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Continental has changed our flight time from CLT to EWR - now have only 35 minutes to make our flight to CDG. Possible?

Continental has changed our flight time from CLT to EWR - now have only 35 minutes to make our flight to CDG. Possible?

Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Continental has changed our flight time from CLT to EWR - now have only 35 minutes to make our flight to CDG. Possible?

We bought our tickets in December for a flight to Paris on May 18. I was careful to choose a flight that gave us around 2 hours in Newark each way. I just checked our reservations and they now have us leaving CLT 1hr+ later and arriving at EWR at 5:40pm. (This flight is 28 minutes longer??) Our flight to CDG is still scheduled to leave at 6:15. There are a couple of flights later that evening but we wanted to get to Paris early to pick up our car and drive to Burgundy. I will, of course, call to see what's going on, but if they say we have no choice but to take this flight or none, do I have any recourse?

On top of that we now have no seat reservations for the CLT-EWR leg and it shows the same seats for my friend and me on the other legs. Don't think I want to sit in her lap!!
Betty1 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Call Continental reservations. Since they materially changed the flight time, you have the right to have your first leg changed to an earlier flight -- at no cost to yourself, even if it puts the fare up. This is now an illegal connection, and they ought to take care of you.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:13 PM
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"This is now an illegal connection..."


only if Continental agrees that it is.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:14 PM
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35 minutes is not impossible, but you have a good chance of missing the flight.

You basically have 4 choices:

1. Leave it as is. If you miss your connection, CO will put you on one of the two later flights. But since those two flights are 757s (yours a 777), they are less comfortable, and since you'll be rebooked last minute, chances are you're going to sit in a middle seat.

2. Call and have them switch you to the earlier flight out of CLT. 11:00am depature, and you'll have 5 hours at EWR.

3. Call and have them switch you to the later EWR-CDG flight. 8:30p - 9:55a+1. You only lose about 2 hours in France.

4. If you're unhappy with all, you probably can get a full refund and book elsewhere.

My experience with CO is that they'll work with you and put you on the other flights if you insist that you don't want a 35-minute connection to an international flight.

As for the seat assignment problem, you can call continental.com website support at 800-300-1547, and they can usually take care of you there. This is not the general reservations number.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Thanks, guys. It's nice to know what my options are. I'm not crazy about any of them but I guess the later flight out of EWR is the lesser of the evils.

I also just noticed that my return EWR-CLT has been moved up so that I have 1h45 instead of 2h20 to make that connection. Should I be concerned about that? (I have not so pleasant memories of trying to make a 1h30 minute connection in Phildelphia on US Airways, returning from Paris.)
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:49 PM
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1:45 for your incoming is adequate. Many of my relatives have done 1:30 and make them.

I've never waited for for immigration at EWR, as a US citizen. You'll most likely have to wait for luggage. Total time from door open to exit customs should be under 30 minutes.

Drop off your checked bags and get upstairs. If the security line is long, understand that there are 3 sets of security checkpoints at EWR Terminal C. Walk out to the two other sets to your right instead.

In general, you should arrive at your gate within an hour.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Thanks, rkkwan and others. You've been very helpful. I'll let you know how I resolve this.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Betty1,

i would definitely have a "Plan B" in mind and based on the worst case scenario.

Getting a refund from Continental should be, IMO, your LAST option even if you don;t like any of the possibilities. Why? Because I somehow doubt you are going to get the same trip on another airline as cheaply as you did on Continental, especially if you booked it months ahead.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 01:35 PM
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You're so right, Dukey. We got these tickets for $845, which I was not thrilled with at the time, but everything I see now is well over $1000.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:36 PM
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I booked tickets to Cologne-Bonn from Orlando in January when the EWR layover time was over an hour. The time has since been reduced to less than an hour and I too became concerned.

I e-mailed Continental and 3 days later was instruced to call international reservations 1-800 number. The representative I spoke to said there should be no problem since we were arriving in Terminal C and departing in the same terminal.

Do you (especially rkkwan) feel this information is valid? We'll be doing carry-on only and after the security check at MCO we shouldn't have any problems other than ptotential weather-related delays for our out-bound flights. My confusion comes from the fact that the e-mail responce from Continental seemed to indicate a somewhat negative response yet the international reservations rep. seemed as though there is no problem at all.

