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Southwest Tight Connection

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by Jimmy, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Jimmy

    Joined:
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    A few months ago I booked a flight on Southwest form San Jose to Houston, just choosing one of the flights they had listed:

    SJC -> SNA -> HOU
    depart 10:45 AM
    arrive 5:45 PM
    3176 Connecting Flight 5910 Change Planes SNA​
    land SNA 12:05; Depart SNA 12:40

    I didn't think to much of it until it got imported into TripIt and they alerted that the connection time is pretty quick (I stupidly didn't look a the connection "assume"ing it was ok).

    It's only 35m.

    So I guess I have two quesitons;
    has anyone been on this flight and if so is the connection reasonable to get to in SNA (we're both able-bodied adults)?
    a worst case scenario happens and the plan is delayed to SNA. what is the recourse? i am flying to Houston on Sat to head to Galveston for a Cruise departure, so being delayed would be... bad news.

    Should I change my flights, which would cost about 20k more points (or $125) to something with not quite the same short layover? Would they hold the plane in SNA if the plan from SJC was late due to passengers?

    Not really stressing to much, but it caught my eye and I want to be safe, not sorry.

    Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. Jimmy

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    (sorry about the typos and bad formatting, i tried to go back and edit it after i posted it and wasn't able to...)
     
    #2
  3. technomage1

    Staff Member Forum Director

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    Is Saturday today or is Saturday next week?

    I'd be calling SW and begging to be put on another plane and hang the cost, personally. There aren't that many flights out of SNA on SW, or any other airline, so if something does go wrong you'd be stuck. And a 35 minute connection is very tight, not so much on the physical layout of the airport side but on the if the plane is late side.

    They probably wouldn't hold the aircraft, either.

    We always recommend for cruises to arrive the day prior, so if you're leaving Sunday evening you'd probably be ok.
     
    #3
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  4. Nancy

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    Actually, there are 3 more flights to HOU out of SNA (I'm looking at Saturdays in October, not knowing when you're flying) should you misconnect. There's another flight at 10:30 from SJC through PHX that allows nearly an hour to connect and arrives at same time in Houston. Techno's idea to call SWA is a good one, they have it all in front of them and are very helpful IMO. Better to build in more time or have Plan B ready. I don't take risks before cruises!
     
    #4
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  5. Christina H

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    I would honestly follow Technomage1's advice. Flights are often booked to capacity and if the OP misses the connection then there may not be space available until later.

    And if the OP is checking luggage ...... a rerouting could be even more problematic.
     
    #5
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  6. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I agree - try to get it fixed now because if you wait until a whole plane load of people are trying to rebook you might be waiting days to be booked on another flight. They never should have allowed such a short connection. If you check a bag it will never make it.
     
    #6
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  7. Jimmy

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    This is for next weekend...

    I gave them a call like most folk suggested, and they let me know that if the flight is delayed in SJ for whatever reason, they would rebook me onto a different outbound flight (from SJC) that gets me into houston ("eventually"). They weren't quite willing to say when "eventually" is. They did mention that the 35 minutes is enough time via airline policy; though I guess I can kiss my Early-Bird boarding goodbye.

    I wasn't sure if I should rebook then, as the cost is pretty substantial now. I looked up on-time performance for the flights but I don't know if it's a new flight or what, but 3176 (SJC -> SNA) doesn't have any records on FlightStats or the transstats (all the 3176 for SW is for other "legs" of the trip, I guess).

    Southwest shows it 100% on time but that seem a bit hinky.

    I have no idea if the plane is coming into SJC from anywhere, though I would assume yes. I don't know how to find out where from to judge that potential delay.

    The cruise leaves on Sunday early-afternoon. As someone said, there are 3 more flights out that day; all with seats. So I guess I don't have to worry about *not* getting there; it would just take about 4 hours longer.

    Argh, why didn't I check the connection! So mad at myself...
     
    #7
  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Jimmy, as long as you learned something from it - thats the best you can do with a mistake. If they refuse to fix it for you, you have no choice. I'll hope for the best for you.
     
    #8
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  9. krisseye

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    Maybe you can buy a one way ticket on one of those later flights. If you end up not needing it, you can cancel and use the credit some other time. Unlike other airlines, Southwest gives you full credit if you cancel. Just make sure you don't no show.
     
    #9
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  10. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    I'm a legal pad/calculator kinda gal and here's my opinion. You're going on a cruise, it cost thousands of dollars. The chances of you getting to IAH on Saturday afternoon or evening are good.

    BUT not good enough to offset the possibility that some disaster could rear its ugly head and you couldn't get there in time. Just this week there was a major malfunction in the software that checks people in and the delays were monsters. I'd fork over the extra cash to get the itinerary changed. I really like @krisseye 's idea ... as long as your return tix didn't get cancelled if you end up on the later flight.

    I'm particularly sensitive about a cruise out of Galveston ... years ago I booked a nonstop AM flight out of SJC to arrive at noon for a 430pm all-aboard. It's about an hour by car from IAH to the port. Our flight was less than an hour late. I nearly had a nervous breakdown before we boarded the ship. Never again! Life's too short.
     
    #10
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  11. mmb

    mmb

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    So, @Jimmy did buy tickets to travel the day before the ship sails and now worries that it not good enough.
    My experience w/SW is that the short layover times are perfectly relevant as they use gates close to each other in these cases, usually in smallish airports -- DAL, SJC, MDW, MLK, Etc. SW flights usually are either on-time or early, as they apparently build slight delay time into their posted schedule, as do most airlines these days. This, of course, gives them a better chance of a good on-time record.
    YEs, of course, some strange occurrence may disrupt the plan, but if he bought trip insurance /as always recommended for these types of trips/ then he can use that to fix his problems.
    I do especially like @krisseye 's plan on buying an extra ticket for a later flight.
    As for the return ticket being cancelled by him maybe missing the first leg, that is why I always by separate tickets for each of my trips. No cancelling of remaining legs of trips worries that way.
     
    #11
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  12. Michelle Bell

    Staff Member Advocate

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    SNA is a TINY airport and all SW gates are near each other. If your flight isn't delayed for unforeseen reasons at SJC you should be fine.

    But someone else made an important point: when going on a cruise, I always plan to arrive the day before because you never know what's going to happen.
     
    #12
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  13. Jimmy

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    Did that. This flight is the day before.

    When I booked the trip I just didn't check the connection (Southwest listed the flight SJC->HOU as this, so I didn't bother to check the connection time). Only when this got loaded into TripIt, and TripIt pointed out the connection was tight did I begin to worry.

    I like the idea of buying a one-way ticket; I'd only use as a "reserve" since if the connection was late (due to SW) they'd have to rebook me. I'd just say "heh, I booked it already in case this happened, I just need to get my miles refunded" ... or something along those lines. I'd have plenty of time at the airport to do that.

    Of course, my luck -- i'd MAKE the connection, but their in-flight WIFI would be broken and I couldn't cancel the "reserve" flight. So, maybe I'll just risk it. I have never had an issue with SW before; though that past performance is not a guarantee of future success.
     
    #13
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  14. Barry Graham

    Barry Graham Administrator
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    @Jimmy I don't recommend buying another ticket just in case. Airlines hate it when people do that because it leads to unsold seats and airlines have been known to cancel double bookings. It could prevent someone else from getting a better fare. In this case you said there are plenty of seats.

    Also, if you had known about the 35 minute connection would you have left earlier or booked a later connection?
     
    #14
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