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celfan Feb 13th, 2007 08:22 AM

International connections? How much time? Is this risky?
I have the choice of two flights on
Thurs September 6

US Airways flight 3905
Burlington, VT to Philadelphia 5:45 to 7:02

Philadelphia to Brussels 8:35 to10:25

Layover 1 hr and 33 minutes


US Aiways 3909
Burlington, VT to Philadelphia 3:30 to 4:47

Philadelphia to Brussels 8:35 to10:25

Layover 3 hrs and 52 minutes

Obviously I'd rather not hang around an airport for 2.5 hrs if not necessary.
To me, 1 hr 33 minutes is on the bubble.
Let me say that I already have too little time available in Belgium and I have a $300
hotel room reserved for next day.

What would you do?

Notice I'm in Vermont, so if theres a problem
there aren't many other flights.


celfan Feb 13th, 2007 08:27 AM

And perhaps I should add that the next day is my 25th wedding anniversary.:)

rkkwan Feb 13th, 2007 08:34 AM

Take the early flight. Find out which is the best restaurant at PHL and have a leisurely dinner there. Skip the inflight meal and go to sleep, if desired.

cruiseluv Feb 13th, 2007 08:35 AM

I also hate to have long layovers at airports but I always worry about connections. So... I would go for the later flight to Brussels.

Judy Feb 13th, 2007 08:50 AM

I would take the early flight. The day we travel I rarely schedule anything else and will manage to spend the day rechecking details or repacking....I'm better off getting on the road and "relaxing" at the airport. I'd rather waste time at the airport than worry about making a connection.

missypie Feb 13th, 2007 09:02 AM

I have a different view of connections since my family spent an "unscheduled" night in London on our journey home from Venice to Dallas. We we supposed to have 1:40 at Gatwick between flights. But our flight from Venice departed 2 hours and 20 minutes late. The 1:40 would have been plenty of time to make the connection...had the plane left on time. As it was, our return home was delayed a day (and our luggage, by two days.) So don't just think of whether you (and your luggage) can physically get from one gate to another....what if there is a rainstorm, or mechanical problems that make your first flight leave late?

SuzieC Feb 13th, 2007 09:22 AM

umm... there is a really good italian restaurant IN the terminal, I think it is called Ciba (no doubt a chain) but my husband and I now make a stop there for a drink and dinner part of our trip, we like it that much.

Dukey Feb 13th, 2007 09:35 AM

If hanging out just anywhere at PHL doesn't suit you or the idea of the restaurant isn't good then consider buying a daypass to the USAirways Club.

cruiseluv Feb 13th, 2007 09:37 AM

Sorry, I meant take the early flight to Philly!

Mandilulur Feb 13th, 2007 09:38 AM

We just flew PIT-JFK-FCO and our travel agent booked us a one hour connection at Kennedy. I insisted she change it to an earlier flight with a 3 and a half hour sit time. Our flight to JFK was delayed by almost an hour and the later one was canceled completely! We had a nice lunch at Terminal 3 Kennedy while waiting and congratulated ourselves on being cautious rather than panicked/disappointed. I also had a $297 hotel waiting for me in Rome. Do go early, as you say, there aren't many back-ups out of Burlington. Life, and connections, are too short for stressing.

rkkwan Feb 13th, 2007 09:38 AM

I considered recommending the USAirways Club, but a daypass is $40, no guest. So, two people will pay $80. I think there must be at least one semi-decent sit down restaurant they can hang out for a while.

SuzieC Feb 13th, 2007 09:47 AM

This restaurant is decent ... and as I think Philadelphia security TSA people can be pretty terrible and the lines get backed up... we go early.

djuna Feb 13th, 2007 09:49 AM

We have a similiar dilemma - well, no longer a dilemma because the flight is booked.
BA has us flying via London (LHR) to Athens with only an hour and 25 minutes layover in London.. where we have to go through customs...
Is this ridiculous? Wait, I think I already know the answer... ;-)

celfan Feb 13th, 2007 10:08 AM

LHR? Yikes-good luck.

There are two airports in the world I don't trust for connections. LHR and ORD.

And thanks to everyone. I better take the earlier flight, and even that makes me a little nervous. My goal is to spend my 25th anniversay in Bruges, not the Philly airport Ramada.

HappyTrvlr Feb 13th, 2007 10:34 AM

We flew US AIR from Albany,NY to Philadelphia to Amsterdam last year. US Air wanted us to go with a much shorter connection time. We chose a longer layover as Philadelphia has a poor on time connection record. It was a long distance from our arrival to departure concourses as well. We checked the ontime performance for the ALB-PHL flight for a week on their website and it only arrived on time twice. We would have missed our international connection if we had listened to their advice as the ALB flight arived a half hour after the Amsterdam flight took off. The International terminal is new and comfortable so hang out there and make your flight to Brussels.

sherm99 Feb 14th, 2007 10:48 AM

I fly out of PHL all the time. terminals A west, A east, B,C and D are all connected without having to re-enter security. They have the regular fast fare (chinese, chick filet, Saboro, and a couple of Cibo bistros), your options are open for dinner. It is best to take the early flight in case of delays. Better to be safe with going international.

alanRow Feb 14th, 2007 11:02 AM

<<< BA has us flying via London (LHR) to Athens with only an hour and 25 minutes layover in London.. where we have to go through customs... >>>

Presumably you mean immigration - if so, you don't. You follow the signs the signs to the Flight Connection Centre & they will get you to your departure terminal. You will have to pass through security and there is a remote chance you'll pass through an active customs post but you won't pass through immigration

nbujic Feb 14th, 2007 11:44 AM

LHR is huge, if you have to connect to or from T4 to other terminals ( you have to go through security and passport control)), one hour 25 min could be a problem.

ira Feb 14th, 2007 11:49 AM

Hi C,

Take the early flight.

There is a nice bar near the entrance to concourse C.

You won't mind the wait.

Have a nice trip.


djuna Feb 14th, 2007 01:47 PM

<LHR is huge, if you have to connect to or from T4 to other terminals ( you have to go through security and passport control)), one hour 25 min could be a problem.>

We're connecting in T1, which is our arrival terminal as well... we will have to go through passport control - but I think we'll be fine.

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