1hr12min layover in PHL bad idea?

Jan 19th, 2009, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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1hr12min layover in PHL bad idea?

I'm afraid I already know the answer but...

I'm considering a very cheap flight ($632 LAX-FCO on US Air) during the week before Easter. No one else even comes close on that price for that week.
The only problem is the connection in PHL on the way over is only 1 hour, 12 min. The trip back is fine, 3 hrs.

We usually travel carry-on only but am I just asking for trouble here? It doesn't look like they have a later flight if we miss the connection if the first one is late.

There really are no other options on US Air-all other flights have 2 stops instead of just one and are much more expensive.

I'm surprised they allow for that short of a connection.
Is it worth the risk?
Kristina is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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That is not a short connection because it is just like a domestic one - walking from one gate to another.

Whether one should take the chance is a different matter. But the airline is correct to offer this.

Only you can tell if it's worth the risk. Are you going to a wedding the next morning? Catching a cruise? Or just relaxing in Rome for a few days?

BTW, looking at stats of US754 for the last 2 months on flightstats.com, it was

On-time (<15 minute late) 33 times (55%)
Late (15-30) 15 times (20%)
Very late (30-45) 5 times (8%)
Excessively late (45+) 9 times (15%)
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:25 PM
  #3  
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rkkwan-
Thanks for the reply.
I saw on the us air website that flight had an ontime record of 50% so it's good to see the breakdown.

As long as the flight is on time and we don't have to sprint across the airport to a different terminal then I would guess we would be ok. I don't have any experience with PHL so I don't know about gate locations and such.
Sounds like they would be close?
I would guess they might also hold the Rome flight a bit if the one from LA was late.

What is my recourse if the Rome flight leaves without us?
Do we have to wait until the next day (6PM flight) or can I insist they put us on another airline?
Kristina is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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The flight to FCO leaves from Terminal A-West. The LAX flight comes in to various gates - the last two days, they are in Terminal B or C. The transit can be up to 3/4 mile between the gates.

They may hold the Rome flight, but they may not. Depends on situation.

If you miss the connection, you don't have much option. USAirways main partner in Europe is Lufthansa, but its own flight for FRA leaves at 4:35p while Lufthansa's at 6:05p, so they won't help.

They may have later flights to Europe, like Gatwick at 8:45p or CDG at 9:05p, but you don't know if they can manage to secure seats on a non-partner airline to get you to Rome from either of those airports.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 05:50 PM
  #5  
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Well, that doesn't sound good.
Bummer.
Do you know if we'd have to do through security between terminals?
If so, I think it may not be possible.
I'm just not sure I am willing to risk one of my 7 days of vacation being stuck in PHL.

I still don't understand why it's a "legal" connection with such a poor on-time rate and the possibility of a long distance between gates.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 08:05 PM
  #6  
 
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No need to reclear security.

You may find the percentage is bad. But with 85% of the time, passengers can make the connections. It's up to the passenger to decide if that's acceptable or not. You may think that's "poor", others may think that's superb!

Otherwise, airlines will not be able to sell most connecting itineraries.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 08:27 PM
  #7  
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Well, thanks for the advice.

While I was mulling this over, the fares have more than doubled for my dates!

You snooze you lose, I guess.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 02:24 AM
  #8  
 
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Never fear, you can get cheap fares on United, at least with Orbitz. For example (and these aren't the only dates), March 31 - April 7 for $622 total, LAX-FCO. And decent connection times too.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 07:30 AM
  #9  
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WillTravel-Unfortunately, my dates are not at all flexible. I can only go during the week before Easter (April 4-12). Fares for those dates are around $1500 on United and just about all others as well. That's what made the US Air flight so attractive.

It's a shame. I would actually prefer United because I have premier status right now and a certificate for a 1 segment upgrade.
Kristina is offline  
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