Travel Noob; Is a 32 minute layover too short for two first time fliers?

posted 7 months ago in Travel
Post # 16
4341 posts
Honey bee

That would be way too short for me; I’ve been on too many flights that were delayed.

Post # 17
3443 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Are your layovers going to be with the same airline? I had a layover the other day where I landed at Gate 32, and my next flight was at Gate 33. So I literally walked 10 steps and was ready to go. 

Here’s the thing: Flights begin boarding a good 30 to 45 minutes before it takes off, and the gate closes 10 minutes before takeoff. Your layover likely is not accounting for that. That 38 minutes is more like 28. Factor in a few minutes of a delay, the time it takes to get off the plane, and the time it takes to find your next gate, and you won’t make it.

So, it isn’t that it’s going to take 30 minutes to get from one plane to the next. It’s that by the time you get off one, you’ll barely have a shot at boarding the other. 

2 months is still a really long time from now. I seriously think you need to find a more direct flight with at least a 1 hour layover. And since you’re nervous about airports, make sure you book your second flight with the same airline, so the planes will (most likely) be near each other. 

Also, it is ok to check a bag with a layover. The airport takes care of it so you don’t have to deal with your checked bag between flights.

Post # 18
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

lovelyruby :  re: the same airline thing. If OP is flying delta through Atlanta, bring the hub means that a connecting delta flight could be *anywhere* in the airport. If she were flying United or American through Atlanta, there’s a better chance of the gates being closer together. 

Post # 19
3443 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

libellules :  Ooh, thanks. I did not know that about Atlanta.

Post # 20
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

To me this is fine, especially if you are booking the trip all in one through the airlines website. If for example, Delta, has put together this flight itenirary they think it’s enough time. If you get checked in for you first leg of the flight and it is slightly delayed, they will hold the plane for you (if it’s reasonable) if not, they will get you on the next flight. Also- baggage really wouldn’t matter as it normally gets checked to your final destination if you are flying domestic. 

Eta: if you’ve for some reason booked all legs separately on different airlines I would not advise this haha

Post # 21
2758 posts
Sugar bee

I always try to give myself at least an hour for layovers on domestic flights. The two times I didn’t, I missed my flights!!!

For newbies that will struggle with where to go, you should give yourselves over an hour. Also keep in mind (no one tells you at time of booking), the doors close at the gate 10 minutes before takeoff. So if layover is 35 minutes, you really only have 25 minutes. 

Also, if you’re not sitting at the front of the plane, it’ll take at least 15-20 minutes just to get off the plane, too.

Post # 22
2758 posts
Sugar bee

Kslim13 :  That was me many years ago running in the Atlanta airport….in my UGGs….still missed my flight 😒

Post # 23
18 posts
  • Wedding: September 2019

Unfortunately, I think that’s too short! My FH and I travel to meet each other, so I travel pretty frequently and you have to consider that all flights start boarding at least 30 mins before the “departure time,” so when your flight is landing, your next flight is already boarding. If you decide to keep your flights, assuming you have the same airline, be sure to tell the flight attendants and consider paying extra to have your seats at the front of the plane so you can get off quickly and get onto your next flight. Also, even the best airlines struggle with luggage on short connections–with those short connections, I would be very wary of lost luggage if you’re checking bags (it’s happened to me a couple of times!).

Post # 24
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Too short in my opinion. Even if you’re first flight arrives on time, the second flight will begin boarding before you’re even off the plane. And ATL is long, not circular, so you may be far from your next gate. I always find myself walking a long way to my next gate when I fly through there. Good luck and have fun in Hawaii!  

Post # 25
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

I wouldn’t chance it. It could take you 20 mins just to get off the first plane. Than you never know where you connecting flight is. 

Post # 26
6847 posts
Busy Beekeeper

That’s really tight, Bee, not just for you but for luggage transfers. Are all the flights with the same airline? Can you travel with just carry-ons and no checked luggage? (Keeping in mind that with some smaller planes and without priority boarding you may have to gate check bags?) 

Post # 27
3712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Way too short for my liking. The only time I’ve almost missed a connecting flight was a Delta flight coming back from Hawaii. I was running through ATL airport in flip flops. Never again.

Post # 28
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2020

I have always been told minimum 2 hours to account for delays, getting off of the plane and making it from point A to point B; however, this may be a standard that people preach for a “smooth” and “comfortable” process.

I personally would want at least an hour as 3/6 times I have flown the plane has been delayed by an hour to accommodate for weather or flight path changes.

Post # 29
312 posts
Helper bee

My last trip, the first plane arrived more or less on time (I think a few minutes late). Than it took me 10 minutes just to get off the plane and reach the gate. Then I couldn’t find the right terminal and gate for my connecting flight, and it took me almost 30 minutes to get there. Luckily I hade almost 2 hours between flights.

32 minutes would be way too short for me, especially considering that it would be more like 20 minutes since boarding closes earlier.

Post # 30
1842 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I wouldn’t do it. I’ve had a variety of not fun flying situations: I’ve had my luggage lost forever, I’ve had my luggage lost and then returned to me, I’ve ran through the airport to catch planes, I’ve ran through the airport when the plane has already left, and I’ve encountered delays of all kinds. And that’s all happened with more time in between – I’ve never booked a 30 minute layover. I guess I’ve been stung too much. 

Where you sit on the plane definitely matters. People getting their baggage and getting off the plane takes a notoriously long and annoying amount of time. Add your anxiousness and impatience on top of that, and it will make you crazy. 

I definitely recommend taking a carry on instead of checking luggage, but if the plane is on the smaller side and they make you check it at the door, it will backfire and take even longer to get it. 

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