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Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Montreal, Canada
posts: 478
reviews: 42
Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

HI all.

Very simple question. Next october my wife and I are flying from Montreal to either LIH or OGG (Hawaii) and are wondering if, as Canadians, it would be better to fly western across Canada or the USA?

Please note : I've flown above the USA twice. First time I got SSSS for a flight to MIA. Second time I got the "sorry sir we have to check something with the airline headoffice and homeland security" and I waited 45 minutes for clearance at the desk while going to and coming back from Turks & Caicos. I'm planning on getting a redress number.

However airfares are cheaper with US airlines than canadian airlines and layovers are shorter, which makes US airlines much better for us. But is it worth the hassle? Are we at risk of getting delayed at each layover for SSSS or that "phone call" (if, for some reason, I don't get my redress number in time)? Or are those only conducted one time since we're only changing planes during layovers and not going through security each time?

Any tip would be welcome!

Aero.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,771
reviews: 40
1. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

As your end destination is the USA - you might as well just bite the bullet and take the cheapest and/or simplest connections. You will pre-clear in Montreal (or Calgary or Vancouver) whatever route you choose.

Edmonton
posts: 7,103
reviews: 14
2. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Also, you won't have to go thru customs at your connecting city as you will have done that in YUL, so you are just connecting and your bags go as well. If you are connecting in YYC or YVR, you will have to get your bags and do your customs there, much more of a PIA if you ask me.

Canada
posts: 6,760
reviews: 23
3. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

I would choose travelling through Canada...for a couple of reasons.

The equipment is preferable...if we're talking Air Canada..YUL-YVR A320... YYZ 767, or 777... Then a 767 wide body YVR-OGG.....

If you connect through YVR...there is no fetching of bags to transit through Customs and Immigration.They have a system in place where your boarding card is scanned and displays your baggage on a computer screen...only pulled if a secondary screening is required. This system makes the connecting process in YVR Really smooth...separate CATSA as well...not with the hordes originating in YVR.This system has been in place since before the 2010 Olympics...a few years now.

Going through the US will have a west coast stop as well....but the majority of the Airlines offer the dreadfully uncomfortable 757. For me it's all about the equipment...and schedule.

Montreal, Canada
posts: 478
reviews: 42
4. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Thanks for your answers. In big airports such as LAX, YVR or EWR, is 1h to 1h45 connecting time reasonable? Or should we choose longer times (considering we don't have to go through customs and check luggage again)? (worried about one plane getting delayed and missing our next flight)

One last question : in any scenario, I'm guessing we don't have to go through security again at one of our connections?

Edited: 9:58 am, March 27, 2013
Montreal, Canada
posts: 478
reviews: 42
5. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

By the way, I found that whether flying through Canada or the US and no matter which airline, we have 2 layovers going and 1 layover coming back. There's no escaping 2 layovers :(

UK
posts: 39,544
reviews: 81
6. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Thanks for your answers. In big airports such as LAX, YVR or EWR, is 1h to 1h45 connecting time reasonable? Or should we choose longer times (considering we don't have to go through customs and check luggage again)? (worried about one plane getting delayed and missing our next flight)

=======

If you are worried about delays, you'll just have to factor in what you think is an adequate allowance. If you figure 45 minutes is just about doable at most places domestic-domestic, that gives 1 hour for a delay. If you want to allow for a longer delay, choose a later or earlier flight or both.

Montreal, Canada
posts: 478
reviews: 42
7. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Thanks. But my question was exactly that... what is the adequate allowance for a domestic connecting flight?

se reg.
posts: 45
8. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Can't you take a one stop to OGG through DFW?

Montreal, Canada
posts: 478
reviews: 42
9. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

Nope. At least not without paying 40-50% more...

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,771
reviews: 40
10. Re: Montreal to Hawaii - better to fly across Canada or USA?

I have had less than stellar experiences at YVR when connecting to the States. You do Immigration pre-clearance, identify your bags and clear security again. It can be VERY slow.

At an American airport you are simply a domestic transfer. Get off the plane, go to your new gate (which may or may not involve a terminal change and security again) and get on your your new plane. One - two hours should be fine for that bearing in mind usual potential for trouble involved in air travel....weather delays, equipment problems etc.

If you transit through a Canadian airport I *personally* would do a longer transit time of at least 2 - 4 hours. Especially at the moment when there are reported delays because of the government cutbacks etc....