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Short Connection In IAD

Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:27 pm


I am planing a vacation in Orlando FL, in Oct flying from LHR, and have been checking around for some good flight deals.

One particular site I visited offered cheap flights with UA via IAD, both on the outward and return legs. The only problem I can foresee is that the outward connection is 1hr and 15mins and the return is 50mins. I don't see this as viable, what do you think?. If I did take these flights and missed the outward connection due to immigration or some other reason outside the airlines control, would they still be obliged to put us on the next available flight, or could we end up having to buy a new ticket?.


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RE: Short Connection In IAD

Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:51 pm

I don't think the connection time for the outward leg is viable. If it was a domestic-domestic connection instead of an international-international connection, you would be fine (although you might have to take a mobile lounge to the main terminal and then again to your departing concourse if your flights arrive/depart from different concourses, I am not sure). For the inbound leg, that is tight for domestic-international, although less tight if you can check in all the way to LHR in MCO. I would check and see if they have the flights you saw on If you book the flights through, I believe that that means UA deems it a "legal" connection, and will therefore, as far as I know, put you on the next available flight if you miss your second flight due to immigration. However, I strongly recommend checking with UA to confirm this (as well as members whoa re more familiar with IAD), and even if they do confirm it, seriously consider how much time you will have and how much you will need to rush to make your connections. Good luck, and safe travels!
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RE: Short Connection In IAD

Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 am

MCO-IAD-LHR with a 50 minute connection is probably all right. That will all be on C/D, and UA is pretty good about holding international connecting flights if the timing is close.

The transfer FIS facility can be quick enough that LHR-IAD-MCO is doable with a 1:15 connection, but I probably wouldn't book it.
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RE: Short Connection In IAD

Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:09 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
The transfer FIS facility can be quick enough that LHR-IAD-MCO is doable with a 1:15 connection, but I probably wouldn't book it.

Well, I have to disagree. I've connected VIE-IAD-XXX and FRA-IAD-XXX many times and it all depends on when you get there in the afternoon. Passport Control, especially for non-US passports can be a mess. Once you get through that particular hell, you have to reclaim your bag and recheck them The recheck area is also usually a mess. But, the crème de la crème is the awful security area. Dark, loud, low ceilings, and packed full of people. When I was last in the US (and, because I'm an idiot) connecting through IAD, passport control, customs and security took 1hr. 20min.

So far as I understand it, it really all depends on when your flight arrives in the afternoon rush there. OS 93 to IAD used to be one of the first, if not the first, European arrivals. Which meant that you can make a connection in under an hour. But arriving a few weeks ago on LH 418, around 16.00, C/D Customs was „chocked full to the gills.

It's just not a risk I'd want to take. IAD International to Domestic can just take too long and is too unpredictable.

[Edited 2012-09-06 21:23:33]

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