Q. I know you always say, “Avoid connecting flights.” However, I live in Syracuse, N.Y. and wherever I go I must make at least one connecting flight – especially to Europe. But it’s harder and harder to figure how much time to allow between flights. The listings when I search online often give choices between under two hours or eight hours in the connecting airport. Help us out with some advice when connections are unavoidable.

A. The reason I advise to avoid connecting flights is simply that if you miss your connection, even if the airline is at fault, you may end up waiting for days to find seats on your onward flight. I would opt for the maximum possible time between connecting flights, a minimum of four hours, more if possible. Sometimes it’s best to speak to an airline or travel agent to ensure you have the longest possible connection window. Sure, no one likes hanging around an airport, but it’s better than waiting for several days to get to your final destination in the event of a misconnect.

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