US to Europe - Short Layover Question

Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:00 PM
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US to Europe - Short Layover Question

We are looking at flights from the US to Europe in December. A lot of the flights have short layovers in Europe before our final destination city

For example, we are looking to land in Venice. We fly from US to Madrid, have 1 hour 40 min layover, and then fly to Venice. We have seen a few more options for flights with this in-between layover being 1.5-2 hours.

Do you think this is enough time to make our connecting flight? I would assume we'd need to go through customs in Madrid before we could go to our connecting flight, correct?
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:15 PM
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When you arrive in Spain you are entering the European Union and Schengen zone, so will go through passport control there. No idea how long a layover you need in Madrid, but 1hr 40min seems too tight.

Last edited by Heimdall; Sep 5th, 2022 at 02:17 PM.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 03:06 PM
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Now you've added Venice to this mix?!?! Are you aware of the aqua alta at the time of year you intend to travel?

I can only assume that the travel interruptions from this summer will not be an issue come November/December/January. But if you head to a place that may have lines related to families traveling home to your respective destinations for the holidays, you *may* anticipate having some disruptions that people were having this summer (staff shortages in passport control, security, baggage, and desk agents). Or maybe it won't be an issue and you will be fine - I hope so.

No one can predict what the conditions will be like. Maybe that 1.5 - 2 hour layover will be manageable. Maybe it won't Maybe another wave of covid/flu/cold comes through and people are calling in sick at the necessary positions mentioned above. I'd hope it would be ok by then, but apparently this is a popular time to travel.

As many people have already told you, *please* avoid flying if you can with your rather (ahem, unorganized) itinerary. Use the train, group cities of interest in a cluster and use train. It will probably be faster and cheaper in the long run.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 03:22 PM
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Do you think this is enough time to make our connecting flight?

I think it's plenty. We have a 55 minute connection in Brussels in a few weeks. Perfectly legal, but doable? We shall see.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dreyerrick View Post
We are looking at flights from the US to Europe in December. A lot of the flights have short layovers in Europe before our final destination city

For example, we are looking to land in Venice. We fly from US to Madrid, have 1 hour 40 min layover, and then fly to Venice. We have seen a few more options for flights with this in-between layover being 1.5-2 hours.

Do you think this is enough time to make our connecting flight? I would assume we'd need to go through customs in Madrid before we could go to our connecting flight, correct?

You would go through Immigration (border control) at Madrid and Customs at you final destination (Venice in this example).

If the flights are on one booking then you are protected so if you miss the connection they will put you on th next available flight.

They will only sell you a 'legal connection' so they assume you can make it but who knows - if the incoming flight is delayed . . . see above

Dec is 3+ months away -- one or both flight schedules will likely change multiple times between now and then,
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 06:29 PM
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Three itineraries? Have you now decided on Italy? Did you mean to say Vienna? If you have arrived at a more set itinerary, people can advise on best place to start and best flight combos. Personally, I can’t see flying into Madrid for Venice, or for Vienna.

Last edited by Sassafrass; Sep 5th, 2022 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Question
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 07:24 PM
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This might be OK but a longer layover would be preferable. I would make sure your flights are all booked on one ticket - not one ticket with one airline and the second with another. If plane delays/cancellations cause you to miss your connecting flight, your airline is responsible for getting you on another flight if both are booked on the same ticket.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 08:03 PM
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Just ask yourself what happens to you if you miss your connection. If you are on one ticket they will put you on their next flight. When would be the next flight? If that works for you I would not worry about a short connection time. I would rather have more time personally. Will you be checking bags?
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Old Sep 6th, 2022, 12:07 PM
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Flying through Madrid to go to Venice makes as much or more sense than some other city to me. First, I would rather make a connection at Madrid than some other airports, like LHR. It isn't out of the way in terms of air flight trajectory from the US IMO. BA partners with Iberia and they have flights to Venice that stop over there, I imagine that's why he is doing it. You can't fly nonstop to Venice from anywhere in the US as far as I know anyway, so you have to connect somewhere. Delta/AF may be in CDG, United etc will be some place in Germany likely. BA/Finnair is in LHR or Madrid.
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Old Sep 6th, 2022, 12:14 PM
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Correct, coming from the US, there are very few direct flights to any location in Europe. We do not choose the layover city, it is the airlines that are deciding where your connecting flight will be

Additionally, we have not booked the flight in my example, as we are still fine tuning. Generally though, with each location we are looking at, we are given a 1-2 hour layover.
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Old Sep 6th, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Flying through Madrid to go to Venice makes as much or more sense than some other city to me. First, I would rather make a connection at Madrid than some other airports, like LHR. It isn't out of the way in terms of air flight trajectory from the US IMO. BA partners with Iberia and they have flights to Venice that stop over there, I imagine that's why he is doing it. You can't fly nonstop to Venice from anywhere in the US as far as I know anyway, so you have to connect somewhere. Delta/AF may be in CDG, United etc will be some place in Germany likely. BA/Finnair is in LHR or Madrid.
You can fly non-stop from Venice to several East Coast airports.
EWR (UA) & JFK (DL)
PHL (AA)
ATL (DL).

They might be seasonal flights only though....

But if you are happy with the flights through Madrid then that's all that matters - it's your trip.
Ditto for the detailed itinerary while in Europe. If it works for you, great. You don't need to get approval from everyone else to take the trip that you want to.
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 02:43 PM
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I don't worrry about short connection times. If you miss the second flight they're obliged to get you to your destination, even if they have to book you with a different airline. I prefer the first flight to arrive at the connecting airline early in the day, because that gives you more choices for rebooking the second flight. If you arrive at the connecting city late in the day, the chances increase that they won't find another flight that day and will have to book a flight the next day. In this case, they have to pay for the hotel and a meal.

I once had a lucky break with a missed flight, I was going to Philadelphia, but I was able to find a much cheaper flight to New York (Newark). There are express trains directly from Newark airport to Philadelphia, so I booked that flight. My first fllight (to Munich) arrived late and I missed the connection. I went to the Lufthansa desk to get rebooked. The agent told me, "We have no other flights to New York today. You'll either have to fly out tomorrow, although we could put you on a flight to Philadelphialeaving soon. I said, "I'll take the flight to Philadelphia." I actually got there earlier than if I hadn't missed the connection.
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 05:42 PM
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You could try to find a direct flight to Milan and catch a trin at the airport to Venice:

https://www.raileurope.com/en/destin...1150376812!!!g!!

That would increase the chances that luggage will be traveling with you all the way to Venice.
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