My Bad Habit Of Booking Insane Flight Connections

Filed Under: Travel

I figured some of you may be amused by what’s probably a very bad travel planning habit of mine, but which I kind of get a thrill out of… sometimes? I’m curious if anyone else ever does this.

I often connect on separate tickets

When I take review trips, I often travel on lots of separate tickets. I’m reviewing all kinds of different airlines belonging to different alliances, and they simply can’t be booked together. For example, on the review trip I’m currently on, I booked six separate tickets.

The risk is that when you book travel on separate tickets, you’re not covered in the event you misconnect. So if you miss the start of a new ticket due to a delay on the previous ticket, you’re the one responsible for that, and not the airline.

So early in the trip I intentionally plan very long layovers when connecting between separate tickets. I can ultimately work from anywhere, and it’s just not worth the risk to have the entire trip thrown off by a tight connection. So I had a seven hour layover in New York, then a night in Tokyo, then a night in London, then another night in Tokyo, etc.

The rush to get home

While I don’t mind taking my time throughout most of these review trips, when they start to come to an end, I’m always excited to get home to Ford and Winston.

The last segment or two to get home (especially domestic flights after long hauls) seem to feel as long as the rest of the trip combined.

So not only is it exciting to get home, but it’s also less risky to book short connections towards the end of your trip. Worst case scenario if I miss a connection I’ll have problems with one ticket, rather than problems with five tickets.

My crazy international to domestic connection

Long story short, to finish off this trip I’ll be landing at a transpacific gateway on the West Coast, and I booked a separate domestic ticket on a different airline just 42 minutes later.

During that time I’ll have to go through immigration, take a train, clear security, and then schlep to my departure gate, at the far end of the terminal.

Yes, I voluntarily booked that 42 minute connection, and I know the risks. In addition to my general desire to get home, there are a few other motivating factors:

  • This flight will get me home by 8PM, while the next “bank” of flights would get me home around midnight (which is way past everyone’s bedtime)
  • I have expiring American systemwide upgrades, and I was able to confirm an upgrade on this booking immediately, while there’s no way I would have cleared an upgrade on the later flights
  • The fare was “only” about $200, which was lower than the other practical options

Obviously this was risky. The way I look at it, I’m gambling $200 in hopes of getting home at a reasonable hour, and getting first class on a transcon flight. To me that seems like a worthwhile risk.

Of course any sort of delay (even just a few minutes) will make the connection highly unlikely, and even with an on-time arrival, odds are decent that I won’t make it.

What happens if I misconnect?

I’ll cross that bridge when I get there:

  • My transpacific flight will have wifi, so I might try to make a same day change if I realize I’m going to be late; that will definitely mean no upgrades, though, and it might not even be possible, since other flights are quite full
  • Otherwise I can probably just stand by for a later flight, though flights are full, and I’m not going to do a transcon flight in a middle seat in regular economy, if I can avoid it
  • Realistically I might just regroup when I get off my transpacific flight, and book a new ticket on a routing that works

So I’ve told Ford when I hope to get home, though also warned him that it may end up being up to 24 hours later.

Bottom line

I book “illegal” connections on separate tickets more often than I should. Most of the time it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Of course this is risky, but realistically it’s also risky to do a two to three hour connection on separate tickets, since you could still misconnect.

I’ve made an international to domestic connection at JFK with a terminal change and a super long walk in 18 minutes, so I feel like anything is possible.

Of course I realize this is crazier, so please wish me luck. 😉

Have you ever “gambled” by booking two separate tickets with a very short connection?

Comments
  1. Reading this while stranded in STR on day 3 due to a missed flight, I can do nothing but shudder.
    Best of luck for your really risky flights, and honestly if you fly long enough you are eventually bond to lose some connections, so why not practice it while you can control it? 😉

  2. I’ve gone from an international arrival at Newark Terminal B, cleared Immigration (without Global Entry), claimed my bag, rechecked my bag, got on the Airtrain to Terminal C, cleared security there (without TSA Precheck or Premier Access), and got to Gate C85 for a domestic flight to SRQ in 16 minutes before, and this was just after 1pm on a Friday. If I can do this, 30 mins at either SFO or LAX should be easy…

  3. Have a domestic to international next week with 90 mins in Chicago next week and I am worried. It’s different airlines… fingers crossed

  4. Have a domestic to international next week with 90 mins in Chicago next week and I am worried. It’s different airlines… fingers crossed with a checked bag

