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Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

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Pasadena, California
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Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

About to book a flight LAX to Geneva. The best price is via Montreal. The layover between flights is only 41min...about 29min less than my typical minimum.

Is 41min enough time between flights to find the gate in Montreal? Airline in from LAX is Air Canada. The airline out to Geneva is United.

Edited: 26 November 2013, 18:55
Montreal, Canada
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1. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

If the flight is via Montreal then the flight to Geneva from Montreal is either AC or ZH, depending on the flight number. But with such a connection time it's more likely AC.

The legal connection time between US and International on a flight that is all AC is 40 minutes. They have special signs for you to follow for a connection to get you through in time. You just go to the special International connections desk and they will get you there in time. But when a flight doesn't have the ability to interline luggage, you have to collect your luggage first, hence more time is needed.

The other direction, the legal connection is 1 hour and 10 minute.

So basically make sure that flight is AC all the way (even if sold as a UA flight) and if it is ZH check that they interline with AC (they should) and it should all be fine.

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

Despite the legal minimum: No it is not enough time.

The legal minimum can be seen here:

http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/connectiontimes.html#faq:4-*

However, you run a very high risk of missing your connection, for which the airlines will not really compensate you for.

In Canada, you will need to collect your check-in baggage and go through customs. After this you will re-drop your baggage onto a express conveyor belt with will bring it to the plane.

They start boarding the plan 40 min prior to departure, basically, when you are landing.

Even if your connection arrives on time and you skip all the lines and can make it to the connecting gate, your baggage will pose a problem. They load the plane to geneva ahead of time, it is unlikely that you will not have time to re-check in your baggage.

Because of customs you might want to have a minimum connection time of 1h30. If it were me, to be safe, i'd stretch that to 2h just to make sure.

Otherwise, you risk being bumped to the next flight... or even worse if the next flight is overbooked!

Edited: 26 November 2013, 20:24
Montreal
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3. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

I agree.. Not enough time between the 2 flights.... If the first one is late... is there anothe flight scheduled so you can transfer safely? I would not accept this connection... no matter what an agent would tell me..

Nowadays,you can arrive on time but stuck in a lineup.... with security check.

I also agree with 2 hours.

Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

It seemed crazy that 41min was offered as a reliable connection. 1.5 hrs is what I shoot for normally. And never connect with less than an hour (unless I am changing planes someplace like Burbank CALIF).

I am tempted to call the airline to see how this is supposed to work, but chances are nobody that answers a call would have a clue about how this is planned.

There is a huge price difference between this and the next cheapest flight (LAX-GVA // ATH-LAX). Almost $400pp - I am buying six tickets so that adds up.

ITA Matrix (and yesterday Orbitz) found a great flight on Turkish Air - but today that flight is $600 more. Also crazy.

Thanks for the input. I'll post when I decide what to do.

MjS

Edited: 26 November 2013, 21:29
Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

Well all i could suggest is that you research a plan B,C and D for flights in case you miss that connection.

And if at all possible, only use carry-ons.

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

Again thanks for the input.

I did call CA and they said that I wouldn't need to remove the baggage and take it with me through customs. They also suggested that because Montreal is a one terminal airport, it shouldn't be difficult to get to the boarding gate on time. That's assuming all the stars align and the flight is on-time. It's a dicey proposition, but might be worth it given the cost differential - $2400. If we go ahead with these tickets, I'll be sure to post and tell ya'll how we fared when we fly...in September.

SE Ontario
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7. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

Well ... theoretically if it's a code share AC/UA flight, I guess they'd be responsible for getting you on another flight if you missed yours due to delays of their own making ... but I'm not sure if that applies to international flights...good luck...

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

That's a huge savings and you've done your homework, so I'd book...

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

The flight from Montreal-Geneva won't actually be _operated_ by United (they can't legally fly between Canada and Europe) but is presumably an Air Canada flight code-shared by United. Is it AC830/UA8390, leaving at 8:10 pm? If you're going to book this itinerary, see if you can get it for a decent price through www.aircanada.com -- code-shares tend to complicate things if something goes wrong, and maybe you'll get a different connecting flight combo that way.

aircanada.com/en/…yul_us_intl.html also indicates you will not need to claim and recheck bags on a US -> Intl connection in Montreal. There is still the possibility you would make the flight and your bags would not, or vice versa.

The main problem that you face is that there's at most one direct AC flight per day from Montreal to Geneva, so if you miss it you're in for a long delay and/or a complex re-routing. The airline is responsible for getting you to your destination at no additional cost, but the time you've lost in Europe is not their problem. (You definitely don't want to do this if you're joining a tour or have other time-sensitive plans in Geneva.)

Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: Layover time between flights...is 41min enough?

There is no need to claim luggage, it should be all be interlined. And the International Connections desk should be able to whisk you directly through.