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Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Seoul, South Korea
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Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Hi what is the required connection time in JFK for international to domestic flights? From what i understand, Delta is located in T3 and AA in T8, and taking the AirTrain is a breeze - 10min tops between these 2 terminals.

But what I am more worried about is whether the transfer time of 2 hours is sufficient from an overseas visitor.

- Do I have to go through customs/security twice - once for arrival and once for check-in?

- How much time should I budget for baggage collection and customs/security?

Also, is it possible or reliable to request for baggage transfer between airlines to cut down on the waiting time?

Thanks in advance.

London, United...
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1. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Doubtful you'll make it.

Also, it looks as if (from the airlines used) that you have 2 tickets, rather than 1 ticket and a connection.

Upon entry to the USA, you will go through Immigration (up to an hour wait, though in Delta terminal, they've always been quicker than that for me), then you collect your bags. Regardless if you're on a single ticket, or not, you will always collect your bags.

Once you have your bags, you will go through customs, which is a short check, and you should be out of the terminal. I've normally done this in within 45 minutes, which ain't bad, but it does depend on times.

Now, you have to get to the AirTrain station after exiting the Delta Terminal, which is a 5-10 minute walk in itself. Then you've got to go on the all terminals loops (from 2/3 to 1, then to 8).

Then you have to check in, check your luggage, and go through security again. When I was in T8 last, security took about 20 minutes.

If you were on a single ticket, connecting with the same airline, there wouldn't be much of a worry, because then it is the airlines responsibility that they get you to your final destination, but because I'm assuming that you've got one ticket with DL, and then a second ticket with AA for the next flight, then AA have no responsibility if you miss your flight because of a delay, or lack of time to get to the terminal.

I'd either look at booking with DL, a single ticket from start to finish, or look at a later flight with AA, if that is your only option.

M

Seoul, South Korea
6 posts
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2. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Hey, thanks for your advice and the breakdown for timings. I have 2 separate tickets, the first with Delta and the second with AA. Seems like a 2h transfer may not be sufficient.

Would a 4h transit be comfortable without having to rush and worry?

San Diego
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3. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

A 2hour transfer is definitely NOT enough time, especially on separate tickets!!

IF your first plane is late and you miss the 2nd one you'll have to buy a new ticket since the 2 flights are not connected at all!

4h would be much better!

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Hey juemin:-) Definitely go for the 4 hour spread! Of course, there's no crystal ball and no one can predict any significant delay..but the more time the better to make the transfer..nothing worse that starting out a vacation with a missed connection! Have fun..and EnjOY!

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Having 2 separate tickets may not matter for the boarding passes/baggage. If Delta and AA have a ticketing arrangement - and most likely they do since theyre both major US carriers (and this has nothing to do with being in the same alliance) Delta can issue both boarding passes when you check in at Seoul. The bag would be tagged for NYC and your final destination.

You go through immigration, claim your bag, go through customs and recheck the bag right at customs. The airline transfers your bag to AA and all you do is take the Airtrain to the American terminal, go through security and to the gate for your AA flight.

I would check with Delta and see if they will be able to ticket you and tag your bag all the way through. You are taking a chance of lost luggage but the airlines do this all the time - it's not something unique. There should be some sort of customer service phone number you can call where they can answer this question.

If you dont have to recheck your bag, it is quite possible that 2 hours is enough, depending if you arrive on time (the long haul flights usually do) and you are quick to get through immigration and customs. Dont make jokes about security or bring in any fresh meats or vegetables!

suitcaseready.com

Seoul, South Korea
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6. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

Thanks M4RKM, Riff M, Litsa and evening for your comments.

Ok I am now wondering: if I don't have any checked baggage, would a 2h transit time be possible?

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7. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

You're welcome juemin:-) Although I'd say yes, it is possible..it's really a personal call here.. up to you, your comfort level;-) Some would certainly go for it..personally, I'd rather wait the addt'l couple of hours giving me a better time spread with the 4 hours..just in case..to cover any incidentals..delays.. whatever..but that's me;-) Keep enjoyin'!

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8. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

without any checked bags, then yeah, I think you can make it. Key things to do, though is make sure you utilise online check in for the AA flight, so all you have to do when you arrive at JFK is go through immigration, customs, get to T8, and then straight to security. I've done Delta International Arrivals, and the longest it ever took me to get through to the AirTrain is 45 minutes. Your experiences may differ.

I'd still prefer 4 hours, because it would be more leisurely, and also, I could have a beer or two at the airport bar in between flights.. but that's just me.

San Diego
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9. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

I've done 2hrs. successfully as a USA citizen with no checked luggage BUT not changing terminals. I don't know how much extra time you'd need if you are not a citizen and need to change terminals.

I'd much rather have MORE time than not enough!

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10. Re: Connection time in JFK for international-domestic flights

If you have the option of leaving 3 hours between flights, that would be better than 2.

I was just pointing out that despite what some people think above, it is very possible that Delta can issue both boarding passes and check your luggage through to the final destination on AA, with of course NYC since you always have to claim your bags and go through customs at your first point of entry in the US. Most US carriers have a ticketing agreement between them - they dont have to be in the same alliance to do this for you.