How to address the risks of missing connecting flights?

Many travellers around the world fear the possibility of missing their connecting flights. Whether you are traveling on a single ticket or on two separate tickets, the consequences of missed connections are grave for everyone (maybe except those who are not in a hurry and hope to benefit from monetary compensations).  Let’s look at some factors that affect the flight connections. Understanding these factors can help us predict and possibly avoid risky connections:

Not enough time to make your connection. This is the greatest factor causing missed connections. If the time from disembarking the aircraft at your connecting airport to boarding your next flight is too short, it is very likely that the gate will close without your majesty on board. Usually airlines abide to minimum connection time regulations, so it is unlikely that you are being sold a ticket with impossible connections. Nevertheless, if the connection time is too short, many events can occur and these events can slow down your transfer (e.g. disembarking too slow, long lines at security, heading towards a wrong gate/terminal, etc.). And here we don’t take into account “late arrival” of your first flight. There is only way of addressing such a concern. Check the minimum connection times at the connecting and pick a connecting flight allowing for some extra time time. It's not so easy to find hard data about minimum connecting times, but if you dig into the connecting airport's website hard enough and also browse the tripadvisor forums, you will definitely find it.  

Your inbound flight arrives late. The worse combination of factors is a short connection time and late arrival. Irrespective of the final result (whether you make it to your next flight or not), the immense stress you will experience is already quite a damage. So check the punctuality rating of your first flight and if it’s bad, try to avoid. You can do this in As a rule, evening flights tend to have bad punctuality scores, as the aircraft accumulate delays throughout the day, but this may not be valid for your particular flight. In many cases the evening flights are just fine.

Missed evening connections often result in overnight hotel stay (if you are lucky). In case of missed connections, the airlines or the travel providers will do their best to put you on the next available flight. If you miss an evening connection, the next available flight is simply the next day…so you have no choice but staying over. And if you are lucky, they will put you in a hotel, if not, well, you will get the chance to explore every corner of the terminal transit area…So if you are concerned, check the schedules and avoid risky evening connections.

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