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International connection times at Houston IAH?

International connection times at Houston IAH?

Old Sep 11th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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International connection times at Houston IAH?

Next January my family is connecting in Houston IAH to DFW at the very tail end of a long vacation. We arrive in IAH from CDG on Air France at 2:20 p.m. on a Sunday. Originally we were scheduled to catch the next possible Continental flight to DFW at 5:15 p.m., but the departure time for that flight has been chanaged to 6:40 p.m., making for a 4 hour 20 minute layover.

With the schedule change Continental now has an earlier flight at 3:45 p.m., which I am considering switching to. Is that cutting it too close for an international to domestic connection at IAH?

We really would like to limit our layover time since our flying will have started at 9:25 a.m the previous day in Kigali, Rwanda (we fly KGL-NBO-CDG-IAH-DFW) and we will not have slept in a real bed for almost 33 hours at that point. Also, missing the 3:45 flight would not cause major problems, as there are three more Continental flights that evening to DFW (including the one at 6:40 p.m. they have us on now).

Any thoughts?
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Book the 3:45. Chances are you'll make it. And as you said, if not, then they'll put you on the later ones. Not a big risk to take.

The 1:25 connection is somewhat tight, but doable.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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That's sort of my thinking too.

Does anyone know the minimum international to domestic connection time at IAH and how close I would cutting it?
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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I thought you had to have 1 1/2 hours between Int & Domestic flights but someone else may know for sure. I know your thoughts we came back from Kigali in Feb and it was 48 hours! Always remember that if you miss the flight the one you get on will depend on availability. My Mother missed a connection in LAX and the next flight they could get her on meant she was in LAX for 6 hours. There were about 4 other flights but they were all full or oversold! She was 10 hours late getting to her destination. I always just think of what could be worst that could happen and am I prepared to put up with that if it does happen and take it from there.

Have an amazing trip!

J
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Continental does not publish minimum connection times at its hubs to the public, but internally, they've recently increased IAH minimum connection time.

International to domestic is now 55 min (up from 50).

COEX flights operated by Chautauqua connecting to other CO flights is now 45 minutes (up from 30).

Other domestic-to-domestic and domestic-to-international remain 30 minutes.

If they let you book it, it's "legal".
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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As the OP has already figured, there are more IAH-DFW flights later that day, with 737s. And there are also several regional jet flights to DAL if needed.

Houston to Dallas is a business route and lots of people fly last minute. Also huge capacity on Southwest. It's rare to have all flights booked full all day.

If the AF flight is pretty late out of CDG, AF would have notified CO to protect them on a later flight.

And worse comes to worse, stay a night at a hotel and flight next morning; or just rent a car and drive home.

To me, the risk is quite acceptable.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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A lot of international flights arrive in Houston around that same time, so it can get crowded. However, since you are only going to DFW, you should be able to get on another flight if you miss your 3:45.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:25 AM
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Don't forget the Immigration and Customs. 1:15 might be doable if both flights are on same carrier and in same terminal, but, rwkwan, is it doable is they are on different carrier and they are in different terminals?
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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OP will arrive at Term E (for international flights). Will leave from either D or C if on a 737 and B if its on COEX. Connections pretty easy with either underground train or above ground train. Shouldn't be a problem. Sevendown, I'd stick with suggestion to schedule the 3:45 flight.

And just to add - it's the wait at passport check that usually takes time since, as mentioned, there are a number of international flights that arrive early to mid afternoon; customs is pretty quick.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Well, the IAH layout is a little confusing, and slight correction to what dfr4848 says.

The AF aircraft will park at a D gate. But after immigration and customs, you'll be at Terminal E - which is the same place if you have taken CO from Paris to Houston.

You drop off your checked bags to CO outside the customs exit, ride the escalators up to reclear security.

A mainline flight to DFW will depart from either E or C. If it's E, walk. If it's C, take the TerminaLink train over. [Except for C43-45, which is a wash.] For COEX regional jets to DAL, take the TerminaLink train to B.

For US citizens/residents without checked bags, you should be able to get to your gate in 30 minutes. If you have checked bags, add around 15. If you are not a US citizen or resident, book the later flight.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I was able to change my reservations. Now instead of a 4 hour 20 minute layover, I have only a 1 hour 30 minute layover.

The agent told me that the minimum connection time at IAH for international to domestic is now 60 minutes, so it sounds like it keeps going up. Regardless, if I can save 3 hours in IAH, I'm going to try it.

Thanks again.
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