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Star Alliance Connection At DTW!  
User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4146 times:

Hi everyone,

First of all, I wish you all the best for 2007!

I am flying Lufthansa next month from MRS to DTW via FRA and once in DTW, I am connecting to a UA flight to DEN which leaves two hours after the scheduled arrival time of my LH flight from FRA.

The thing is that I am not at all familiar with DTW airport, so I would like to know if two hours should be enough to go through immigration, collect our bags, clear customs and transfer to the Smith Terminal.

I sort of find it odd to connect in an airport that is not a hub for the airlines I am flying - Sorry, I am not sure I am very clear, but I hope you'll understand. Hopefully, it won't be a problem.

Thanks guys for your help!

Nicolas

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Oh boy...LH arrives at the Mac and UA departs from the Smith!

The key is, upon arrival and clearance of Immigration (bottom level), find an airport parking/terminal shuttle at Level 5 (Ground transportation) in the giant parking structure via the bridge at Level 6 (only passage between the terminal and parking) and tell the driver you need to get to a UA flight!

Good Luck!


User currently offlineNeilalp From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1034 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4066 times:

There are Terminal to Terminal shuttles like said above just look for Ground Transportation signs. You should have your boarding pass already, but my guess is you'd need to recheck the bags at the UAL counter then go straight to security and the lines tend to move through the tight space quickly so don't worry apon first glance.

I would say 2 hours is cutting it close, but will probably work. Move like you're on a mission. Try to get a seat in the front of the FRA-DTW flight get off quickly and husstle down to immigration, grab your bags and go.


User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

Thank you very much for the information.

Do you know if there is a transfer desk inside the McNamara Terminal after customs? There may be one for Northwest but not for United.

If there is no transfer desk, I guess I'll have to take my bags to the Smith Terminal with me and check-in again as if I had just arrived at the airport for a standard domestic flight.

Thanks again!

Nicolas


User currently offlineAirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3842 times:

Quoting Neilalp (Reply 2):
You should have your boarding pass already, but my guess is you'd need to recheck the bags at the UAL counter

Since LH and UA are in Star Alliance I don't think you have to recheck your bags again. My suggestion is tell your LH ticket agent your itinerary and they should be able to tag you right through to DEN without checking your bag again at DTW.


User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1567 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3827 times:

Unfortunately for now, you will have to go from the McNamara to the Smith Terminal which is sort of a pain with those shuttle vans. Once the new North Terminal opens in late 2008, Lufthansa will be relocated there with the other non Skyteam members currently using the McNamara. But for now, it's the shuttle.


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User currently offlineDaumueller From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 691 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3817 times:

Quoting AirCanada014 (Reply 4):
Since LH and UA are in Star Alliance I don't think you have to recheck your bags again. My suggestion is tell your LH ticket agent your itinerary and they should be able to tag you right through to DEN without checking your bag again at DTW.

which would still require to pick them up for customs at least...

Nicogagne: why don't you fly LH446 non-stop to den?


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3784 times:

Quoting Nicogagne (Thread starter):
The thing is that I am not at all familiar with DTW airport, so I would like to know if two hours should be enough to go through immigration, collect our bags, clear customs and transfer to the Smith Terminal.

Did you book this ticket yourself? This is a disaster waiting to happen. Going from the "mac" to the smith terminal in two hours is gonna be tight.

I have a feeling you will have to carry your luggage with you between terminals.

The NW Worldgateway is a great building, but DTW was not built for interline/alliance transfers like this.

If you could rebook through ORD or fly Non-stop to DEN I would do that...not that we wouldn't like to have you here in DTW but I can just imagine the kind of hassle you are setting yourself up for.


PS....if you do this, remember before you rant about the Smith Terminal, remember it is being replaced with a brand new terminal scheduled to open in 2008


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7591 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

As everyone else has said, this will be very tight.

