Connection time at JFK

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Oct 7th, 2003, 11:14 AM
  #1
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Connection time at JFK

I have a flight from Boston to CDG flying thru JFK. I originally booked a nonstop from Boston and AA changed it after cancelling the nonstop. However, I booked it on Orbitz, which can be a problem. The first change gave us 55 minutes between connections. They changed it again and now we only have 45 minutes. Is this a legal connection? Is it enough time to get from American Eagle Terminal and to AA international gate?
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Oct 7th, 2003, 12:20 PM
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OMG, opaldog! How DO you manage to get into these situations

Personally, I would call AA and rebook with a better connection time if at all possible - although it's probably a "legal" connection time according to AA... That said, there are 2 AA flights a day to CDG from JFK. If you're booked on the earlier one and miss your connection, you shouldn't have any trouble getting on the later one.

Hope this trip works out better than the last - actually I'm sure it will since you're flying on a single carrier all the way through.

Andre
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Oct 7th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Domestic to International legal connection time at JFK is 45 minutes, but personally I don't like to cut it that close.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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If you only have 45 minute connection, you must be on the last direct flight from BOS at 7:45 pm arriving at JFK at 9:00 pm and departing for CDG at 9:45pm. You should make it.

I still hard it find to understand why people buy simple tickets like this from on-line agencies. I will use Orbitz, Expedia to help me find a cheap routing on occasion, but as soon as I do, I go to AA.com, put in the same flights and get the same price, minus any extra charges that these sites use. Buying a ticket from the airlines own website gives you something to work with if problems like this arise. In this case you have to work with Orbitz not AA, since they are the ones that sold you the ticket. You may find a sympathetic AA agent that would bypass some of their regulationbs and help you out, but it won't be easy. I bet AA will tell you and they are right, that since you bought the ticket from an agency, they can't touch it.

If you talk to Orbitz, see if they could put you on the 4:05 out of BOS. If not you will have to walk fast at JFK.

Good luck and have a nice trip!
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Oct 8th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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Hello Andre:
I can't believe I am in the same situation, with Orbitz of course. In reply to the last poster I used Orbitz because I had a $500 credit from a previous bad experience with them. I have already e-mailed AA and hope that I can deal with them. It is AA that changed the schedule, not Orbitz. I am prepared for another airline experience.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 04:38 AM
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Me again. Andre, I am flying out today on Aer Lingus, nonstop to Shannon and do not anticipate any flight problems.(but you never know)I will let you know what happens with my flight to CDG.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 05:53 AM
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Hi opaldog,

Have a great time in Ireland! Can't believe I haven't made it over there yet.

Anyway, I was just wondering - PERHAPS you could demand a refund from AA through Orbitz since you booked a nonstop and your itinerary now involves a connection. After all, I assume you paid a premium for the nonstop.

It all depends on AA's (unwritten) policies and whether Orbitz is willing to go to bat for you with the airline on this (perhaps you now have the name of someone halfway competent at Orbitz customer service).

Then you could rebook a more sensible itinerary on another airline - at least until they too change their schedules

Just a (wishful) thought...

Andre
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Oct 8th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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opaldog,

It is AA that changed the schedule, but it was Orbitz that wrote the ticket. Orbitz is the only one that could change the ticket. Since the connection is still legal(according to the poster above, as I don't know that for a fact), Orbitz will probably refuse to do anything about it, unless you find a nice agent. AA will not touch a ticket written by outside agent/agency. That's the way ticketing works.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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AAFF,

Yes, but... airlines make numerous exceptions to this rule - for example if your itinerary changes while you're travelling.

While I agree that there's no chance opaldog would get a refund directly through AA, they could be willing to change her flights around for her.

BTW, I find it particularly galling that AA's own web site doesn't provide minimum connection times or even check-in deadlines for the airports it serves (at least nowhere that I could find). Only vague "suggested arrival times". For crying out loud, is it too much to ask to be told in a clear and contractually binding way: you must have checked in by this and this time and connections between 2 AA (or OW flights) at airport X must be a minimum of Y minutes apart??!! They have fare rules 3 pages long but don't commit on such basic issues!

