Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (https://www.fodors.com/community/)
-   Air Travel (https://www.fodors.com/community/air-travel/)
-   -   United Express to United 1hr 16min to international flight @ IAD (https://www.fodors.com/community/air-travel/united-express-to-united-1hr-16min-to-international-flight-iad-1702123/)

richarde99 Sep 22nd, 2021 11:22 AM

United Express to United 1hr 16min to international flight @ IAD
 
I've started planning next year's travel from New Orleans to Malta. United has the best option based on price for cabin class and total travel time for us departing on May 25 by United Express into Washington - Dulles International (IAD) with a 1 hr and 16 min connection to United flight to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). Then, FRA with a 1 hr and 50 min connection to United flight to Malta International Airport (MLA).

We only carry on board, however, unless United will hold (if necessary) for a late flight into IAD, I don't think this is workable.

Comments?

Seamus Sep 22nd, 2021 07:50 PM

I've made similar connections at IAD mostly without problem, just once missed a connection due to delayed arrival to IAD. UA has been known to hold flights when it knows there are international travelers involved, but it is not guaranteed. If the connection makes you nervous, suggest you opt for an earlier flight or one the day before.

LT Sep 23rd, 2021 09:03 AM

Hi:

I think you'll be OK. The key is to check which aircraft you are flying on from MSY - IAD. If it's not an ERJ 170 or higher, you might end up at the B gates, which would require a schlep to the C/D concourse (about 15 - 20 mins). Otherwise, many of the ERJ 170+ birds do park in the C/D concourse, and you'd have plenty of time, provided all flights are on time. IAD has become a pretty big international hub, and you might want to do a little research and see what other flight options are available within the Star Alliance (i.e., Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, TAP) in case something happens. Good luck!

richarde99 Sep 27th, 2021 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by Seamus (Post 17288964)
I've made similar connections at IAD mostly without problem, just once missed a connection due to delayed arrival to IAD. UA has been known to hold flights when it knows there are international travelers involved, but it is not guaranteed. If the connection makes you nervous, suggest you opt for an earlier flight or one the day before.

Thank you. I couldn't make it work any better timewise, so my "belt & suspenders" move is to add a day in Malta. If we make both connections, great, if we don't (as long as we don't miss both flights) we'll still be good.

richarde99 Sep 27th, 2021 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by LT (Post 17289094)
Hi:

I think you'll be OK. The key is to check which aircraft you are flying on from MSY - IAD. If it's not an ERJ 170 or higher, you might end up at the B gates, which would require a schlep to the C/D concourse (about 15 - 20 mins). Otherwise, many of the ERJ 170+ birds do park in the C/D concourse, and you'd have plenty of time, provided all flights are on time. IAD has become a pretty big international hub, and you might want to do a little research and see what other flight options are available within the Star Alliance (i.e., Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, TAP) in case something happens. Good luck!

Thank you. I just looked it up, we have an Embraer 175 on UA 6254 from MSY to IAD. Hopefully we'll be on the same concourse as the departing UA 989 from IAD to FRA.

janisj Sep 27th, 2021 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by richarde99 (Post 17290371)
Thank you. I just looked it up, we have an Embraer 175 on UA 6254 from MSY to IAD. Hopefully we'll be on the same concourse as the departing UA 989 from IAD to FRA.


ANYTHING scheduled now for next year is simply a place holder. Flight times, potential cancellation, airplane model, concourse, absolutely everything. Airlines are daily changing flight times, cancelling and /or consolidating flights, even removing routes from the schedule entirely. Anything you book now will likely be changed multiple times between now and then . . .

richarde99 Sep 28th, 2021 04:35 AM


Originally Posted by janisj (Post 17290492)
ANYTHING scheduled now for next year is simply a place holder. Flight times, potential cancellation, airplane model, concourse, absolutely everything. Airlines are daily changing flight times, cancelling and /or consolidating flights, even removing routes from the schedule entirely. Anything you book now will likely be changed multiple times between now and then . . .

Thank you. I'll add travel insurance with a "cancel without reason" provision too.

mrwunrfl Sep 28th, 2021 12:11 PM

You have backups for both flights. Assume the schedule stays the same.

You are on the 5:25P flight to FRA. There is an LH flight at 6:10P. You might get the UA flight at 10:20P.
You are on the 9:10A flight - on Lufthansa, not United - to MLA. LH has two later flights: 1:58P and 8:30P.
That 10:20 UA flight gives you 1h 40m to connect to the LH flight at 1:58P but still have a backup at 8:30

Realistically, the worst case is that you arrive MLA at 11PM on the 26th.
Absolute worst case is an overnight at IAD and get to MLA on the 27th.

mrwunrfl Sep 28th, 2021 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by richarde99 (Post 17290572)
Thank you. I'll add travel insurance with a "cancel without reason" provision too.

