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Thread: 25 minute changeover, will I make it?

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    Default 25 minute changeover, will I make it?

    Hello folks,

    I will be traveling in a few months (within the USA) and am starting to look at airfares now. So far, Southwest Airlines has the cheapest flight. However, I have only a 25 minute changeover between my flights. The changeover is at Sacramento Airport (SMF/KSMF). It looks like SWA uses Terminal B at that airport and the terminal is fairly small. Is 25 minutes enough to make it?

    I checked the on-time ratings for the two flights, both are delayed an average of 1.8 minutes, which is good.

    I am wondering, if the first flight is delayed and I cannot make the 2nd flight, will they arrange for me to take the next flight?

    Thanks,

    Jerry
    Remember on your hardest days, that the airplanes always take off against the wind... afterwards, the skies are all yours.

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    Senior Member Crunk415balla's Avatar
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    Is it the same plane? If Southwest will allow you to book that short of a connection, its probably a thru-flight where you stay on the same plane.

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    No, there is a plane change at SMF. I have been on flights where it is just a stop, but no plane change, but that is not the case here.

    Jerry
    Remember on your hardest days, that the airplanes always take off against the wind... afterwards, the skies are all yours.

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    I personally wouldn't book a connection that close. If you end up sitting in the back of the airplane on the first flight, it might take you 15 minutes to just get off the airplane. Then there is the fact that, to get an on-time departure (that's pushing back from the gate, not closing the airplane door), many airlines close the flight for boarding 10 minutes prior to departure time (that is the policy at the airline I work for). So, under those circumstances it might work if you park at the next gate over, but I would say your chances of missing the second flight are greater than your chances of making it. And my scenario doesn't even include a late arrival. Even a few minutes late would guarantee you miss your connection. Take my advice. If there's another flight an hour or so later, take that one. Believe me, it will reduce your stress level...
    The "keep my tail out of trouble" disclaimer: Though I work in the airline industry, anything I post on here is my own speculation or opinion. Nothing I post is to be construed as "official" information from any air carrier or any other entity.

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    I suggest you give yourself more time...the cheapest flight routing is usually the one that will probably give you the most stress and hassle if things don't go as planned. Never book a connection that let's than 35min (my personal standard is a 1 hour minimum connection time for domestic flights).

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    Member CcrlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cegro27 View Post
    I suggest you give yourself more time...the cheapest flight routing is usually the one that will probably give you the most stress and hassle if things don't go as planned. Never book a connection that let's than 35min (my personal standard is a 1 hour minimum connection time for domestic flights).
    I always go for an hour or more. Things happen, I had to end up rushing from Concourse A to C from my Commutair flight to a United flight at IAD recently. It was delayed for 25 minutes due to Deicing at the airport I left so we ended up 30 minutes late arriving. Luckily it was a short walk to the train to take me to the next concourse. You'll never know what will happen. I was expecting delays due to some wintry weather when flying in but that did not happen. It was a 1hr 35 min connection by the way.

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    Hmmm,
    That's very short. If it was an international transfer I would say 'FORGET IT' but it is possible with a domestic flight. Possible but very short.
    If I can give you one tip, take a flight with a longer transfer time.

    Hope this will help

    G'day
    Love at the first flight


    The link shows only my last flights of these last 3 years and some of 4 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CcrlR View Post
    I always go for an hour or more. Things happen, I had to end up rushing from Concourse A to C from my Commutair flight to a United flight at IAD recently. It was delayed for 25 minutes due to Deicing at the airport I left so we ended up 30 minutes late arriving. Luckily it was a short walk to the train to take me to the next concourse. You'll never know what will happen. I was expecting delays due to some wintry weather when flying in but that did not happen. It was a 1hr 35 min connection by the way.
    The worst transfer I had was in Atlanta. I was coming from CDG with AF and the flight had one hour delay I waited two hours at the passport control and 40 min. at the security. I catched the flight to PTY just on time. When I was in the hotel room in Panama, I saw that there was a men trying to put a bomb on an NWA flight from AMS. This was probably the reason of the long qeue
    Love at the first flight


    The link shows only my last flights of these last 3 years and some of 4 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brussels Airlines View Post
    The worst transfer I had was in Atlanta. I was coming from CDG with AF and the flight had one hour delay I waited two hours at the passport control and 40 min. at the security. I catched the flight to PTY just on time. When I was in the hotel room in Panama, I saw that there was a men trying to put a bomb on an NWA flight from AMS. This was probably the reason of the long qeue
    Ah yes the underwear bomber who only severely burnt his testicles. You have to smile at things like that as i think he got what he deserved. As for a 25 minute connection i would say its too short. If there are any delays or if you are taking luggage its not going to happen. My shortest connecting flight ever was 45 minutes at Amsterdam and i made it with only 10 minutes to spare. Granted Amsterdam is a much larger airport but my flight from Manchester arrived early and there was a slight delay for my onward connection to Moscow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMRPICS View Post
    Ah yes the underwear bomber who only severely burnt his testicles. You have to smile at things like that as i think he got what he deserved.
    Why is the christmas song "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." going through my head all of a sudden?
    The "keep my tail out of trouble" disclaimer: Though I work in the airline industry, anything I post on here is my own speculation or opinion. Nothing I post is to be construed as "official" information from any air carrier or any other entity.

