Feedback on connecting flight

May 16th, 2004, 10:12 AM
Posts: n/a
Feedback on connecting flight

I would like the opinion of seasoned travelers about the time between connecting flights. Is 40 minutes between connections enough time for the US to Europe leg of a trip? It seems a bit tight to me. I'm also not sure this flight allows enough time to get through customs in Brussels before catching the flight to Venice. Below is the flight that we're considering.

Sep. 13
RNO to Chicago (ORD) (dep. 11:17 a.m. /arr. 4:56 p.m.)

ORD to Brussels (BRU) (dep. 5:40 p.m./arr. 8:45 a.m.)

BRU to VCE (dep. 9:55 a.m./ arr. 11:35 a.m.)
May 16th, 2004, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,990
If it's on one carrier between Reno and Brussels, and if the carrier will sell you a ticket with those flights, then it ought to be okay. (They won't sell tix with "illegal" connection times.) But forty minutes between long flights at O'Hare sure sounds too short to me, especially if the gates are far apart, or worse, if flight congestion happens and your RNO flight lands late.

If you need to clear customs and re-check bags in BRU (as your initial Schengen port) then that connection sounds pretty dicey too. Undoubtedly that's on a different carrier?
Gardyloo is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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You go through Schengen Immigration at Brussels, but you don't go through EU Customs till Venice, if your bags are checked through to Venice. The first time you see your bags after leaving the US should be at Venice (actually,in Europe, practicaly no-one goes through Customs ever, but that's a different issue).

If they're checked through, your hour at BRU should be fine. If not, you have to wait, after the immigration queue, for them to emerge, take them through Customs and then check them, and yourself, in at the desk of the onward carrier. I'd say an hour wouldn't work.
flanneruk is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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I would confirm this with your airline - but both the times sound way too tight. ORD is a well-known bottleneck and if you have to go through customs in Brussels you have no chance of makgin a flight 40 minutes later.
nytraveler is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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It looks to me that the RNO-ORD-BRU are on AA. The Chicago connection is fine. You will be flying into Terminal 3, Concourse H or K. You will also take off from the same terminal. The worst case scenario is if you have to go from one end of the one concourse to the other end of the other concourse. Even then it's 15 minutes tops.
Of course, if there are any weather delays, you will miss your connection, but, that could happen if you have a 3 hour connection. I would not sweat that one very much.

On the other hand, your BRU connection seems little tight, but ifit is a major airline, they will put you on a later flight if that becomes necessary.

Many people worry way too much about connections. I fly all the time, and most of my connections are between 30-60 minutes tops as I hate to spend any more time at any airport than necessary, and this year I'm 100% so far. I do fly AA and I do fly through ORD, DFW and the worse of them all, MIA.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 12:12 PM
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I don't know anout Brussels, but that connection at ORD would worry me greatly. We almost always go through ORD, now that our home airport has lost most of it's hub status.

Not saying it hasn't been done before, but I've missed connections that tight on domestic connections at O'Hare, to the point were I won't book an international flight that close. I might if it were on the way home, so that there may be different flights that could still get us home.

I've noticed that Orbitz, for one, is more likely to offer these tight connections through ORD than the airline's own sites.
Clifton is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the ORD connection either. If for some reason the flight coming out of RNO is delayed, AA can still put you on one of three flights later in the day for Heathrow, and then connect you to Venice that way. Or via Paris.

If you didn't buy this ticket direct from AA, you might want to call them to see if this 44-minute connection is legal or not. On AA's website, #1176 RNO-ORD has a on-time record (arrive at gate within 15 minutes of scheduled time) of only 70%, that means you have a 30% chance of having only 29 minutes or fewer for making the connection.
rkkwan is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. This is an AA flight.

Here's an additional question. The flight from Brussels to VCE is via Brussels Air, a partner airline of AA. Do you think we'll have to recheck bags in Brussels, or can we check all the way through to Venice?
May 16th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Ater checking your luggage in Reno, the next time you'll see your bags will be in Venice!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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I just want to add few observtions here:

Once you are ticketed on this route with these connections, then maybe you should think of a missed connection at ORD as a blessing. As rkkwan posted above, AA will reroute you anyway they can, and most likely it would be through London. That would mean that you woud be sitting on a 777 instead of 767(not a bad plane, but not as good). The 777 has individual monitors and it's just a better machine IMHO. There you would connect with BA or whoever AA could find to get you to Venice.

But, I will still stand by my original statement. I would not worry about the first connection at all, the second one may be little tight. Be prepared, look at the Brussels Air schedule, and see what are the options in case you do miss that flight. If you have to wait a whole day, you may want to think about taking a side trip to Brussels. The train will get you there in minutes and you could have a nice day. Just don't do anything till Brussels Air gets you set up with whatever flight. What I'm trying to say is that if you have more than 5-6 hours of waiting time, go see Brussels, don't sit around the airport.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 02:16 PM
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We've flown through ORD lots of times, and I sure wouldn't be comfortable with a 44 minute layover.

It's not just the 15 minutes to walk between gates, but the time it takes to unload the plane, and the necessity of getting to the new gate at least 10 minutes in advance.

Sure, AA has other flights, but there's no guarantee that there will be seats available.
abram is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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as posted by Abram,

Sure, AA has other flights, but there's no guarantee that there will be seats available.

Come on? If he did miss his flight, AA has 3 more 777s flying to London that evening, 1 more 777 flying to Frankfurt and 1 767 flying to Paris. You don't think they'll find couple of seats?
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 07:47 PM
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If flights are delayed by weather, for example, there could easily be more than a couple of people needing seats. Lots of flights to Europe fly completely full.
abram is offline  

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