ORD-EZE, Connecting in MIA

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by manfromkrypton, Jul 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    Hey guys, quick question for you MIA experts out there. After weeks of planning, I finally booked my ORD-EZE business class trip over Thanksgiving, and I was quite proud of myself for using a lot of the tips and tricks on this forum and on the boarding area blogs to secure good flights, clear my SWUs, etc.

    However, now that I have booked it, I can actually see one potential issue with the flights, which is the connection times. I am not sure how I missed it (probably in my excitement to see C class availability open up on EF). So basically, my flights look like this:

    ORD - MIA, dept. 530am, arr. 930am
    MIA - EZE, dept 10.45am, arr. 9.40pm.

    EZE-MIA, dept. 11am, arr. 6.05pm
    MIA-ORD, dept 855pm, arr. 11pm

    So here are my questions:
    1. Is an hour and 15 mins (really 45 mins between landing and the next plane boarding) enough time to connect between flights in MIA? As a ORD native, this was a rookie mistake - I should have gone to MIA the night before, because I bet there will be a delay of some kind - it IS going to be Thanksgiving week after all. But I am hoping against hope that we leave on time and arrive on time, and that the EZE flight will take off from the same terminal that the ORD flight lands at, if that is the case, is that still enough time to connect in MIA?
    2. On the return, since I will have to go through customs/immigration and pick up my luggage (although Im thinking I might do a carry on to avoid that hassle), will about 2 hours be enough? I am thinking yes, but I dont know MIA at all. EDIT: should add that I have Global Entry.

    For you MIA experts, I really appreciate your insight into this question.
    Cheers!
    MFK

    EDIT: for the record, I also DID look up "minimum connecting times" for MIA. It says 1 hour for Domestic-Intl, and 90 mins for Intl-Domestic. But of course, I was looking for more realistic answers based on your experiences. Thanks again!
     
  2. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    You're right to ask, as MIA can be a real zoo, especially if there's an Iberia strike that day. I'd certainly avoid checking bags if possible. That stupid, meandering walk along the dots on the floor to drop off the bags for re-check after an international arrival....argh...

    With no checked bags and with Global Entry (for your return), I think this would work.

    That said, I don't think you'll have loads of time in MIA to, say, grab a light dinner in the Premium Lounge or a shower there or at the A/C during your return, but 'ya never know. "Dinner" at the Premium Lounge is hot soups; trays of fresh fruits, cheeses, crackers, sandwiches. IIRC, it's not open in the mornings for breakfast. As for a quick shower after your long flight up from EZE, there's the A/C or the Premium Lounge, whichever is closest to your onward flight's departure gate.

    At MIA, one does need to have a think on if getting to their next gate is done more quickly by walking or MIA's eqiuivalent of DFW's Skytrain. Sometimes it's a clear-advantage one way or the other, others it's a bit of a toss-up.

    For your arrival in Argentina, if you can pay in advance of your trip the "reciprocity" fee or visa (or whatever politically correct name they have for it now) required of US citizens , perhaps at Argentine consulate in Chicago, that will save you quite the long queue on arrival in EZE.

    Interestingly, you're taking the day flights down & back to EZE, which not many have posted about, as most of AA's itin's to EZE, SCL, etc. invovle overnight flights. If you think about it, do return to post how these have gone, as yours could be a completely different experience than what many have had. Much like the ongoing discussion between day- vs. overnight- to LHR, could be interesting to see the day flight vs. overnight to EZE conversation....
     
  3. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    @Skye1 - thanks for your reply. I will definitely be back to post about the day flights - happy to be contributing something to this amazing forum.

    Good reco on paying the fee ahead of time. I will add that to my to-do list, and also include as part of my TR.

    You've definitely made me feel better about the return trip - using the clubs would be nice, but I dont mind forgoing it if i need to.

    What about the outbound trip - any thoughts on that 45 minute layover? Do you think thats sufficient time? Does AA leave from the same terminal for both international and domestic flights like at ORD?
     
  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    AA's gates span a long distance at MIA, but none are as far as the remote terminal at ORD.

    As to your outbound flights, assuming your first flight is on schedule, and you are a reasonably mobile traveller, you'll make it.

    If on the other hand there is Bad weather in Chicago, then there is a decent chance you'd miss the connection. That said, there are 830p and 1120p departures to EZE from Mia too on [most] days. While spending a day in Mia isn't your base case, at least you're not looking at a "one flight a day" situation.

    Looking at the flight schedule, there arent too many connections that would get you in for the day flight down to eze with more cushion.
     
  5. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    My thoughts as well---short of taking the evening ORD-MIA flight the night prior, your current itin. may be your best option for getting to MIA in time for day flight south.
     
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  6. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    Yep, thats what I was wondering. If folks were going to say 45 minutes wasnt enough, then I would pay the $250 and change it to come in the night before. But if 45 mins is good, then I wont risk it just yet - I will wait a bit closer to November to see what the weather is like.

    thanks for all your help guys!!
     
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  7. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Exactly. With the evening departure ex-ORD, you're arriving at MIA at about midnight, likely looking at an airport hotel for the evening, the bar therein would be closed by your arrival, and you'd have to be back at the airport the next morning in time to clear security from land-side (as opposed to already being airside), no lounge open for breakfast, etc. I'd go with the itin you've got, and your plan to see how it looks the night before/morning of.
     
  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    One measure you might consider to minimize your risk is using AA five star service for your connection in MIA. It costs $125 for one adult. Book it now; it is cancellation 4 hours prior to your flight without penalty. You could cancel the night before if flights look fine at be out no money.

    If you use five star for a connection, they will pick you up on the jetway....take you in a golf buggy directly to your next flight. If it is tight, having the five star agent as your representative can only be good. If you're a few minutes late, I suspect they'd hold the flight as an exp on five star. If you are tight, riding the the trolly will make the connection time as minimal as possible.

    http://upgrd.com/sitinfirst/american-airlines-expands-5-star-service.html
     
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  9. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    @NYBanker: This is an AWESOME suggestion. I've actually been wanting to try this service out, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. I am going to call them first thing tomorrow morning to book it. And, since I havent used any of my $200 from my AMEX reimbursement, I will charge it to my AMEX PLT card and see if they will reimburse me the $125, which based on the article you link to indicates it will be covered, which would be even better.

    Thank you NYBanker and everyone on MP for your help! I feel so much better now and looking forward to my trip. Here's to hoping everything goes smoothly.
     
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