Cancel what?
What loss would you be insuring against? How much of a loss and at what cost of insurance?

janisj Sep 28th, 2021 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by mrwunrfl (Post 17290730)
Cancel what?
What loss would you be insuring against? How much of a loss and at what cost of insurance?


I agree re insurance. Travel Insurance is often a very good idea but it really has nothing to do with this topic - the flights/making connections. You are protected if things go wrong and if you miss the connection, would be put on the next available flight

richarde99 Sep 28th, 2021 12:44 PM

Wow -- thank you for your comments and updated information. I appreciate your time.

richarde99 Sep 28th, 2021 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by mrwunrfl (Post 17290730)
Cancel what?
What loss would you be insuring against? How much of a loss and at what cost of insurance?

Thank you. Good point, the trip insurance is still a good idea, but if we get on another flight, it's just a question of catching up to our planned itinerary. You have assuaged (some) of my concerns!

richarde99 Sep 28th, 2021 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by mrwunrfl (Post 17290722)
You have backups for both flights. Assume the schedule stays the same.

You are on the 5:25P flight to FRA. There is an LH flight at 6:10P. You might get the UA flight at 10:20P.
You are on the 9:10A flight - on Lufthansa, not United - to MLA. LH has two later flights: 1:58P and 8:30P.
That 10:20 UA flight gives you 1h 40m to connect to the LH flight at 1:58P but still have a backup at 8:30

Realistically, the worst case is that you arrive MLA at 11PM on the 26th.
Absolute worst case is an overnight at IAD and get to MLA on the 27th.

Wow -- thank you for your comments and updated information. I appreciate your time.

richarde99 Oct 6th, 2021 02:56 PM

Update. We decided to fly from New Orleans to Washington on the earlier flight, at 8:00 am, which will put us in Washington with a 6 hour layover. At least we eliminate the worry about getting to Frankfort.

Seamus Oct 6th, 2021 05:12 PM

With that long a layover, if you are not already entitled to admission you might consider purchasing a one time pass for the United Club - $59 per person. That may well be less than the cost of a couple glasses of wine and a bite to eat at airport concessions, and the seating is more comfortable. Food service is no longer buffet but they do have some tasty things wrapped up in individual servings. Masks are required unless eating/drinking.

richarde99 Oct 7th, 2021 10:03 AM


Originally Posted by Seamus (Post 17293507)
With that long a layover, if you are not already entitled to admission you might consider purchasing a one time pass for the United Club - $59 per person. That may well be less than the cost of a couple glasses of wine and a bite to eat at airport concessions, and the seating is more comfortable. Food service is no longer buffet but they do have some tasty things wrapped up in individual servings. Masks are required unless eating/drinking.

Seamus-- thank you for your comment. Our outbound travel is Business Class (first time), and we return Premium Economy. The lounge did play into our consideration of the long lay-over, and we are both prepared for it to be a long day. Perhaps we will be able to sleep some.

mrwunrfl Oct 7th, 2021 11:12 AM

I didn't mention that 8AM flight because your priorities stated in the OP were price and travel time. But schedule (connection times) has become a higher priority than travel time. I was thinking that the 8AM flight was a sort of insurance that you would make the UA flight at a cost of time not money.

With that 8AM flight you would have the option of taking the LH flight at 3:25P and you would have plenty of time for both connections. 4h 1m at IAD and 3h 25m at FRA. That flight is a codeshare: United 8833 operated by Lufthansa. There is that later LH flight and the two UAs that are potential backups.

Late afternoon thundershowers in late May have delayed my departure from IAD more than once so I would be a bit happier with a 3:25P departure than 5:25P

I don;t know how that LH A330-300 compares to the UA 777-200 for the type of seating you have. If one is significantly better then that would carry some weight with me in choosing. Of course, there could be a change of equipment on either or both flights between now and May 25.

If that LH flight is not an option then I would be happy with the schedule you have because it pretty much guarantees getting to Malta on the 26th.

Be aware that if/when there is a schedule change that you don't have to accept the flights that they might assign to you. I believe that if the change is significant then you might have the option of cancelling the ticket for a full refund. Don't quote me on this. Just saying that you sh/couild find out what your options are.

I would assume that United would not inform me of a schedule change. No matter what my communication preferences are at their website, I would not trust them to notify me. I would take a look at My Trips at their website once a month.

Looks like the UA flight would have an extra 1.5" of seat width at 22" vs 20.5" on LH.

richarde99 Oct 9th, 2021 09:01 AM

mrwunrfl I did check the Lufthansa airbus for its amenities in business class and find that it doesn't have the enclosure feature of the Boeing Polaris class. Flying in a "pod" is on my wife's bucket list, so I'll keep what we have. Thank you for your time.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:00 AM.