Changi gets the nod from SA buyers, Heathrow still a headache


Confusing signage, long corridors, and queues. Having a tight connection time between flights can amplify the frustration travellers experience in any airport. On the other hand, having too much time between connections can be exhausting, especially if the airport has very little to offer in terms of entertainment or retail therapy.

We recently ran a survey asking buyers to name the best and worst airports for tight connections, and long layovers.

Tight connections

Singapore’s Changi Airport was commonly chosen as the best for tight connections, with respondents saying it is seamless and easy to navigate. The efficiency of Zurich airport also made it a popular choice.

Heathrow came out as the worst for tight connections. The most common complaints for Heathrow were the long walking distances and the complicated terminal system. 

Long layovers

Again, Changi was a common choice for best airport for long layovers, but was narrowly beaten by Dubai International. According to respondents, Dubai’s layout, lounges, and facilities are excellent, with its range of shopping and entertainment options setting it apart.

Limited shopping options in Doha, Heathrow, and OR Tambo made them common choices for worst airports for long layovers. Heathrow was also singled out for its terminals being too spread out, while OR Tambo also received criticism for its uncomfortable seats compared to other international airports.

Expert tips

 

Archie Modiba, operations manager and director at Atlantis Corporate Travel, recommends that when it comes to flights with tight connections, corporates should try and book a through fare. If this isn’t possible and travellers end up with two tickets, he recommends checking in online to save some time.

For long layovers, Modiba says: “Most of the time, the cheapest options are the ones with long layovers so clients fall victim to this, especially if the company is price conscious.” In these instances, he suggests corporates check with the agency or airline to see if complimentary accommodation is offered.



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