Traveling Tips | Transit vs. Transfer

​Last week I had a discussion with my colleagues on the subject of transit and transfer during our flight back from Narita to Kuala Lumpur with a transfer at Incheon. All of us have different understanding as to what those two terms conjure and this can make us incompetent when working on travellers related insurance products especially travel personal accident. 

Now that I have managed to find it in mypincake.com, you may click through to the site directly but for convenience we just copy the whole contents accordingly…. 

Transit vs. Transfer

The more you know, the more it helps! Today’s Delicious Travel Recipe Pincake discusses the difference between “transit” and “transfer” flight.

Travel Tip Magazine: Transit vs Transfer


Most travelers confuse transit and transfer flights when passing through more than one city. They both require change in flight (as in different flight number), but due to lack of precise understanding people have trouble booking tickets. The more you know, the more it helps! Today’s Delicious Travel Recipe Pincake discusses the difference between “transit” and “transfer” flight.

Understanding Transit and Transfer


Unless a direct flight, it is common to fly through at least one city from either the original flight you boarded or to another flight at different airport.

When you take the same aircraft you were on to get to the next transfer airport, it is called “transit.” On the other hand, when you use separate aircraft or airline to get to your next transfer destination, it is called “transfer.”

Difference between the two


In a nut shell, both transfer and transit require intermediate stops, but depending on the next flight (aircraft or airline) become either of one. Transit passengers use the same airline all along, and stop at intermediate destination for 1-2 hours for cleaning or fueling and board on the same aircraft to get to the final destination.

Transfer passengers, however, take separate aircraft or even airline and boarding time may differ depending on the airline.

Pros and Cons of Transit


Pros: Transit only requires resting at an intermediate point, and thus is relaxing for long distance flights. Waiting time may differ from airline to airline, but you may leave your luggage instead of carrying it around. If the gate number is different, check the boarding pass given out for the new gate number and boarding time.

Cons: During transit, it is easy to have your valuables stolen, so make sure to carry them with you when getting off the plane. Most transits happen in American or European airlines and when waiting time is long, some airlines provide transit hotels.

Pros and Cons of Transfer


For transfer flights be wary of boarding time when utilizing airline or aircraft at intermediate stop. For instance, if you have enough time, you may enjoy the intermediate city through stopover. If you are in a rush, take about two hours till your next flight. Transfer flights also often provide meals or lounge voucher depending on airline and waiting time.

Transfer is a tad cumbersome in a sense that you must check in again. Also, gate number is also subject to change, so make sure to frequently check the update. Your luggage will be transferred automatically, but due to hazard of misplacement, make sure to carry the valuables with you. But depending on the airport, carry-on regulations may differ and have your valuables taken.

PINCAKE TIPS :When using a transfer flight, make sure to ask about the transfer at check in. If this is your first transfer/transit, don’t panic and ask for help at intermediate stop. Blindly following other passengers may cause issues with visa.

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