how much time between flights?

Jan 18th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Original Poster
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how much time between flights?

When flying to Europe from US and making a connection in first European country to go to final much time should one allow to make sure of catching connecting flight? Do we have to go thru immigration or customs or ?
I know we have to upon returning to US at first US city we land in.
Just trying to make sure I allow enough time. Some schedules show up in my searches with less than an hour between flights. My guess is that's too tight a schedule.
Any recommendations are appreciated.
TAW is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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Depends on the airport. For Heathrow, at least 2 hours. 3 hours is comfortable.
Ann41 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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I agree with Ann41 that it depends on the airport. If you are coming from the US and connecting to another flight booked on the same ticket, your luggage will most likely be checked through, so that you will clear customs at your final destination. You may, however, depending on the airport, have to go through security and/or passport control.

All major airports have Web sites; I imagine most of them will have information on the minimum amount of time required to make a connecting flight.

Based on a series of recent postings here, beware of booking on Priceline without checking connection times...
Eloise is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Whether you go through immigration or not at your connection point depends on the countries involved, so it would help if you list the specific cities/airports. For instance, if both your connection and final destination airports are in Schengen agreement countries, you'll go through immigration at your first point of entry. Unless you're rechecking luggage at your connection point, customs will be at your final destination. Aside from the immigration and customs issue, other factors to consider would be whether you have to change terminals at your connection airport. Changing terminals may require a bus/shuttle ride and another security check which could add to the time. Another factor is whether your connecting flight is the last flight of the day into your destination. If so, I would allow more time that usual in case of any delay in your transatlantic flight.
Patty is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Hi TAW, as others had said, it depends on airport, etc. etc. Personally I like 3 hours. And enjoy a bit of time being to walk around, perhaps a snack and drink, restroom etc. after getting off the first flight.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Mind giving us a hint about your itinerary?

ira is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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3 hours is comfortable to me in most situations.

Absolutely no way under any circumstances would I book a connection that is >1 hour. There are simply too many variables. Remember - just because a route is posted on a website, doesn't make it a good idea (or even a realistic possibility)!
suze is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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If the flights are booked as one itinerary, then in theory the airline should help you out if you miss the connection and get you on the next flight. Of course given the runaround some posters have reported with various airlines, you don't necessarily want to rely on this. If you have two separate tickets, I recommend being as liberal as possible with the time in between.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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TAW - hope you don't mind me jumping on this thread with my question, but here goes ... hubby and I will be traveling from Boston-Frankfurt-Budapest via Lufthansa in May - and return Budapest-Frankfurt-Philadelphia. Question is whether or not we'll be considered 'intransit' during our layovers in Frankfurt and can bypass customs-undoubtedly though will have to get thru security and passport control while there before catching continuing flight.
Debs is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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Debs: The Frankfurt Airport web site discusses this issue. It says you can avoid controls by staying inside the "transit area."
Musicteacher is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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I'm going to Venice, IT from San Jose, CA and do not know where I'll connect yet since I haven't purchased ticket yet. Depending on airline, etc it looks as if it could be a variety of cities. I just wanted to make sure I allow enough time between flights.
Thanks for the replies.
TAW is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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If both flights are on the same ticket then the airline issuing the ticket is obliged to make sure your connection is "legal" - different rules at different airports to allow for passengers and baggage to get from one plane to another. If you're planning to reclaim your bags at your first arrival point, then re-check them again (for example if you're switching to a "low cost carrier" like Easyjet) then you need to allow yourself lots of time. Again, it will depend on the airport and circumstances, but a full pass through immigration, customs, bag claim/recheck, all that, will take at least a couple to three hours.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 19th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Musicteacher - thanks for answering my question and for the website to the Frankfurt airport - will check it out! Happy Travels!
Debs is offline  

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