access-air
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Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Times?

Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:58 pm

I have been a travel agent for twenty-one years and for the life of me, I can never understand why airlines construct online connections at their major hubs for sometimes as little as thirty-five minutes between flights....Heck if you are sitting in the back of the bus, it can take that long to get off the airplane....To top it off, airports have grown so huge that its like walking or tramming or training or shuttle busing the distance of a couple city blocks or more!!!!

Does anyone see the where Im coming from? Care to leave any comments???

Access-Air
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lhr380
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Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Times?

Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:01 pm

Quoting Access-Air (Thread starter):
I have been a travel agent for twenty-one years and for the life of me, I can never understand why airlines construct online connections at their major hubs for sometimes as little as thirty-five minutes between flights....Heck if you are sitting in the back of the bus, it can take that long to get off the airplane....To top it off, airports have grown so huge that its like walking or tramming or training or shuttle busing the distance of a couple city blocks or more!!!!

Airline staff dont understand it either. LHR T5 is 1 hour, and we all know that even if there is a 15 min delay, it means a hell of a run or a missed flight. Its stupid!!!
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
ammunition
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Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Times?

Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:05 pm

The airport will promote the MCT as a marketing tool, if the airline is off schedule it is their own fault, but if they are on time and baggage etc does not make it, then the airport will be held responsible provided the baggage or buses or whatever other service the airport has control over, fails.
Saint Augustine- 'The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only 1 page'
 
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deltacto
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Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Times?

Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:06 pm

I agree 100%
I worked in Reservations and Ticketing for 18 years.
Almost every day - even without any weather issues - we would have several inbound flights that would be "just" 10 minutes late. So now you have just 25 minutes to get off the plane, change concourses, and rush to the next gate only to see the jetway being pulled away. With the focus on on-time departures, who cares about people on close connections?

And if the connecting flight is a once-a-day international flight, then you gotta rebook the passengers for the next day, provide overnight accomodations, etc.
 
ammunition
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:08 pm

from a passenger perspective journey dration can be a factor, so the shortest journey may be preferable, even though the possibility of missing a connection may not be fully considered. I have missed connection where inbound flights are delayed, or where baggage has not reached the final destination. But I think when it works it is great, and time is money for the business traveller.
Saint Augustine- 'The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only 1 page'
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:14 pm

unless absolutely necessary, i try to schedule connections of at least 1.5 hours (2.5 hours if i need to clear immigration and customs at the midpoint, e.g. NRT-SFO-ATL). the price differential has to be so huge for me to justify a short connection.

for those transiting at NRT, beware that the security line is VERY inefficient since they process customers ONE-AT-A-TIME instead of a pipeline of bins ready to go through the machine

much better to spend the time relaxing scrolling the terminal or enjoying the lounge via PriorityPass than to run for your life (i once tried to run the entire length of ORD Concourse B in 5 mins during its morning hub bank, and it wasn't pretty)
 
AirNZ
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:41 pm

Actually, the reality is that it's the airport which calculates Minimum Connecting Time, not the airlines themselves as such. If you would notice, the MCT is always 'calculated/shown' between terminals, DOM to DOM, DOM to INT, INT to DOM and INT to INT. But again, anyone who arranges flying based on MCT is an absolute fool.
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access-air
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:42 pm

Unfortunately, Delta at Atlanta is one of the biggest offenders of scheduling 35 min connections. Air Tran occasionally tries the pull off the same crap....
United does that with their Express flights over in Terminal 2/Concourse E to Terminal 1 ConcourseB/C....Its just nuts...

Sometimes you dont have a choice, but I tell my clients that I refuse to book them on anything shorter than 50 mins connecting time at a major hub...Those that choose a shorter time do so against my suggestion and at their own risk....
Usually, there is no mishap, but sometimes I get horror stories of what happens when they think they need to connect with little or no time...
Most flight start boarding 20 or so minutes before the plane leaves anyway, sometime earlier than that.
For myself, I will purposely schedule at least a 2 hour connection if I can....You never know what kind of stuff can slow and airport down to a dead stop.....Especially now that you have hundreds of Regional Jets all over.



Quoting deltacto (Reply 3):
And if the connecting flight is a once-a-day international flight, then you gotta rebook the passengers for the next day, provide overnight accomodations, etc.

Yeah, and airlines wonder why they are losing money.....This and denied boarding compensation....Its all very bad business.....

