What flyers need to know about minimum connection times

When Robert Herbst’s nonstop flight from New York to Raleigh, North Carolina, turned into a one-stop, he got worried. When American Airlines assured him he could make a connection at Washington’s Reagan National Airport in just 30 minutes, he got very worried.

Herbst, a wellness expert from Westchester, New York, is one of a growing number of minimum connection time skeptics.

Minimum connection times, defined as the shortest interval required to transfer passengers and their luggage from one flight to a connecting flight, are guidelines used by airlines and travel agents for booking your flights. If you’re making a connection, the minimum connection time ensures you’ll have enough time to reach your next flight.

Except when it doesn’t. Before your next flight, it helps to know a few things about minimum connection times. You also need to understand your rights when you’re making a connection, and a few strategies for avoiding a missed connection.

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