. This is because there is a time lag between getting off one aeroplane and getting on-board another to reach your destination.
Many wonder, “do I have to go through customs for a connecting flight?” This is a common question amongst international travelers, and the answer is usually “no.” As long as you're not leaving the airport, your bags are checked through to your final destination and you have a boarding pass for your next flight, you won ...Do airlines wait for connecting passengers? ›
They usually won't. However, if the delay is due to crew, mechanical problems, etc., then they will provide a hotel room for you if you miss the connection.What happens if my flight is delayed and I have a connecting flight? ›
Missing a Connection with the Same Airline
If you miss your connection booked with the same airline that your were on for your first flight, and the issue is due to a delayed take off or anything else that's in the hands of your airline, it's the airline's responsibility to rebook you on the next available flight.
If a flight delay leads to a passenger missing a connecting flight, and the delay at the final destination is 3 hours or more, they have a valid claim for compensation. The flight plan needs to be all one booking for this to apply – although it does not matter if you have a mix of different airlines in that booking.Is luggage automatically transferred on connecting flights? ›
It depends on how your ticket was booked. If your flights were booked under one ticket, your bags will be checked through to your final destination. If your flights were booked under separate tickets, you will need to collect your bags and recheck them before your connecting flight.Will my connecting flight leave without me? ›
What happens if I miss my connecting flight? Airlines will rebook you on the next available flight if you miss your connecting flight due to something that's not your fault (flight delay or bad weather).Do I need a visa if I have a connecting flight in Europe? ›
Yes, a Schengen visa is needed even for transit. This type of visa is valid for 24 hours and can only be used in the transit area of a Schengen country airport. If you want to leave the transit area and go anywhere outside, you need to have a regular Schengen visa in that case.How much time do you need for a layover in Paris? ›
If you have a through ticket and your baggage is checked through to your final destination, it is recommended that you allow a minimum of 70 minutes if your departure is from the same terminal. If you need to transfer between terminals 1, 2, or 3, you should allow a minimum of 90 minutes.Do I need to go through security for a connecting flight at Paris? ›
Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport
To help you make your connection, we recommend that you allow the following minimum connection times: 70 minutes for connections within the same terminal. Leave at least 90 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals. You will be required to go through security.
Recommended minimum connection times
American: Reported to be 25 minutes. Delta: 30-minute minimum connection time. Southwest: At least 30 minutes if you have checked bags. United: 30-minute minimum for domestic, 60 minutes for international.
If the airline you are traveling has issued a ticket with 40 minutes connecting time, yes indeed that's sufficient. Different airports have different minimum connecting times or M C T. It's decided by looking at the infrastructure, distance between terminals and other things.What is the minimum connection time at Madrid airport? ›
Minimum Connection Time in Madrid-Barajas Airport
Below you can find the minimum time needed for connecting flights in Madrid-Barajas Airport. Between domestic flights: 20 min. Between domestic and international flights: 60 min. Between international flights: 60 min.
Airport guidelines also suggest a minimum of 45 minutes for international connections, but given the size of the airport, allowing 60-90 minutes would provide a more comfortable buffer.Do I have to go through immigration at Heathrow for a connecting flight? ›
If your baggage is checked through to your final destination, that's where you clear customs. If you're collecting your baggage and checking in to your next flight yourself, you need to pass through customs at Heathrow.
Consider allowing at least 60 to 90 minutes for a U.S. domestic connection, and at least two hours for an international connection.Do you need to go through security again for a connecting flight Schiphol? ›
The minimum required transfer time at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is 40 minutes for Schengen flights and 50 minutes for non-Schengen flights. Please note, though, that if you travel to a non-Schengen country, you'll need to go through additional security and passport checks.Is 38 minutes enough for a connecting flight? ›
They handle most smaller planes. I believe 38 minutes is a legal connection there - as long as everything goes right. Here are a couple links you can use to confirm gates. As long as you arrive on-time, the baggage handlers will have plenty of time.Is 2 hours enough time for International Flight? ›
The simple answer is: Two hours for domestic flights, three hours for international flights. (More or less.) "The two-hour recommendation is fairly standard across the industry," says Heather Lissner, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport spokesperson.Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in Zurich? ›
Thanks to the airport's compact size and the famous Swiss efficiency, the minimum connection time between flights is just 40 minutes. However, to avoid having to rush through the airport or stress about missing your flight in case of delays, choose an itinerary with a layover of at least one hour.What to do if layover is too short? ›
- Change your flight. ...