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    Senior Member AA 1818's Avatar
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    So to sum up the advice;

    Next time, you need more time.

    In times of bad weather (example Winter in the colder climates), always give yourself even more time.

    Do not check luggage. It's never going to make it with the time that you have now.

    I have another one for you;

    If the connection is with the same airline, speak to the agent before departing to the connector city. Talk with them, and see if they can change the itinerary for you - or, if you don't make that connection maybe they can arrange other flights (or, some, allow you to stand by for another flight if you miss your first). If not the same airline then ask what their agreement is with the other airline, if there is one at all. Sometimes, they can work some magic.

    If you don't get anywhere with the above - remember, next time, get more time. In the meanwhile, pack lightly, keep it with you. Do not check it in. Learn the layout of the airport that you are going to. Be prepared to run off of the aircraft as soon as possible. Sprint to your next gate. If you make it, give thanks to the Lord.

    Have fun!
    Whatever is necessary, is never unwise.

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    Member James Bruno's Avatar
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    Well now that we are discussing this In 2 weeks I am flying into ATL and catching a conncecting flight to LAX and my connecting time is 50 minutes is that enough?
    the 747 will always be superior.

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    Senior Member Foxtrot's Avatar
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    Default Re:

    I don't know about SMF, WN uses only one terminal there but it's not that small, especially if the gates are not close to each other you'll have a tough time making it to the next gate (trust me, time actually does "fly" in these situations-when you least want it to. And yes, pun intended to emphasize the point).

    Now I have experienced a very short connection time of less than 30 minutes, but that was at Love Field in Dallas. Originally it was 40 minutes, but a 10 minute delay and the taxi time (short-but time nonetheless) at DAL reduced my connection time to about 15 minutes. We ended up at gate 3, my next flight was at gate 10. I basically ran once out of the plane to the gate, and no surprise, they were already boarding the A group. I made it just in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Bruno View Post
    Well now that we are discussing this In 2 weeks I am flying into ATL and catching a conncecting flight to LAX and my connecting time is 50 minutes is that enough?
    It just depends, but I wouldn't be too comfortable with 50 minutes at ATL. For the most part, you should be fine if it's a domestic connection, barring any weather or other delays. Then again, if you're flying DL, it could just make you go from Concourse T to E (it does have domestic departures from E sometimes).

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    Ive flown into and via Sacramento many times. While its touchy you should make it. But if there is even the slightest hiccup your toast. Id plan on more time if I could. However that being said, Southwest is pretty good at helping you out. Just mention to the stewardess on your inbound that you have a short connection and they will send ahead letting them know. However, I wouldn't expect a good seat .

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    Member porter guy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't because that will be the day you are running late and you will blame everyone except yourself for being stupid enough to book a 25 minute connection. No offense
    I'm the guy... Porter Guy

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    Asleep at the Yoke Vnav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W7PSK View Post
    Just mention to the stewardess on your inbound that you have a short connection and they will send ahead letting them know.

    Yeah, sure they will. They'll do it on their Flight Attendant VHF radio they have in the galleys.


    ....or maybe they'll tell you whatever you want to hear just to make you feel good.
    Parlour Talker Extraordinaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by W7PSK View Post
    Just mention to the stewardess on your inbound that you have a short connection and they will send ahead letting them know.
    No they won't. I've been flying in the scheduled airlines for 23 years and there is only one time I can remember sending a message to hold a flight. That was for a young wife who was flying out of Anchorage and making a connection in Houston to get to Walter Reed hospital in Washington DC. Continental held the DC flight for her out of compassionate reasons because her husband had been hit with an IED in Iraq and wasn't expected to make it. We wanted to do everything we could to get her there in time.

    Customer service keeps track of connections and, if they have a LOT of connections for the same flight, they will sometimes hold that flight waiting for the inbound customers. If there are just one or two, then those people get put on the next flight--if there is room available. If they held every flight because one or two people booked a connection that is too tight, then the airplanes would never leave the gate on-time.
    The "keep my tail out of trouble" disclaimer: Though I work in the airline industry, anything I post on here is my own speculation or opinion. Nothing I post is to be construed as "official" information from any air carrier or any other entity.

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    Member James Bruno's Avatar
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    Yeah I am flying Delta and it looks like I im either gonna go pull into A and stay there or ther echance of A to E
    the 747 will always be superior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vnav View Post
    Yeah, sure they will. They'll do it on their Flight Attendant VHF radio they have in the galleys.
    ....or maybe they'll tell you whatever you want to hear just to make you feel good.
    Um, you do know there are several ways they can contact the field team at the airport coming up. I know of 2 or 3 right off the top of my head. Ive done it several times. And Ive had them come by and ask what connecting flight I had. And just so you know Ive worked on several of the systems here at Boeing.

    I usually don't use it because I try to get my layovers a minimum of an hour, usually like an Hour and a half so I can hit the rest room, freshen up and grab a bite if I
    need to.

    But you can keep believing it doesn't happen all you want.

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