First-time flier - nonstop or 1 stop flight?
I'm planning on going to Florida at the end of April to help my grandparents move back to Minnesota. I'm flying one way, and driving back with them. I will be flying ALONE, and the last time I was on a plane I was 4 years old. (I'm 18 now.) My question is.. should I splurge on the $365 one-way, nonstop flight from Minneapolis to Tampa, or should I get a $165 one-way, 1 stop flight from Minneapolis-Atlanta-Tampa? It's so tempting to get the 1 stop flight, but as I've never flown before or negotiated an airport, I don't know what to expect and am a little nervous about the connection. It's a one hour connection.. is that enough time for someone who doesn't know what they're doing? :) Also, any advice regarding the connection in Atlanta would be great - I'd like to know even if I do fly nonstop.
Air Travel - 4 Answers
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That's a huge price difference. Buy the one with a connecting flight. There will be airline representatives in Atlanta as soon as you step off a plane that will be able to point you to your next gate.
I recommend the 1-stop flight. It sounds like it will save you a lot of money. Also, it can help if you get a chance to stretch your legs a bit and will also add to your airport experience. Navigating a big airport can sometimes be intimidating, especially if it is your first time flying; however, there are some tricks you can use to help you out. First of all, when you depart your initial flight, check the boarding pass for your connecting flight. The ticket should say the gate of departure, and the time (sounds like you will have an hour, which will be plenty). The gates and direction to those gates should be clearly labelled around the airport, but if you are having trouble, ask an attendant at one of the gates near you. From there, you just need to go to your gate and wait. Another thing you can do, is to check you flight number on your boarding pass. There are often terminals that display the flight numbers (make sure you are checking departures), boarding time, and whether they are on-time or delayed. Whichever route you decide, enjoy your flight!
I would go save the money and go with the one-connection flight. It sounds as though you will be flying Delta. In the back of Delta's in-flight magazine, there are airport diagrams. As you get closer to Atlanta, you can ask the flight attendant if they can tell you what gate you will arrive at and what gate your flight to Tampa will depart from. Then you can find out how to get to your gate. Atlanta is a busy airport with lots of people so you can ask any gate agent how to get to your next gate. Also because Atlanta has a lot of concourses, there is an underground subway which will help you connect. Navigating through the Atlanta airport is not hard and I have done it numerous times. 1 hour should be plenty of time assuming there are no delays.
How much aggravation do you want to enjoy? If you want a almost pain free and easier flight pay the extra money and fly direct. If you want to save money and RISK not getting the connection. Having to deal with security twice and then all the other problems you have to endure then get a stop over flight.