If you have a connecting flight coming up, you may be unsure how the process works.
After all, you definitely don’t want to run into any problems and miss your flight.
If you’re wondering if you have to go through airport security again for a connecting flight, the answer is that it depends on if the connecting flight is on the same ticket or not, and if you’re flying domestically or internationally.
Table of Contents
- 1 Do You Have to Go Through Airport Security Again for a Domestic Connecting Flight?
- 2 Do You Have to Go Through Airport Security Again for International Connecting Flights?
- 3 Connecting Flights and Airport Regulations
- 4 When You Don’t Have to Go Through Airport Security Again
- 5 What is the Minimum Time Between Connecting Flights?
- 6 How to Ensure you Make Your Connecting Flight
- 7 Will the Plane Wait For Passengers on a Connecting Flight?
- 8 What Happens to Your Baggage if You Miss a Connecting Flight?
Do You Have to Go Through Airport Security Again for a Domestic Connecting Flight?
If the connecting flight is not on the same ticket, this means that you will have to leave the terminal and retrieve your checked baggage.
Once you have collected your bag, you will then need to recheck the bag for your connecting flight and go through airport security again.
Even if you have not checked in a bag and are only flying with a carry on, you still need to go through airport security again when traveling on different tickets.
Do You Have to Go Through Airport Security Again for International Connecting Flights?
If you are flying internationally, you will also have to go through airport security again.
This is because international terminals are in a different area of the airport, so you will need to go to a different terminal and go through the airport security process again.
Connecting Flights and Airport Regulations
Some airports in some countries will require all passengers to go through airport security again.
For example, Heathrow Airport in the UK requires all passengers to go through airport security to be screened again.
When You Don’t Have to Go Through Airport Security Again
If your connecting flight is on the same ticket and/or you aren’t flying internationally, you very likely won’t have to go through airport security.
We say very likely because there are some exceptions at airports where the terminals aren’t all connected.
What is the Minimum Time Between Connecting Flights?
The minimum time between connecting flights depends on the airport and the type of connection (domestic or international).
For example, if you have to exit one terminal and enter another for your connecting flight, or you’re traveling on two different tickets, this will take longer.
Generally, one hour should be enough time both for both domestic-to-domestic and domestic-international connections.
If you’re connecting from an international flight to a domestic one, you should plan for at least 2 hours.
How to Ensure you Make Your Connecting Flight
Connecting flights can be stressful, and you probably know someone who has missed their connecting flight, or perhaps you missed one yourself.
To ensure that you make your connecting flight, you should:
- If possible, fly on a single ticket
- Account for time and flight delays
- Know the minimum connection time required at the airport
- Stick to one airline or alliance on a connection
- Look up the size of the airport
- Avoid the last connection, so you can be put on another flight the same day if you miss your flight
- Sit at the front of the plane
- Inform the flight attendant that you have a connecting flight, so you can get off the plane first
It can also be a good idea to purchase airline insurance, so if you miss your connecting flight you will receive some compensation.
Will the Plane Wait For Passengers on a Connecting Flight?
It’s unlikely that the plane will wait for passengers if they’re running late and need to make their connecting flight.
The only exception would be if a large portion of the connecting flight’s passengers are delayed.
What Happens to Your Baggage if You Miss a Connecting Flight?
If you have a connecting flight on the same ticket, have checked in your bag, and miss your connecting flight, your bag will end up at the destination without you there to pick it up.
This is because when flying on the same ticket, your bag will automatically be transferred for you.
If you don’t have a connecting flight on the same ticket, you will have to pick up your bag from baggage claim, so you will be able to retrieve your bag.
So, in short, you will have to go through airport security again if you are flying internationally and/or the connecting flight is not on the same ticket.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).