  5. I don’t think it is crazy as long as you have a back-up, which you did.

    I just did something similar – I was flying PEK-LAX-PHL on AA, and had a ~6 hour layover at LAX with the last leg on a redeye. I’d prefer to get home that day, rather than have a long layover and a redeye, but AA won’t sell an earlier connecting flight (the 3:35 pm afternoon LAX to PHL would be a ~40 minute connection). But knowing that PEK-LAX flight 180 can land earlier if the winds are favorable, I booked that last afternoon flight back to PHL as a separate ticket. Sure enough AA 180 landed about 50 minutes early. I went from TBIT (with no checked luggage) through immigration to T4 security and to my gate in 20 minutes. (That is with GE and Pre.) Still had almost 45 minutes before the afternoon flight started boarding. I may have made it even if we had not landed early. Cost me $190 one-way, and my upgrade cleared at T-100. I was willing to lose the $190, but it was money well spent. Got home before midnight instead of 8 am.

  6. If you isn’t mind that you win some and lose some, then fair enough. I booked a very sensible 5 hr layover at Milan Malpensa self – connecting between Santorini and Lisbon and of course my inbound flight from Santorini was exactly 5 hours late! So good luck!

  7. I’ve heard some people claim that CSR travel insurance would cover a misconnect scenario on separate tickets. Seems far-fetched to me but people have said they have actual data points supporting this. Have you ever tried to file a claim in this sort of scenario?

  8. Your connection isn’t risky because you clearly have the budget and finances to afford to miss the connection and get a last minute alternate. Throwing money at the problem takes away all aspects of risk.

    For a lot of people this isn’t in their budget, which is what makes the connection actually risky.

  9. Yesterday I had a booked a train from Malmö (in Sweden) at 5pm (the last one for the day) when I arrived at Copenhagen airport at 3pm. Had to take commuter train over the bridge. High risk to miss the train. Ground hadling at CPH are known for beeing slow and I had a bag to collect. It worked but in case of not going well I had a flexible hotel booking if needed to stay the night in Malmö.

  10. Mitch Cumstien –

    Winston, his full name being Winston Smith was the main character in George Orwell’s 1948 Dystopian Novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.

    Winston, his full name being Winston Churchill, was the prime minister of the UK in the 1940s, during World War 2.

    Winston, his full name being Winston the Dog, is Lucky’s pet dog that resides in his house in Miami – likely this is what you were asking about…

  11. @hoko. I think it’s a really good qn that I am surprised hasn’t been properly answered. I think the credit card should cover?

    If you miss a flight (even on separate tickets) isn’t that a travel delay? That causes a loss?

  12. Since you used one of your expiring AA systemwide upgrades for the domestic leg to go back home, I bet that AA flight will most likely be delayed anyway that you’ll most likely make it regardless the official 42 min connection. 😉

  13. You are confusing. On the one hand getting home to your husband and dog is so important to you. Every moment counts. On the other hand you say I’m not going to do a transcon flight in a middle seat in regular economy. Now what?

  14. Dangerous game. One also needs to pair up the right airlines when doing this…I had a paid JetBlue from NYS to BOS with my family of 4 (3yo and 1yo) to meet up a separate Iberia (AA award) from BOS to MAD (2hr layover in BOS). Needless to say my JetBlue flight was cxled and B6 doesn’t NOT rebook on other airlines…would not have mattered cause all flights were sold out and it was the weekend this limited NYC to BOS flights….Thus I missed my TATL flight and AA had no other award seats open on later flights so I was SOL…to make a long story short I made the trip but used last minute separate/new award bookings on my apps while driving around to every NYC airport while half panic set in. Give me stress just rethink this event.

  15. Most airlines schedule padding on international arrivals for their own connections so hopefully you’ll end up with more than 40 minutes with yours. I’m not sure if it’s the La Niña or something but trips East over Pacific have been fast recently. I was on a Beijing-LAX flight recently that arrived TWO HOURS early. I thought the computer had an error.

    If this is San Francisco, which it sounds like it is because there’s no train at LAX I’d be a little worried because TSA Pre is often busy there and even CLEAR is a challenge at times. I believe they use a different security contractor than standard TSA.

    I guess it could be SeaTac, it has a train. And lots of TSA troubles too.

    Obviously you know this Ben but the vet move is to always book later and then move up. Tho I get what you’re going for. Hopefully you have karma in the bank.