Sorry, just needed to rant a little. I know AA isn't the only offender, but they're definitely among the worst when it comes to these issues.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Oct 8th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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I do have the name of a person at Orbitz in Chicago. Maybe I will have to use it. Thanks for the replies. I am off now.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 06:51 AM
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I don't know where you were looking but this is straight from AA.com:

To make your trip as enjoyable as possible, please allow enough time for check-in, security screening and boarding. See the information in the chart below for the minimum arrival times and baggage check-in requirements. Due to lengthy TSA security checkpoint waiting times, earlier arrivals are recommended at the following airports:

Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Des Moines, IA (DSM)
Ft. Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
Honolulu, HI (HNL)
Kansas City, MO (MCI)
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Miami, FL (MIA)
Orange County/Santa Ana, CA (SNA)
Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
Providence, RI (PVD)
San Jose, CA (SJC)


Domestic Travel (except departing Hawaii or U.S. Virgin Islands), No Baggage to Check 60 minutes
Domestic Travel (except departing Hawaii or U.S. Virgin Islands), Checking Baggage 90 minutes
Domestic Travel departing Hawaii or U.S. Virgin Islands 120 minutes (2 hours)
International Travel (except departing Port-au-Prince, Haiti or Aruba) 120 minutes (2 hours)
International Travel, departing Port-au-Prince, Haiti or Aruba 180 minutes (3 hours)


I never said that the situation above can't be changed. All I'm saying is that AA can't touch the ticket, only Orbitz can. So any changes/refunds can only be done through Orbitz. If the connection time is still legal, what reason would Orbitz have to re-write the ticket? They would get charged by AA to change the ticket, since it is still a good ticket. You think they would eat the charge? Also, it looks to me that opaldog accepted the change from a direct flight to the connecting flight, so it's too late to request a refund now. Opaldog had a chance of a full refund when the change was made, but once opaldog accepted the new ticket, that right went away. And since this is not a schedule change as far as when you leave or arrive, it does not qualify for a refund. Now if the connection was illegal, and orbitz put her on that 4:05pm flight, then again opaldog has a chance for a full refund.

Now that said, is it still possible? Sure, you get a good Orbitz agent that's willing to go an extra mile and has a good connection at AA, but I hope you see the chances of all of that coming together? Very slim chance at best. You have to think of Orbitz as the good ole neighborhood TA in the old days. S/he had some contacts within certain airlines/hotels only because, and when s/he decided that her client was worth it, pulled in some special favors for the client. In the old days the TA had maybe 100 clients and the few that took 5 trips per year were the "great' customers. Unfortunately now most of us deal with faceless agents that have 1000's of clients and unless you bring tons of business, you are just another number.


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Oct 8th, 2003, 07:36 AM
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AAFF,

You're absolutely right about the check-in times. I just saw the misleading title "SUGGESTED arrival times" above the paragraph you pasted and assumed that this wasn't contractually binding but the language in the paragraph itself is quite clear.

However, I stand by my remark regarding minimum connection times - how is a passenger supposed to check if their travel agent (or the airline itself - it happens, trust me) booked them on an itinerary with "illegal" connections?

Andre
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Oct 8th, 2003, 07:44 AM
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BTW, after reading the AA list, I've decided to strike Aruba and Port-au-Prince from my list of potentially interesting destinations

I also totally agree with you regarding booking directly with the airline vs. dealing w/an agent. However in poor opaldog's case, she is rebooking through Orbitz due to a similar screw up in the past which they made and for which she received compensation... history has a way of repeating itself, alas...

Andre
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Oct 8th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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I'm not sure about the airline allowing an illegal connection. I had instances where AA.com gave me an itinerary that was priced right and I really did not look at the details, but when I wanted to ticket the trip it refused. Only then did I see why, it was like a 10 minute connection. A booking engine will make these mistakes but once you try to ticket it, it will be refused. I'm not a Travel agent, but I understand they do have some ways of bypassing the blocks, and if they choose to do it, well, you're screwed. If that was my agent I would walk next time.

