During long flights, layovers can be quite boring. But with the following layover tips at airports, we hope to help you reduce some of the stress, especially for first-time international travelers.
What is a layover?
A layover, also known as a transit, is a portion of your flight that includes one, two, or up to three stops at a connecting airport. The layover time can vary from 1-2 hours to as long as 5-6 hours, depending on the airline’s regulations. The purpose of a layover is to refuel the airplane, optimize machine operation time, or to add passengers and cargo.
In some cases, passengers remain on the plane during the layover. In other cases, passengers must move to the layover area at the airport.
Another term to be aware of is transfer. A transfer flight involves a stop during your journey from point A to point B, where you board a different plane. The second plane may be operated by the same airline or by a partner airline.
Layovers can be confusing and stressful, especially for first-time international travelers. However, layovers are common on international flights. Once you understand what a layover is, here are some tips to make the experience smoother.
Tips for Layovers at Airports:
Research your flight information before departure.
When you book your flight through a travel agency or tour company, they will inform you of any layovers. It’s important to research and fully understand your flight itinerary, including the layover times and airports. This includes knowing how many stops you will make, the flight codes, and gate numbers. Understanding this information is crucial to making your journey as stress-free as possible.
Observe your surroundings upon arrival at the airport.
Upon arrival at the airport, it’s important to observe your surroundings. There are typically two gates for passengers: Transit and Immigration. If you have a layover, you will go through the Transit gate and security checkpoint to get to your next flight. You will receive a boarding pass for your next flight that indicates your gate number and seat assignment.
If you are unfamiliar with the language, you can use images or gestures to communicate with airport staff. In some airports, such as those in Japan, there are clear signs and directions in multiple languages to help travelers navigate the airport.
Pack light and bring snacks.
During layovers, there may be long distances to walk between gates or terminals, so packing light can make your journey easier. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring snacks and food that you like, as airport food can be overpriced and may not suit your tastes.
Explore the airport during your layover.
After completing any necessary procedures for your layover, you can explore the airport and its amenities. Some airports, like Singapore’s Changi Airport or South Korea’s Incheon Airport, have many amenities for travelers to enjoy, such as free Wi-Fi, movieviewing areas, and even children’s play areas. Take advantage of these facilities to make the most of your layover.
If you’re not comfortable with layovers, you can consider booking a direct flight through a travel agency or tour company. However, note that direct flights are typically more expensive.
We hope that these tips for layovers at airports will help make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.