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Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

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Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

Hi. Need some help. We had booked a flight Las Vegas to Tampa FL which we were told was direct. American Airlines have now decided not to run this flight, and we are being offered an alternative via Dallas Fort Worth. The alternative only gives us 37 minutes between the two flights. This seems a bit unrealistic to me, but we have never been on a connecting flight before. We are uk citizens but will already have been in the US for a few days prior to this flight, so presumably will not have to clear customs again. They tell us luggage goes straight plane to plane. Will there be security clearance when we get off at Dallas and if so can anybody recommend a sensible time to give yourself between connecting flights.

Thanks very much

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Dallas, TX
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1. Re: Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

37 minutes is tight but you will make it because DFW Airport is broken up into 5 sections A-B-C-D-E and as long as your connection is in the same section you don't have to go through security and you will make your flight. However, I wouldn't be surprised if your flight is delayed in DFW.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

You'll be stressed. Is there another option? If you have an option where you have to wait a couple of hours, take it.

I'm a frequent flyer into DFW, it's my home base and I fly in or out of Dallas almost every week, sometimes several times a week. Flights are always late. Even if you land on time, you'll taxi for 10 to 20 minutes. If you land at C1 and have to go to C37 it's about a three block walk. You won't have to clear security anywhere within the airport. American uses terminals A, B, and C. There are internal trains and carts that will drive you around, if you hail one that isn't full already. It's the only airport I've been in where they have these carts where they haul folks around, like everything in Texas, it's just a long way to go. These carts run continuously, but they're always full of folks who can't manage the three block walk.

So just think about it. Your flight lands at 1230, you taxi for 15 minutes, you have a three block walk, the gate you're walking to is making their final call for you at 1257. And your luggage is where? Probably not on the plane, if you do make it.

If you have another option, take it. If you wait in their airport for a few hours, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, etc., I fly into Chicago O'Hare all the time for connecting flights and every time I don't allow 1.5 hours, my luggage doesn't go on the same flight I do. And I'm stressed to the max and nuts. The only time I do it, is if the flights are full adn I don't have options.

austin
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3. Re: Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

hey there* as a texan who goes thru there a LOT-allow at LEAST 45 minutes between flights - * UNLESS the gates are adjacent to one another in the roundabout at American, it can be very hard to make the connecter. Might want to reserve a cart.....you should not have to deal customs as this is an inside the country flight as stated. No luggage problem-they will just ship it on. If you stay within the ticketed passengers area there is not a security clearence-IF you change to another airline or different gate area this may not be true....but the airlines notify connecting flights to hold when possible if the 37 minutes seems short. ASK them where the gates are in relation to one another.... DFW has info ONLINE also.

There are people movers and also there are courtesy electric carts IF you arrange in advance* Good luck!

Dallas, TX
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4. Re: Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

Harber -

You will be fine. When you get on your American flight in Vegas tell the flight attendants about your tight connection. They will radio ahead and most of the time have a cart waiting to take you to your gate. American only flies into 2 Terminals at DFW. Most likely you will be in the same terminal. Dallas is pretty fast at security. Unlike other airports. You don't have to worry about luggage or anything. If there is bad weather all flights usually are grounded. American really makes good on helping customers with their flights. I am a loyal American Advantage member. People are helpful and kind - you'll win them over with your kind accent from the UK.

Cheers!

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5. Re: Advice re flights connecting in Dallas. How long should we...

I'm a loyal Advantage member, too, and log about 75K miles a year (I am not an employee, I'm a business traveler). The gates a flight arrives at or departs from change without notice. There is no way to plan ahead which gates are going to be in use Yes, certain flights normally fly out of certain gates or sections in terminals, but all things can and do change depending upon the circumstances of the day. If you're in a big plane than there are only certain gates that can accomodate the plane, but if your smaller plane was scheduled for that gate and the big plane has a problem you will either sit on the tarmac until that plane clears the gate or you will be diverted to another gate.

I recently landed at DFW and we taxied for over an hour. #1 we landed at E terminal for some unknown reason, I'm sure there was a reason, but it might have been just pilot error, or there may have been just flights stacked up that required us to land at E and then taxi for an hour before we landed at a gate.

I have sat on the tarmac for a couple of hours while the maintenance folks fixed a water line. Repairs have to be made within certain time frames of when they're reported, and if they're not made, the plane gets grounded for a full FAA inspection.

There are all kinds of reasons why flights get delayed and if you want to travel less stressed you'll take an option where you have some breathing room. If your only option on the same day is the 30 minutes, then obviously you have no choice, but don't count on them holding the flight for you to make it. I've seen lots of unhappy folks venting their frustration when they didn't make their connections. (and have been there myself although not venting my frustration, after all the employee has no control over flights).