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I'm about to book a flight but realised the layover is pretty short, 1h15m in Istanbul. I've changed in Istanbul before and seem to remember it's quite big and you have to go through security, so I'm worried if this is enough time to make the connection even if the first flight arrives on time.

I know that if I can't make the connection due to a delay then the airline will book me on the next flight. There are a couple of other flights to my destination later that day, so if this happens it wouldn't be the end of the world and I don't mind taking the risk.

But what happens if the flight is not delayed but I don't make it due to queues at security etc.? Would that be considered within the airline's control, or would I end up stranded if that happens?

Similar questions have been asked before, e.g. What happens if you miss a connecting flight?, but so far I haven't found any answers that address what happens if you miss the flight due to delays at security or just not being able to make it to to the gate on time despite your best effort, as opposed to a delayed flight.

This will all be on a single ticket, booked through the airline.

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    How does that existing thread you link to not answer your question? "if you miss the flight because of the airline's fault then you become their problem". The airline not allowing you enough time to make the connection is the airline's fault.
    – deceze
    Jan 12 at 4:09
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    Does this answer your question? What happens if you miss a connecting flight?
    – deceze
    Jan 12 at 4:10
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    @deceze my question is about whether delays at security etc. are considered the airline's fault or not. Your comment assumes an answer to that question, and perhaps you are right - I really don't know, hence why I'm asking. Either way that answer is not given at the linked question, as neither of the answers there address this point.
    – N. Virgo
    Jan 12 at 4:12
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    In general airlines sell you connections that they know you should be able to make, because anything else is a huge hassle for them too. If for whatever reason the entire airport grinds to a halt that day and you really really cannot make it through security in time, they'll probably be aware of that, because you're not the only one with that problem.
    – deceze
    Jan 12 at 4:18
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    @N.Virgo Delays at security aren’t the airline’s fault, but failing to allow enough time for a connection given that there may well be delays at security is obviously the airline’s fault — whose fault could it be?
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 12 at 5:55

1 Answer 1

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In my experience, as long as you make a good faith effort to move as quickly as you can, the airline will rebook you. In fact, also in my experience, even if you miss the flight because you've sat too long having your coffee, they'll rebook you.

Sometimes the gate agent will be reproachful. My response is usually to say "I got here as quickly as I could" and not engage with the scolding. With the coffee incident, I suppose we didn't offer an excuse, but I don't really remember. If I have gotten there as quickly as I could but it wasn't very quick because of security, I'll say so.

Some airlines will help out if the connection time is short. This can take the form of an electric vehicle taking you to the gate and/or an airline employee taking you to directly to the front of the queue for security (and/or immigration, when immigration is needed). My recollection, however, is that Turkish more or less leaves you on your own, but it can't hurt to ask.

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    If the airline doesn't help out and missing your connection seems inevitable, it's sometimes possible to exercise a degree of self help by explaining the situation to whoever is in charge of the queue and/or, in countries where this isn't culturally completely out of the question, making your way to the front yourself. Whether or not this gets you anywhere depends wildly on the airport and the whims of the individual employees you're dealing with, but it's sometimes practical if all else fails. Jan 12 at 12:24
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    @ZachLipton Is there any culture where this isn't culturally asshole behavior? (I know that I am probably overstating this, as I know that certain cultures have really different queing behavior to the point that none of the same rules apply... but airports tend to follow western queuing standard by and large). There is lots of people who arrive early at airports and take long layovers to account for delays 'in getting to the airport', and someone not doing the same skipping the queue through self help without asking every person in line is always assholey regardless of an employee allowing it. Jan 12 at 12:48
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    (cont) After all, humans are really nice in general, and they tend to want to help everyone they can. It's easy and natural to want to help the person in front of you even if it hurts a person you don't see in front of you. The one polite way I have seen people do this is by starting from the back, and asking permission to skip each person (whilst typically being nice and apologetic about it) and if someone ssay no that's it. (I have been delayed (bus broke down) meaning I arrived late and I called out someone who wanted to skip the line by just asking the first person in the queue) Jan 12 at 12:53
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    The context here is a queue encountered in the course of making a connection, where a delay is usually outside of the passenger's control rather than a decision to not leave early enough for the airport. If an employee in charge of the queue directs you to skip the queue, I wouldn't consider that assholey behavior; airports not infrequently manage queues to facilitate people making connections, and it's the job of the employees to direct people as they see fit. Pushing your way forward yourself is certainly rude; I was just noting that in some cultures it's considered far ruder than in others. Jan 12 at 13:09
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    As a personal anecdote, wife & I had this happen at ORD a couple of years ago. A lady asked if she could cut in front of us because she had a short connection. We responded, "No - we're on a really tight connection, too." Since she asked nicely, we chatted and it turned out we had both arrived on international flights and were both trying to catch the same domestic flight out of ORD. Once through security, I left my heavy bag with my wife and sprinted to the gate to tell them that my wife and "Denise" (or whatever her name was) were on their way. They held the flight for a couple of minutes.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 12 at 16:56

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