I was just reading "Flying With Hoops" and I wanted to add something.
I work for an airline and I just have one possibly very helpful piece of advice to offer, especially if you are flying internationally.
I think most people book airplane tickets looking optimally for a non-stop flight and if they have to make a connection, they look for the shortest time between flights. I work in a reservations call center and that is how people ask me on the phone for the "best" flights, and by "best", they usually mean the flight with the shortest layover.
But just for the record: Sometimes having a long layover can save you. ^_^
Airline travel is just like any other travel, in that you thought you were going to leave at a certain time but now you have a flat tire, or now we have a thunderstorm, or now for some other reason your trip is not going as planned. Maybe now we can't leave until 15 minutes or half an hour later, due to some unforseen circumstance. After all, we don't live in a perfect world.
OK so this is you, flying to some really big event, and you have booked yourself a ticket with only maybe one hour connecting time. When you booked it, that looked great: Leave from Point A, arrive at Point B, be there for an hour, and continue on to Point C: your final destination. Nobody wants to be sitting around in an airport for three hours waiting for the next plane, right?
Except now is THE BIG DAY and your beginning flight has a delay for some reason, possibly mechanical, possibly weather, ... something. If your connection is close on time it won't take much for you to miss your plane to your final destination. And yes the airline can put you on another airline IF there are seats available on another airline but what if there's not? (we have to call and ask permission) If the delay is weather-related in most cases another airline CANNOT be asked for, due to the fact that ALL the airlines are experiencing the same weather-related issue.
I missed my international flight to Rome, Italy the very first time that I went. My departing flight from Greensboro was delayed into Philadelphia and I did make it out that day. By the time my plane got to Philadelphia, I had only ten minutes! So I did not make it that day. :(
It was the worst feeling... watching the plane go without me. I always leave on an early flight now!
So.. when you book your ticket to that amazing festival or hooping workshop, it can be very helpful to book yourself a flight out of your departing city earlier in the day to give yourself more time to connect. Hope this is helpful to someone!! Much of my time at my job is spent helping people who have missed their planes.
love... Kelly ^_^
Thanks for the good advice, Kelly. I'm about to embark on a 7 week trip with 19 flights. Fingers crossed that any delays are shorter than my connections. If I'm stuck somewhere, I hope that the person who is helping me is as kind as you are.
I personally like a four or five hour stop. Not too long that I have to sleep there, but long enough for me to partially recover from being on a plane for eight or nine hours with my sinuses killing me from the horribly dry air and an upset stomach from the food.