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flight connections to rapid city

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posts: 47
reviews: 173
flight connections to rapid city

Our choices from boston to rapid city are thru denver, chicago or minneapolis. 99% connect to smaller jets or in the case of Denver trubroprops for almost all of denver connections.

anyone have any experiecne with these choices? amount of time for connection - some allow less than an hour which seems tight for denver and chicago, maybe ok for Minn.

any comments on the various smaller planes? which I am not crazy about.

assume they check your carryon's when you board the plane? will be taking camera equipment.


Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,392
reviews: 35
1. Re: flight connections to rapid city

Many have your fears of small planes. Some of the best ones are Canadair. The Dash 8 and other props are noisy, but you will only be on it for about an hour if you connect in Denver. I've only connected in Denver..never O'Hare or Minneapolis. I have connected in Midway, but not for a Rapid flight.

Denver is a great airport. Very easily navigated. I always say allow 1 hour minimum for any connection anywhere. I did have only 45 mins between flights on Southwest, but it worked out fine.

As for carry-ons, my experience with smaller planes has been that overnight wheeled suitcases will be put in the bottom of the plane with a claim tag. This will be done at the gate..no worries. You will see that it will go with you. A tote bag, messenger bag, or cosmetic bag will go on board the plane with you either under the seat or in the overhead. Storage is naturally smaller in these types of planes.

Rockford, Illinois...
posts: 187
2. Re: flight connections to rapid city

My number one pointer would be to book on an airline that has a later flight to Rapid City (if one of your options does). Thus, if you are late getting to your connecting airport and miss your flight to Rapid City you should still be able to get to Rapid City on the later flight. I myself would not book anything that is less than 1 hour between flights.

O'hare has gotten better, but still has quite a few flights that are not on-time. It is my home airport, so I have never connected there. I do know many business traveler that avoid connect via O'Hare. I am not sure when their next new runway is scheduled to open, and this should help O'Hare improve it's on-time performance. At O'Hare United uses Terminal 1 and 2, so a connection on them could be a long haul. American at O'Hare is not as bad.

Minneapolis is surprisingly big, as Delta has a ton of gates that can be quite far apart.

I have not been in and out of Denver for a long time, so I can not comment on Denver.

I currently fly every week on a small regional jet, and they are fine.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 17,158
reviews: 280
3. Re: flight connections to rapid city

I like going thru Denver to the smaller airports. MSP is a nightmare. You can end up arriving on one side of the terminal and leaving on the other. They have no rapid rail or tram system and sometimes you literally have to run to catch your flight. We have flown thru MSP when flying out of another small airport in the area- Billings.

posts: 47
reviews: 173
4. Re: flight connections to rapid city

the planes to rapid city from denver are turbo props. not jets. does that mean they are very old or ??

any comments???

posts: 47
reviews: 173
5. Re: flight connections to rapid city

whether we go thru chicago or denver how much connection time should we allow.? assuming over an hour - it is possible. just gives us less choices.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,392
reviews: 35
6. Re: flight connections to rapid city

Like we've all said, allow at least an hour regardless of where you are connecting. As for the prop planes, it's tough to say how old they would be. I'm sure they are inspected regularly, regardless of age. Rapid City is a small airport, and the connecting flights in there are typically served by small planes. The main thing I never liked about the props was the noise. However, I would not worry to fly on them again if it was the only way of getting there. You might be able to find a Canadair plane. Although still small, they are nicer than the props and definitely quieter.

Brookings, SD
posts: 8
reviews: 1
7. Re: flight connections to rapid city

I've flown out of all three many times. I would always choose Denver, even though you will fly past Rapid City and come back. An hour in between in any of those can work. I've done them in less. It just depnds on how far gates are, if you land on time, etc. Those prop planes are used around her all the time. yes, they are a little loud and you can keep your camera equipment with you even if they ask you to check your bag. Enjoy your trip!

Presho, South Dakota
posts: 1,065
reviews: 106
8. Re: flight connections to rapid city

Peachbelle - I agree. We have run through Minneapolis several times. Because of the difference in size of the planes, the gates aren't close together.

Sturgis, South...
posts: 2
reviews: 19
9. Re: flight connections to rapid city

They are Q400 planes, you can hardly tell the difference.

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,080
reviews: 132
10. Re: flight connections to rapid city

If you don't like small planes, you can catch a flight from Chicago to Sioux Falls on a jet. You could then rent a car and drive the rest of the way, which would be about five hours. It's easy interstate driving with little traffic, although the terrain is isolated once you cross the Missouri.