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What if I miss my connection

Dear Editors,

I am trying to book a flight and don’t have many options. There is one flight with a 45 minute layover through Denver and one that is more than three hours. What happens if I chance it with the shorter layover and miss my connection?


Hi John,


I always recommend booking a direct flight, but I know that’s not always an option. Denver is an easy airport for connections, so getting to your gate within 45 minutes shouldn’t be an issue – if your flight is on time! The short connection time doesn’t leave room for errors, though.

When a passenger misses a connection, the airline puts them on the next flight to their destination if a seat is available, but I don’t recommend chancing it with planes flying full these days. It’s best to leave at least two hours between your flights to allow for any delays on the first leg of your trip. This is especially true if you’re traveling during a busy time such as the holidays or if you’re traveling through a larger airport that’s more difficult to navigate.

If you’ve already purchased your flight and you’re worried the connecting time is too tight, be proactive and plan ahead:

  • Try to get a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible. This way you’ll be one of the first ones off. Do this during online check-in or ask a ticket agent.
  • Go to your connecting airport’s website and print a map then ask your flight attendant what gate you’ll be landing in and flying out of on the next flight. They’ll have this info available, so it’ll save you a few minutes of searching when you deplane.
  • If you do miss your connection and it looks like it is going to be awhile before the airline finds you an empty seat to your destination, it’s time to be flexible. Be willing to travel to airports near your destination — for example Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami or Charleston instead of Savannah – if there are empty seats.

There’s one more thing worth mentioning. If you’re traveling for a business meeting or important event, always go in a day early to avoid any mishaps that could cause you to miss. Personally, I always play it on the safe side!

Happy Travels,



My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.

(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)

Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!

My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!

Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.

View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!

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