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Fundamentals of flying

65 bytes added, 12:24, 14 October 2013
{{seealso|Avoiding a transit of the United States}}
Flying from point A to point B often involves a '''connection''' in point C, where you have to disembark, find your connecting flight and climb on board again. If both the A-C and C-B flights are ''on the same ticket'', the airlines are responsible for broken connections and will (try to) get you on the next flight if you miss your flight. This may also be the case if you are flying the same airline or airline group (One World, etc) and you have allowed the required connection time between flights. However, if you're booking your flights ''separately'' or the carriers involved have no interline ticketing agreements, making the connection is '''solely your responsibility'''. If you are flying on an airline or fare type that doesn't permit last minute changes you may lose your fare when one airline's delay makes you late for the next one. Paying a little more for a flexible fare on the final connection can not only avoid this risk, but can also let you catch an earlier flight if you make the connection quickly (subject to availability and you may still need to pay for any fare differences).
Airlines may consider a connection as tight as 35 minutes to be valid, and if you don't have to clear customs or exit and re-enter secure zones between flights, and the arrival and departure gates are near each other, this may be reasonable. However, you can get unpleasant surprises at unfamiliar airports. For example, your gates could be at opposite ends of the building, or even in separate terminals. If you're traveling through an airport you don't know well and travel time is not critical, consider allowing '''at least an hour and a half''' to make each connection, particularly if it involves clearing customs (in which case two and a half hours is safer). If you are not delayed, you can use this slack time to eat at the airport, where the food is likely better and possibly more affordable than what you may (or may not!) get in the air.

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