Super short connection time in Houston

Old Nov 21st, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Super short connection time in Houston

We've booked a flight on Continental Dec. 31 from MSP to Managua. Assuming our flight from home isn't delayed because of weather or other problems, our flight from MSP gets into Houston at 8:43 am. The fight to Nicaragua leaves at 9:15.

Continental sold me the flight, & I talked to one of their reps who tells me this is a legal connection time. She said the second plane wouldn't wait for us but that we should be able to make it because there is a train between the terminals. Realistically, do we have any chance at all of making this connection, or should I make my Nicaragua arrival plans to reflect the reality that most likely we'll end up sitting in the Houston airport for 8 or 10 hours waiting for the next flight? I know some of you are familiar with this airport and this type of situation. Thanks.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 01:17 PM
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I rarely use IAH, but this seems risky to me. (I tend to be over-cautious about such things, I admit.) The least little delay about anything connected with your incoming flight makes your connection time even shorter. Weather? (It will be December.) The person in the seat ahead of you taking their sweet time getting their luggage down from the overhead bin? Congestion on the runway as your plane taxis to the gate?

Remember also that boarding closes several minutes before departure time. You don't really have until 9:15 to board the second flight.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Yes. I know all these things, and that's why we are nervous. Actually, we've already decided to ask the flight attnedant to make an announcement asking that we be allowed to get out first because we have such a tight connection. We've occasionally been on flights where this has happened, and people are usually quite good about it and don't complain.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 05:58 PM
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You're coming in on a regional jet at Terminal B, so you absolutely have to take the train for the transit. Even if your original flight is on-time, it'll be very tight.

Couple of things:

One is that there's a later flight IAH-MGA in the day, so if you miss the connection, chances are you can still make it there same day, though 8.5 hours later.

Second is that you may want to do a "same-day" confirmed change to go to Houston the evening before. It'll cost you $50 each, plus you'll need to get a hotel in Houston; but if you want to be sure to get on that flight to MGA, I'll bite the bullet and do that.

Starting at 12/30 5:35am, that is 24 hours before your original MSP-IAH flight, you can call to request any flight that's leaving within 12 hours of your calling. So, at 5:35a, you can request to fly on any flight on 12/30 up to the 5:12p CO2965. If you want to take the last flight, CO2917 at 7:00p, then you need to wait until 12/30 7:00am to call.

After you make the change, you still have plenty of time to get a hotel room at IAH.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 07:39 PM
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rkkwan--

You are an incredible source of information. I have never heard of such a thing and had no idea that such a thing could be done at all. Only $50? Everything I have read from the airlines talks about a $200 change fee. How are we ordinary people supposed to know about such things? I might give this some serious thought.

Since you seem to know so much about the airline and the area, I'm assuming you also know the area around the airport. Are there any cheap but acceptable hotels nearby with a free shuttle?

Thanks so much!
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 08:16 PM
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julies - There are many hotels and motels around IAH, and all will have free shuttle. All your regular national chains, and there's no particularly great ones or ones to avoid. Just depend on your budget. You can also try Hotwire.

I wouldn't use Priceline because the zone is too large and some hotels near Greenspoint Mall don't have complimentary shuttle, or they're very infrequent. At least with Hotwire, you can be certain the hotel has free shuttle. For example, using 12/30, there's a 3.5* on HW for $59, which looks like the Crowne Plaza. And it has complimentary shuttle.

*** I am not telling you to book HW right now. Don't book a non-refundable room until you get the confirmed change.

BTW, just to make it clear, it's $50 per person for the change.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 04:45 AM
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One last question. This is different from stand-by because if there are seats and I pay the $50, I am guaranteed a seat. Correct?
And, when I call I would request a same-day confirmed change and the res agent would know what I'm talking about? I appreciate the help.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 09:14 AM
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CO no longer offers free standby. The $50 "Same Day Confirmed Change" is the only type of change you can make without big fees.

Here is the information:

http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...romoCode=A1631

The 24-hour/12-hour rule is a little hard to understand. Which is why I gave you the exact time to call and flights you can get for you on 12/30, for your specific case.

And yes, if there are seats available and if they take your money, it's confirmed. Those seats are yours.
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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From my experience at IAH, I don't think you have the proverbial snowball's chance of making it.

I'd take rkkwan's advice. Any of the hotel's on JFK Blvd would work - just see which has the best rates.
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