2 hours:
De-board: 10 min
Customs/Immigration: 10 min
Claim Baggage: 15 min
Walk to shuttle pick-up: 10 min
Shuttle to Smith terminal: 15 min
Check-in luggage at United: 10 min
Clear security: 10 min


Bare minimum you are looking at 1:15-1:30 gate to gate. Any glitch could throw this off. Especially with a late arrival from FRA, or if customs is backed up depending on the arrival of other international flights. Good possibility they will already have begun boarding your DEN flight by the time you arrive at the gate.

You will have to claim your luggage at immigration in the MacNamera terminal, however LH/UA/Star does not have a re-check station in the Mac, so will have to haul your luggage on the shuttle over to the Smith terminal and re-check in with United. Not sure if they will tag it all the way through or if United will have to re-tag it in DTW, either way you will physically have to check it in again.

Right now DTW isn't set up for this type of connections, however once the new North terminal opens in 2008, all non-Skyteam international flights (BA,LH,RJ) will move to the north terminal and customs facilities in the same terminal will make this sort of connection much easier.


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11357 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3727 times:

MacNamera terminal to Smith terminal. Be prepared for a STARK contrast. You will land at one of the most beautiful terminals in the US, and depart from one of the ugliest. I'm sorry you have to see that side of Detroit. I'm even more sorry that you'll have a difficult time getting between the terminals.


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User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

There is another possibility, theoretically anyway. Starting on Jan 30th. PAX in transit will be able to go through YYZ's Terminal 1 without going through Canada customs. This means that a passenger arriving on, for instance LH470, would go directly to US customs for pre-clearance, then to the departure area for an AC flight to DEN. I presume that one would go through security at some point along the way.

I hope someone will correct me if this is not the way it will work. Also I don't know if there is a suitable connecting flight to DEN.


User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3679 times:

Thanks guys for all the answers.

Yes, I did book this particular itinerary myself on www.united.fr because it was the cheapest one (600€ return MRS-DEN-MRS). Flying non-stop from FRA to DEN was actually more expensive, and as I don't mind flying, I thought that I could give DTW a try!!!!

But now that I've read all your posts, I realize that picking this itinerary was a mistake!

Anyway, I've just checked the United Airlines website and it says that there's a later flight to DEN that leaves DTW at 5:38pm (CRJ-700) - the UA flight to DEN I am supposed to catch leaves DTW at 3:22 pm (B733).
Hopefully they'll put on this later flight if I miss the 3:22pm one.

On the way back to MRS, I am flying non-stop from DEN to FRA though...so I'm not THAT crazy!

Thanks again for your posts.

Nico


User currently offlineB2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3679 times:

The best way to avoid all of the trouble is to have your LH agent re-route you thru either ORD or IAD...

User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3609 times:

What is going to suck is lines at Security for the Smith recently have gotten pretty bad, and that gets to be peak departure times too since that DEN departure I believe is around 4 or so since the LH flight comes in around 1:30-2. Immigration and customs should be relatively easy and quick unless a lot of Northwest International flights come in around then - usually that is not the case, but if Asian flights are running behind it could be a problem.

When you get through customs - make a left instead of right. The people going right are connecting on Northwest and Sky Team flights. Left are for people staying in Detroit (and in your case connecting on flights out of the Smith Terminal.

At that point you will have to go up two levels of Escalators to go over a pedestrian bridge to the parking lot. Right after the bridge go down one of the escalators to the Ground Transporation level and find terminal to terminal shuttle


User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Well, most flights from Asia come in between 10am and 1pm and most flights from Europe arrive between 1pm and 3pm. The scheduled arrival time of my LH flight being 1:25pm, so hopefully the lines at immigration and costums won't be too long!

Guys, the more I read your posts, the more I wonder why I bought this itinerary!!!!!!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Nico


User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1660 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
You will land at one of the most beautiful terminals in the US

It is very beautiful terminal. I enjoy going through there as much as I can.



