?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

....help, friends list?

Today is Thursday. Tomorrow I'll be in three more classes, discussing limits, taking a physics midterm OF DOOM, and working on a modeling project before fighting the laundry room, running to the store to buy anything else I need like 3-ounce bottles of shampoo, and packing.

I'm packing tomorrow. When did that happen? I thought the day would never come. I thought I'd keep telling myself, "It'll get here. It'll get here." And now tomorrow really is tomorrow, where tomorrow really is the day after today. When did time decide to play these games on me?

This leads to a question--more of logistics than of love, really. The only time I've flown before was when I was sixteen--a group of us from my high school's FBLA chapter went to the national conference in Dallas. As we were in high school, the grownups took care of everything. Some of us had flown before; others hadn't. I, of course, hadn't, and this in itself was an exciting experience for me.

Saturday I'll be flying for only the second time, and this time I'll be doing it all alone. Now, I love navigating new places alone. I absolutely love it. But when some things just have to be done in a certain order to make sure you get to the right place at the right time, sometimes wandering doesn't do as much good as one would like, especially when you have to catch a connecting flight and you're already nervous about meeting someone for the first time and Google isn't helping much in that area and how on earth is it going to go?

No, seriously. I've Googled catching connecting flights, and very little has helped. So how does it work, anyway? I get the regular check in, security, boarding the plane process--that just takes navigating the airport a bit. I've done that, even if only with a group. But connecting flights are completely foreign. Do you have to claim your baggage again and recheck it in or go through security again or any of those fun things? How does it work? Impart your knowledge on me, O Friends List.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
jennieknits
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
When you check your bags at your originating airport, your bags are automatically checked through to your connecting flight(s), and more often than not there are no troubles there. You'll pick up your things when you get to your destination.

Generally speaking, you shouldn't ever have to go through security in a connecting airport. I think the only time that really happens is if you're changing airlines, but most airports still have ways to change terminals that don't involve leaving security and coming back.

As for your connection, try to figure out how much time you're going to have. You want to give yourself some time after arrival to deplane and get your bearings, and you'll want to ensure that you have enough time to board the plane before takeoff. Whatever is in between needs to be used for travel time as well as any stops that you might need to make.

What airport are you connecting through? Some people might have some tips for that specific airport.

Most airlines have an in flight magazine that contains maps of their popular airports, and many flights will give you connecting gate information before you land. Check out the map, see where you'll be arriving and where you'll be departing from. Those maps also show you if there are any trams or shuttles and their paths.

Also, if you're unfamiliar with an airport, your fellow passengers might be of some help too. If you get your gate info and you find it on the map, you might ask someone if they know the quickest way to get from A to B. It's not always the first thing you see.

For example, Dallas has a tram that runs throughout the whole airport. If you just look at stops, sometimes your route might appear to be the same length of time either direction, but there might be more time between stops in one direction than in the other.
poisonedwriter
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
Okay, connecting flights. Keep in mind I haven't done this in two years, so some subtleties may have changed.

You will get off your airplane, figure out what terminal you're in, and then look at the ticket for your next flight. It will list what you're flight's terminal is in. Make your way to that terminal. You may have to walk there, you may have to take a train. It depends on what airport you're at.

You do not have to reclaim your baggage, although you may have to present a stub that they'll give you when you originally check in your bag. Shipping bags is fairly complicated (my dad handles lost luggage for a living). It may be sent directly to New York without you, it may accompany you on both your flights. It depends on what's cheapest. MAKE SURE YOUR BAG IS WELL-LABELED. Also provide information about what your flights are, where you are destined, dates, and contact information. You can write this down on a sheet of paper and put it on the top inside your suitcase. Better safe than sorry.

You don't have to go through security again unless you're making a connection through a foreign country. Last time I did it, anyway.

Again, the walking or train thing is relative to your airport. Hopefully you allotted yourself at least one hour to transfer. That's generally the safe number.
whenshewasmine
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
It's a breeze. There's usually an announcement during landing or a helpful info person standing just outside the causeway waiting to tell you exactly where to go to catch your flight. Give your fellow your flight info, and he can check to see if your connecting flight is changed due to a delay online.

You'll be fine. No worries. Have a great time.
maelona
Feb. 28th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Generally, the connection should be no problem. When you check in, they'll give you a little folder with both boarding passes (for your initial and connecting flights) and your luggage claim stapled to it and take your checked bags (check your airlines website to make sure they haven't got screwy luggage amount limits to save on gas).

Once through security and on your initial flight it's easy. When you get to your connection airport, you'll deplane and from there getting to your connection is just like getting to your initial gate after you went through security was. If your connecting gate isn't on your boarding pass (it may not be) find the TV screens with flight info, look up your flight (usually alphabetical by destination city) and find out what gate it's at. Then go there, and hop on your plane.

When in doubt--find someone in a uniform and ask. :-) That's what my mother always told me when I flew alone as a kid.

Most important thing--don't lose track of your boarding pass. Also, listen to all the over comments too--they're good advice.
twirlandswirl
Feb. 28th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Yep, connecting flights are easy. You can ask the people at the gate where your next flight is (have the number handy), or just look at the "departing flights" screen and proceed directly to the gate listed. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200....
mmejavert
Feb. 28th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Yay, I just did this a few weeks ago!

Basically you get off your plane, exit the gate, and walk to the gate for your departing flight, and wait to board. There's nothing to it. I am pretty sure that your checked luggage will go to your final destination and you don't worry about it till you get there, and your carryon of course gets carried with you and only checked once.
satellitewish
Feb. 29th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
While transferring in the Vegas airport I did have to go through security again...not sure why, but just a note!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )