Airport Minimum Connection Times: What They Are And Why They Matter

Filed Under: Advice, Travel

I’m off on an extended trip to Africa later this year, and am booking the flights as we speak. After years of traveling on efficient, direct and extremely affordable low cost flights around Europe, I must admit I am finding the African transportation options expensive and time consuming.

Fortunately I have plenty of KrisFlyer miles I can use, and Star Alliance is well represented in Africa, with EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways all servicing the continent well.

I was looking online at Star Alliance redemption options between Tanzania and Egypt via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD) on Ethiopian Airlines, and came across an itinerary that seemed oddly efficient.

I checked the connection time in Addis Ababa, and was shocked to see that it was only 20 minutes.

I had an, ahh, ‘interesting’ experience the last time I passed through Addis Ababa Airport.

I immediately thought this could not possibly meet the Minimum Connection Time (MCT) set by Ethiopian Airlines themselves. As I was looking up the MCTs for Ethiopian Airlines at ADD, I thought it would be a good chance to take a step back and explain what they are, and why they are important.

Minimum Connection Times

Connecting in a foreign airport (where you either change planes, or reboard the same plane to another destination), is a very common way to travel. Airlines like Emirates and Icelandair have made successful businesses out of connecting passengers from one region of the globe to the next.

The time you spend connecting can range hugely, and will depend on how the airline sets their schedules — if you are not stopping over to enter the country, I usually like about a two hour or so connection — it is enough time to clear transit security, stretch your legs, perhaps have a shower or a meal in the lounge, maybe collect some duty free, and then find your gate to board your next flight.

Assuming your first flight lands on time, you won’t be rushed and it’s a fairly straightforward process.

Some airlines have excellent schedules where you can book an efficient connection. But for less frequent flights or more unusual connections, sometimes you may only be given the choice of a very short, or very long connection. Last year I had this conundrum booking my parents from Edinburgh to Frankfurt via Madrid. The only two connection options of the day were 45 minutes, or 6.5 hours. Neither was ideal and I went for the 45 minute option, which ultimately was a mistake given my parents can’t speed through airports as quickly as I can, and also that they were completely unfamiliar with Madrid Airport.

There are certain airports like Doha, Auckland and Helsinki which specialise in being able to transfer passengers very quickly, because of both the way the terminals are designed, and the efficiency of the airline and airport, so you don’t even need a full two hours.

Then there are some airports like Istanbul that have been so massive and inefficient, that even when I’ve had a 90 minute connection I’ve had to run to the next gate. I have never landed at Istanbul without having to use a remote gate and be bussed to the terminal.

So exactly how long do you need?

Published Minimum Connection Times

Fortunately, airlines have already determined this for you.

There’s a load of different factors they use before setting their ‘Minimum Connection Times’ for different types of transfers, at each airport they offer transfers at. They know better than anyone about how long it will actully take a passenger to transfer between two of their flights at a particular airport (i.e. their hub), so will not sell connecting tickets that do not allow enough time for passengers to make it on to the next flight.

Most importantly, if you book a connecting ticket that does meet the MCT you will be protected by that airline – i.e. it will be their responsibility to get you to your destination.

To find the MCT for Ethiopian Airlines flights I looked under “Travel Tools” in ExpertFlyer. You can often Google an airline’s or airport’s minimum connection times as well, but the results may not be as accurate.

Enter in your airport, along with the inbound and outbound carriers, and you’ll get a chart like this:

Their description of the difference between ‘Offline’ and ‘Online’ is confusing:

Offline: Destinations we fly in connection to other carriers
Online: Destinations the Ethiopian Airlines directly flys

I would take this to mean Online is connecting from ET to ET, while an Offline connection is where you are connecting to or from a partner airline. For example, using my itinerary above, if EgyptAir operated the second flight, rather than Ethiopian. It doesn’t really matter in this case, because the times for Offline or Online are the same.

The D’s and I’s refer to whether each flight is domestic or international. For example, if you were flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles, connecting there to Tokyo, this would be a domestic flight, connecting to an international flight, so a D/I connection.