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
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par13del
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:18 pm

I think a bigger issue is the pax who book/purchase their flights online versus using the services of travel agents, most agents are experienced enough to know the ins and out and as mentioned by one poster, they usually schedule 1.5 to 2.0 hours. Too many pax are learning this lesson the hard way, usually those making/arriving on international flights, customs halls are notorious for creating runners.
 
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par13del
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:19 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 8):
customs halls are notorious for creating runners.

I should have said immigration and customs halls.
 
L1011
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:01 pm

Does anybody know the minimum connecting time at Kansas city when connecting from DL to DL domestic? I got this message from Delta:

10:15am
MSP 11:46am
MCI MCI 59m layover
Terminal B DL 2766
Economy (T) 21B 21A
You may miss this flight
12:45pm
MCI 3:46pm
ATL ATL 1h 14m layover
South Terminal DL 1890
Economy (T) 19D 19E


Why do they tell me I may miss the second flight? I have a 59 minute layover and according to the MCI terminal map, all the Delta gates are right together. Delta won't let me rebook without a ticket change fee, even though this connection was booked on the Delta website. It wasn't until a couple of months after I booked that Delta notified me of a schedule change, with the warning message.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
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TravelR
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:04 pm

I have to agree with the previous comments. The minimum connection time can be very misleading now as a lot of airlines are now not checking bags to the final destination which requires the pax to pick up their bags, check-in again and go through security. Considering how long security can be at some destination like LHR then you would be silly to give yourself less than 2 hours.

In relation to the above query by Bob, the system advises 25 minutes. Even it was other domestic to domestic, the connection is 45 minutes. I tried to book this and it states it as minimum connection time as valid. If you booked via the airline website and the airline has made the change to your flight times then the airline is obligated to make it a valid connection as it was them who made the change to the times and not you. I hope this helps.

Cheers,

Rob
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yeogeo
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:00 pm

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 6):
But again, anyone who arranges flying based on MCT is an absolute fool.

That's a little strong, I think.

It depends on the airport. It is probably foolish to book based on MCT at ORD going from international to domestic, for example (I can testify!), yet at many smaller airports (MKE comes to mind) a listed 40 min domestic to domestic, with both flights on the same carrier, would be an easy connection and the traveler who books a two hour layover would be overly cautious - unless they just enjoy spotting  

Another consideration in connection construction is whether your second flight is a a one-off for the day or a destination which has multiple flights throughout the day. The former may induce me to add some connecting time, just to be sure.

I think having some experience with the airport provides the best insight whether or not to follow MCTs, but generally the bigger the facility the more likely you'll have to pad your itinerary, wouldn't you agree?

If at a loss,one can always ask here on A-net. There will always somebody who's done it before you.

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Cubsrule
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:33 pm

Quoting yeogeo (Reply 12):
I think having some experience with the airport provides the best insight whether or not to follow MCTs, but generally the bigger the facility the more likely you'll have to pad your itinerary, wouldn't you agree?

Yup - but I'd argue that some experience with the airport permits you to make your own MCTs, which may vary based on factors other than the hub. For instance, I flew ORD-CVG-CDG on DL/AF a few summers ago. My choices were a ~1:20 (legal) connection or a 3 hour one. I booked the 3 hour one and was glad I did when ORD weather caused my ORD-CVG to take a 2 hour delay. Had it been STL-CVG-CDG, I might have booked the 1 hour connection and not had any trouble.

Similarly, if I'm flying SFO-ATL-BNA, I'm more apt to take a chance on a shorter connection than on CAE-ATL-BNA because flights from the west coast can be very early. Or, I might book a shorter BNA-ATL-CAE connection than BNA-ATL-SCL connection because I can always get the next flight to CAE, but the next flight to SCL is a day later.
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coachclass
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:47 pm

I've had successful tight connections in DFW with AA and PHX with US. My concern was with the baggage catching up to me despite my running through/changing terminals to catch the next flight. Baggage mad the connections.

Internationally, LH has tight connections of 35 minutes in DUS and AF tight connection at CDG. I would rather wait two hours at a connection than worry about missing my connecting flight by 10 minutes.
 
CXA330300
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RE: Calculation Of Airport Minimum Connection Time

Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:12 pm

I've noticed that a lot of airline fare search engines will have some sort of symbol for tight connections-usually 45 minutes or less-I know Kayak will highlight the text in red.

As for MCTs, CDG is particularly optimistic with theirs. I've done a 55 minute through CDG (due to the inbound delay) and it's nearly impossible...
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