  16. “42 minute connection” on a separate ticket. that means one will have to check-in over the phone or at gate counter with the connecting flight to get boarding pass. some airlines close “check-in” 45-60 minutes before departure, so even if Ben (Lucky) makes it to the gate, how is this possible?

  17. Yep. It sucks when you miss but on the whole I come out ahead. Nothing like rushing to terminal change at PEK to transfer from Hainan to Air China at 5am.

  18. I think in this sort of case if you miss your last domestic connection leg you can take advantage of the “flat tire rule” that many domestic carriers officially or unofficially follow and get rebooked for free.

  19. @Mick

    I don’t believe travel insurance covers this as per ticket, you are making 2 separate trips. You didn’t miss your 2nd trip, you were late for it.

    @Glenn

    While I do think airlines will have some compassion and try it’s best to accommodate you, this wouldn’t fall under the flat tire rule as
    1. You booked an illegal connection.
    2. Those 777 tires don’t go flat that easily.

  20. @Eskimo — Flat tire rule usually means you can be rebooked on next available flight if you’re at the airport within two hours of the departure time for your original flight. You don’t really need to explain why you were late (e.g., doesn’t matter if it was an illegal connection, since AA wouldn’t know about it). Usually you can just say you were caught in traffic and it took longer than you expected to get to the check-in area of the airport (which would be technically accurate in @lucky’s case). Obviously I wouldn’t lie, but you also don’t need to volunteer that you had an illegal connection, and usually they don’t really care why you were late; they’ll accommodate you if you’re there within two hours. Note, this seems to be an only in the U.S. thing; in Europe and elsewhere, if you miss the cutoff, the flight is forfeited.

    Of course @lucky would be standing by for an economy seat on the next flight under the flat tire rule, so he might prefer to book a new ticket for something better if available rather than take advantage of the flat tire rule.

  21. @John

    Your explanation is abusing this rule (and possibly ruin it for everyone).
    The rule is there to save you in good faith and due to circumstances beyond your control.

    Booking an illegal connection is not beyond your control nor trying to get away with it is any good faith.

    But like I stated, airlines will have some compassion and try it’s best to accommodate you.

    Please don’t intentionally abuse this rule as airlines can take it away and ruin it for people with good faith.

  22. @John
    “in Europe and elsewhere, if you miss the cutoff, the flight is forfeited.”

    I’ve seen European legacy carriers be incredibly generous: including a hippy-iah student travelling over summer, who had a legal connection but was so tired (or high) he fell asleep in the airport and missed his flight, arriving at the gate clutching his guitar half an hour after his plane had left.

    They ignored his cheapo, no-change ticket and just booked him onto the next flight, free of charge.

    Though I wouldn’t expect that from, say, Ryanair.

  23. God speed to you Ben!!
    If I were a betting man I would bet against you making this connection. (Based purely on feeling and my own pessimism. I’m feeling a flight delay, not your airport navigation skills as the problem). Prove me wrong and keep us updated. Winston and Ford are waiting…

  24. There is nothing “illegal” really, only that it’s just statiscally not permissible.
    But then airlines get a legal basis not to compensate in case of misconnection, if they choose to.

    Anyway, Lucky has wide experience with airlines and airports, if his mind and gut feeling tell him to go ahead, chances are high this will succeed.

    Unless the unthinkable torpedoes it naturally.

  25. OneWorld/AA still hold the bar higher for passengers even not in the same PNR. It doesn’t seem that crazy at all, given the flat tire rules with AA, etc. Once I connected I to I at YYZ from WS to BA on two PNRs within 7min door to door. That made me follow your previous practice of always having an overnight if possible to avoid penalty (on cash tickets). Anyway, hopefully 42min is sufficient enough for you with GE and early arrival of the inbound.

  26. I don’t gamble on flights. I’ve almost always flown in the night before to ORD (rip) , LAX , or DFW for a morning flight to mainland China with empty premium cabins. No way I would chance miss connecting a flight like that for $80 at a satisfactory hotel with airport shuttles.
    I remember a year ago someone that writes for OMAAT or TPG had this insane mileage run where he had to position himself in Hawaii to catch an Iberia flight from Phoenix. And it didn’t work out very well.

  27. @Kevin B

    I hear ya but it’s even more adventurous try doing the same thing @ 6pm… I once left the arrival lobby at Hainan international T2 at 6pm, took the “intra-terminal” shuttle bus to T3 to catch my Air China domestic flight, the cutoff time for check-in was 7:10pm and I got off the bus at 7:09, then I made the world record in whatever yard dash.