I also don't have all the answers to these type of situations, I just know the rules and regulations, so that's what I base my replies on. You and I have seen that there will always be one or two exceptions to everything that gets posted here.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 10:12 AM
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Wouldn't there be a change in departure/arrival time when going from a nonstop BOS-CDG to a connecting BOS-JFK-CDG? If the time difference is significant enough, can't you request a refund? I didn't see where opaldog said that he/she accepted the initial change. Often you just get an email with the schedule change, but I don't think your receipt of such email constitutes your acceptance of the changes. Unless an agent actually called to notify you and you accepted over the phone, then it's probably too late to go back.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Patty,

Opaldog said that the "FIRST" change gave them 55 minute connection. It was the "SECOND" change by AA that brought the connection time to 45 minutes.
So I assumed that she was fine with the first change and accepted the change, but now she is worried about the new change of the shorter connecting time.
Besides, I know for a fact that AA only had seasonal schedule from BOS-CDG which was suppose to start last Apr, then May and finally June before it was cancelled. So opaldog must have accepted the changes sometime back in May/June.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 06:54 AM
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Just want to add my "2 cents". First, the actual published legal connection in JFK with American for a domestic flight transferring to an international flight is 40 minutes, not 45 as stated above.

The airlines will not intentionally create an illegal connection. However, after purchasing a connecting flight, especially several months in advance, a schedule change can occur which would than make the connection "illegal". I have had this happen before (I am a TA), and when we received the schedule change, we contacted the airline to straighten it out. So it can happen by the airline. We may have simply caught it before they did, but it would be preferable if they had software that realized this to begin with, therefore not creating the problem.

So far as TA's "creating" an illegal connection; sure it can be done. But why would they? If they create an illegal connection and the client misses their flight, the airline will point out immediately the error. That's if they didn't point it out when they checked in. Our business depends on repeat customers and word of mouth referrals. If we were to treat clients in this manner, I wouldn't be surprised if they "walked". But it simply doesn't make good business sense. Bottom line, they are not helping their clients and that is what we are in this for.

Of course, I am generalizing and I am sure I will hear some horror stories of what some TA's have done, but I guess after reading repeatedly nasty remarks made about TA's on this forum I feel a bit defensive. It would be nice to say not ALL TA's are unknowledgeable and idiots; just as I am sure the same applies to people within your chosen fields.

Sorry, off my soap box now.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 07:23 AM
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sjbisanz1,

Thanks for validating my point that airlines sometimes screw up as well. And let's not even discuss how unrealistic some of their minimum "legal" connection times are in the first place...

BTW, where were you able to look up the min. connection times? Anywhere accessible to mere mortals or only for people with direct GDS access?

Andre
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Oct 10th, 2003, 09:51 AM
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Andre, Sorry to disappoint, I used my GDS. There are a couple places to check there and I verified it with both. I do agree that the airlines are optimstic in some of their connections. I am following the advise mentioned earlier and giving myself an extra long connection in Baltimore as I am transferring from a domestic to an international, between 2 different airlines, and topping it off, they do not have a baggage agreement between them. Fun fun! But better safe than sorry.
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Oct 14th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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I'm back from Ireland with no plane screwups, as it was a nonstop on Aerlingus. As far as my AA flight for April to CDG booked thru Orbitz (with a credit). I just booked that flight in August (end). I didn't notice the change (I wasn't notified by e-mail) until I checked my account at Orbitz in September (end). They originally had me connecting on the way back thru JFK and then somehow I had to get to Laguardia to get to BOS. I did call and Orbitz switched me to JFK. At that point I had 55 minutes connecting on the way over and 3 hours on the way back. After I called Orbitz I was notified by e-mail about 2 weeks later of the 45 minute connection time. I do not find 45 minutes acceptable and am not sure how to handle it at this moment. Maybe I'll just go and see what happens.
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