- Change your seat. ...
- Pack up your carry-on. ...
- Travel carry-on only. ...
- Ask for your connecting gate. ...
- Look at the airport map. ...
- Don't make any stops in the airport. ...
- Wear comfortable shoes.
Depends if you have to change terminals or if you have luggage checked in only to Paris that needs to be rececked. If you transfer from non schengen to non Schengen in different terminals it is unlikely to be enough. In rush hours it might not be enough between terminals at all.What is the minimum connection time in Amsterdam? ›
The minimum required transfer time at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is 40 minutes for Schengen flights and 50 minutes for non-Schengen flights. Please note, though, that if you travel to a non-Schengen country, you'll need to go through additional security and passport checks.What is the minimum connection time on a train UK? ›
Connecting services are shown in light type. If you travel on a connecting service, change at the next station shown in bold or if you arrive on a connecting service, change at the last station shown in bold, unless a footnote advises otherwise. All stations have a minimum connection time of 5 minutes unless stated.How much layover time is needed for international flights? ›
Pad Your Schedule for Airport Connections
That's why many travelers deliberately pad their schedules by booking a longer layover than the minimum at a connecting hub. Consider allowing at least 60 to 90 minutes for a U.S. domestic connection, and at least two hours for an international connection.
Yes, one hour is enough time for a layover when making a connecting flight in many airports. However, if you are flying from a destination known to have delays or flying international you may want to choose a flight that allows for more time.What is the minimum connection time at Zurich airport? ›
Thanks to the airport's compact size and the famous Swiss efficiency, the minimum connection time between flights is just 40 minutes. However, to avoid having to rush through the airport or stress about missing your flight in case of delays, choose an itinerary with a layover of at least one hour.Is a 1 hour layover enough in Amsterdam? ›
To avoid having to sprint through the airport or worry about missing your flight in case of delays, a better option is to choose itineraries with a layover of at least 60 to 75 minutes, especially if you are changing from one carrier to another outside of the same air alliance.What is the minimum connection time in Istanbul new airport? ›
To make an international to domestic connection: 1.5 hours
If you're connecting at IST, give yourself a minimum of 90 minutes to go through customs and immigration.
However if you miss the train because the connecting train on which you started your journey was late, then the train operator will accept your ticket on the next available train.
No cancellation charge or clerkage shall be levied and full fare shall be refundable to all passengers holding Reserved, RAC, and Waitlisted tickets, if the journey is not undertaken due to late running of the train by more than 3 hours of the scheduled departure of the train from the journey commencing station ...
If your train is running three hours or more behind schedule, you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket fare according to railway regulations. You can cancel your trip in this case. If you have a counter ticket, it is best to go to the reservation counter to cancel it.Do I have to go through immigration for a connecting flight in Europe? ›
If the country is not in Schengen
Most international airports around the world have a sterile international transit area where you can stay airside without officially entering the country. If you stay in that area, you do not usually need to pass through immigration.
They usually won't. However, if the delay is due to crew, mechanical problems, etc., then they will provide a hotel room for you if you miss the connection. In either case, they'll rebook you on the first flight with an available seat the next day.What happens if your layover is too short? ›
The airline will simply put you onto the next available flight, free of charge. No need to worry uselessly.Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in Paris? ›
60 minutes for connections within the same terminal. 90 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals.Is 1 hour layover enough in London? ›
We recommend that you allow the following minimum connection times: 1 hour for connections within the same Heathrow terminal. 1 hour 30 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals at Heathrow.