In my case I’m coming from Tanzania, connecting in Ethiopia, on to Egypt, so it is I/I.

The itinerary I found with the 20 minute MCT is an international to international connection, so an MCT of 45 minutes (0.45) is required per the “standard” and “online” rules.

The section I’ve highlighted, however, lists the minimum connection times required between specific flight numbers, which for the flights I was prepared to book is a ludicrous 15 minutes!

Technically, that 20 minute connection is thus generous, but in practice it would be nearly impossible to make anyway. Even if my arriving and departing planes were at adjoining gates, which it’s highly unlikely they would be, and the flight was on time, and I was the first off the plane it’s unlikely I would get through transit security and through to boarding the next flight before they closed it.

Here was Ben’s experience transiting Addis.

If I didn’t make the second flight it would be reasonable to expect that Ethiopian would then accommodate me on a later flight because I had booked a connecting ticket, though that can cause a separate host of problems. While this may be a legal connection, it’s not one I’d feel comfortable with personally.

What to do if you have booked a connection that does not meet MCT

If you have booked the two flights separately you are out of luck unfortunately. I would recommend changing the second flight, and if they are booked separately you will not be protected like you would be on a single ticket, so I would at least double, if not triple, any MCT for separately issued tickets.

If you have somehow managed to book a connecting flight that does not meet MCT on a single ticket — which typically doesn’t happen unless there’s a significant schedule change — I would contact the airline or program you booked the ticket through. Explain that the connection they sold you does not meet the MCT set by the operating airline, and they should rebook you onto a later flight because they will be aware of the ramifications that sending you off with an illegal connection may have.

If I booked the ticket through a partner and then contacted Ethiopian regarding the illegal connection, it’s likely Ethiopian would just tell me their partner needs to reissue the ticket, and I need to contact them.

Bottom line

I’m going to have some undesirable connections on this trip anyway, ranging from 90 minutes up to 22 hours. It looks like I’ll have to transit Addis at least twice, as well as Cairo up to three times, which I’m not exactly looking forward to. But it should produce some great stories for you guys!

Depending on the airport, I’d be comfortable booking the minimum connection with any airline on a single ticket, given I would be protected in case of delays, but there is no way I am booking a 20 minute connection at an airport like Addis!

If you are looking at a very quick connection, it’s always a good idea to check the Minimum Connection Times to see both if your connection is legal, and how rushed it might be anyway.

What is the shortest connection you have ever booked?

  1. Nothing to do with this but on Iberia, I rang this morning as I’d still heats nothing and was told one million new accounts had been registered and that no new accounts would qualify and are being refunded, slightly different to what was said previously.

    One million seems exaggerated but he repeated it a few times.

  2. I have a hard rule of 2 hours bare minimum transfer time. Ideally I like to book 3-5 hour transit times. Anything shorter than 2 hours, even if works, simply doesn’t worth the stress and running. I love travelling, and I am perfectly happy spending leisure time at the airport, and not stressing even if my first flight experiences minor delays.

  3. 20 minute connections are routine at Addis T2. I have made these <30 min connections literally dozens of times in Addis – ET will have special buses waiting at the steps to transfer passengers directly between aircraft and bypass the terminal entirely. More impressively, my baggage has always made it too.

    I wouldn't have any concerns about this itinerary at all, other than the ridiculously high price that UA is trying to charge for it.

  4. Clearly another posting by a foreigner. James clearly does not understand the concept of minimal connection times doesn’t apply in the US. US airlines are required to take you to your destination regardless of connection time! Let get American writer Lucky!

  5. Agree with Sean M.
    Addis can be very efficient, if you get lucky and arrive at a proper gate on the terminal you just walk to the next gate, you’re already past security. The problem is if you have a longer layover in this scenario – lounges and restaurants are before security, you walk out after security. Be careful to go towards immigration and then up to transfer in this scenario, brings you out in the main departures area but pre-security.
    As mentioned, I’ve seen special mini buses for passengers to specific destinations with very tight connections, if you arrive at a remote stand.

