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Here’s How A Layover Flight Is Different From A Connecting Flight

Layover v/s connecting flight

Posted on Aug 16th, 2022 by Renu Dahiya, Last updated Aug 17th, 2022, 2 comments

Wondering what is a layover flight and a connecting flight? And how are they different from each other? We have got the answers for you.

We understand that layovers can be stressful. Some passengers always prefer nonstop flights, even if they’re a little more expensive. But sometimes it’s just not possible to get the nonstop flights for where you’re going, and the price difference is too huge to justify. That’s why it is always better to know what a layover and connecting flight are. This will help you handle these kinds of situations easily and make your journey a little less stressful. 

What Is A Layover Flight?

A layover is a waiting time you spend at the airport between flights. It includes a stop of 30 minutes to 4 hours for domestic flights and up to 24 hours for international flights.  It is usually shorter than in the case of a stopover. For example – If you are planning to fly with Emirates from San Francisco to Bangalore, you will most likely have around 1 hour and 45 minutes layover at Dubai International Airport. 

What Is A Connecting Flight? 

Connecting flights fly from one airport to another, with a layover in between to change the airplanes. It means reaching the final destination through two or more flights. While booking the flight, it’s considered one itinerary but during the check-in for another flight, the passenger receives a separate boarding pass. For example – If you want to book Atlanta to Hyderabad flights, you will have to go for a connecting flight. 

Note – If you ever miss your connecting/transfer flight due to any reason, you can consider this guide ‘What happens if I miss my connecting flight?’ 

Difference Between Layover And Connecting Flight

A layover is a waiting time or a connection point between two destinations or flights. It can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 24 hours. On the other hand, a connecting flight is a flight that will make a stop en route, with passengers disembarking the flight and changing services. These flights have more than one flight number. 

Best Ways To Book A Layover Flight

  • Consider booking flights with the same airline or partner airlines.
  • Make sure you book a flight with a much more extended layover if you’ve booked connecting flights with different airlines. 
  • Book layover flights that have at least 2 and 3 hours of layover time. It’s always better to have a flight with a slightly longer layover than a tight time. 
  • Being familiar with the connecting/transfer flight procedure well in advance is important when you plan to book flights with a layover. 
  • For domestic flights, you can consider booking short layover flights as you will not have to go through security.
  • For international flights, you should book connecting/transfer flights with a slightly longer layover i.e., at last, with 2 to 3 hours of layover time. 
  • There are some flights that come with 4 to 7 or even 10 hours of layover time. You can choose to book a flight with an overnight layover in this case. 

How To Prepare Yourself For A Very Short Layover?

Ask the airline to change your flight

If somehow you’ve been sold a flight with a very short layover, try to contact the airline or alternative airlines to change your flight for a more peaceful and smooth journey. If changing flights is not possible, then you can consider the below-mentioned tips and tricks of how to prepare yourself for a very short layover. 

Consider sitting in the front left seats

Reserving a front left seat on the plane will allow you a much quicker exit so that you can enjoy your short layover more. If you reserve seats at the last, you’ll have to wait at the back while the passengers at the front leave the plane. 

Consider taking carry-on luggage only

Re-checking your checked luggage, again and again, can be time-consuming. So, to avoid the hassle, consider taking only carry-on luggage on your very short layover flights. 

Eat on your flight

To save your time during layover so that you can catch your next flight on time, make sure you’ve eaten something and been to the washroom on the plane. It allows you to utilize that layover time somewhere else. 

Learn about the map of the airport

Knowing about the airport layout well in advance, or about the terminal where your next flight takes off, will help you avoid getting lost at the airport when you have a very short layover time or tight connection time. 

Ask for help from airport staff or flight attendants

You can ask the airport staff or flight attendants about the gate your next flight is taking off from. They will surely help you make your way to your connecting/transfer flight so that you won’t face any hassles. 

What To Do During A Long Layover? 

Wondering whether you can leave the airport during a long layover or not? The answer is yes. You can leave the airport in case of a longer layover time and visit the country. Make sure you have a 24-hour visa for the country of the connecting flight. There are several major airlines that provide you with a free transit visa. You can find this information on the flight terms when you book your air tickets. Or, you can contact the respective airline for more clarifications. They will tell you everything – whether the via is included or not.

Following are the things you must check and know for a long layover time – 

  • Make sure your air tickets include the visitor visa so that you can leave the airport during that time and explore the place. 
  • If a visa is not included with the flight tickets, spend your time at the airport and enjoy the facilities the airline offers you at the airport. 
  • Always ensure that you are carrying all the necessary travel items with you for a smooth journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the recommended layover time for international flights?

A: In international travel, you will again have to go through the immigration and customs upon arrival of the first flight. So, it requires a longer connecting time. For example, book a flight with at least 2 to 3 hours in case of same/partner airlines and 4 hours in case of different airlines. 

Q: What happens if my first flight gets delayed?

A: If your first flight gets delayed due to some technical or maintenance issues, the airline is liable to help you book another flight. But, it applies only if both the flights are booked on the same ticket or with the same/partner airlines. 

Q: Will the airline help me If I miss my connecting flight due to a short layover?

A: If you’ve missed your flight because of the delay of the first flight (due to technical reasons), then the airline is responsible to help you book another flight ticket. But, if you miss your connecting/transfer flight because of your own fault, then the airline is not liable to help you re-book your tickets. You have to purchase a new ticket yourself. 

Q: Do I need to go through security for a connecting flight?

A: It completely depends on the airlines’ policies you are flying with. But, generally, you don’t have to go through security again during your layover for domestic travel. For international flights, you have to go through security again. 

Q: What will happen to my checked luggage on a connecting flight?

A: For domestic flights, if you have booked your flight tickets with the same/partner airline, your luggage will be automatically transferred to the next flight. But, for international flights, you’ll have to claim and re-check your baggage whether the flights are booked with the same/partner airline or different airlines. 

We hope you got all the answers to your queries related to a layover and a connecting flight. So, the next time you book your flights, plan smartly to have a comfortable and hassle-free journey. Have more queries? We, at MyTicketsToIndia, will help you. 

Being a leading flight booking agency, we always make sure that our customers get the best services in the market. Our USP is to provide the USA to India flights and back at the cheapest rates possible. Not only this, we strive incredibly hard to resolve all the queries or doubts our clients face while the flight-booking procedures. So, if you’re planning to travel to India from the USA or vice versa, contact our team.


About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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  1. manohar Lal says:

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