Connecting flights and luggage?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Dangjr213, Mar 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    So I'm looking to book an award flight using AVIOS to get from SAT-MIA. When I search it tells me there is no availability however it let's me book:

    SAT-DFW then DFW-MIA

    My fear is that my luggage won't transfer to MIA properly. I know airlines book connections and transfer luggage correctly all the time, however because I'm doing it myself I'm a little fearful. I should be ok correct? (45 mins between flights)

    Also will I get charged the checked bag fee for each segment or just the once?
     
  2. jmjgp12

    jmjgp12 Silver Member

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    Which carrier are you using for the flights? - I assume that if your using AVIOS you would be in the oneworld network and on AA. As far as checked bag fees would go - if you hold any status with oneworld (ruby, sapphire, emerald) you would not have to pay the checked baggage fee at all. I generally do not check bags on trips but as far as I have heard (from AA) as long as the flights are on the same PNR and operating by the same carrier you would only have to pay the 1 checked bag fee plus any incidentals for overweight luggage or oversized luggage.

    With regard to your question about connections - sometimes I have seen connections that are said to be legal yet are extremely close. I would personally contact your AVIOS service desk and have them verify the flights availability as well as ensure that the connection is legal. Barring any un-forseen issues I would assume that with a legal connection bags would transfer properly but stranger things have happened.

    I hope that this helps - like I said though im not as familiar with AVIOS and reward tickets using them.
     
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  3. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately I don't hold any status with oneworld, all of my flights are typically all on Southwest, but they don't fly to MIA so I figured I would transfer my UR points to BA. I would need to check bags as I am flying to MIA for a 7 day cruise and wouldn't be able to carry on all the stuff I need.
     
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  4. jmjgp12

    jmjgp12 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the updated info - in this case I would definitely verify all the info with BA Executive Club customer service before booking just to ensure that everything is in place before booking. Happy Travels!
     
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    In theory, if it's at least the minimum legal connect time, you should be fine. Without looking at a res system, I can't guarantee the accuracy of this page, but it says 40 minutes.

    Personally, I never book connections less than 85 minutes, but that's partly because I can get asthma attacks from the stress of transit and I have a knee that needs replacing.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you must book the segments separately, you will probably have two PNRs and hence if there are problems, AA is not obligated to do anything to help. Given this, you need a much longer connection because you will lose the value of the second ticket if the first flight is late. Also, then how would you get to the cruise? You need to allow MUCH more time, including arriving a day early for the cruise.
     
  7. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    This. As an ex-purser, I have seen more than one person have to fly to the second stop on the cruise because they cut things too closely. Treat all ships like islands: allow extra time. I remember flying with a guy who cut things too close for Martha's Vineyard and wound up missing the wedding rehearsal dinner he'd specifically wanted to go to. (We wound up diverting back to another airport mid-flight and had to go via bus over the ferry, arriving about four hours late.)

    Also: if this is for the holidays, double all buffer times. 36 hours is usually enough, but I like 48.
     
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  8. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I'm arriving a day early. The hotel I'm staying a offers free shuttle from the airport and then to the port. Didn't have time to call BA at work today but now I'm starting to second guess the flight plans and just flying into FLL and taking the train to MIA.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    My guess is that if you're calling in to book that they will be able to book it as a single trip, combining the two award segments that you see and making it work.

    Flying in to FLL and then taking Tri-Rail down is definitely an option, but if you can get the MIA itinerary on a single PNR and the points rate is reasonable I'd favor that.
     
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  10. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    If you arriving a day early, even if the luggage does not make it - in all likelihood it will get there by the time you'll need to board the cruise. Coming a day early before a cruise is always a good idea, especially if flying from airports that can be easily affected by the weather. Remember to pack all necessities and at least one set of cloths in your carry-on luggage.

    I know people who can pack for 7 days cruise (esp. in warm weather) and fit it all into a standard carry-on. Of course, that would not work for most people, but as a back-up plan, you can pack in such a way that the carry-on will make do if all else fails.
     
