It's an international flight, this is my first time flying. I'm not sure about the connecting flights, do I just follow the gate for it or do I have to go somewhere else first? I'm not planning to have any extra luggage except the carry-on luggage.

I'm scared that I'll overlook something, I know the steps but is it possible to miss the security check before going to the gate?

The route is Sarajevo-Vienna-Zurich-Valencia. So, Vienna and Zurich.

It's a single ticket, to Vienna, operated by Austrian airlines, the rest is operated by Swiss airlines.

  • In general it's pretty simple: you follow the signs for exit/arrival/luggage claim if this is your final destination, otherwise you follow the "connecting flights" signs and may end up at passport check/security/gates. This really depends on your route and connecting airport. If you want more details, you should tell us about those.
    – deceze
    Dec 27, 2023 at 11:33
  • The route is Sarajevo-Vienna-Zurich-Valencia. So, Vienna and Zurich
    – Merim
    Dec 27, 2023 at 12:01
  • 1
    @jcaron Yes, it's a single ticket, to Vienna, operated by Austrian airlines, the rest is operated by Swiss airlines
    – Merim
    Dec 27, 2023 at 12:55
  • 6
    In general, airports are designed around the needs of people who are tired and not paying attention. Usually, if there's somewhere you have to go (like immigration and customs), that will be the obvious direction, the only allowed direction, and the same direction that everyone else is going. It's still a good idea to get a sense of the details in advance, but you probably won't need them. Dec 27, 2023 at 19:14
  • 1
    If you are struggling then look for an information desk or ask a member of staff.
    – badjohn
    Dec 28, 2023 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


Since you depart from a country outside the Schengen Area and then all the other airports are inside Schengen, the first stop (Vienna) will be slightly different from the second, since you will be entering the Schengen Area and will need to go through passport control in Vienna, while in Zurich you are connecting between two internal Schengen flights (so no passport control there).

Since all flights are on the same ticket, you should get boarding passes for all flights in Sarajevo.

In Vienna, check displays for the gate for your next flight. Follow signs for connecting flights for the relevant gate, that should bring you to passport control and security, and then to your gate.

In Zurich, do the same, but there won’t be passport control, only security.

It’s possible that you won’t have to go through security again in one or both airports, but the rules are complex and ever-changing so I won’t try to guess whether that will be the case or not.

If you don’t have all boarding passes (unlikely in this case), you can use kiosks or transfer desks somewhere along the connection route to get them.

If you had hold luggage it would be checked through to your final destination, so it wouldn’t change anything for you in the connection airports, you wouldn’t see it before Valencia anyway.

If for some reason your hand luggage gets put in the hold (too large, no more space…) make sure it’s correctly tagged to your final destination, you’ll get it back there.

  • Thank you very much :)
    – Merim
    Dec 27, 2023 at 14:22
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    Security screening will be required at VIE unless they’ve changed the layout significantly since I last flew though (it’s not possible to go through entry control but not go through security en route to a connecting flight there), and it’s unlikely that it will be required at ZRH unless the flight from VIE gets routed to a non-domestic gate (which I would say is unlikely given past experiences flying through ZRH). Dec 28, 2023 at 1:07
  • If OP did have hold luggage, wouldn't they need to go through passport control and customs in Vienna as they're entering the Schengen area?
    – mkennedy
    Dec 28, 2023 at 4:21
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    @mkennedy No, unlike in e.g. the US, customs (of both carry-on and checked luggage) happens at the final destination airport in the EU Customs Union. Also the Customs Union is not the same thing as the Schengen area. Zurich is not in the Customs Union, so each of OP's flights either enters or leaves the Customs Union, but this won't be a problem as customs will only happen in Valencia. Dec 28, 2023 at 7:53
  • Considering the flights are short, chances are, by the time you print the boarding passes, all departure gates are known, and are already on the boarding passes.
    – Abigail
    Dec 28, 2023 at 20:38

A specific answer will depend on four important things:

  • the airport you are connecting
  • where you are coming from
  • where are you going to
  • the airline(s) you are flying

If it's a connection of international with domestic flights you might need to go through passport control.
In some rare cases such as an international flight with a domestic leg going to the United States or Brazil, you go to passport control and then you need to pick up your luggage, go through customs and check them in again.
For example in Madrid your connection route is completely different if you are flying Iberia or Air Europa.
There are also a lot of airlines that make it very easy. They land one plane nearby the other and you have a 3 minute walk from one gate to the other. However, this happens only when connecting two domestic or two international flights.

In your case you will have to go through passport control in Vienna, once you land just follow the signs to domestic connections (Vienna - Zürich is considered a domestic flight). After passport control you go to the next gate in the Schengen area. The other connections will be similar, but shorter, because you won't have passport control.
If you are good with maps and like to plan things in detail you can check the gate numbers of each flight in previous days (they are mostly the same as the days before, but not 100% guaranteed). Then download airport maps from each airport's website and trace your route from one gate to the other. I find this complex and generally unnecessary, but might be a fun thing to do if you have some time.

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