Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jun 28, 2013 3:29 PM Last Post By: Christnp
Jun 26, 2013 8:46 PM
I'm flying from the US to Burma. The airfare consists of 3 flights, each with a separate carrier.
Flight 1 - Chicago to San Francisco, on Delta. 2 hours, 10 minutes until Flight 2.
Flight 2 - San Francisco to Hong Kong, on Cathay Pacific. 2 hours, 45 minutes until Flight 3.
Flight 3 - Hong Kong to Yangon, on Dragon Air.
I'm concerned about the connections. If everything runs smoothly, this is enough time between flights, right? Would I have enough time to check a piece of luggage -- I will be gone for 2 weeks?
What happens if there's a delay and I miss a connection? Will I need to buy 1 (or 2!) more plane tickets to get to my final destination, or will the carriers put me on the next available flight (paying for the difference in tickets)? I have travel insurance, but it doesn't address this situation, just the accommodations, meals, etc.
Jun 26, 2013 9:36 PM
1Usually the airlines schedule you so you don't miss connections...unless you wander off the beaten path...so don't.
If you booked these flights separately through totally different ticketing agencies...you may have connection issues...
So inquire on initial check-in if your bags are being check through to your final destination...
At the airport just move normally and without undue delay and everything should work out... Verify gate connections with agents on plane or at arrival gate...
Generally your bags are checked directly to your final destination... So you don't have to recheck bags...(except in rare cases where you'll need to recheck bags in the transit area with certain airlines) Inquire about this to be sure...
If you do miss a connection? Throw yourself on the mercy of the airline desk agents ....and hope they sympathize with your situation... Generally you are not to blame if connections are missed...they will rebook you...
Jun 26, 2013 9:48 PM
2Looks pretty tight to me. I personally would not rely on airlines mercy to either check your bags all the way through or to re-book you if you miss a flight that is not on their airline.
What about looking at one carrier from San Francisco eg Thai Air or Singapore Air (dont' know if they fly from those airports though) .
Or, try to schedule yourself a little better..with an overnight in Hong Kong for example.
Delays are quite common btw...
Jun 27, 2013 12:36 AM
3When booking through Lastminute, Expedia. Opodo etc they DO NOT think about times needed for transit. The flight connections are computer generated. I am having a great deal of trouble finding flights to and home from the US because you have to clear customs and emigration at your first port of entry. This can take 3 hours and most connections do not allow enough time. You should also allow 3 hours for a departing flight conection or 2 if its the same terminal and same carrier. If any one flight is delayed you will be in trouble. Allow lots of time for transits in the USA
Jun 27, 2013 4:34 AM
4I booked my recent (April 2013) flight to China completely through United Airlines, and they gave me a very tight schedule, with only about 30 minutes between flights from Albuquerque and Denver to SFO. My SFO flight overseas to Hong Kong was delayed for one hour to check the cargo. There was a tour group on that flight planning to transfer in HK to fly to Singapore, and they barely made the transfer. Fortunately, my Dragonair flight to Kunming was scheduled for the next morning, but I did have to get a temporary security permit to be able to stay inside the secure Departure area of the HK Airport overnight, rather than wander around HK or spend money on a hotel. Since Dragonair was a domestic airline in China, I had not received the boarding pass along with the three others in Albuquerque -- I had to wait until the day of the flight for the boarding pass -- Dragonair did show up on my printed flight itinerary, which I showed to the United Airlines desk in HK in order to get the temporary security permit.. (I had previously already visited HK for several days.) I did not worry about checking my bags through because I purposely took only two carry-on bags with me. You might need to stop at the Dragonair ticket desk when you arrive in HK to get your boarding pass for that flight -- it is conveniently situated, but there may be a queue.
Jun 27, 2013 11:22 AM
5As an FYI, I heard a news report this morning that flights arrive & departing SFO were running into a 90-minute delay, due to weather and runway construction.
Every so often, a fog bank or some low clouds decide to sit on a runway in a way that causes interruptions. So your 2 hours 10 minutes might wind up being 1 hour or even less.
Don't forget that, if it's summer, your Chicago departure can get messed up by thunderstorms.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 27, 2013 10:50 PM
6I don't think your connections look all that tight, though yes, Chicago and SF both have delays. If you're really worried about it, take an earlier flight from Chicago. I'm actually surprised you're flying Chicago to SF on Delta since both of those cities are United hubs.
International flights tend to be padded on the arrival end, so I definitely wouldn't worry about making your 3rd flight.
And I think someone already said that your luggage would automatically be checked between the first two flights.
Jun 28, 2013 9:05 AM
7If the three flights are on the same e-ticket then any missed connections are the airline's problem not yours, they have to put you on the next available flight at no additional charge. They may or may not provide accomodation and meals if it is a long wait, but if you do not ask for it they are unlikely to offer it. If however any of the three flights are on separate tickets (the fact that they are on different airlines does not mean they must be on separate tickets) then missed connections are your problem not the airline's and you may have to buy new tickets if you miss connections unless some kind-hearted agent take pity on you, so in that case it never wise to make your connections too tight.
Jun 28, 2013 3:29 PM
8Another important factor about whether this is booked as all one itinerary is luggage transfer. If they are booked as separate trips, you will need to retrieve your luggage at baggage claim, then re-check it.
Doing a brief search, it does not look like Cathay and Delta are partners. You may have to wait for your bags at baggage claim, then get them checked into your Cathay flight. Their cut-off is that you must be checked in at least 60 mins before your flight. That doesn't leave much wiggle room.
I'd check to see if there are earlier Delta flights that morning. You may be able to get one one standby and pay no ticket change penalty if you show up early enough and they have space.
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