  6. +1 to Sean M – exactly the same experience. I wouldn’t dare to risk 1hr connection in BKK or HKG (even TG/CX online) but I’m fine with 15-minute online ET transit at Addis – it was the most efficient transit experience ever!

  7. 2 hour minimum anywhere – 3 hour when transferring from Domestic to Int’l and vice-versa in the US

  8. All this sounds great in theory and you should avoid <30 minute connections even domestically of course. The real issue is say you have a 40 minute connection in some random international airport in Africa and you miss the connection. Sure you might be "protected" and put on the next flight but…you might also be stuck there for a day or whatever depending on the route. So that might be fine if you are traveling on a leisure extended trip but if that is case why book a short connection anyway.
    Personally I won't book a connection less than 45 to 50 minutes at a domestic airport. It is common to see slight delays and most airlines close the doors 10+ minutes prior to flight anyway. Heck I've gotten to AA gates at DFW 15 minutes prior and denied boarding. On international flights I like about 2 hours and in third world, odd or huge airports with common taxi delays to the gates (like LHR) I like 2 to 3 hours if possible.

  9. James – fantastic insights and article; you are a great addition to the OMAAT team! Above is quite helpful because Avianca lifemiles sometimes through the ‘screenshot method’ allows pretty interesting connections on one award ticket (e.g. PEK-MUC-FRA with 40 min in MUC despite the CA flight always being 30-40 min late) and I have always wondered how this works. Keep it up 😉

  10. This is a great article! thanks for sharing, where do you find the “Travel Tools” on the Expert flyers website?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. nice to see the voices of experience here

    I’d guess another factor might be if the second flight is always operated by the aircraft of the first flight you might not have any issues

  12. @Jackie, so you are saying that OMAAT is only for american readers? Classic example of the typical american ignorance… please widen your horizon.

  13. I just came back from Africa which included 3 passes through ADD. The airport is ridiculously crowded in the mornings but if you have a short connection time there will be an attendant to drive to your next plane once you get off your first plane. Most flights through ADD shuttle passengers by bus from the tarmac to the gate.

    If you go through ADD at night, the airport is completely empty. My problem would be the reliability of Ethiopian being on time though. I had 2 flight cancellations and rescheduled flights 2x as well within a few days of the flight.

  14. @James, I may have missed this in your post, but I don’t see any mention of “MCT” on separate tickets. It might be worth mentioning that MCT doesn’t apply, and people should have a minimum of several hours between flights booked separately. They’re completely on their own if something goes wrong with their first flight or while “connecting.”

    Heck, even Lucky made an unreasonable booking within the last year or so at LHR. IIRC, his AA-LX connection was ~2.5 hours, which would normally meet MCT (but still ridiculously short for inter terminal connections at LHR), except they were on 2 tickets. It cost him a few hundred euros for a new ticket, I think.

  15. I’m curious what issues you would foresee getting rebooked on the next available flight? ET is a perfectly decent airline, and a simple rebooking a missed connection wouldn’t be an issue at all.

    As Sean M mentioned, ET has a plan for these connections—there’s a reason there’s a carve out for certain flights in the MCT.

    Generally speaking, as long as there’s a reasonable next flight to be rebooked on, I don’t see the huge advantage to being particularly risk adverse with MCTs.

  16. @Kory – Addis is at capacity from 0600-1000 and then again 2030-0030 which coincide with ET’s two largest flight banks (there is a third afternoon bank developing now but it’s nowhere near as busy). Outside of those hours, it’s a veritable ghost town.

  17. The free ITA Matrix site has an unusual feature of “pad-connect of XYZ minutes” that only returns results with connection times of at least MCT+XYZ (only available as manual codes instead of GUI boxes)

    MCTs are super unrealistic anyway, so personally I always like to do “pad-connect 20m” domestically in the US.

    Matrix also lets you set both pad-connect and min-connect

  18. I’d book the 20 minute connection as long as there was another flight out shorty thereafter. If I missconnected and had to wait another two hours for the next flight then no big deal – if it was a route that was only flown once a day I wouldn’t risk it.

