Questions about connections in Newark.

Old Mar 29th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Questions about connections in Newark.

Trying to book a trip to St Martin the last week of May and the best price on a flight is through United which is May 26th SEA>EWR>SXM (59 minute layover) and return flight is Jun 2nd SXM>EWR>SEA (1 hour 50 Min layover).

Is this enough time to get through Newark? Never connected through there so not sure what to expect.

I'm more concerned about the return flight, in which I will have to gather bags and clear customs+re check bags.

Anyone with experience with Newark would be appreciated....thanks!

Guess I might as well add that the next best price is a US Airways flight (*shudder* ) that is SEA>CLT>SXM (3 hour 30 minute layover which I know will be fine). The return is SXM>PHL>SEA (1 hour 38 Minute layover). Is an Hour and 38 minute enough to clear customs in Philly? The flight is 100 bucks more, but will pay it if Newark is cutting it way to close.

Another option is I can book the US Airways flight to SXM one way and purchase the United Flight back home through Newark if the Philly layover is too short.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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I've flown through EWR and PHL a number of times. I actually did some of these flights on USAirways and I am sure you are probably amazed that I am still alive but it's true.

EWR is HUGE and PHL has five different concourses, too. My experiences at EWR when flying in from out of the country have all been positive. A lot depends on how many other flights are arriving at the same time vs. the number of Immigration agents on duty. The other potential delay is the one back through Security and let's get VERY REAL HERE: a lot of those Security delays are caused by fellow passengers who suddenly forgot to take the things that look like guns out of their carry-ons, are wearing enough gold chains through that scanner to send it into outer space, etc. IOW it is a crap shoot.

Your 59 minute layover outbound should be enough time especially if your arrival is on time IMO.

PHL...only time I had trouble was when someone's baby stroller straps got caught in the luggage carousel apparatus and we waited, and waited, and WAITED for the repair and the rest of our luggage to appear.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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If I were you I would look at the on time arrival stats for the various flights especially into Newark. I find Newark is usually delayed and it's just a matter of course. especially in the mid to late afternoons flights are backed up.

I personally wouldn't risk Newark. Not so much about customs just about the general airport and it's horrible delays.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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59 minutes isn't a lot of time - remember your flight to SXM will begin boarding 30 minutes prior to departure so your "real" connection time" is somewhat less than 59 minutes- but it is doable IF your inbound flight from SEA is "on-time". The problem, as williamscb13 points out is inbound flights to EWR are often put in holding patterns due to heavy air traffic.

If it were me I'd only take this connection if there is a viable alternative if you are delayed and miss the connecting flight, otherwise you just might be spending a day of your vacation at BEAUTIFUL EWR.

Last hint, Murphy's Law of Airports ALWAYS Applies - It says the shorter your connecting time the greater the chance is your inbound flight will be delayed, the departure gate for your connecting flight will be as far from your arrival gate as the physical layout of the airport allows and the TSA security lines will move at a snails pace. Of course, if you have a long connecting time your inbound flight will arrive early, your departure gate will be just across the concourse and your outbound flight will have some delay in taking off - all combining to give you plenty of time to sit in the terminal and enjoy BEAUTIFUL EWR.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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As Dukey says, If 3 inbound overseas flights land within 20 minutes, there is a huge delay getting through Customs.
We came back LIS>EWR>PIT At least 1 other international flight landed within 10 minutes of our landing. Running 550 people through Customs in a reasonable time is a real challenge for the Customs agents. As I recall, the cargo hold luggage was transferred from plane to plane without our touching it. They may have asked 1 question about our carry on bags.
We did get on our plane to Pittsburgh, just barely.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 05:00 PM
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you could apply for the global entry program if you are a u.s. citizen. don't know how long it takes to get clearance but it allows you to bypass the lines at customs and immigration.

but it still doesn't eliminate the problem of missing your outgoing connecting flight at Newark.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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I would never risk a 59 minute connection through Newark. Are you sure this is legal?

Have you checked the on time record of this flight - if it's any time after about noon the chances of it landing on time are not great. And even if you do make it - your luggage my well not.

If this is a single ticket and they say the time is legal - they they are responsible to get you on the next flight out. Have you checked when that is? Would you have a delay of a couple of hours - or would you lose the whole day?
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Here is the itinerary I am looking at for the United flight.

Depart from Seattle:


Depart Sat, May 26 SEA to SXM – 1 stop 10h 12m

This flight leaves on Saturday and arrives on Sunday.

United – Flight 1072 5h 04m

Take-off Sat 10:56p SEA Seattle, WA

Landing Sun 7:00a EWR Newark, NJ

Economy | Boeing 737-900 (Narrow-body Jet) | 5h 04m | Fare code: UNN4A5SN | 9+ seats remain

Connection EWR Newark, NJ 0h 59m

United – Flight 267 4h 09m

Take-off Sun 7:59a EWR Newark, NJ

Landing Sun 12:08p SXM Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

Economy | Airbus A320-100/200 (Narrow-body Jet) | 4h 09m |

Fare code: UNN4A5SN | 9+ seats remain


Depart from St. Martin

Return Sat, Jun 2 SXM to SEA – 1 stop 12h 34m

United – Flight 299 4h 34m

Take-off Sat 1:11p SXM Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

Landing Sat 5:45p EWR Newark, NJ

Economy | Airbus A320-100/200 (Narrow-body Jet) | 4h 34m | Fare code: HNN4A5SN | 4 seats remain

Connection EWR Newark, NJ 1h 50m

United – Flight 1476 6h 10m

Take-off Sat 7:35p EWR Newark, NJ
Landing Sat 10:45p SEA Seattle, WA

Regardless, I'm not sure I will risk either of these connections. Research continues! Thanks for the help. You guys rock!
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