40 Minute Connection From Domestic To International At IAH?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Pizzaman, Feb 27, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    Even though I fly UA a ton, I don't transit Houston often at all (2 or 3 times I can recall). I have a friend who is looking to fly from IAD to IAH to pick up the morning NRT flight. She'd have a 40-minute connection and two teenage kids in tow.

    Looking at maps of IAH, I assume she's likely to arrive into C or D and go out of D or E. I can't recall if all of those are easily connected and the maps online I found don't immediately show whether there's a walkway between D and E that's airside.

    I'm 99% sure she's fine but since I'm not familiar with the airport I figured I would ask those UA folks who have more IAH experience.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Shouldn't be a problem. I've done 35 minutes to the IAH-HNL flight before just fine. Definitely all in the same security area and walkable.

    If things look bad/delayed at IAD in the morning she can bail and have them force the seats on the non-stop.
     
  3. snod08
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    Yes definitely doable if the first flight is on time.

    As Seth mentioned above, if the first segment gets a delay, then definitely tell them to move to IAD-HNL
     
  4. Pizzaman
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    Thanks, Seth. The non-stop was in the back of my head.
     
  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    D and E are connected airside, but it can be a hike depending on the gates, and you have to traverse the FIS area. It should be enough, but I wouldn't sit on the last row, just in case...

    The outbound will start boarding when she lands, and if it takes her 10-15 minutes to get out of the plane then they're gonna be doing the Home Alone airport dash. :)
     
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  6. Pizzaman
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    Thanks, viguera!
     
  7. sfogate
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    You can always order an electric cart.
     
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  8. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    That's what I was thinking. If the IAD-IAH portion is late (or even not early), she would be wise to advise the FA that she really needs to have a cart waiting to take them to the connection. IAH has plenty of them, and they are a game-changer in terms of time required for a tight connection.

    Personally, I always tip the cart driver. Especially if they make an extra effort. In this case it might be wise to do so in advance (when they board the cart) and explain that they need to get there fast. A $20 bill might save hundreds of dollars worth of pain resulting from a misconnect.
     
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  9. sfogate
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    If my arrival gate is a long way from my departure gate, I always order an electric cart, if I have a short connecting time.
     
  10. Seacarl
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    How does one order a cart at IAH?
     
  11. cova

    cova Gold Member

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    You don't indicate the dates - but let me use April 11 as a example - IAD flight arrives at 10:25am and flight to NRT departs at 10:55am - a tight 30 minutes. The IAD-NRT is a A320. I assume that the flight is not sooner like in March or the morning flight IAD-IAH is an RJ departing at 5:45am with lots of connection time - but RJ's go to terminal B.

    IAH-NRT will definitely leave out of one of the gates at Term E (like E7) and it will be one of the gates out at the end (so longer walk out either of the Term E piers). There is also a possibility that the IAD-IAH (if the A320) will arrive at Term E. It not E then it would be Term C. If arrival is C14 to C27 - then you take the train over to connector between Term D and E. If C29 to C45 - then you normally walk but a very long walk (hence the cart).

    This is doable - but tight - particularly if sitting in the rear with 2 children. As of late flights west bound have had headwinds and do not arrive ahead of schedule.
     
  12. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I think it's a little tight and would make me nervous. I'd order the cart, sit as close to the front of the first flight as possible (alerting the FA's won't matter much if your in the back as nobody will wait for you). It might be worth it to upgrade or pay for up front seating, etc. Keep posted on the morning of the flight of any delays especially on the first flight. Look on flightaware for the inbound aircraft for the first flight. If it's already at the gate before you get to the airport you should be OK except for weather or mechanical delays. I would also look at the delays at IAH that morning to see if your NRT flight is running behind as well.
     
  13. Pizzaman
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    Lots of good advice, thanks everyone.

    Date for flight is late June. Flight from IAD lands at 8:35. NRT departs 9:15.

    How does one order a cart at IAH? They don't have access to E+ so they're going to need some time to get off the plane.
     
  14. Flyer1976
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    For IAH Carts they would need to make a WCHR request.
     
  15. cova

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    40 minutes is much better than 30 minutes (the absolute minimum in IAH). UA (used to be CO) boards the larger international flights 45 minutes before departure (different that the old UA - and this is IAH and all legacy CO).

    This far out - get seat in E- as forward as possible. Alert the FA's and they will likely make an announcement about people staying seated for a moment to let tight connections off.

    It is just hard to predict arrival time. If it arrives at one of the remote runways - that can take 15 minutes of taxi time. Also IAH in my view has some of the best luggage handlers, so checked luggage would likely make it for an on time arrival, but it would be loaded at the last minute.

    The flight will be fully boarded by the time they arrive. So carry one space may be limited. But I assume checked luggage here.

    I have done IAH connections for 25 years (being CO Infinite Elite). But again this is possible but need to move quickly. Train requires going up escalator like at DFW - but C to D/E connector is quick - and direct with no stops.
     
  16. neptwoon

    neptwoon New Member

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    I was trying to book a flight the other day going from SEA to FYK and all the flights had only 35 minutes window. I thought that was very tight considering these days with delays, traffic and let's not forget how far we have to dash between gates. Why does UAL book connecting flights with schedules so tight

    As Seth mentioned above, if the first segment gets a delay, then definitely tell them to move to IAD-HNL[/quote]
     
  17. HeathrowGuy
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    I'd call UA and have them reaccomodated on the spot to the nonstop. That connection does not meet IAH standard connecting times, and while it may fall under a listed exception that keeps it legal, many agents will give benefit of doubt and just move them to a nonstop if you ask nicely.
     
  18. Pizzaman
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    Why do you say it doesn't meet IAH connection standards? I can see other flights that have connections that short. Not saying you're wrong, just not sure how to verify.
     
  19. HeathrowGuy
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    The standard IAH minimum connection time is 45 minutes. United publishes all sorts of exceptions to the IAH connecting times, but they're clear as mud to most agents such that if a customer calls about it, they're more likely to just rebook to something else rather than wade through the muddy mess to find which exception makes the connection "legal". This is especially true when calling someone other than the Premier Desk.
     
  20. Flyer1976
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    I've had a few legal itineraries where the connection time was 30 minutes at IAH. :eek:
     
  21. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Me, too. It is always the result of some schedule change, as I simply won't book such an itinerary. When it involves switching from Terminal B to Terminal C, D or E (or vice-versa), I have never had a problem getting an agent too change it.
     

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