  19. I’ve often had 30-35 mins MCT on AA at LAX. The record is HNL-LAX-JFK which was 35 mins (IIRC) but then the inbound was delayed and we ended up with about 10 mins. But arrival gate was next to departure gate so it was 30 secs to get from one to the other. Thanks to CK not cancelling my LAX-JFK (and seeing that I no checked bags) I made the connection. But I think that’s pretty unique for Gates 45-48 at LAX.

  20. I don’t rely on MCTs – not because they aren’t useful for guaranteeing the airline takes responsibility for a missed connection, but because too tight a connection just makes the first flight unnecessarily stressful. I padded a D to I connection at Sao Paulo to 4.5 hours, but good old TAM (as was) then stole 3 hours of that on a late-running domestic flight. Being Brazil it all worked out, somehow, in the end, by the simple expedient of the international flight being 2 hours late departing. I suspect they had planned it all along.

    My least favourite connecting airport is actually Madrid. Love the architecture, but the design of internal passenger movements is utterly inexplicable to me. I never really know where I’m going with any confidence. And last month, a queue of several hundred people built up at a point where there was just a single immigration officer managing connections between the terminals. I say “managing” but it was more like “casually taking his time in that incredibly slow-moving way that some power-crazed airport officials have”. It’s pretty much the only time in my life that I can remember deliberately queue-jumping. Then running. And running. And running more, until it felt as if my first heart attack was imminent.

    Always leave too much time to connect. It’s why we have lounge access.

  21. I flew from Rome to Geneva using Swiss last year and we only had one hour to transit in Zurich, with 10 of us had checked baggages. I was worried when our sponsor brought us this ticket, but quick Trip Advisor gave me insight that Zurich airport is an efficient one and we should had no problem.

    Turned out it was right. Our transfer is smooth, and we even reached our terminal 40 minutes before boarding, which was plenty of time even though we had to switch terminal (we even were able to do Shalat).

  22. @ Sam – I wouldn’t expect any issues but if they only had one flight per day then I would have a 24 hour stopover, which was a nightmare last time I was in Addis!

  23. @ Tennen – I discuss separate tickets under the ‘What to do if you have booked a connection that does not meet MCT’ subheading

  24. Regarding MCTs, I have an upcoming trip that had schedule changes and violated MCTs both ways, through ORD.

    1. On my outbound, my connection through ORD (ATL-ORD-NRT) went below MCT due to a schedule change on my ATL-ORD flight. Less than 40 minutes, which as I understand is doable but I was not comfortable with possibly losing my first day in Japan if the flight from ATL was delayed. To my surprise, the AA agent opened up J space on the flight before the one I booked, giving me a cushy 2 hours to enjoy the Flagship Lounge.

    2. On my inbound, I have a 90 minute connection through ORD again, NRT-ORD-ATL. I wasn’t worried about it when I booked it, but I recently learned that ORD’s train system is down and causing major delays for passengers going international -> domestic.

    Given that AA agents can open space to put you on a flight if MCT is violated, given the circumstances with international -> domestic connections at ORD this summer, do you think AA would be sympathetic and open space for me on the next flight out an hour later than my current one even though I’m above the legal connection time?

  25. I really comes down to the airport. 20 minutes would usually seem like overkill, since the indicated flight times are on-block/off-block times and not actual disembarkation and boarding times, but there are airports where this is indeed possible.
    I’ve successfully made a 25-minute connection in RIX between two airBaltic flights. In Frankfurt, I’ve had a special bus meet a couple of passengers directly at a delayed flight to rush us through a separate immigration and security channel to our connecting flights, all within 30 minutes or so. Then again, at LHR, IST or JFK, even 90 minutes might not be enough.

    On an unrelated note, I recently made a 50-minute “connection” at STN between two Ryanair flights on separate tickets, including immigration and security (there’s no sterile transit). It took some careful planning, though, to optimize every single step of the way and cut down of idle waiting times.

  26. James-

    How does (allianz) travel insurance protect missing a connecting flight on two seperate itineraries?

    I traveled the world for 2 months after college. Plenty of flights booked separately but never had a major delay.

