A Guide to Connecting Flights

There are some great one-stop flights from Birmingham Airport to amazing destinations across the globe. From Sydney to Singapore, Rio de Janeiro to Auckland, connect in less than 2 hours from Birmingham Airport through key hubs including Doha, Istanbul, Dubai and Amsterdam to name just a few.  

You’ll not only save money on parking, hotels and petrol driving to other UK airports, but also time and the convenience of flying from an airport on your doorstep. There’s nothing worse than landing back after a long-haul flight, knowing you still have to make the long drive back home as you didn’t fly from your local airport. Take the hassle out of your journey, after all, your holiday starts when you leave your front door.  

I’m worried about booking a connecting flight

We know one of the main barriers to get over when considering flying one-stop long-haul, is the fear around missing your connecting flight caused by an airline issue. Of course, airlines do their best to avoid delays and disruption to passengers’ journeys, but occasionally problems do occur. 

According to the CAA, if you’ve booked your complete journey from Birmingham as one ticket (with one reservation reference) then the airline that you booked with is responsible for ensuring they take care of you and book you onto the next available flight. For peace of mind, the safest option is therefore always to book your entire journey with one airline, rather than different carriers. You can find out more information on the CAA website here. 

Keep in mind that if it is something within your control that causes you to miss your connection, then the airline isn’t responsible. Therefore, here are some steps that should give you the best chance of making your connection, meaning you can arrive at your end destination on time and not all hot-and-bothered 

  • Arrive at the airport in plenty of time for your first flight

  • Allow enough time (at least a couple of hours) between connecting flights when booking – it’s always better to spend a little longer waiting at the gate or having a mooch around the departure lounge than sprinting from one terminal to another trying to catch your second flight 

  • Research, research, research – in advance. Make sure you’re as prepared as you can be before you depart so that you have all the information you need to make your connection as smooth as possible. It’s useful to find out whether you will have to change terminals; and will you have to go through customs or extra security?
  • Find out if there are any useful apps that you can download to help assist with your connection. Some airports and airlines have their own apps which track delays and post the latest flight information including departure gates and boarding times. 

  • If flights allow, try to avoid booking the last flight of the day out of your connecting airport. That way, if there is an issue with your connecting flight, the airline should still be able to get you on another flight the same day. If not, you may be forced to have an overnight stay in your connecting city, cutting your holiday time short.
  • One final tip - If you have the option, you could always try and select seats close to the front of the plane as it’ll mean you’ll be one of the first passengers to get off and will allow a little extra time to make your connection.

     

“What happens to my baggage?”

The second most common worry when booking a connecting flight is the fear of not knowing what will happen to your baggage. Aside from when you’re travelling through the US, when you purchase a connecting flight, your airline will ensure your baggage gets from you’re your starting point to your final destination. The airline will check in your bag in Birmingham right through to your end destination. You will not have to worry about collecting your baggage between flights – your bags will automatically follow your journey and land in your destination with you.  

It is worth nothing that the US does handle connecting flights in a different way so if you are travelling through the US, you may have to collect your bag when you first land on US soil and pass through immigration, and re-check it on to your next flight. It is always worth checking with your airline to make sure you are clear about what is expected of you. Also, if you do happen to purchase a trip which involves transferring between multiple airlines, ask your check-in agent if your baggage will transfer or if you will be required to collect it and transfer it yourself between flights. 

Making the most of your stopover

Another option which is becoming more popular is to intentionally book long stopovers in your connecting city. Not only will this reduce the risk of missing your connecting flight due to delays, but also give you an opportunity to explore and discover a new city giving you two holidays in one! 

We’ve picked out some of the best stopover options with airlines that fly long-haul from Birmingham Airport… 

Turkish Airlines 

Enjoy all Istanbul has to offer when you book a stopover with Turkish Airlines. Read our Istanbul destination guide to find out more about Turkey’s capital and the highlights you can expect to see.  

You can also benefit from free stopover accommodation when you contact [email protected] or +44 207 471 6640 at least 72 hours before your first flight. For more information, visit the Turkish Airlines’ website here.  

Qatar Airways 

Fly with Qatar Airways and turn your connection through Doha into a wonderful stopover instead. Some of the top experiences in Doha include the Souq Waqif, the Museum of Islamic Art and the Inland Sea. Find out more about Qatar’s capital city with an impressive skyline in our destination guide here. 

You can change your connection to a day’s stopover and book 4* or 5* accommodation at a reduced rate, starting from $23 (USD) per night. You can also get a free e-visa if doing a Qatar Airways stopover. For information on how to redeem the Qatar Stopover, visit the airline’s website here.  

Emirates 

Don’t miss out on exploring the best of Dubai, a glamorous playground hosting strong traditions, modern architecture and nocturnal action. Dubai is a city that needs to be seen to be believed. Find out more about this glamorous city in our destination guide here. 

 Emirates can help plan your stopover for you by arranging exclusive rates for tours and hotel rooms. The stopover packages also include Emirates’ Meet & Assist service. Find out more on the Emirates’ website here. 

And finally… 

If you’re flying to the US, it is worth checking out Aer Lingus. They offer the ultimate time-saving service, allowing passengers to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland, meaning that you don’t need to worry about anything other than collecting your luggage on arrival into the US. Find out more here. 

 

 

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