Connecting flight is a flight with an intermediate stop and a change of aircraft, possibly a change of airlines. Transfer to a connecting flight depends on the booking. What are the main differences of the process for connecting flights made under a single booking and separate bookings?
Connecting flights made under a single booking are considered one flight. In this case airline is liable if a passenger is late arriving for a flight due to delay from an inbound connecting flight.
Connecting flight made under separate bookings is essentially separate tickets for each section of the path. In this case, all the responsibility for a successful transfer is on a passenger.
Connecting flights made under a single booking
Connecting flights made under separate bookings
|Check in||Check in at the departure airport only.||Check in at the departure airport and at the transfer airport.|
|Checked Baggage||Bags are checked through to the final destination.|
But in case of fligh and transfer in USA, you have to get, check and drop your luggage during transfer.
|You will need to collect your bags and check in again at the transfer airport.|
|Passport control||Passengers can proceed straight to the boarding gate inside transit area.||In case of international flight you’ll have to do an immigration clearance at the transfer airport to be able to pick up your luggage and go to departure hall for check in.|
|Security screening||In case of international flights you’ll probably have to go through security at the transfer airport.||You’ll have to go through security at the transfer airport after check in as well as at the original airport.|
|Time for transfer||Airline is liable if a passenger is late arriving for a flight due to delay from an inbound connecting flight. Airline will provide you alternative flights, meals and a hotel room if there are no any possible flights the same day.||It’s your responsibility to take care about your transfer. Airlines are not liable if a passenger is late arriving for a flight due to delay from an inbound connecting flight.|
|Option to split the route and use just one part of it.||Connecting flights made under a single booking are considered one flight and cannot be split. In case of “no-show” to any of airports the ticket is no longer valid.||You can use tickets of each booking separately.|
How to transfer to a connecting flight made under a separate booking in case you can’t leave a transit area at transfer airport?
Go to airport crew and describe your situation. You can check in online or in a transit area. An airport crew will re-tag your bags for your final destination.
I’ve got such flights at Tokyo airport. As far I didn’t have Japan visa, I couldn’t pass passport control. So I had to wait while airport crew manage my bags re-tagging. Everything was fine and pretty easy.
Why do we prefer separate tickets if it’s so complicated? Usually it’s just because of the price. Sometimes it’s even not possible to buy a single ticket for required route. Also it’s much easier to refund or re-change separate tickets.
At the end I would like to mention that you are responsible for your transfer to a connecting flight if an inbound flight was not late. So don’t waste your time in a transfer terminal. Your luggage may go to a final destination without you.