    @Lucky

    Since you mentioned taking a tram, your connection is definitely not LAX, which means you have a chance. Having no checked luggage also helps.

    LAX is a crazy zoo right now, took me almost three hours from landing to rental car last week.

  28. SFO? I hope you don’t check a bag. That’s where I find the longest wait time. Waiting for bags to arrive even if you are first through immigration.

  29. Ben — a few tips from an AA employee who does a lot with tight connections. I know you might not see this in time/at all, but worth a shot:

    1. The “flat tire rule” still applies here. It’s not really for only flat tires or similar, it’s just a general late policy. You do need to be in front of an agent within two hours of your original flights’ departure, though.
    – As an Executive Platinum, you’re still eligible for a same-day change and voluntary standby (higher priority than non-elite passengers), even after your original flight departs (up to 2 hours, still). So if you want to risk it, this is an option, assuming a seat in E class is available still (for conformed).
    2. Keep your inbound boarding pass. This isn’t really published anywhere, but AA prioritizes standby in part by “through” status. So you will be prioritized higher as a connecting passenger (from any airline) then someone who’s originating there. AA’s system does this automatically for AA flights, but for other airlines you will need to go to any agent (except kiosk support) and ask them to “add the T.” They will need info off your inbound boarding pass to do this. This might not help you clear in practice since you already should be pretty high up, but if you have to sit at the airport for a few hours anyways, you might as well.

  30. @Lucky, as long as you’re comfortable with your options (and for paying for it in discomfort and money), I’d say go for it.

    This reminds me of your LHR “connection” on two tickets a while back from AA to LX(?), which you’d only left <2 hours for (I still think that was completely irresponsible on your part). And you paid for it dearly (IIRC, €600 or so). For domestic US flights on your last leg, I think it's much less risky, as you mention, due to the flat tire rule.

    Personally, I'd be too stressed out with a tight connection, even on a single ticket, but that's JMHO…

  31. @Lucky

    At least if there is a delay of “even just a few minutes,” ANA will apologize to you for it. They know how inconvenient it can be for your travel plans!

    🙂

  32. My guess is that you’re flying ANA first to SFO, since they don’t have first to SEA and you mention the train. You don’t check a bag, have global entry, pre-check, and clear, and are headed east with the jetstream. You’re flying on a Japanese airline that will do everything possible to leave on time. I really think you will be fine I’d make that bet.

  33. @Eskimo, I’m not advocating what @lucky has done. Personally I have never booked an illegal connection or intentionally created a situation where I would end up relying on flat tire rule; it’s not really desirable because you end up on standby for the next flight, so you could easily end up in a middle seat in the back of coach rather than having a shot at a upgrade and the guarantee of an extra-legroom seat on your confirmed flight.

    But as a statement of what is likely to happen in practice, I think what I wrote is accurate. I’ve missed flights where I just overslept and didn’t encounter any unexpected traffic or anything outside my control, and they put me on the next flight for free without even asking why I was late. I would also keep in mind, I think @lucky still has Exec Platinum on AA, so they should be flexible with him regardless.

    @The Nice Paul — Good to know. I guess I have never ended up in this situation personally, but I had understood that some of the legacy European carriers were not flexible like some of the American carriers are. But perhaps the policies vary or can be more flexible in some instances.

  34. On January 4, 2020, I was scheduled to do:

    — Male (Maldives) to Colombo on Sri Lankan;

    2h:34min layover;

    — then Colombo to Bangkok on Thai;

    1h:34min layover;

    — Lastly, Bangkok to Siem Reap on Bangkok Airways (PG).

    Three airlines, two connections, three separate tickets, and a large bag checked in from Male to Siem Reap.

    I made it all the way to the PG counter at BKK for the flight to Siem Reap, which had completed boarding but would not leave for another 30 min as per schedule, then it happened. I had not checked in for the flight, hoping to get a boarding pass at the gate, but was told it was too late for issuing boarding passes at the gate. I had to go to the transfer desk upstairs! I got there 15 min before departure time but was told that the flight had closed. I could to take the next one 2.5 hours later by paying a 2000 baht (around $70) fee, which would include a fee for my checked bag that had not been put on the departing plane and weighed too much. No problem.

