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Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

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Rochester Hills...
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Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

Coming back from Rome, Italy next April, I need to either make a connection in Charlotte or PHL on USAir. We will need to clear USA customs and immigrations before continuing on home to Detroit.

Both flight options give us 1 hour and 55 minutes to clear customs/immigration and make the connection. It sounds like PHL is a large airport with a shuttle bus that will slow us down.

What do you think of this connection time for the Charlotte airport?

Thanks!

Greensboro, NC
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1. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

Are you flying the same airline into CLT that you will be flying out of CLT? If so, they are obligated to get you to your connecting flight as it is a legal connection. If you are using different airlines in and out of CLt, you might have a problem depending on how many international flights will be arriving at about the same time as yours.

Be certain to check your luggage through to your final destination (even though you will have to gather it and go through customs). You will then drop your luggage at the connecting flights desk and they will handle it for you.

Have a good vacation!

Rochester Hills...
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2. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

Yes, it will be the same airline.......USAir.

We've missed connections before, once due to customs/immigration (in Toronto) and twice in Paris (what a nightmare of an airport CDG is!).

Is Charlotte a BIG airport?

NC
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3. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

CLT is much easier than PHL! Barring any delay in your arrival to CLT, 1 hour and 55 minutes is more than enough time. CLT is very efficient. It is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country.

Edited: 30 July 2010, 22:36
Charlotte, NC
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4. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

If the flight's arrival is 3:55pm, then the lines might be long, as Lufthansa flight from Munich arrives around 3:35, & US Airways flight from Frankfurt around 3:25. Both Paris & London flights arrive earlier, but could be delayed.

It is the worst time for clearing through customs & immigration; still, look at the bright side, as both flights are US Airways, the airline must guarantee you flights. Check if there are later US Airways flight to DTW.

Charlotte is a small airport & in theory, you should make it, but make sure there is a later flight to DTW, just in case... probably don't want to stay a night here, though Charlotte is a nice city...

Rochester Hills...
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5. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

Thanks for your excellent advice, everyone! 2 hours does seem tight to me, so I will check later Detroit bound flights out of both Charlotte and PHL and probably route through whichever city will give us the best possibility of getting home that night if we miss the flight! Hubby has work the next day and the kids have to be in school (I'm the lucky one with a day off!)

6. Re: Airport connection time to clear customs/immigration?

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