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Airline Flight Connection Times - How Close Can We Cut It?

Question asked by pluto77 on Jul 27, 2013
Latest reply on Jul 31, 2013 by iahflyr

In recent years, we have only flown domestically within the region where we live (western U.S.) or else non-stop to overseas destinations.  Any domestic transfers that we have made thus far (regionally) have required very little time to make the connection.  Soon however, we will find ourselves flying regularly to Nashville and back from out here in the west, but not non-stop, unfortunately.  I'm currently considering a flight involving a connection at ATL the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm not familiar with ATL, except that it seems like a lot of people don't like this airport, because it is so busy.


My question is, should I book our itinerary with a 40 minute connection time or a connection time of 2 hours at this airport (times offered by the airline)?  2 hours seems a bit long, but 40 minutes seems like we might be cutting it too close (and if so, why would an airline even offer an itinerary with such a risky connection time?)  It seems like a missed connection could potentially be a lot more inconvenient that playing it safe with too much time.


I'm also curious to hear what everyone's thoughts and experiences in recent times are with regards to choosing flights with shorter or longer connection times.  What factors have most made a difference (airline, airport, aircraft, time of day, week, year, etc.) with regards to making or missing your connections?  (Disasters don't count.)