  27. @The nice Paul:

    Could not agree more. MCTs are great in theory but in practice I routinely give myself 1.5 hours minimum domestic – regardless of country/region – and minimum 3 hours on any I/I or D/I connection. Save MAD. There I leave at least 4-5 hours for anything because I’ve been burned way too many times. Whether it’s immigration, Iberia (or any airline, really), or the airport itself, I don’t think I’ve ever had a smooth experience there even when it was origin or destination. I even have a tiny bit of anxiety with a solid 5 hours between flights. But, the Iberia lounges are decent and you’re right – that’s why we have lounge access.

  28. I’m with @The nice paul – I don’t rely on MCTs. I schedule a minimum 3 hours D-I or I-I, or 90 minutes D-D. Sometimes more if I know transfers are difficult at the connecting airport. The thought of missing a connection stresses me about badly, and I’d much rather sit in the airport lounge (or, heaven forbid, pay for a meal in an airport restaurant) than have to haul a** through an airport just to make it.

  29. @James Ah, I see! I misread what you wrote and thought you were worried the rebooking itself might be a problem. Yes–an unexpected layover at ADD can certainly be annoying.

    Have you considered the 4:45pm flight from DAR to ADD instead (and ferry or fly cheaply from Zanzibar)? Would give you more of a cushion. There are also usually cheap flights from ZNZ to NBO, where you could grab the Egyptair nonstop to CAI.

  30. The one thing that stuck out to me is sending your parents FRA-MAD-EDI. There are a couple of flights on any given day that are non-stop in just under 2 hours, but instead you sent them on a pair of nearly 3 hour flights with a connection?

    I assume you were trying to get them something on Avios since they were presumably flying Iberia, but this is one of those times where it makes so much more sense to just buy a cash ticket.

  31. @ Jj – you would need to check your travel insurance policy but generally you would not be covered if the two flights were booked separately.

  32. @ Jackie what a idiotic racist comment with lack of knowledge of the airline industry

    This is a global site seen by people worldwide.

    Minimum connecting times allow the shortest time to transfer a passenger and bags between flights. ALL airlines that sell transfers use MCTs Believe it or not ,even in the USA . if you miss a connection the airline rebooks you A connecting flight being one issued in the same ticket

    You can also google it or review the airlines’ own website where they will most likely explain this. It’s amazing what you can find online

  33. @Sam – If he misconnected on this particular itinerary, there is an MS operated flight from ADD-CAI (which ET codeshares on) just a few hours later that they will rebook him on. There is also an earlier afternoon ZNZ-ADD flight (this particular flight ET 822 only runs on weekends while the earlier flight runs daily with some days combined with JRO) which would have a longer connection if someone really wanted to play it safe.

    As mentioned before though, this is a routine short connection with ET. This flight will be 90%+ filled with connecting passengers so they will prioritise it and assist the pax with short connections to transfer directly.

  34. I don’t rely on MCT either. I try to allow 1.5 hours in domestic connections and 2 hours on international ones. Before the days of PreCheck and Global Entry, I allowed at least 3 hours for reentry into the USA.

    The worst time wasters are remote gates for widebody Jets. A totally inefficient operation always. The busses are always late, they are horribly crowded and take forever to get to the terminal and after that there is usually another delay getting through the next hurdle and one rarely knows in advance that there will be a remote gate in the mix.

  35. @James, ah, my apologies. I don’t know how I missed that! >_< I blame it on the early morning, not enough coffee, and reading on mobile. :-p

  36. @Jackie I have to join Ole’s comment: that’s a very presumptuous and narrow minded perspective. The is a place to talk about travelling around the whole world, specific rules regargind USA are relevant but not the only ones of relevance.

  37. MCT failures where the next flight is the next day are a great way to get a free hotel and a free adventure.

  38. I guess I’m a bit confused, though, about when you really need to know MCTs. I was under the impression that most airlines have stopped “protecting” itineraries on multiple tickets regardless of whether the self-made connections are “legal.” So if you are traveling on separate tickets, you need to pad your flights for safety, and if you are on the same pnr, laws and the contract of carriage require you be transported to your final destination whether your connection meets MCT or not. At this point, I think this is just something for travel agents to keep in mind when programming their flight-finders.

