Are AC legal connections times realistic ?

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by milchap, Feb 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    The reason that I ask the question is that I have a booking that has encountered the dreaded summer schedule change.

    It is an international flight into the USA connecting to a flight to Canada. The original flight had a three hour window. The revised itinerary now has the connection down to an hour and a half.

    Given the present travel/security enviroment, this is really cutting too close for comfort.

    Hence my question: Are AC legal connections times realistic given present day travel challenges.
     
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  2. fly-yul
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    fly-yul Active Member

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    First off anyone interested in the official minimum connection times should have a look at this link from ac.com.

    There are several factors I would be looking at when deciding what connection time is reasonable. 1) Who is flying 2) Do you have checked bags 3) Do you need to clear or pre-clear 4) Does everyone traveling have NEXUS 5) Do you have access to priority security lines.

    You probably also know, but having a schedule change puts you in the driver's seat with AC. You should be able to make changes to your routing without any fees or penalties or be offered a refund.
     
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  3. Time of day and day of week is also a factor. If you hit a Sunday where everyone is returning home for work on Monday, it may get backed up. Personally I would get Nexus, than you should have no problem making the connection.
     
  4. illico
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    illico Silver Member

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    I think another factor would be which US airport you would be connecting through. If it were for example, SFO, I might be more inclined to say you are better off than say, ORD.
     
  5. todd-r
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    todd-r Active Member

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    I have a flight in May YVR/YEG/LHR. Due to a sked change my YEG/LHR connection is now down to 36 minutes. AC min connection time Can to Int'l in YEG is 35 minutes. There really isn't much room for error on this one (which may be a good thing)!
     
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  6. Cage
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    Cage Silver Member

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    If the connection time changes due to schedule change, then call AC and see wht tey can do for you (e.g. earlier flight).

    To fully determine whether thwe 1.5 hour connection is probable the OP should post routing and connection airport. Example a SYD-LAX-YYC routing could be problematic as the OP would have to change terminals The connection is still doable but at a minimum the OP would be walking throughout the connection to get from T7 and has no time for the Koru Club in T2. SFO on the other hand is no problem with a 1.5 hour cnx.
     
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  7. maradori
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    maradori Silver Member

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    I'm curious about one thing. The OP said their flight is international -> USA -> Canada right? I'm not a Nexus holder, so I'm not too aware of these things, but I'm not sure how Nexus will help. My understanding is that almost all international points of entry into the US is separated into only two lines -- US/Canada Citizens+Green Card or "Everyone Else". Does Nexus allow expedited border crossing from an international flight??
     
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  8. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Nexus does not work for clearance at US airports from international flights. It is only used at the Canadian border and Canadian airports. There is a global traveler program which is available for US citizens who are returning to the US.
     
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  9. ACMM
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    Actually Global Entry (which I think you are referring to) is now available free to Canadian NEXUS holders so they should be able to use that coming into the USA from an International destination. Many of us received emails and cards in the mail stating this new feature and my Nexus account now shows me as having GE also and I did nothing.
     
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  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    However, the communications have been rather confusing so it's not completely clear whether you actually have to do something to activate the Global Entry capability. I'm planning to stop in at the Nexus office next week when I'm actually at the airport during their opening hours.
     
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  11. YVR Traveller

    YVR Traveller Silver Member

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    Every airport is different. My last experience with AC connection times at YYZ makes me think that they are much too short, as we only cleared US customs an hour after our plane was supposed to leave. The worst part is, AC really couldn't care less while we waited. Protect yourself if the connection is important.
     
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  12. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Going into the US, I would only take a connection that was > 3 hours, because I've experienced some of the worst waits. Remember, you can spend extra time in the Maple Leaf Lounge if you actually clear quickly. For connecting from International to Canada, it really depends on the time of day at YYZ. For most of the day you are fine, but from 3-5pm, you need to book a lot of extra time as I have seen it where the customs line is out the hall and there is a huge mass at the top of the escalators just to get down into the hall.
     
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  13. i would change a flight...
     
  14. Monkey Girl
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    Monkey Girl Gold Member

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    I missed my connection at ORD (to Canada from International) even though I had a two-hour window. Immigration took a ridiculous amount of time - and I was just transiting! [​IMG]
     
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  15. ACMM
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    So would Global Entry have helped here? Do they have the kiosks in ORD?

     
  16. Rejuvenated
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    Weather at certain time of the year is also a factor.
     
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  17. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Unfortunately ORD is one of the worst arrival airports for international arrivals, and unlike many countries in the world, there is not separation between domestic and international departures, so you must fully clear customs. That is also why many people try to avoid connecting from an international flight, to another flight out of the US.
     
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  18. flying-gal
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    flying-gal Silver Member

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    Totally agree with this post. Just to be safe, I would probably see about changing flights to allow me a bit more connection time. Like has been mentioned, you always have the MLL to ease any wait. [​IMG]
     
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  19. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    My experiences posted in the Nexus thread:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...on-thread-for-ac-flyers.900/page-4#post-49608
     
  20. AC_MM
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    AC_MM Silver Member

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    I always like to take flights that have a longer connection time if possible than the minimum recommended. I don't need anymore stress and hey i like to have my bags join me on my trips:D

    When i hear "let me see if that is a valid connection?" it just makes me worry.
     
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  21. ACMM
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    Agree 100% But then we would, wouldn't we ;)
     
  22. SYM
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    SYM Silver Member

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    Indeed, but as others have posted, the legal connection times are fixed - they don't (nor could they) adjust to suit the specific circumstances. YYZ Domestic to transborder is 1 hr 5 or 1 hr 10. I used to do this at 7 am and it is was about right. This year I've started doing it at 10 am. It is easily 30-45 minutes longer than I need. Whether or not to push depends very much on the time of day and day of the week.
     
  23. AC_MM
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    AC_MM Silver Member

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    Agreed, I may make it, but my luggage could have gone on a roulette wheel of chance in making it to the same flight!
     

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