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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:55 pm

Legal Connections

Sat May 26, 2007 2:04 pm

What exactly is a legal connection? Does it vary by airline, by domestic or international departure and do airport authorities decide this or the airlines? Does it only depend on time or is it more complex than that? When new airports open, such as in Hong Kong and in Bangkok, are legal connections revised?
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Legal Connections

Sun May 27, 2007 2:53 am

I'm not in the travel industry but my understanding is that a legal connection is generally the shortest amount of time it would take to make a "normal" on-line connection between flights (i.e. Airline X to Airline X) at any given airport. This time allows you to get from gate to gate, and also allows your luggage to make the connection (hopefully!)

Most airlines have a general rule for legal domestic connections (usually :30) and legal international connections, though at some airports this may adjusted for local conditions, for example, with Northwest,

In MSP and DTW, NW to NW domestic is 30 minutes
In MEM, NW to NW domestic is 25 minutes
In MSP, Pinnacle or Mesaba to NW is 35 minutes
AMS to the US, though, has a 50 minute minimum connection.

Most reservation systems won't allow you to book (or will at least make it difficult to book an "illegal" connection -- and if you have a shorter-than-legal connection and miss it the airline might not be liable for the hotel/meals/your luggage, etc.
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RE: Legal Connections

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:59 pm

On-line MCTs are the responsibility of the airline concerned. International Interline connections are governed by IATA PSC Resolution 765 (I'm quoting the first paragraph)

Members serving the airport(s) of each city shall establish a Local Minimum Connecting Time Group for purposes of recommending new or changes to international minimum interline/intermodal connecting time intervals at such airports(s). The group shall consist of all scheduled airlines and railways serving the airport. The basic objective of agreed connecting time intervals is to protect both the delivering and receiving Member's interests and ensure that the passenger and his baggage can rely on making connections between airlines and railways serving the airport.

The Resolution also envisions bilateral agreements for shorter or longer connecting times.

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