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This is how airlines come up with your quick layover time

Katy Nastro with Going said minimum connection times vary by airline and other factors, including airport size.

INDIANAPOLIS — The option to book a nonstop flight is not always on the table.

That is where a layover enters the picture.

While the turnaround time may look tight at times, Katy Nastro with Going said airlines have a method to their calculation.

"Airlines won't allow you to book a ticket that doesn't meet the MCT - the minimum connection time," Nastro said. 

Nastro said minimum connection times vary by airline and other factors, including airport size.

For example, Southwest Airlines told 13News via email that their minimum connection time ranges from 35 to 50 minutes. Thirty-five minutes would be for a smaller airport.

"Just know with a bit of confidence that if you are booking a ticket that has, say X amount of time to connect, that the airline has done the homework for you," Nastro said. 

You also need to know your comfort level. If it takes you a little time to get around, the minimum connection time could be tight.

You can also use sites to see how likely your first flight is to be on time. 

If you miss the connecting flight and it is on a different airline, you are out of luck, because different airlines don't talk to one another.

"They're saying to themselves, 'OK, hey, this person didn't show up, they would didn't want to take this flight,' so then it becomes void," Nastro said.

If you miss the connecting flight and it's on the same airline itinerary, they'll handle re-booking you.

You should also add extra time for international flights. 

Going told us in an email that "you’ll need to go through customs and immigration at your first point of entry to the U.S. after traveling internationally, and this means you’ll need to pick up your checked luggage and recheck it, adding time to your layover. Immigration, security, and luggage lines can be unpredictable, so you should build time into your layover for this, especially if your plans aren’t flexible."

To help you understand your rights and the rules no matter what the situation, the Department of Transportation created an Airline Cancellation and Delay Dashboard. It breaks down different issues from families sitting to meal vouchers.

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