  39. VIE markets itself as the fastest connecting airport in Europe with a MCT of 30 mins. I have done this a few times, even crossing between the Schengen and non Schengen zones.

  40. Travelling on the continent of Africa is a different beast. My flights were so chaotic and confusing. I took eight intra-flights in South Africa and seven were tardy. Most flights must fly out of JHB creating more congestion. On the inbound, CPT-ADD-ZRH-CMN: Arriving in ADD at 23:00, it was a zoo, no gate agents knew what gate boarding what flight in 90 minutes. Tardy flights and slow custom clearance in African airports make travelling more stressful. Four hour layover was barely sufficient for connection and always felt like being on the “Amazing Race”.

  41. Anyone know if there is an easy way to see if you will need to clear transit security at a particular airport? As most US travelers know, you almost never have to do this for D-D and D-I. In Europe, you almost always have to do it for any connecting flight. Elsewhere in the world, it seems like a crapshoot. IST was no for me once. It sounds like ADD is the same.

  42. A few years ago I was booked on Air Berlin (now defunct) from Paris to Moscow with a short changeover in Vienna of 30 mins. As it was a single ticket through the same airline I didn’t worry too much. Departure time in Paris and no plane. Eventually the aircraft arrived 40 mins. late and we all scrambled aboard. Approx. 10 mins out of Vienna aircrew approached me to say they would move me and my carry-on luggage to the premium class section at the front of the aircraft which was fortunately empty so that the passengers who were transferring to Moscow (7 of us) could deplane first. At Vienna we rolled up on the tarmac next to another Air Berlin plane and disembarked onto a waiting bus which took us (the lucky 7) direct to the terminal where we were told to hurry, hurry, hurry as the plane was waiting. An airline rep shuffled us thru customs and immigration who insisted on checking and even stamping our passports before a mad dash through the whole terminal to the departure gate where the whole passport stamping thing was repeated by customs. Out onto another bus, may have even been the same one, and back to, you guessed it, the Air Berlin aircraft next to the one we had arrived on. We all clambered aboard and were given dirty looks from the existing passengers who had been forced to wait for the 7 of us for a take-off about 25 mins. late. Upon arrival in Moscow we all feared the worst, that our checked baggage would be still in Vienna, but no, incredibly there it was awaiting us along with all the others. So my one visit to Vienna was limited to a rush through the terminal. I have never flown Air Berlin since.

  43. Very useful info on where to find the MCTs. In addition you need to research the airport, whether you have to change terminals, etc, to know if it makes sense for you.

  44. 45 minutes on KLM in Schipol (AMS). for SFO-AMS-MAN.
    Made it easily – thank you KLM, thank you Schipol.
    My bags made it too. 🙂

  45. @jackie, the “foreigner” knows much more than you do. BTW, it’s “minimum” not “minimal” and I think it’s clearly you that doesn’t understand the concept. Bad attitude and not knowing what you’re talking about makes for someone looking a bit foolish. Take it somewhere else please.

  46. My personal rule when travelling and connecting is to leave at LEAST 3 hour connection time. Flight delays can happen often, and since you board 45 min to 1 hour before the flight leaves, you technically only have 2 hours of connecting, which depending on how busy the airport is, can fly by.

    Another TERRIFIC article by you James, honestly mate, keep up the good work! Great job hiring the lad @tiffany and @lucky

  47. Given a choice, I’ll take 3 hours rather than 90 minutes, every time. And I never use those tight US connections, eg ARR 1607 DEP 1631. Can’t imagine how stressful that would be, but they pop up all the time as options.
    CAI, I don’t trust transit/connections and almost always o/n at LeM

