We’ve all had the nightmare experience of a screech-to-the-finish layover. I’ve run through the mile-long terminals in Atlanta, desperate to catch my connecting flight with just minutes to spare. I’ve arrived on time for my connection, only to sit at the gate waiting for a crew. And I’ve landed late only to find my next flight already gone.
If there’s any travel situation that requires a well-informed choice, it’s which airport you’ll go through for a connecting flight. The connecting airport is usually determined by the airline you’re flying, either for its compatible schedule or lower fare. But when you have a choice among different airlines (or are trying to decide between comparable flights with different layover airports), consider the following:
- Will you have to exit one terminal for another, requiring you to go through security again?
- Will you have to reclaim and recheck your baggage?
- Could your landing and departing gates potentially be miles apart?
- Do the flight arrivals and departures give you enough time to get between terminals?
- Does the connector airport offer a variety of restaurants, shops, and services to fill your time on a long layover?
Doing some preliminary legwork may lead to a less-rushed, more comfortable travel experience.
Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.