You make the call: Take an earlier flight on close connection at ORD?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by mikeef, Mar 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mikeef
    Original Member

    mikeef Silver Member

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    Okay, here's the deal: I'm flying BOS-ORD-LAS on Sunday, with a 35-minute connection at ORD. I used miles to upgrade the whole way and my flight leaves BOS at 4:30ish, connecting to the 7:10ish flight to LAS. There is one later flight out of ORD to LAS.

    1) If I choose to, I could stand by for the 1:30pm flight out of Boston. I'd have a relaxing afternoon at the ORD club and would obviously make the connection (excluding significant delays). The 1:30pm flight is okay but not great in terms of availability. Per the seat map, and I understand the danger of using that as an accurate indicator, there are seven or eight seats available in both Y and F. If I take this flight, I get in without a worry but run a good risk of losing the upgrade on the 2-hr portion and a smaller risk that there will be no room at all. I believe I have to do standby at the airport, but if anyone knows anything different, I'm all ears.

    2) I could stick to my original schedule. The BOS-ORD flight has about an 80% on-time history, but the average delay is 42 minutes. If I miss the connection, there is only one other connection that evening and it looks almost full. Even if I get a later connection, I'm stuck in a middle seat to LAS for four hours. It looks like the BOS-ORD flight usually lands around K10 in ORD and ORD-LAS usually leaves from about H12, so the H-K connector helps, but not much.

    Thoughts?

    Mike
     
  2. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I would never do a 35 min connection at a major hub --- you can have a situation where the first plane lands 'on time' but then gets held up waiting for a gate, or waiting for someone to wave it in, or operate the jet bridge.... etc etc

    Then there's the time to just get off the plane.

    DTWBOB
     
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  3. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    That's kind of my feeling as well. No idea why I let them book it for me that way.

    Mike
     
  4. cwpfly

    cwpfly Silver Member

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    I'd view it like the supermarket checkout - once the choice is made, stick with it unless there is some outside factor, such as bad weather, on the horizon. Fate could just as easily make the earlier flight go mechanical and then you are stuck trying to get back on your original flight. It looks like the flight has been pretty good over the past couple of weeks except Monday. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL699/history/20120316/2035Z/KBOS/KORD

    Also, it looks like the connection has departed late every day for the last two weeks (today it was only 2 minutes) http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL2013/history/20120317/0010Z/KORD/KLAS

    Based on the flight info and the fact that the weather in Boston looks like it will be superb this Sunday, I would stand pat.
     
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  5. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    And thanks for the links! I had never known flightaware before.

    Mike
     
  6. Albert C. Rollins

    Albert C. Rollins Silver Member

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    Hello mikeef, this is a tough call. For the most part, airlines tend to pad their flight time and overestimate their arrivals. Even with a 10-20 departure delay, they can still make up the time in the air and still achieve an "on-time" arrival. Regardless, there are many things that can happen that can cause problems, you may still get delayed at BOS due to some sort of technical glitch, catering, crew, late connecting passenger, VIP, etc. Even if you arrive on time at ORD, you might be taxiing for some time depending on which runaway you land, gate might not be ready since a plane is still there, etc.
    Think about this, if everything goes as planned, by the time you land, they may have already started boarding the LAS flight, and by the time you managed to get to the gate, you will be the last one to board, or risk missing the flight. There has been several posting showing how AA have been boarding flights early to ensure an on time departure. I would go with the early flight out of BOS, do not risk missing the connection. I prefer a good seat on the longer flight, ORD-LAS. Happy travels, and good luck at the tables.
     
  7. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Others have already addressed whether you should switch flights or not. My only comment would be that AA does have a confirmed standby option. There has to be inventory in that bucket, so not always available. If there's inventory 12 hours prior to departure or sooner, you can confirm the change for $75. One upside to this for elites is it places you on the upgrade list. With traditional standby, you're not supposed to be on the upgrade list until you actually clear a seat on the flight. Usually, by the time you clear they've already processed all the F upgrades. YMMV, though, as some agents will make exceptions.
     

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