Many travelers don’t know, or didn’t know before reading this post, the difference between flight connections and flight stops. I’ll will tell you the differences between them. In order to make it easier to understand I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say that you bought a boarding pass to Miami (USA) with a connection in Panama City (Panama). When you arrive at Panama City, you will have to leave the plane, disembark in Panama City, get your luggage in the baggage claim and go to the customs and services (to register your entrance in Panama).
After the registration of entrance in Panama in customs and services, you’ll have to do your new flight check-in and the dispatch of your luggage, now to the final destination.
Don’t worry because the flight attendants of the connecting fight will give you all the information of the following flight, such as its boarding time and boarding gate, before you leave the first plane.
Due to the procedures that you’ll have to face, considering the lines and the distances inside of the airport, I strongly recommend you to save plenty of time between the connections, specially if the airlines of each flight are different. I prefer to choose connecting flights with at least 2 and a half to three hours difference between them if they are international. For domestic flights I think 1 hour is enough.
Remember: if the airlines of the connecting and the final flight are not the same, there will be no guarantee if the first flight is delayed. Any delay could be crucial to miss the destination flight, considering that you’ll have to disembark, wait for your luggage on the baggage claim, go through customs and services (the example above involved a second country, therefore it would be necessary to register your entrance in Panama), check-in and dispatch the luggage again.
Haven’t you heard that time flies when you have a plane to catch? I guess you don’t want to prove this real by missing a flight because of short intervals between two or more connections.
On the other hand, what are stops?
It could be said that buying a boarding pass for a flight that has one or more stops along the way is better than one with connections. This is so, because when there are stops in the middle of the flight you don’t need to leave the plane, disembark and do all the bureaucratic things explained above, unless it is your stop.
An aircraft can leave from Cancun (Mexico), stop in Fort Lauderdale (USA) and reach its final destination in Orlando (USA). If you bought the ticket to go visit Mickey Mouse, you will remain seated when the plane lands in Fort Lauderdale. The stop is made for the disembark and boarding of passengers.
After all the passengers that were going to Ft. Lauderdale disembark and all the passengers that boarded in Ft. Lauderdale to go to Orlando are boarded, the trip will continue until its final destination, Orlando.
The commissaries will announce everything that is happening, so just pay attention and no mistake will be made.
The flight with one stop or more will be a bit longer then a direct flight due to the time “lost” with the procedures of landing, disembarking, boarding and take-0ff.
In case your doubts weren’t solved, leave your questions in the comment box below or send me here.