Any advice for connecting flights?

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  1. Hello everybody!

    I live in Toronto which is a major (if not the biggest) Canadian airport. So I've never had a need to take a connecting flight. Unfortunately, our aiport charges ridiculous airport fees ($200+) so we've opted to drive 2hrs and fly out of Buffalo-Niagara Airport.

    We're flying Continental to Newark on a Saturday morning...then have 1hr and 13 minutes to connect to our flight to Ft Lauderdale.

    Going home we flyout of Ft Lauderdale on a Tuesday nt then connect in Baltimore. Coming home, we fly on Southwest.

    Any tips would be appreciated. We've decided not to check in and luggage (were only going to be in Florida for a long weekend and think we'll be okay)

    Do you think we'd have enough times between connections to pop into the aiport foodcourt and grab something to eat on the plane(were flying during breakfast and dinner hours and airplane food suxx)
  2. As long as there are no delays leaving from Buffalo, you should have plenty of time to get something. =] If you're running short on time, just make sure you know where your next gate is. There isn't really much to it, especially since you're not checking in bags.
  3. well, we really cannot know if you have enough time to make connecting flights since you have not shared the arrival/departure times with us for your BWI connection. :smile:

    Newark is a large airport but barring any delays with your arrival from Buffalo into Newark, 1 hour and 13 minutes is *plenty* of time to get to your next gate for your flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

    BWI is also large but I wasn't clear if you are flying Southwest for all of your return trip. If so, carriers locate their flights in the same terminal/gate sections so you should be fine, again barring any delays from your flight from Ft. Lauderdale. If you are flying a different carrier into BWI than your flight out on Southwest, you may have some walking time (up to but not more than 10-15 minutes, IMO). If so, here are some general guidelines:

    In general, US carriers begin their boarding processes approximately 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time (barring any delays due to weather, equipment, air traffic control, etc). They usually begin boarding with passengers with frequent flier status and those needing extra time (children or those in wheelchairs or elderly needing time). Then they board by seating section (printed on boarding pass). I know most carriers will try to close the doors at 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure time in order to be able to push back from the date at their scheduled departure time (thus meeting their "on time" targets).

    Have fun!
  4. I regret booking Southwest with a connection due to the boarding pass/sit wherever you want policies. Hopefully we won't encounter delays on a Tuesday night nor have a full flight.

    We fly Southwest for our entire return trip home. We leave FLL around 5:45pm. I forget the flight times exactly but I know were due into Buffalo around 10pm
  5. 1hour should be enough. You will need to go back thru security though.
  6. Absolutely good point.

    And I can only comment on the outbound flights - don't know too much about Southwest. :smile:

    If all flights are on time, you should be ok. But as Trolley Dolly indicates, you will have to clear security again. This does not leave time for meals. I suggest eating beforehand and/or bringing some snacks. You might get a meal on the EWR-FLL segement but not sure what time you are leaving.

    Some other considerations:

    For the trip between BUF - EWR you will probably be on a Q400 or an ERJ (both regional jets - Q400 is turbo prop). Looking at CO's Saturday schedule for today, Q400s are handling the earlier flights (obviously may differ for OP) I have never been on a Q400 but if on an ERJ, if your luggage is too big or they run out of room, you will need to gate check it. And that could eat up precious transfer time. So check your plane type before you leave and try to go smaller with the luggage if you see an ERJ in your future.

    Again - I have never been on a Q400 so not sure of any storage issues. It's just something to consider. A quick google search showed that the Q400 overheads were on the smaller side.

    BTW - here is a link from Seat Guru for the Q400:
    SeatGuru Seat Map Continental Airlines Bombardier Q400 (DH4)

    For the ERJ - try to get seats in row 12 (they are normally reserved for the airline Elites but grab them if you see them open - more legroom!). Check in at 24 hours exactly and your chances will be far better to get those seats!!

    Now if you do miss your connection on the outbound it looks like there are multiple flights into FLL. If you know before you board that your plane into EWR will be delayed, ask to be protected on one of the future flights.

    That's all I have!
  7. Thank you very much!

    I believe its a Q400.... I think were sitting in row 7 (I was advised to sit closer to the front to be able to get off it first). Guess that was wrong advice.

    We flew on a smaller plane on Delta recently (BUF to ATL) and we were seated in the last row beside the washrooms, we had no window and it was sooo loud (we had to scream in eachother's ear)

    I have also heard that Continental operates out of Terminal C at EWR. Meaning we wouldn't have to go through security again? Called Continental and they said the same.

    I'm not afraid to fly- but the term "prop" scares me. I've flown on an ERJ once from Toronto to Montreal and it wasn't bad. I dunno if that's comparable to the Dash 8 Q400.
  8. Ooooo a Dash-8. Not as bad as you would think. Very reliable planes.
  9. Row 12 only applies to the ERJ. :smile: (For the Q400 Seatguru lists rows 1 and the right side of 2 per the seat map to be the best seats due to legroom).

    And yes - it looks like Connection flights are all C. Only the Express flights are A. Learn something new every day. Also - looked at the schedule and larger planes do fly into BUF but not as common as the Connection flights.

    Q400s should be just fine. I'm not a fan of the smaller planes but sometimes one has no choice. I remember a long time ago being on a prop - we were delayed and some lady by the window yelled out how they were waiting for someone to come kick-start the propeller. Well it was funny at the time.. :biggrin:

    Anyhow - you should have plenty of time. Have fun!
  10. When you book with Southwest you have boarding groups - so as long as you don't have one of the last boarding groups, you should be fine getting a good seat. =]
  11. I'll make a suggestion just in the event you have little time in between to grab a bite to eat. I always have a couple of protein or SlimFast bars in my bag for emergency food. You can quickly buy a bottle of water or juice and throw that in your bag too. Airlines won't serve you anything these days.
  12. #12 Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
    I don't think the OP will have to go back through security when she is in her connecting airport. I have had connecting flights within the US all the time and never have I had to go through security again.
    She's flying out of Buffalo to Newark and then onto Ft Lauderdale. And then on her way back from Ft Lauderdale, she's connecting In Baltimore. So she would already have been screened. IF she was flying out of Toronto, then she might because she may have to go through customs. If you have to go through customs, you have to get re-screened.
    Another poster mentioned that the airlines have all the flights in the same terminal. That isn't always true either. Usually they are together but that isn't always the case. It depends on the airport.
    Anyway, an hour should be plenty of time, but pack some snacks just in case there is a delay and you cut it close.
  13. It really depends what airline(s) you are flying and what airport you are going into. Some airports (EWR, MCO, for example) have security set up at the entrance to the terminal (and no interterminal tram). So if you are on the same connecting airline, great. If not, one might have to reclear security.

    In OPs case, she flies into EWR and stays in C. Even if she was flying into A (and yes I forgot about this) there is a bus that can transfer between A &C w/o having to clear security. One is out of luck if they need to go to C-B or A-B at EWR.

    Also - keep in mind a specific airport was discussed (Newark) and the airline has stated on their website where the planes arrive. It's not just a blanket assumption that applies anywhere.

    Did we go too far off topic here? :biggrin: Ok. I'm done. :smile:

  14. That's not enough time between flights. You want 2 hours.

    I have run across large airports with suitcases too many times so I know.