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American Friends - HELP!

Ireland
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American Friends - HELP!

Right so

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides for San Francisco & Las Vegas(my favourite travel guidebooks) thumbed through, highlighted and dog-eared in preparation for our trip - coupled with trawling through the San Fran and Las Vegas forums. They have all failed to give me any advice on how long we should factor between connecting flights. Most of the good rates give stopovers in New York etc travelling to San Fran (and from Las Vegas home) with layovers from 1hr 55 minutes (I think too short) to over 6 hours.

Although I have travelled to the US several times, I have yet to take connecting flights and don't want to screw it up.

So - my question is - how long of a layover should I consider? All of the flights we are considering leave from the same airports (separate terminals) which should make it easier. Do we have to clear customs at our first point of entry or when we reach San Franciso?. I'm leaning towards a flight where we have a layover of 4 hours. Just think that should give us time to find our bearings/clear customes (if necessary) and factor in flight delay etc

And before anyone says - yes I know I'm posting on the Irish forum but know I will get top tips from our American friends rather than posting on the US forums

C'mon Montana Frank and Co - help me out!!

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Hmmmmmmmm, clever Littlepumpkin, Clever !

Who'd have guessed that a pumpkin could be so devilishly devious ;-))

Earth
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2. Re: American Friends - HELP!

LittlePumpkin, Will you be going through JFK? It has been a while since I have flown internationally through there but I think 4 hours would be better for connecting. You must go through immigration at your first point of entry into the US. You should clear customs at Dublin Airport and all you have to do in the US is hand in your forms. Last time I flew through JFK it seemed that all the flights got in at the same time. Immigration was chock a block. Standing room only. You will likely have to go through security on arrival and when going to another terminal.

In my opinion JFK is not a user friendly airport. It was built in the old days when each airline had its own terminal. Hence you may need to take a shuttle bus to another one. Depends on your airline. At peak times the buses can be full and you may have to wait for the next one.

Are the flights booked separately or all together as a code share?

Ireland
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3. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Thanks Sally

I hate the hastle of airports ('specially on the return flight). The flight we are now considering are via Newark and leaves from the same terminal as we arrive in - with a 4 hour layover so we should be ok.

Hope to confirm booking in the morning - so just wanted to be sure my gut instinct was right.

Thanks again!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: American Friends - HELP!

If you're going through Newark, 4 hours should be more than enough time - could even possibly get away with less, but better to be safe than sorry!

Have a wonderful trip!

Ireland
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5. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Thanks Yankeetravler

roll on morning so - so that I can confirm!

See you on the US Forum now for more hints and tips!

wichita,ks
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6. Re: American Friends - HELP!

If you can go through Newark and not have to change terminals go for it.

Limerick, Ireland
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7. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Little Pumpkin - Do the 1 hour 55 min stop over - Newark is a doddle with most connections leaving from the Terminal you arrive into (Terminal C)Thats of course assuming you are travelling onwards with COA. Terminal C is big and quite nice with lots of shops/bars and restaurants. 4 Hours is a bit long and if you can take a shorter time go for it. You do have to clear Customs in EWR then bring your bag a few hundred feet and drop your bag at the connecting flight carousel right beside it and follow the directions to connecting flights. Also CO airlines are the first aircraft westbound out of Ireland every day with a 9am departure so you will be in the States quite early. If you are travelling COA all the way they will be responsible for any flight delay out of DUB or SNN and will rebook or move you to the next available flight.

The US Customs and Border Protection pre clearance is opening next month is Shannon so this should eliminate that few minutes delay that you could encounter in EWR.

On the way back you could do a 6 hour or more stopover and take the shuttle for $25 roundtrip to Manhattan for some sightseeing!

Delaware
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8. Re: American Friends - HELP!

2 things: We just got back from Shannon where you do clear customs but must id your baggage at first US airport (JFK for us). The bags took forever to be delivered to the belt although once you get them, you do just walk them down the hall to be checked to your final destination. Allow time.

If you have a long enough layover, it's cheaper to take the NJTransit train to Penn Station in New York City. Website for exact schedules and fares is njtransit.org. Pay close attention to destination (New York Penn Station, NOT New Jersey Penn Station) as well as peak vs. off-peak fares.

Ireland
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9. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Thanks everyone for your help!

Flights booked with 4 hour layover in Newark on way to San Francisco and (took Johnnyo's advise) 2 hours when returning to Dublin

Will take myself over to the US forum now and do some serious planning.

My first post may be 'Driving in the Us' - Will it be as terrifiying (?sp) for me as it is for ye driving in Ireland ;-)

Thanks again

Merced, California
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10. Re: American Friends - HELP!

Hi Pumpkin,

Just to clarify. Immigration clearance is done in SNN and DUB for most flights to the US. Customs clearance will not start at SNN until later this month and not until much later for Dublin. You will have to collect you bags at first stop in US, walk them through customs and recheck them for your onward flight. Glad you are avoiding JFK as it is a nightmare especially if you have to change terminals and so I would have suggested 4 hours for such a change. Newark runs more smoothly and so 4 hours there will give you plenty of time.

Sorry that you were not getting much help in the SF or Vegas forums. I did not get much help on the London forum when planning a visit there last year.

The Irish Forums really are much better even if we occasionally advise against what a person wants to do.

But if you want to PM me about SF (and possibly Vegas) feel free to do so as I am over there fairly often.