LOWS
Topic Author
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:37 am

Tight IAD Connection

Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:10 am

Dear all:

I've previously solicited your opinion on my upcoming trip to the US and hope you won't mind one more question.

I'm going MUC-IAD-DEN-OKC on the outbound leg. The connection at Dulles is 71minutes, though United 903 is frequently late, and we are arriving at 15.00, which I suspect is around the same time as many other TATL flights.

Looking at my options on a missed connection, the most appealing is UA to ORD, then a CR7 to OKC, though that only gets me 20 more minutes. Everything else looks to involve a run to the Low A gates for an RJ to somewhere else. I think the best I could do is get the extra 20 minutes and go via ORD. I have emailed United about the connection, and all I got was silence.

I am also worried about snow/IAD shutting down. Is does it normally have problems like ORD or EWR in the Winter?

The Holiday Inn Express has some reasonable rates for rooms that night with no charge if cancelled before 18.00. Should I book a room?
 
planeguy727
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:42 pm

It can be done. There is an FIS facility in the C concourse for transfer pax, terminating pax go to the main terminal FIS. I did an 80 min connect FRA-IAD-SYR and had no problems. With the arrivals split for FIS there is generally a quick flow.
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2193
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:18 pm

If you miss your fllight, they will probably put you on the IAD-OKC non-stop. It leaves around 1700.
 
LOWS
Topic Author
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:37 am

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:29 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 2):
If you miss your fllight, they will probably put you on the IAD-OKC non-stop. It leaves around 1700.

Yes. But so does my connection to DEN. It also leaves from another terminal. Hence why I suggested that the 17.20 to ORD was a better idea.
 
LOWS
Topic Author
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:37 am

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:49 pm

Quoting LOWS (Reply 3):

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 2):
If you miss your fllight, they will probably put you on the IAD-OKC non-stop. It leaves around 1700.

I'd thought of that, but checking if it's bookable, it's starting to look full.

I keep getting confused that the DEN flight leaves around 16.10 and the direct and Chicago flights leave at 17.00-17.20. D'oh!
 
AndyEastMids
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 10:24 pm

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:58 pm

I've found connecting through the FIS in the C concorse at Dulles at 1500-ish to be a bit of a lottery - I've done it many times and some days you can get through immigration and customs in 10 minutes, the next time on the same flight it might take much longer (the worst I've had is over two hours). But they did increase the number of booths in the FIS in C a while ago, and generally it has gotten better. However, as you've suggested, there's a few international UA and other *A arrivals around that time, and the speed of getting through the FIS may depend on the precise sequence your flight arrives versus the others due around the same time on the day you travel. Making sure you get off your flight quickly can be a bonus - it can put you ahead of most of the other connecting pax on your flight - and if it looks like it's going to be tight (i.e. your flight is late) I'd have a word with the flight attendants and see if they can get you nearer the front for the landing. There's not much you can do in unless you're on a flexible/changeable ticket - if you have a legal connection United won't do anything in advance to change your routing as they won't see it as a problem, although they will fix the problem if you mis-connect. Don't book a room - let United sort the problem out if it does go wrong. If I was on your itinerary, I'd not be overly comfortable with the idea of 71 minutes - I probably wouldn't have booked that connection in the first place, but if I had it I'd live with it but be prepared for the possibility of having to reroute if it all went wrong.

Andy
 
LOWS
Topic Author
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:37 am

RE: Tight IAD Connection

Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:48 pm

Thanks for your response, Andy.

The UA 772 is pretty full in regular economy. There are some decent seats in Y+, but since I am not elite on UA, I have to wait, and probably ask very nicely at the gate. The last thing I want is to be wedged into a middle seat in Y+ for 9 hours, so naturally, I will have to pay close attention to my options.

In the worst case, I end up on another flight, and have two hours to make the connection.

I agree completely that a better connection would have been a better idea. However, when booking I had a number of considerations:

1. Maximum total (train, taxi and flight) of 1300$
2. SZG flights were too expensive, or involved journey times >24hours.
3. Had to be Star Alliance, preferably OS, LH, US, CO, UA (in that order).
4. The earliest I could make it from Land Salzburg (e.g. not the city) to MUC was about 10.30am. I think I am scheduled for 10.15ish.

I think this was one of the few routings that met the terms above at the time.

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