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Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

Level Contributor
222 posts
34 reviews
Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

We will be arriving at Houston from Australia on United at 10.05am. Would booking an internal flight leaving at 2.35pm be enough time? (American Airlines to Dallas). Thanks.

6 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
18,426 posts
189 reviews
1. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

It seems you've booked separate tickets - United and American - which I view as a problem. At 4:30, this logistically would and should work at IAH - for all the formalities - and get you back cleared inside security. BUT, there is no protection for you if something goes wrong with either the inbound flight, immigrations/customs, or if your connection is somehow cancelled, for example. It's your risk and you are responsible to manage it on your own, because "stuff happens". I would not want that risk with no protection.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26,899 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

Currently, you have a full 4.5 hours to make a unconnected, unprotected new flight.

If the stars are all lined up in your favour, so that the incoming UA flight from Oz is not delayed by much, nor has its scheduled ETA changed between now and when you fly to later in the day, then it's very possible to make that connection. Even if you have an non US passport and will need to go through immigration, collect your bags, go through customs, recheck in again to get new tags and drop bags, and then go through security.

So the plan is not impossible. However, there are always risks when you have separate flight tickets.

What's your view on risk? How expensive are the tickets? IAH to DFW is not far, so I guess not too expensive.

Otherwise, you could consider renting a car, depending on your situation.

Off an on time arrival of the first flight, with procedures in the airport going smoothly, you could actually be most of the way to Dallas by that departure time, anyway!


Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
18,217 posts
118 reviews
3. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

My one international arrival at houston went very poorly. The immigrat and customs and security lines were all extremely long. 2 hours was not enough. I’d want 4-6 with separate tickets.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
60,464 posts
149 reviews
4. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

There is a Top Question right side of this webpage on the risk of what you are doing. The advice below is sound. You need to decide how much of a risk you want to take as a foreign visitor coming to the US with no global entry or TSA pre

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
23,119 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

On separate tickets I'd want longer for a stress free experience - do you have later flight options

Level Contributor
222 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: Is this enough time at HOuston IAH?

Thanks everyone for the replies. I do understand the risks of separate tickets - but got a really good price direct to Houston. There are later flights, just don't want to hang around waiting (if everything goes smoothly) while we are so tired. But yes, just have to weigh up the risks.

We actually were flying to Dallas to meet friends to drive to Waco. I think we will just hire a car and drive from Houston to Waco - wasn't our first choice as we know we will be so tired. But we could potentially be in Waco before we leave Houston for a "safely timed flight to Dallas!!

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