America West ~ change planes in Phoenix

Jul 28th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 163
America West ~ change planes in Phoenix

Help! I just booked tickets for myself and my 2 kids. Our itinerary includes a plane change in Phoenix (from one AmWest flight to another) with only 30 minutes between the two flights.
I didn't notice the time between flights was that short until after I booked it (of course). That is cutting it close. If given a choice, I usually choose overly long layovers rather than short. I've never been to the Phoenix airport, though, so maybe it won't be a problem. Can anyone help me plan/reassure me?
melh is offline  
Jul 28th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,632
I dislike short layovers too because all too often either I or my luggage will not make the connection. Having said that, if they allowed you to book it that way then it's a legal connection. Therefore you will probably make it if your first flight is not delayed. If you are delayed and you miss your connection, the airline will put you on the next flight at no extra charge. If you don't want to take that chance, then call the airline and ask if you can take an earlier flight into Phoenix.

Make sure to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. You might make this tight connection, but if your luggage misses it, at least you will have clean clothes. Good luck.
P_M is offline  
Jul 28th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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Posts: 163
Thanks ~ at least this tight connection is on my way home! If I have luggage problems at least I don't have to worry too much. I hope it all goes smoothly though.
melh is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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ttt ~ Can anyone else offer my tips/advice to make this easier or give me reassurance?
melh is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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We fly Am West a lot, which means we've also had the plane switch in Phoenix. If your arriving and departure flight are in the same terminal, you should be fine (if everything is on time). AW does use 2 terminals at Phoenix, though.

I don't know if I'm just lucky, but switching planes in Phoenix for me always involves changing terminals as well. I usually fly into the end of one terminal and I'm leaving out of the end of the other. It's a bit of a hike, so if you can find out what your arrival/departure gates are, you can be better prepared. (I'm not sure when they assign gates to flights and if you can get that information - maybe someone else with more knowledge can answer that.)

With that being said, it shouldn't take more than 5-10 mins to make the hike if you need to. There's no security involved and a people mover exists over the long part between the terminals. Of course, depending on the ages of your kids, it could take you longer than 2 adults traveling light.

I've seen golf cart type vehicles they drive to transport people between terminals. If your kids are young, it would probably be easy to get them to pick you up, which would shorten your time greatly on the terminal switch.

Other than the suggestions P_M gave, I would also suggest seeing if you can get seats as close to the front of the plane as possible. Also let the attendants know of your tight connection - they may be able to get you off first or get people to switch seats with you.

This probably wasn't reassuring, but at least you can be more prepared, especially if you do have to make "the hike". Good luck!
jbee is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 163
A follow-up:
Our first return flight was delayed (due to air conditioning issues & then again due to the weather). Of course, we then missed our connecting flight.
AW had new tickets waiting for us when we landed. We were put on the next flight home later that evening.
That flight also was delayed (air conditioning issues we were told). When these issues couldn't be resolved promptly, we were asked to get off the plane and go to another gate and reboard a different plane. We took off about 1 hour later than planned.
With all the delays and changes I worried about our luggage, but it made it home with us just fine.
I will be a bit wary of flying AW next time. There were just too many problems on the way home.
melh is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 10:43 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
Let me see if I understand.

Your flight was delayed, partly due to weather that AW couldn't control, and they had tickets for a new flight waiting for you.

With changed connection and a changed gate, your luggage made it home with you.

You got home the same day.

And you'd be wary of flying AW again? I think they took pretty darn good care of you!
abram is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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I'd think they took good care of us too if my flights had all departed & landed as scheduled.

Don't miss the fact that two separate flights on the same day were delayed due to mechanical (A/C) issues that were under their control.

And while I appreciate the fact that the customer service was appropriately handled and our luggage arrived in the right place at the right time, I will still think twice before traveling with them again.

In the future, I will try harder to book direct flights. On this particular trip, making the trip on an earlier date (and for a reasonable $$ ) was more important that getting a direct flight.
melh is offline  

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