Why Are Some Layovers So Long?


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About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.

Why are some layovers so long?

Layovers, those seemingly long intervals between flights, often leave travelers questioning the need for additional time spent at an airport. While it may feel like an inconvenience, extended layovers serve practical purposes in the realm of aviation and travel logistics. Let’s delve into the key factors that contribute to these extended connections.

Continue reading to discover more.


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1. Why Are Some Layovers So Long?

You might find yourself constantly wondering why are some layovers so long.

It can be frustrating when you’re left wandering through the terminal for hours when you’re anticipating reaching your destination.

However, it’s essential to understand why long layovers happen and how to make the most of them.

Read more: Layover vs Stopover

1.1 Flight Scheduling

Airline companies take into consideration multiple factors when scheduling their flights. Flight times can be longer, including clock changes, departure gates, seat availability or weight balance.

Additionally, airlines may offer an extended layover time to avoid complicated flight schedules. So, there is a chance that your long layover is a result of carefully planned flight scheduling.

Flight schedules are meticulously crafted to align with passenger demand and aircraft availability. In certain cases, a lengthier layover may be required to seamlessly connect passengers to their desired flights, particularly on less frequented routes.

To avoid getting stuck at the airport due to delays and missed connections, try looking for a flight that lands in the morning or early afternoon rather than late at night. This way, there will be a better chance of getting a new flight to your destination.

1.2 Hub Airport Operations

Hubs, the major airports, act as central points for connecting flights.

Airlines utilize these hubs to consolidate flights, streamline operations, and expand destination options. Longer layovers at hubs enable efficient fleet management and seamless passenger connections to diverse destinations.

1.3 Connection Time

Connecting flights usually require passengers to spend time waiting for their next flight. If multiple flights have fixed schedules and cannot be altered, extend layovers help passengers make their next connecting flight comfortably. To avoid missing a connection, airlines offer extended layovers to allow passengers to pass through additional security or customs procedures.

Moreover, airports serve as a hub for multiple airlines, which means that passengers can move between airlines that are located at different terminals (in cases of connecting flights with different airlines).

To avoid missing your next flight, remember to always check the flight duration, terminal transit times, and any flight boarding and departure procedures.

1.4 Baggage Transfer

During layovers, sufficient time is provided for the seamless transfer of baggage between flights and for meticulous security checks. This ensures that passengers and their belongings safely reach their final destination.

Buddhist temples in Thailand
Buddhist temples in Thailand

2. Making the Most of Layover Time

A long layover may seem frustrating, but it can present an opportunity to explore the city and its local attractions. With enough time, it’s possible to visit historical landmarks, shopping centers, a park near the airport, or a museum.

Planning your itinerary will help you save time and make your layover hassle-free. Decide beforehand what you want to do and prioritize your list. Remember to leave some buffer time in case of traffic jams and long queues at security checkpoints.

You can also check if your airline offers layover tours or city tours that can take you to popular tourist spots in the city.

Explore luggage storage options to make the most of your layover. Dragging your checked baggage around during your layover is not the best use of your time. Many airports offer luggage storage services so you can travel light and worry-free.

Read more: What to Do During a Long Layover?

Do you have more questions on why are some layovers so long? Feel free to ask in the comments.

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.

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