The timing of our return journey is of no particular concern, probably won't want to come back anyway. Maybe getting stuck in Newark could be a less-than-desireable outcome but I'll have Budman drop by and buy him a Bud!

MvK
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Here is my recent experience landing at EWR from the CGN flight, and then connecting to another flight (to SEA, in my case). We had a one-hour connection time.

1) We got off the plane and went through immigration. This didn't take too long.
2) My efforts to walk quickly to get through immigration were wasted, as it took another 10 minutes or so to get our luggage. It arrived and we proceeded to go through customs.
3) For the first time ever, the customs officer sent us to a secondary inspection. I think our food from Paris excited his interest, although none was prohibited.
4) When we went to the secondary inspection, we were held up for some time because no staff were around - it felt like forever, but I guess it wasn't that long. They took a quick and inadequate look, and off we went.
5) We then had to go in a security line that seemed long, but I guess was not that long.
6) We got through the security line, raced for the gate, and got there in the middle of boarding. Our row had already been called. I'm not sure when the door was closed, but probably 10-15 minutes later.

So without the 30 minute head start we got from being early, we wouldn't have made it.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Continental recently changed my return reservation from CDG so that I then had an hour and 15 minute connection in EWR to clear immigration, customs and security. Having been through EWR several times before I was sceptical that this could be done. I called them and they changed it free of charge. I now have a five and a half hour connection, but at least I don't have to worry about making it.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:20 PM
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MarkvonKramer - CO has almost hourly flight EWR-MCO in the afternoon. Call reservations and have it changed.

I am surprised you even get an email reply. Emailing an airline is most often useless.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I hope you booked this as 1 continuous reservation and not as 2 seperate tickets. If this is 2 tickets you have very few rights.

I don't think 35 minutes is possible. You will have to change terminals to make this flight.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:34 PM
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No changing of terminal. International flights should come in at C (though sometimes B, if all gates are occupied), and MCO flights leave from C.

Still requires security reclearing.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:49 PM
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rkkwan,

You mean that we will have to go through security AGAIN at EWR after arrival from MCO? WHY? We have never left the security zone. That is maddening! What's worse, I made the call to Continental just yesterday and find out the flight leaving MCO at 2:40pm had changed to 3:00pm and is NOW 3:10pm,leaving even LESS time between flights. But the time we fly, they'll need a ramp from plane-to-plane if they keep this up! Why didn't the Continental rep take care of this immediately?

Now I MUST to change to the earlier flight at 12:20pm so a 1+/- hour layover at EWR is now a nearly 4 hour layover. GREAT way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Any recommendations for recreation WITHIN the security zone at EWR?

MvK
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:01 PM
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rkkwan, I think richardab was talking to me, saying that I would have to change terminals between the CLT-EWR flight and the EWR-CDG flight. Is that right?

And yes, this was booked as one ticket all on Continental.

To further complicate matters, we have a third person traveling with us but his ticket was booked separately. Trying to get in touch with him to see if his times were changed as ours were and what he wants to do. Fun, fun, fun!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:08 PM
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MvK -

I apologize. Let start over. Somehow I thought you were talking about your CGN-EWR-MCO leg.

Okay, for MCO-EWR-CGN, you don't need to change terminal, you don't need to go through security, you don't need to do anything. Just go from one gate to another.

How much time is "comfortable" depends. 45-60 minutes is tight, but should be okay.

But you should think about the "what ifs". What if you MCO-EWR flight is late, and you miss the connection? There's only one daily flight to CGN, but there are other flights to Europe you can still get on.

In the summer schedule:

CO110 CGN departs 6:45p

Here are the flights you need them to put you on if you want to get to Cologne on your original date:

CO50 FRA 7:40p
CO28 LGW 8:25p
CO138 CDG 8:30p
CO54 CDG 10:00p
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:08 PM
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No, Betty1 - You don't need to change terminals either. All Terminal C.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:35 PM
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rkkwan,

Thanks! I noticed that service to FRA on a 777, probably a tad more comfortable than the 757 to CGN but having never flown 777 or Continental, I can't say with any degree of certainty. I'm booked on CO110 but that CO50 looks like something I'd go for if Continental would make the change. CGN was only a cheap portal into Europe, heading to Bacharach after landing so FRA would work nicely.

I may wait until mid-April (flight set for May 20 to press this issue further. It would probably best to go ahead and ask Continental to change to the 12:20pm flight from MCO.

MvK
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