What do I have to consider when making a stopover?

Modified on Fri, 1 Sep, 2023 at 4:06 PM

We have summarized the most important points you need to know about stopovers with transfers.

You can find the detailed, very informative article here

Preparations: documents, time management and visa

  • Before starting your trip, make sure you have the necessary documents. This includes your boarding passes, passport and visa if applicable. It is important to complete these steps prior to your departure to avoid unnecessary stress and delays at the airport.

Boarding passes and check-in

  • You will receive a separate boarding pass for each leg of your flight. You can either print these boarding passes online in advance or get them at the airport check-in desk. Digital boarding passes on your smartphone are also acceptable, but it is recommended that you also carry printed copies to avoid potential battery issues.
  • Check-in deadlines vary by airline. Normally you can check in between 24 hours and 30 minutes before departure. Pay particular attention to the latest check-in time, as exceeding this deadline may result in the loss of your flight.

Arriving and disembarking the plane

  • After arriving and disembarking the aircraft, the further procedure depends on your booking. If you have booked all flights with the same airline, your baggage will be automatically forwarded to the destination. However, for independently booked flights or longer stopovers, you will need to collect your baggage and check it in again.
  • In general, it is advisable to ask at baggage drop-off whether the baggage will be checked through directly.
  • In countries that do not have a transit area at the airport, such as the USA and Canada, the luggage must be picked up and checked in again!

Transit areas and exiting the airport

  • The transit area of an airport is the area occupied by passengers who are only there for onward travel. Leaving the transit area is considered entry and you must comply with the country's entry requirements. In the EU this is usually not a problem if you are from an EU country, but stricter rules may apply outside the EU. 

Renewed security checks and baggage regulations

  • After exiting the transit area, you may be required to go through security checks again. This may vary by airport and country. Remember that the liquid rule (100ml per container) is back in place and you may have to return drinks purchased from the duty free shop.
  • When it comes to your baggage, there are different scenarios depending on how you booked your flights. Your baggage may be automatically forwarded or you may have to collect it and check it in again. It is important to clarify this beforehand.

Visa and entry requirements

  • Visa requirements and types for transit travel vary greatly depending on nationality, departure and destination airports, transit airports, and each country's policies. In some countries you may not need a visa at all if you are only staying in the transit area. In other cases there are special airport transit visas or short transit visas.

Time management for the transfer

  • The time it takes to transfer depends on the airport and the type of booking you make. Smaller airports or purely transit flights can take as little as 60 minutes, while large airports and independently booked flights can take up to 3 hours.
  • It is recommended to allow at least 2 hours for transfers as this is usually sufficient to allow for repeat security checks and a smooth transition. Keep in mind that airports outside of city centers require additional time to get to the city.
  • If you want to explore the city during a stopover, you should plan extra time. However, be aware that airports are generally located outside of city centers and the actual time you can spend in the city may be limited.


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