Sometimes overlooked but incredibly important when planning a trip is to make sure you give yourself plenty of time for transfers. This is especially true if you’ve pieced together a flight itinerary on multiple airlines.
If you’ve booked 1 airline to your final destination, an airline will work with you if there is a delay. Even the airlines understand that you can’t be expected to board a flight when your original flight hasn’t landed. This is why you might get an error message when you’re trying to book a flight and the system doesn’t feel like you’ve left yourself enough time to make the connection. However, if you’ve booked legs of your itinerary individually, the airlines would have no way of knowing if your flight is delayed.
That said, I always try to give myself at least 3 hours to play with if I book flights separately. More would be ideal but 3 is the absolute minimum. This not only gives me time in case a flight is delayed but also doesn’t force me to rush and be careless if I’m in a new airport where I may not fully understand where I need to go.
Another reason this is good is if you’re connecting at a major airport that isn’t the easiest to navigate (ie LAX). If you’re flying in domestically and need to get to the international terminal from anywhere, don’t expect it to be a breeze especially since you’ll have to go landside first then back airside.
Also, remember that airlines will cancel your flight if you miss a portion of your itinerary. It would to awful to have your entire trip cancelled because you decided waiting in the airport for a couple extra hours was a waste of time and decided to gamble on everything being on time.
So, next time you’re planning a trip, make sure you leave yourself ample time between flights to make the connection.