Minimum Connect Times

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#1
Many airlines publish connecting flights with less time than the minimum connect times for the connecting airport. Why do the airlines do this? Are our clients safe if they opt to purchased a SABRE generated schedule with connect times that are not accurate?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
They do it because they can. However the airlines and airports are not as reliable as they used to be and there are so many delays that the scheduled might be “legal” but not practical. A 15 minute delay on the first flight can cause someone to miss a short connection.

I assume you are a travel agent since you are speaking about clients. If the connecting flight is on the same ticket as the original, the airlines will rebook a client on the next available flight if they miss a connection due to the first flight arriving late. In some cases there might not be another flight with seats for day or two, especially if there are two or more people traveling together.

It safer to stick to leaving at least two hours in between connecting flights within the US (especially if they are flying from an international destination and have to go through immigration when they land) and three hours internationally. Unless you like being awakened at 10 pm by a client who missed their connection and needs you to rebook them.

If they aren’t at the gate at the connecting flight by the time printed on their boarding pass (usually about 45 minutes before the flight departs) they can give the seat away to someone on standby.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
I'm in complete agreement with Neil and will add a suggestion to solve this by doing a multi-city booking.
 
#4
They do it because they can. However the airlines and airports are not as reliable as they used to be and there are so many delays that the scheduled might be “legal” but not practical. A 15 minute delay on the first flight can cause someone to miss a short connection.

I assume you are a travel agent since you are speaking about clients. If the connecting flight is on the same ticket as the original, the airlines will rebook a client on the next available flight if they miss a connection due to the first flight arriving late. In some cases there might not be another flight with seats for day or two, especially if there are two or more people traveling together.

It safer to stick to leaving at least two hours in between connecting flights within the US (especially if they are flying from an international destination and have to go through immigration when they land) and three hours internationally. Unless you like being awakened at 10 pm by a client who missed their connection and needs you to rebook them.

If they aren’t at the gate at the connecting flight by the time printed on their boarding pass (usually about 45 minutes before the flight departs) they can give the seat away to someone on standby.
Neil you are correct. However, an airline avail gives you a connecting time that is wrong and the client has to wait until the following day or more, who is responsible? Can the airline say, "You should not have booked that connection." Who pays for the hotel room?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Minimum connecting time is not sensible connecting time. Airlines will not sell a ticket with a connection less than the MCT. But the MCT is decided by the airline.

Many times I have been offered a 41 minute UA connection at ORD. Um no.

If one is not familiar with an airport one should err on the side of caution. And take into consideration location and weather patterns.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 19, 2014
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#6
Ultimately, it boils down to being an educated traveler, traveler experience and risk tolerance.

If I am connecting to a long haul flight, I never ... never ever ever ever .... schedule a tight connection. If anything happens to your 1st flight, you may have to wait a day or longer to catch the next flight.

however if the 2nd flight has high frequency (ie ATL to New York), I may chance a tight connection.

MCT does not equal practical connection time, and sometimes all it takes is a slight delay for you to miss your flight
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,505
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Neil you are correct. However, an airline avail gives you a connecting time that is wrong and the client has to wait until the following day or more, who is responsible? Can the airline say, "You should not have booked that connection." Who pays for the hotel room?
That is the argument I’ve had with the airlines myself when they tell me a 45 minute connection is fine. As a travel agent you need to know that legal and practical aren’t the same and do what you can to protect your client. The airline will not always pay for a hotel and push it on your client to have insurance which would pay for it.

You are the one that needs to know how to protect your client and not listen to the airline. Stick to the 2 and 3 hours and you will have much less problems than listening to the airline.

Here is a perfect example of how well the airlines help passengers that miss their connection:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/a...fuses-to-help-the-customer.10071/#post-107564