  48. Well I gotta say, this may be a bit of a strange Information…
    but as me and my girlfriend were travelling from ZRH via DOH over to DPS we had a Connection of about 45 minutes the flight from ZRH was a bit late, which made it to 40 minutes, on the moment the doors opened.. I was sitting in the very back of the plane and it took a while to get out (because i got sick on the plane and had to vomit, me over all Body feel wasn’t too great :D) so i made my way to security and further to the next gate. Bad Luck, it was at the end of terminal A so a looong way to walk. but I have to say, you do not have to hurry in Doha, it’s perfectly timed everything, even had the time to go to the bathroom and wash my self and my teeth 😀

  49. On PointsPros advice my wife made a 55 minute connect in Narita. Bangkok->Narita connecting to Narita->Chicago. She played up her 1st class seating and 2 cabin crew from the first airline personally escorted her to the first class lounge of the second airline. She even had time for a glass of bubbles. Airlines were adjacent to each other of course 😉

  50. Agree with the others regarding the efficiency of ADD. In addition, the air staff will also do their best to be accommodating to get you off the plane quickly because of your tight connection.

  51. Dear Tiffany,

    I can”t find “travel tools” on expertflyer on the lower lefthand side.

    Thank you for your help.


  52. I think it really depends on the consequences of missing the connection.

    Let me make an example: If I arrive into a major European airport (e.g. LHR, AMS, FRA …) and connect to another big European airport (e.g. ZRH, VIE, BCN) I’m quite comfortable to accept an MCT connection – because there are many flights per day and if I miss mine, being protected means I still get there the same day. And if I make the connection, I arrive there quickly.

    It’s a totally different story if the second flight is only leaving once per day or even less frequent and missing the flight means losing one or even several days.

  53. I have a 48- minute UA connection at EWR from Canada (YHZ) to a U.S. domestic flight coming up this month. I do have Global Entry and no bag. Can this work?

  54. I am looking at booking JFK to Rennes, with an hour connection in Paris. The plane for Rennes leaves from a different terminal and involves taking a bus. It is the only connecting flight that day on Air France and if I miss it, I will need to take a train.

    What do you all think. Should I go for it?

  55. @Ole — agreed that Jackie’s reply is myopic and ignorant. But “typical american ignorance” is a rather sweeping condemnation. How many of the 330 million american’s have you interacted with, that you’re confident identifying any particular trait as “typical”? You seem to suffer the same narrow-mindedness that Jackie’s statement exhibits

  56. @James “To find the MCT for Ethiopian Airlines flights I looked under ‘Travel Tools’ in ExpertFlyer.”

    Where is this tab? Are there any other web pages that show minimum connection times?
    Thank you.

  57. @Globetrotter, thank you so much for that tip. I’ve always struggled to find those online. In the very old days, before the internet, I used to get my hands on the OAG guide in which they were all listed. Anyways, now I find out they were under my nose on ExpertFlyer all along. Cheers.

  58. Hi i will need you guys help. I have a flight from Berlin to Singapore transit via Zurich, all booked under one airline one ticket, but transit time too short only 50 minutes. They refused to change it to an earlier flight with longer transit time cos it meets the minimum requirement of 40 minutes. With connection in Zurich involving change of terminals, passport clearance, i seriously doubt i could make it. Plus thats the last flight out to Singapore, if i miss that flight, hotel n food in Zurich will be so expensive and theres 6 of us. Any advice on this? Its Swiss International.

  59. @Lam Kok Wai – Use the tried and tested method of “HANG UP, CALL AGAIN AND SPEAK TO SOMEONE ELSE”. You might get someone more sympathetic and understanding who can make it happen. If you don’t get the answer you want, insist on speaking to a supervisor. If that fails, I would suggest getting to the airport well in time to catch the previous flight from Berlin and explain your predicament at the check-in desk. It is much easier for them to put you on an earlier flight, space permitting. And if that fails and you miss your connection, you should not have to incur any costs. It is their responsibility to provide food and accommodation if you miss your connection because not enough time was allowed. So you have nothing to worry about that way, other than the fact you arrive later than anticipated. But I’ll say one thing, airlines usually don’t set their minimum connecting times so as to result in failed connections most of the time. If that’s what their MCT is for this flight pair, it’s probably because most of the time, it works.

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