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

Quoting Nicogagne (Reply 11):
Yes, I did book this particular itinerary myself on www.united.fr because it was the cheapest one (600€ return MRS-DEN-MRS). Flying non-stop from FRA to DEN was actually more expensive, and as I don't mind flying, I thought that I could give DTW a try!!!!

Interesting question for you. Since you bought it on United.fr, and it was sold as a legal connection, would UA be responsible for you if you mis-connect?

Is your ticket writen UA/UA or LH/UA?


User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3501 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 16):
Interesting question for you. Since you bought it on United.fr, and it was sold as a legal connection, would UA be responsible for you if you mis-connect?

Is your ticket writen UA/UA or LH/UA?

If I miss my DEN-bound flight, I think that UA will be responsible for putting me on the next available flight to DEN.

My e-ticket says "LH/UA ONLY". What if it had been UA/UA??

Thanks,

Nico


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3466 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 15):
It is very beautiful terminal. I enjoy going through there as much as I can.

Yeah except he won't get to see much of it. When he comes in on that LH flight, he will arrive at the gate and immediately go down to FIS. So all that he will see is the FIS area, and then the escalators and baggage area. He won't get the pleasure of seeing the beautiful Concourse A.

Quoting Nicogagne (Reply 17):
My e-ticket says "LH/UA ONLY". What if it had been UA/UA??

Then you wouldn't be flying to DTW from FRA.


User currently offlineDtw9 From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 1159 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3452 times:

Quoting Nicogagne (Reply 11):
Anyway, I've just checked the United Airlines website and it says that there's a later flight to DEN that leaves DTW at 5:38pm (CRJ-700) - the UA flight to DEN I am supposed to catch leaves DTW at 3:22 pm (B733).
Hopefully they'll put on this later flight if I miss the 3:22pm one.

I don't know how you are going to catch either connection. Lufthansa 442 doesn't even arrive at DTW until 4:50pm


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 18):
Then you wouldn't be flying to DTW from FRA.

Sure he could have. It could have been sold as a UA Code share with a UA flight number.


User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3422 times:

Quoting Dtw9 (Reply 19):
I don't know how you are going to catch either connection. Lufthansa 442 doesn't even arrive at DTW until 4:50pm

United 9196
Operated by: Lufthansa
Depart: FRA 10:25
Arrive: DTW 13:25
Non-stop
9h
Airbus A330-300
6 698 km traveled

That is what I've got on my itinerary.


User currently offlineDtw9 From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 1159 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

I just checked United and Lufthansa.UA9196/LH442 does not arrive in Detroit until 4:50pm

User currently offlineDtw9 From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 1159 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3395 times:

Are you sure you're not flying Air France. The flight from CDG leaves at 10:20 and arrives Detroit around 1:30pm

User currently offlineNicogagne From France, joined Feb 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3391 times:

Quoting Dtw9 (Reply 22):
I just checked United and Lufthansa.UA9196/LH442 does not arrive in Detroit until 4:50pm

You're right. But as of March 25, the schedule changes: new departure time is 10:25 for a 13:25 arrival into DTW. I'll be travelling on April 16.


25 Dtw9 : By your original post you said next month. I took it to mean Feb. Yes the time changes because LH will be adding a second daily flight to DTW[Edited 2
26 PSU.DTW.SCE : Because LH is going double-daily on DTW-FRA this spring.
27 DTWAGENT : As per everyone here. It will be a tight conx. I can't wait until 2008 when the new North Terminal will be done. LH, BA and Royal Jordanian will be mo
28 AlexPorter : Good luck with your connection if you try it! This can happen in some circumstances. For example, if one wants to fly from SLC-HMO (Salt Lake City to
29 Nicogagne : Why would UA offer this itinerary if they knew that two hours was not enough to make the connection at DTW? But then again, AF offers itineraries with
30 Dtwclipper : Because it is a legal connection, between an international and domestic flight. It doesn't mean that it will be hassle free, but never the less accor
31 Nicogagne : I just called United and they kindly told me that they could not rebook me through ORD or IAD. According to the nice UA lady, 2 hours at DTW should le
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