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San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

San Francisco...
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San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Hi all, I'm a new member here and also an inexperienced traveler. I'm going to fly to Madrid from San Francisco. The connection time in Newark is 1 hour 15 minutes. I'd like to know ahead of time what the terminals I'll be arriving to and leaving from and how to transfer between them.

Thanks for any help with this.

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

In all likelihood both your arriving flight from SFO and the onward to MAD will both use Terminal C. That was the case today.

If by any chance you need to switch terminals (and I hope not as 1hr15 is tight**) there's an airside shuttle bus. Use that and under no circumstances attempt a land side transit as you'd have to reclear security (and the landside Airtrain is closed until mid July).

Here's the EWR terminal map from United - https:/…

** - with an ontime arrival you'd be okay, but go directly to your departing gate.

Edited: 08 May 2014, 07:07
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

United also used terminal A for some domestic flights but I agree most likely both your flights will use C and you can walk between gates.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Thanks both of you! The return from Madrid has a 2 hour 5 minute connection. I checked my Flight Track Pro app and it shows the flight from MAD arriving at Terminal B and that to SFO departing Terminal C.

Will we need to go through Customs after arriving inTerminal B and is 2 hours too short to do this? In other words, should I get us a different EWR to SFO flight?

Syracuse, New York
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4. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

You will need to get your checked bags, clear customs and immigration, and drop off your bags at the connections desk in Newark, and then go through security again. I think that 2 hours and 5 minutes would be too big a risk for me - Newark can be a zoo, and the lines to go back through security can be massive, depending on the time of day.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Thank you!

San Francisco...
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6. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

By the way, do you think four hours is sufficient to clear customs and change terminals?

San Francisco...
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7. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Third message in a row, to share some interesting and frustrating information. Talking to the United agent, he stated that minimum connection times are established by the FAA and that the international to domestic minimum time at Newark is 90 minutes. He insisted that 2 hours is enough to make that connection.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay the change fee.

Barcelona, Spain
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8. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Ed, you could clear customs and security in 2 hrs. I certainly have done, even though I agree with TravellingBritNY regarding his zoo comment. 4 hrs should be quite comfortably enough even on a bad day.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Thanks TravelingBrit and Katya. I'm on the fence about making this change, since the fee is 600 dollars for the two of us. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to miss a flight and get booked on the next one. There are flights both one and two hours later than ours. The only potential downside is that we have pretty comfortable exit row seats on our currently booked flight (6 hours long) and if United has to rebook us, we might get uncomfortable seats.

Barcelona, Spain
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10. Re: San Francisco to Madrid on United with stop at Newark

Ed, for me it's a no-brainer, especially with a change fee of 600 bucks (holy cow). You have both flights on one booking, so even if you don't clear all the lines on time, you are still flying to your destination a bit later and probably on standard seats. That is, assuming that you are late, which I don't think you will be.

However, that is just me. Do what you feel is best for you and your travel companion.