    Since it was my final destination and it was only around 8 in the morning, missing the earlier PG flight was no biggie, just mildly annoying. To kill the time, I just got into nearest Priority Pass lounge and waited. Before I knew it I was boarding the next PG flight to Siem Reap. However, my checked bag did not make it until the next morning, but the airline had arranged to have it delivered to my hotel, PH Siem Reap, so this too was no biggie.

    All in all not too bad an outcome.

  35. My practices are pretty much the same. When I’m flying on a separate cash ticket to make it to a gateway for an award, I always give myself tons of wiggle room or even book an airport hotel. On the way back I am willing to risk it. I flew SQ12 in Summer 2018 SIN-NRT-LAX in F. It was an exceptional flight. My options to get home on Alaska were a 25 minute connection onto a VX configured plane with a cheap F fare or waiting 3 hours for an Alaska plane with a higher fare. I looked at the recent on time performance for SQ12 which was arriving at least 25 minutes early 6 days a week. So I booked the crazy short connection. My plane actually only arrived at the gate 8 minutes early. I got held up at security for a minute because I was sweating from stress and running and my fingerprints wouldn’t scan at CLEAR! Gave up and walked over to the PreCheck line with three people in it. I was the third from the last passenger boarded on the Alaska flight.

  36. I am one of those people who are annoyingly early to an airport (and anywhere else I am going) – so this is generally a “no” – can not do it. However when I used to fly back from Singapore to Melbourne, I would go via Sydney or Brisbane (to get my 4 QF sectors). Usually it would be a tight connection – did not bother me as there were loads of domestic flights each day particularly if coming through Sydney. Going back though, there was only one flight at day from BNE to Singapore, so would book an earlier domestic flight and end up with a few hours in BNE international – did not want to risk it as I would be delayed by at least 24 hours. I think it depends on whether or not I know the airport well and if there are a lot of other flights I can catch. If I know it is a “one flight per day”, then will not risk it. I am a planner and like to be early! Am on an 8:10am flight out of BNE (domestic) on Thursday – already wondering if 6am is too late to leave for the airport (it’s not!!).

  37. Arriving early doesn’t guarantee off the plane early. Quite a while ago, flying out of Denver to DFW on AA, plane landed 45 minutes early. As we taxied to the gate the pilot announced that our gate wasn’t open yet. We sat for a while, then he said gate still not open, so they changed to another gate in another terminal. As we taxied past the original gate, it looked deserted with no ground crew not vehicles!

  38. i try to book international-domestic connections with the domestic leg on southwest, and that’s saved me on more than one occasion. once when i was flying PEK-LAX-TUS with a six-hour layover in LAX, the first flight was almost six hours late. there was no wi-fi on the flight, so as soon as the plane touched down in LAX i canceled the WN flight within a minute or two of the cancellation window and booked a $70 flight on AA. obviously it’s not possible to book the domestic flight on WN from all airports

  39. Murphy’s law states that a plane will always leave late except when you need it to. So, you do as I do,..run like a madman.

  40. Ben – this was your lucky day.

    I happened to be on his same flight from SEA-DFW. Departed 36 minutes late and arrived 41 minutes late. Ben was one of the last to arrive (he was sitting in F 2 rows behind me). Had the flight not been late – it would not have made it.

    Then on the connection to MIA – that flight also delayed. Or that would have been missed.

    Double Luck here. Both flights delayed.

    I would not recommend the illegal connect from I to D.

  41. @ Randy — It was nice to see you! 🙂

    As I stated in the post, I was at the gate about an hour before departure, well before the inbound flight even arrived. The reason I was among the last to board was because of this issue.

  42. Nothing particularly wrong with what Lucky did. I had a choice of a booking a later flight with only 42 minutes to connect from domestic to international so I could sleep more or book an earlier flight with a longer layover. I chose the latter. So, even if you book with the airline directly all on one itinerary, they still give you an option to have a tight connection. Lucky proved that it is possible, but I do not want the rush to the gates or the anxiety though! Hahahaha.

  43. Not usually. I think that you do a lot more of these connections on different partners because it is your job to do so. You are reviewing various airports, hotels, lounges, etc. But I think most people will do a bit of research and perhaps make one or two layovers, if necessary, depending on the price difference. They may book separate tickets within the same group or even airline depending on the price, but I think that most people are loyal to one alliance and this is usually the primary carrier out of their city.

  44. I am booking ORD-BOM with UA miles and one of the options is a flight on Ethiopian with a connection time of 30 minutes in Adidas Ababa. Don’t know how they can even sell that ticket.

