Layover Times

Old Feb 4th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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Layover Times

Hi all,
I am purchasing my first airline tickets for an international flight. So I'm a little clueless...
I found a great fare on Travelocity but when I clicked on it to get more details it showed a flight with one layover at Newark Airport and one in Amsterdam. They were each over 6 hours. Is this normal? Or should I search for a flight with a shorter layover? How much time do you allow to change planes?
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Unless you want to go into New York City and Amsterdam for a look, I'll look for other itineraries with a shorter layover. To me, a 90-minute one will be ideal. Try to avoid any that's below that as 1) if you miss your EWR-AMS flight, you may have to wait a day to get the next one; and 2) if you're going to countries in the Schengen zone (for info - www.eurovisa.info), you'll be clearing immigration in AMS, plus AMS is a pretty large airport with long walks.

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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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One of the reasons it may have been a great fare is because of these layovers. So keep checking and decide which is more important - schedule with comfort or price.
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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That is not normal, generally. Depends where you are going, but you might not be able to do better than the 6-hour layover in Amsterdam if you are going to central or south Asia. Or Africa, I suppose.

The long Newark layover might be due to lowest cost, as gail mentioned. Depends on where you are leaving from. Does the connection at Newark involve a transfer from another NY area airport or are you flying from your origin city to Newark (EWR)?
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Old Feb 7th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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Generally, I don't find 90 minutes to be a long enough layover, especially if: a) I'm flying in winter (de-icing = delays); or b) flying in or out of a major airport (Toronto, LA, London airports, AMS, Paris etc). I try to have at least 2 hours, but 6 hours is a little long.

You should also think about trying to book connecting flights with the same airline (or partner airlines). They might cost a little more, but there are likely to be fewer problems in making connections (e.g. they often operate out of the same terminal), ticketing your luggage all the way through to your final destination. Also, they often seem to treat you better if delays or problems arise (which they often do).

If you do end up stuck with the long layovers, check out sleepinginairports.com. It will give you suggestions for the best places to nap.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Thanks everyone.
mrwunrfl: The flight was from Houston to Newark with Edinburgh as the final destination.
Kate: All flights were Continental.

I thought that 6 hours seemed a little long and that might have made the fare so low. I'll keep looking and welcome any other suggestions.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Have you checked the fares on continental.com? Or other booking sites like Orbitz? There are many many fights IAH-EWR on CO, so you shouldn't have to wait long at EWR.

If you want more help, let us know what dates you're flying and what fare you found on Travelocity.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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90 minutes is not a legal connection on an international flight. Standard is 2 hours, 2.5 to 3 hours if you're changing airlines.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Many airlines allow 60 minute international connection in many airports. Period.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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We're getting a little off topic, but I've booked and traveled on international flights with some relatively short connection times. This is possible under some circumstances. Here is something from Northwest Airlines on the subject:

Making Connecting Flights

Be sure to incorporate connection time into your travel plans. When flying domestically, it's best to allow at least 30 minutes to make your connecting flight. If your flight includes an international leg, refer to the timetable below for recommended connection times.

Northwest Domestic City to Northwest International City

Amsterdam: 50 minutes
Boston: 40 minutes
Detroit: 40 minutes
New York - JFK: 40 minutes
Los Angeles: 30 minutes
Memphis: 30 minutes
Miami: 30 minutes
Minneapolis/St. Paul: 40 minutes
Chicago - O'Hare: 30 minutes
Seattle/Tacoma: 30 minutes
San Francisco: 40 minutes
Tampa: 30 minutes
Tokyo (Narita): 50 minutes

Northwest International City to Northwest Domestic City

Amsterdam: 50 minutes
Boston: 1 hour
Detroit: 1 hour 30 minutes
New York - JFK: 1 hour 45 minutes
Los Angeles: 1 hour 30 minutes
Memphis: 1 hour
Miami: 1 hour
Minneapolis/St. Paul: 1 hour 15 minutes
Chicago - O'Hare: 1 hour 30 minutes
Seattle/Tacoma: 1 hour
San Francisco: 1 hour 30 minutes
Tampa: 1 hour

Some of these don't allow much margin and I'm not sure how comfortable I would be booking them, but if you're dealing with carry-ons only, they can be booked as "legal" connections.

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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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rkkwan:
Travel dates are May 23-30. Houston to Edinburgh, round trip.
I've never booked airline tickets. Would like a good deal but don't want to mess up travel arrangements to get it. I've seen as low at $500 up to $900.
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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May 23-30

Cheapest, CO $616.59, also most direct.

Many flights to choose from, but the best:

CO50 IAH-EWR 1:15p-6:04p
CO36 EWR-EDI 7:55p-7:40a(+1)

Return:
CO37 EDI-EWR 9:10a-11:35a
CO23 EWR-IAH 1:32p-4:35p

It should bookable on continental.com. No surcharge, and you get 1,000 Onepass bonus miles. And $617 is a reasonable price for May travel. I doubt it'll go lower.
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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We fly Continental frequently, and the connection time does not appear to be related to the price of the tickets. Typically, to fly from Cleveland to Paris (an overnight flight), we are offered flights out of Cleveland as early as 0800 and as late as afternoon, all at the same price.

In the case of one making an initial international flight, I would rather have the 6 hour connection time than 2 hours, just so you have plenty of time to get through all the lines and find the gates, and perhaps eat. Flying tourist class, I am always appreciative of a little time in an airport to do a bit of walking, eating, bathrooming, etc., after being cooped up in a plane. I also like to find an outlet to recharge my mp3 player so I can pick the music on my flight, and we always carry plenty of reading material.
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 05:10 AM
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Good idea clevelandbrown. I'm booking my tickets soon so I'll think about that. Maybe I'll find a happy medium.
I checked continental's website and the flights that were pulled up had a layover in Newark, and another flight had one in Orlando. Is it easier to change/manuver/get around in either airport?
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Look closely at continental.com. There are many flights available between Houston and Newark. Make sure you get the non-stops. Absolutely no reason to go to Orlando. [The Orlando connection comes up because CO36 goes Orlando-Newark-Edinburgh.] Again, do not go through Orlando. Things might have changed, but all those flights were available when I posted my previous reply.

The itinerary I suggested have almost 2 hours in Newark. That's more than enough, really. If you have an important meeting to go in Edinburgh, then fly a day early. If you really want to break up the journey, fly IAH-EWR early in the morning. That way you may have a few hours to go into New York. <b>You don't want to spend 6 hours at the Newark Airport.</b>
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 06:15 AM
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I just checked again. That option is still available. It's the 7th itinerary that comes up after you search for the flight.

If you want to visit New York, take CO48, IAH-EWR 7:55am-12:30pm. You'll have over 7 hours for the transit, enough time to go into Manhattan.

Again, <b>do not go through Orlando</b> unless you want to earn about 700 more Onepass miles, or if you want to see the Orlando Airport.
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