Layover Flight and Connecting Flight: A Guide For Travelers

Layover Flight vs Connecting Flight

Posted on 11th Sep, 2023 by Heena Ganotra , Updated 8 months ago

If you’re a seasoned traveler, you know how important it is to be familiar with connecting flights and layover flights. But even if you’re new to flying, it’s still good to know about these types of flights so you can be prepared for anything. Here, we’ll give you an idea about both connecting and layover flights and some tips and tricks that can help make your connecting flight and layover a breeze.

What is a Layover Flight?

If your flight has to make a stop before reaching its final destination, don’t worry! That just means you have a layover. While non-stop flights go straight from one point to another, a layover is when a flight has a scheduled stop at an intermediary airport before continuing on to the final destination. Passengers usually remain on the same flight during a layover and continue their travel to the final destination. This often requires passengers to wait at the airport or on the plane itself.

For example, if you book a flight from Newark to Atlanta that has a stop in Washington (IAD), you may be required to wait at the Dulles International Airport.

Layover Time

The minimum layover flight time is usually around two hours but can be longer depending on the airline, airport, and other factors. Based on the length of the layover, passengers may have enough time to leave the airport and explore the city or region where they have the layover. Also, passengers can relax in the airport lounge, grab a bite to eat or shop for souvenirs. 

Suggested Read: Standby Flights: Here’s What You Need to Know

What Are Connecting Flights?

When booking a flight, you may have the option to book a connecting flight. But what is a connecting flight? A connecting flight means that it stops at one or more airports before reaching the final destination and this is usually done to make a connection to another flight. 

For example: If you’re taking a flight from Atlanta to Trivandrum, you might have to make a stop in Delhi to catch your connecting flight. 

What Is The Difference Between Layover Flights And Connecting Flights?

Most people are unaware of the difference between connecting flights and flights with layovers. As mentioned above, connecting flights are when you book two separate flights with the same airline and the second flight is scheduled to depart before the first one arrives. On the other hand, a flight with a layover is when you book a flight with a stop in between. 

Why Do Flights Have Layovers?

Layovers can be seen as an opportunity to fly to more places while spending less money. This system of layovers makes flying more affordable for customers and airlines alike. Although layovers can be a hassle, they are often more affordable and can help travelers save money. It’s never fun to have a layover, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to get where you’re going.

Whether it’s to recover from a delay, to allow time for a change in pilots, or just to give everyone a chance to rest, a layover can be a lifesaver.  If you have a longer layover, this can be a pleasant break in the journey that allows you to explore nearby cities or areas. So next time you’re stuck in one, remember that it’s probably there for a good reason.

How Do Boarding Passes Work With Layovers?

When you book your connecting or direct flights together on the same ticket, you’ll get your second boarding pass when you check in for your first flight. So you can head to your next flight as soon as you get to the airport during your layover.

Some changes to international flights might present boarding pass challenges, but with careful planning, these challenges can be overcome! You will receive both boarding passes at the airport when you check in for your first flight if you have booked a ticket with one airline or two partner airlines. However, keep in mind that there may be some exceptions to this rule.

If you have booked your ticket with two different airlines, you will get your boarding pass only when you check in for your flight. This means you will need to check in again for your second boarding pass at the airport where you plan to board your connecting flight. Just ask the ticket counter when you check in and they will help you.

What Happens With Baggage On A Layover?

If you have a layover during the domestic flight, your baggage will automatically be transferred to your next flight. So, you don’t need to do anything while you are at the layover airport. Your bags will be unloaded on the first flight and loaded on the second flight. For international travelers, the procedure for checked baggage may vary depending on airport layover and country. However, there is always the potential for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

If you’re flying to an airport in the United States from another country or destination, you’ll have to collect and recheck your luggage regardless of your final flight. However, in many countries, if you are flying with the same airline or one of its affiliates, your baggage will be automatically transferred from the first to the connecting flight.

Benefits Of Connecting Flight And Layover Flight

Layover flights are always more affordable than direct and non-stop flights, and you also get the opportunity to see the airport where your layover is, as well as relax and enjoy yourself.

If your itinerary contains a stopover, you can consider leaving the airport to do some sightseeing. The cost of flying this way is sometimes the same as a shorter layover. This way, you can make the most of your trip and see more of the world.

What Is The Recommended Time For A Layover When Changing Flights?

When planning your travel, it’s important to note that while most domestic layovers are one hour, and international layovers are two hours, there is always a possibility of delays. When you book a longer layover flight, you can be sure you won’t miss your second flight due to unforeseen delays. While there may be circumstances that lead to a shorter or longer layover, try to plan for the best-case scenario so you don’t have to worry about making your second flight.

How To Make The Most Of Your Layover Flight?

If you find yourself with a layover flight of three to five hours, you may be wondering how to pass the time. Here are some ideas to make the most of your time and avoid feeling bored or frustrated:

  • Take a walk: Get some exercise and fresh air by taking a lap or two around the terminal.
  • Find a Comfortable Spot: Grab a cup of coffee or tea and find a spot to relax and people-watch.
  • Catch Up on Some Reading: Whether it’s that book you’ve been meaning to start or some work emails, use this time to get through some things.
  • Explore the Airport or City: It’s a great way to kill time and learn something new.
  • Sleep: Use your flight layovers as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed sleep! You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on your next destination.
  • Use In-Flight Entertainment: Watch a movie or catch up on your favourite TV show. This is a great way to pass the time and avoid feeling bored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you stay on the plane during your layover?

If your next destination is on the same plane as your current one, you won’t have to switch! However, this is uncommon, and you will usually have to get on a different plane for your layover.

Q: Can you leave the airport during a layover?

When you fly with a layover flight, you have the option to leave and explore the surrounding area. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to get back, check your baggage, and follow all the security guidelines. This way, you can make the most of your time and see more of the world.

Q: Is it necessary for me to check in again for my connecting flight during my layover?

If you have a connecting flight during your layover, you may need to check in again. However, this is usually not necessary if you have already checked in for your original flight. Once you have arrived at your layover destination, you can usually proceed directly to your next gate. However, it is always good to double-check with the airline staff to make sure that you will not need to check in again for your connecting flight.

Q: Is it necessary to pass through customs during a layover?

If you fly through the same country, you don’t always need to go through customs. But, if you are entering the United States from another country, you are required to go through Customs and Immigration.

Q: Do I need to go through security check in again if I have a connecting flight?

If you are within the same terminal for your connecting flight, you do not need to go through security again. Also, if you read the need to change terminals, you will need to go through security for your next flight. If you are leaving the airport, you will have to go through security for yourself back.

Q: What is the difference between transit and layover?

Ans: Layovers can be a great opportunity to explore a new city or relax in the airport before your next flight. Transit passengers can enjoy a hassle-free travel experience using other airports with less than 24 hours to reach their destination.

When planning air travel, it is important to be aware of any possible layovers. Many flights may have a layover for reasons such as a change in airline or a stop in a different city. Knowing the flight itinerary can help passengers plan for any potential layovers. Moreover, traveling can be expensive, so it’s important to find affordable flights when planning your next trip.

MyIndiaFlight is a leading travel agency that can help you find the best deals on both USA to India flights and flights from Australia to India. Our user-friendly interface makes it easy to find the best deals on air tickets so that you can save time and money on your flight booking! 


About Heena | View Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness like herpes. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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