  45. When I booked a separate ticket, I always leave long layover in different locations. For example, I travelled the SQ bug ticket SIN-SYD-SIN-PVG, and I left a 7-hr layover in Singapore when I managed to get myself from MEL to SIN prior to the trip.

    Actually, even when I booked the entire trip on the same ticket, I would still leave long layover between each flight, but instead for fun in different cities. During my 4-year Australian education, I had travelled to SIN, KUL, CGK, HKG, BKK by such a method.

  46. I think as long as you are flexible enough to be able to have a backup plan, this works.

    Best bit of luck I ever had in this regard was actually reducing the number of tickets – traveling for work a few years ago ADL-BNE-LAX-SLT-STL on Virgin Australia and Delta. Travel booked my flights, but somehow neglected the ADL portion. As such, I ended up having to add ADL-BNE as a separate ticket. The kicker is that I was going to have checked bags. I had roughly a 4 hr turnaround in BNE, which turned into just under 3 hrs with delays. Anyway, got to the airport in ADL extra early and spoke to the Virgin Australia staff. It took the input of four people (including a manager), but after about 40 minutes, I had one ticket – and my bags arrived when expected. First time I had ever had that work.

  47. I’m the opposite, I book overnight stays at each stop on separate tickets because I hate worrying about connections and I’m never in a hurry to get anywhere….

  48. @Lucky,

    On this topic, I am curious: how do you manage all of your record locators. Not every airline has a mobile boarding pass – or do you try and get paper boarding passes for each connection?

  49. I had it in a few cases. But I try to avoid it if I can, as I am known for having notorious bad luck with flight delays, cancellations and freak accidents (all out of my control, fortunately).

    The first one was a 1.5 hour stopover at STN, over 10 years ago. Doesn’t sound too bad, but I also had to collect a bag and check it in again. And clear passport control, which at that time could mean long queues. As London airspace was already congested back then, it happened quite often that delays happened due to hold patterns. I made it, 15 minutes before the check in deadline.

    The most recent one was a trip with a connection in Dublin on two separate tickets. It was just before Christmas last year, meaning that ticket prices were high and adverse weather was expected (and indeed, storm we had). Now I had prepared well, knowing where to go in the airport to get to the flight connection channel. I had checked in online and a digital boarding pass for my onward flight was there. To my delight, the inbound flight to Dublin was on time and landed just on time. Of course, as the travel gods are against me, we got a tarmac position with a bus ride to the terminal and we had a family with small children on board who couldn’t care less about others on tight connections. So there went 20 minutes of my time.
    I arrived at the first connecting point, which was closed, pointing to the next one, which is right next to passport control. And guess what… closed too! An airport employee told me that they just closed it for the day because they “probably wouldn’t get many connecting passengers anyway.” So I was told to go through passport control, go outside and to the other terminal “because that’s the terminal my airline uses” and go through security again.
    Those who know Dublin airport know that it’s a 7 to 8 minute walk and that security lines are usually horribly long, even in fast track. I was fortunate enough to ‘just’ have a 10 minute wait in the ‘fast track’ line, and I somehow made it just in time, a few minutes before the gate would close. But don’t ask how…

    Have I already told that I usually end up with lots of freak incidents during my travels and that the travel gods are against me? It’s why I try to avoid short connections, even if they’re protected ones.

    ps. What Ben did wasn’t illegal. It’s just that airports have a minimum connection time for all incoming flights, to be able to reduce the chances of people getting stranded. I remember from ARN that they can differ per flight. SK had some 30 minute minimum, while the ET flight from ADD had 4 hours for a while, due to being notoriously late (that was when they still had a stopover at VIE).

  50. My record was 38 minutes from touching down at Miami from a long haul to getting on a connecting flight. I don’t recommend that. But it worked out and saved me about $500 or $600.

  51. I recently booked a 54 minute connection in Paris from a transatlantic flight onto an SNCF train to Brussels. Friends told me the odds were low of making the train, but I remained optimistic. Ultimately, the train I booked was cancelled due to the French strikes and I rebooked onto a later train with a more comfortable connection window. For research purposes, when I arrived in Paris I went straight to the train station upon clearing immigration, and I made it to the platform 5-10 minutes ahead of my originally scheduled departure time. So, in case anyone was wondering, if you’re arriving internationally into T2E at CDG, it’s definitely possible to catch a TGV within one hour of touchdown. (Note: I’m assuming most readers of this blog will have access to the priority immigration queue. It would not be wise to even attempt this if you don’t.)

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