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Transfer time at Newark in March

Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
Transfer time at Newark in March

I am coordinating the travel arrangements for a group of 12-15 college students and adults to Bologna, Italy in March. Our travel agent has booked a group fare on United and Lufthansa. Our outbound flight is in three legs: DFW to Newark to Frankfurt to Bologna. We will do our international check-in at DFW, and our bags will be checked all the way through to BLQ.

My concern is the short layover time in Newark. We fly on United Express from DFW to Newark, arriving at 6:07 pm on a Saturday evening. Our international flight on United departs at 7:05 pm. I have never flown through the Newark airport, but I am guessing that there will be a terminal change. Hopefully we won't have to go security again? Does anyone know?

We have to pay deposits on these tickets by November 28th, but final payment is not due till February 7th. Is it possible that our agent could get better routing in the meantime, if more group space opens up? I welcome your thoughts and advice.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,759
reviews: 13
1. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

A lot will depend on whether your flight from EWR to Frankfurt is being operated by United or Lufthansa as both options are available.

In all probability your flight from DFW will arrive at Terminal C (a check of yesterdays flights from DFW should they arrived at C) and if you are on a United operated flight then this should also depart from C which means no terminal change/security issues increasing your chances of making the connection in the 58 minutes.

However if you've been sold what seems to be a United flight but is in fact a code share operated by Lufthansa then this is likely to depart from Terminal B which will require your group to clear security reducing your chances of making the connection.

I would certainly clarify with your agent whether your EWR to Frankfurt flight is with United or Lufthansa - if the latter I'd see if it was possible to change to an earlier flight from DFW (there are several everyday) to reduce the risk of missing the transatlantic flight.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
2. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

Thanks. I will ask my agent about this.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,921
reviews: 77
3. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

Your 7:05 flight is a United flight so there is no worry about reclearing security, unless you don't control the students and one of them follows the crowd out of the secure area.

Even so, I'd have a bit of talking to with your travel agent. An hour connection is a needless complication. Everybody has a computer but so few seem to think through things appropriately. There are non-stop flights from Houston to FRA. Two a day. Plus LH flies non-stop. There are flights from Dallas to IAH at least every hour.

Why is it an issue? You are travelling with a large group. If your initial flight is delayed, you significantly reduce the probability of making the important connecting flight... the big overseas leap. Depending on when you are flying, you could be faced with several days before the full group arrives in BLQ. If they had though it through they would have realized that you could have flown via IAH arriving there a suitable time ahead of the connection

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 25,952
4. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

Just to remind you that because of the Schengen Agreement you will pass through passport checks (ie immigration) at Frankfurt so you might want to consider how much time you are allowing there between flights.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
5. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

We have plenty of time in Frankfurt. 3 hours and 20 minutes. But thanks for mentioning that.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
6. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

Hi Geomedic. I will ask our agent about flying through IAH. I don't know if he checked IAH. I would prefer a shorter connecting flight in a southern climate like that.

He had trouble finding room for a group of 15 on any flights on March 9th. That is the opening weekend of spring break at our schools here in Texas.

Salisbury, United...
posts: 2,276
reviews: 62
7. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

I do think your travel agent has not thought your travel through.

In a perfect world you should make your flights. However travelling in the winter I would be concerned that bad weather could cause a delay to your incoming flight. Any short delay could result in missing the transatlantic flight. A large group is also going to take more time to usher through the terminal.

Presuming that you are booked on one ticket, the airline will put you on the next available flight. As you are a large group this could be in several days or you may have to split up. As you will then miss your Bologna flight there is likely to be problems accommodating the whole of your group on a smaller aircraft, again you may need to split up.

Only you can decide how you view the risks of possibly missing flights. Good luck I do hope it all works out and you have a good trip.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,921
reviews: 77
8. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

You might check with the United group desk... though your agent should already have done that. There looks to be lots of space that day. Remember, you can fly out of DFW or DAL.

Edited: 5:18 pm, November 22, 2012
Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
9. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

I'm sure it's because we are flying on a group class fare. It looks like its a "W" fare on the itinerary he sent me. Probably the flights you are seeing don't have 15 of those available.

However, more group spots may open up closer to the time. I will ask the agent to try to get us some better connection times than we have now.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 764
reviews: 3
10. Re: Transfer time at Newark in March

And really, Geomedic? United flies out of DAL to Newark? I think of that as the Southwest Airlines airport. I don't even know if they do international check-ins there. Hmmmm. It's worth checking in to.