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Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

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Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!


I'm trying to book flights from Austin to London Heathrow and the the only one that works gives a 45 minute window at Atlanta to make the connection.

I appreciate if the AUS-ATL flight is delayed then I would be screwed, but assuming the inbound flight is on time, would 45 minutes be enough to make it from concourse B to the new international concourse F (the gates the flights are using today)?

Would I have to go through security at all or assuming I don't check in any luggage, would I be able to walk off the plane straight into international departures?


Plano TX
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1. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

There are others here with a great deal more travel experience than I but I think 45 min is cutting it a bit close. Personally, I would not risk it and would look for an alternative.

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2. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

Two things are in your favor: ATL is easy to navigate and all the terminals are connected by train, and two, you'll go through customs in the UK, not ATL. It's going to be a close call, but you just may make it. I'd like some extra time, but people may disagree. 45 minutes is a close call.

Mount Dora, Florida
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3. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

If you are flying the same airline from Austin to your destination your luggage should be checked from your departure city through to London. If you are flying the same airline on one reservation number that is an indication that the airline believes you can make the plane change. If they did not, you would not be able to make the reservation. I fly Delta, and they often have choices that permit only 36 minutes in Atlanta to make a plane change for a domestic flight.

If you are flying on one ticket number and you miss your flight to London because your arrival flight was late, the airline is obligated to put you on the next available flight. This is not always immediate for international flights. You could conceivably have to wait a day, if you miss your connecting flight.

Still, if you want to take this chance you only risk your personal schedule so long as you are flying on one ticket. It is probably not something I would select because I never seem to be on an arriving flight that arrives on time. I like to maintain my original schedule with my original seat selections.

If you are flying on two different tickets, that is you have purchased one ticket to Atlanta and a second to London I would never make those arrangements with only 45 minutes. If you have this type of arrangement and you miss the connecting flight to London for any reason, including something that is the fault of the arriving plane, you missed your flight. The connecting airline has no obligation to take you to your final destination because you missed the flight that you reserved. When I make these kinds of reservations I usually fly into my connecting city one day before my connecting flight to protect myself.

If you have to purchase a new ticket to London on the day you arrive in Atlanta because you missed your original flight to London it is possible that you will receive no credit for the flight you missed, and purchasing a ticket for same day flight is going to be very expensive.

Of course, if you are flying on a fully refundable ticket these risks are minimized to some degree. They are obligated to return your fare, but you could still end up having to pay more for the flight to London.

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4. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

I don't understand why you need to go thru security? You are transferring from one domestic flight. Assuming you're on one ticket.

B to F just means plane train. I've done it but I try to sit near the exit to get off the aircraft ASAP. Not sure if I'd chance it since you might have to physically check in at gate sooner than 45 mins. Is there only on LHR flight? What time of year?

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5. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

Personally, I fly every week and despite how familiar I am with an airport, I would never consider a 45-min connection in ATL.

Getting to terminal F (the terminal at Atlanta airport where many international flights depart from) is a L-O-N-G way from B. You will need to go to the center of the terminal, down an escalator, and wait for the plane train. You will get off on the forth stop, then go back up the escalators and find your gate in terminal F. Yes, if everything arrives on time you will be fine, but if someone spits off a tall building in Atlanta, flights start getting delayed.

My preference is not to stress and pick a connection over 60 minutes, preferably 75 minutes. Atlanta is a fun airport and there is a lot of shopping. You will not be bored if you find yourself with 3 hours in Atlanta.

Santa Rosa Beach...
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6. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

yes its doable, bust very risky, when you exit the plane in B concourse follow the signs to the train and it will direct you to international concourse, once off the train follow the signs to your gate. Don't stop or shop or use the restroom, get off the plane and head for the trains, it also depends on the gate in B concourse you land at, you could be close or at the very end and have a long and walk/run.....its a crap shoot, how long it takes you to deplane also.....

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

I agree with all the advice given above. It's conceivably doable, but quite risky. I'd add that international flights start boarding 45-60 minutes before departure, and so your second flight may be boarding before you step foot off the first flight. If you need overhead space, you'll be in trouble.

I'd change a tight connection if there were a later flight I could catch. That's unlikely with an international flight. I'd choose a longer connection.

Park City, Utah
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8. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

I've never had a problem with short domestic/international connections in ATL, even that short. Assuming you're on one ticket, same carrier (presumably DL).

Good luck.

Geneva, Switzerland
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9. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

Do-able it is if everything goes smoothly. If not... Given the 6 daily DL flights a day on the AUS-ATL route, I would take an earlier one and avoid the stress and the rush.

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10. Re: Atlanta domestic to international transfer, 45 mins enough?!

Have done it several times with a window of 45 minutes, so it can be done. However as mentioned if there is any type of problem with your flight to ATL (weather, late take off, delay to gate...) you could miss the connection.

A couple of times my first flight has come in a few minutes late. If you tell the gate person when you get off to call the other gate and let them know you are in route, sometimes they will wait for you.

First choice is see if you can take earlier flight to ATL, if not, just make sure you have everything together and haul rear. ;-)