  11. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Haha, no way we'd be able to do that. For my wife and I a typical 7 day cruise entails 6 bags, 1 that we use to take inside the hotel the night before the cruise (stays in the car afterwards) and 5 for the ship.

    The past 6 cruises we've been able to drive to the port, so this time we'll have to try and pack lighter.
     
  12. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    Why not just get a hotel in FLL and use the cruise line shuttle to the port in Miami. When i cruise out of Miami I fly into FLL the night before (i use Continental...errrr United from IAH To FLL) and grab a hotel. (With airport shuttle) next morning grab hotel shuttle back to airport and catch the cruise bus from the airport. Its only about a 30-45 bus ride from FLL to the cruise port in Miami.
     
  13. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I didn't want to try this because i had too many questions about it...

    Where do they pick you up? Do i need to go back through security when I get back to the airport? Would I be able to since I wouldn't have tickets. Figured it was easier to stay at a Hotel in Miami and take a cab to the port. Plus I want to book a room with a view so that we can see all the ships from outside our window
     
  14. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    I always booked the shuttle through the cruise line. (I've only gone on carnival, but all the major lines have them. Just give them a call). They meet you in the baggage claim area. Usually older (semi retired) folks holding signs with ships name. There are many ships depending on the day. All i do is fly in the day before and get a hotel, then take the shuttle back in the morning. FLL is not very big so finding baggage claim is easy. I just pick a flight that is arriving the day of the cruise abouts 10am and tell the cruise line that is my flight. (They don't check) and just arrive back at the airport from the hotel at the same time as your supposed flight arrives and check in with the appropriate person. They will have you wait in a group until you have a full bus load then load up and off to the pier for the short bus ride. Easy as pie.
     
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  15. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Thanks for the tip, it's my first time cruising out of MIA
     
  16. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I have to admit: I never thought of that! Our last cruise departed from Barcelona, and it was super-cheap to get to the airport with a cab (as was Athens). Our next cruise is sailing out of Copenhagen.
     
  17. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    When I used to live in FLL (when I worked in the cruise industry), I'd walk to the port from my apartment near Federal & SE 17th St. There's some cool properties where SE 17th bends to Seabreeze, though I don't know what they're like now. I'd go watch the ships come in, though.

    Fun times.
     
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  18. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    How far is the airport from the cruise ship dock in Barcelona ? I was thinking of doing the Norwegian Epic from there next summer (they have the single cabins)
     
  19. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Closer than in many cities, but it's outside of the main part of the city.

    There's an airport bus that cost only a few Euros and it will drop you off at Plaça Catalunya.

    From there, you can stay pretty much anywhere near Las Ramblas between Plaça Catalunya (we stayed at NH's Hesperia Ramblas, which is a great location) and the port and it's €5-10 for a cab. Because of the way the bridge to the port is constructed, it's really not pedestrian friendly at all.

    You can walk (well, assumption here, but I'm mobility impaired and I managed, so...) to the near part of the port where the Balaeric ferries are, but the big ship port is further out.

    There is a hotel you can stay at in that part of the port, but you can't really see anything interesting from there. Personally, I'd stay near Las Ramblas so I'd be able to walk out see Barcelona and have a chance at doing interesting things. For example, we could have walked a couple of blocks to the opera, but we were too jet lagged to stay awake through it.
     
  20. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the info desamo. Its either that one or a Baltic cruise for me. Really want to visit Russia. (Guess it is the whole cold war thing i grew up with LOL). But i still have a whole year to decide (and bank some more ff miles so.i can ride over there in the front of the plane)
     
  21. mailbroad

    mailbroad Silver Member

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    I know of a shuttle service that is $15-$20 (usually $15) from FLL to any hotel in MIA or the cruise port. My husband and I have used it a few times. PM me for details.
     
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  22. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    We did a Baltic cruise in 2008. That year, the last cruise of the season on NCL went to Oslo as well, so we went on that one. Freakin' freezing much of the time.

    Complete photo set is here.

    Guess we didn't learn though, as we're going on a post-Baltic season cruise this year....
     
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