What is a minimum connection time at the airport?

Last updated on July 23, 2023

A minimum connection time (MCT) is the minimum amount of time that an airline requires passengers to have in between arriving at their transfer airport and their connecting flight in order for the connection to be valid. It is important to note that airlines usually set their own minimum connection time requirements and they vary between different airports. These times are designed to ensure that passengers and staff have sufficient time to make their connection.

How Are the Standard Minimum Connection Times Determined?

The standard minimum connection times are calculated based on factors such as the total distance of the connecting flights, the size of the airport and the required passenger processing time. Airlines also consider factors such as the time needed to make check-in, baggage claim, security checks, and immigration. Aircraft changeover and maintenance also factor into MCT calculations. Some of these factors can be unpredictable, making them difficult to plan for.

Why Do Minimum Connection Times Matter?

Minimum connection times are important because they allow for enough time to make it to the connecting flight in the event of any unforeseen delays. This time may also be necessary for passengers to disembark the plane, collect any checked luggage, pass through security and passport control, and make it to the departure gate. If the connection time is too short, passengers may be on a tight schedule and may be unable to make the connecting flight without facing additional costs.

Can I Claim a Compensation if I Missed A Connecting Flight?

 If a passenger is forced to miss a connecting flight due to insufficient connection time, they may be eligible for compensation. The airline can provide assistance in terms of booking a new flight or providing a refund for the unused portion. It’s important to note that passengers may still be required to pay for extra fees, such as the cost of meals or overnight accommodation in the event of an extended wait at the airport.