Connection flights can be a source of stress and sometimes even spoil your trip. No one wants to be stuck in a complicated airport with only a few minutes to spare and not knowing where exactly we should go. Most airports and airlines will help you navigate through the airport and find your next flight, but with a little research and a thoughtful plan, I think you can do it on your own and have a stress-free trip.
Do your research
A basic mistake that most of us do when booking flights is to look at all options available and only consider the price. I know flights are rather expensive and we all have to look at our budget, but there are other factors we should also throw into our mix when we choose our flights. That will ensure we make the best choices and we have a great experience.
First of all, we should start by analysing the options for our destination, including the connecting flights and stop-overs. Some routes may be longer than others, some airlines may offer better connecting flights with shorter waiting times. Then we need to look at the airports where those stops are going to be and if they are easy to navigate or not. Being in a complicated airport and looking for a gate can be a nightmare. Especially when you don’t have much time to waste. I would check the airport’s website, and see the map so I can get acquainted with the dynamics of that airport. You won’t know exactly which gates are you going to be on, but if you look at the arrivals and departures, you will find a pattern, so you can have an idea. The most important thing is to know the main configuration of the airport, so it will be easier to look for things when you get there. Choose a flight that stops in an airport that is easy and pleasant to navigate, and that will make your life easier.
Check for airline reviews. Sometimes you may find a really cheap flight, but then you find that the airline offers it has a very poor safety standard, poor service, etc. Sometimes, it is best to pay a few dollars more and have a peaceful trip. Another very common trap is that some airlines advertise for “more direct flights”, but then the connecting flight forces you to spend long hours in the airport. It is ok if it’s a nice airport with nice things to do, I did that many times at Heathrow, because I liked that airport and because I knew how to navigate through it. Communication was easy and I never had an issue. I am sure it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t speak the language.
Make your plan
Once finished your research and made your choice, plan your trip. Make sure you arrive early, so you don’t stress in queues. Have all your documents in one spot ready to go when you need to check in and go through immigration. Make sure you allow some time in your connection flights, so if there is a delay you can still make it. Some airlines will help you if there is a delay, so make sure you tell your flight attendant that you need to make it to your next flight and they will help you.
Once you get there, know where your next gate is before going for a trip to explore the airport. That will ensure you know where to go. I would say, time management is everything, if you manage your time well, you will have a great trip.