Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns (Pre-Alignment) - ASE-DEN-FLL - 30 Min layover in Denver?
I am debating whether to book a 7:00am flight out of Aspen to Denver which lands at 7:53, and then take a an 8:25am flight from Denver to FLL. This will be at the end of December. The layover is only 30 minutes... I am not checking any baggage. Things to consider in addition to the short layover time is snow delays from denver and aspen.
Oct 14, 09, 11:54 am
Not a problem. I'm assuming Aspen is on Lynx. It will take you 10 minutes to walk from the Lynx gates to mainline gates.
Hmm ok. Sounds good. Yes Aspen is on Lynx...
Only other consideration is if Aspen is clear but Denver is snowy...
Other option is to fly to Atlanta from Aspen, and then Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale... then I only have to worry about getting out of Aspen and not Aspen and Denver.
Oct 14, 09, 5:34 pm
F9 is pretty good about holding flights. Far more likely for ASE to have weather problems than DEN. Looking at the schedule, there's a lot of fluff in the block time for the ASE-DEN segment. I've been on Lynx flights that leave 10 minutes late and get in 10 minutes early.
There is a 325 PM flight from DEN to FLL if you misconnect. That's a fair amount of time to hang out but DEN isn't a bad place to hang out.
There's a 921 AM flight out of ASE to DEN that gets in at 1010. It doesn't show up as a connection in my desktop timetable probably because there is 5 hours between that flight and the later one. Not sure if it will let you ticket it without a fare break. Still, that lets you sleep in and eliminates any worry.
An RJ from ATL to ASE doesn't sound fun to me. The Lynx Q400 is far more comfortable plus its shorter time on an RJ.
Oct 14, 09, 6:10 pm
The connection time is nothing to be concerned about. What you do need to realize is that ASE often is essentially closed by the weather. The minimums on the approach into ASE are relatively high, so if the vis drops below about 3 miles and the ceiling is less than about 2000 ft, nothing is getting in except if they get lucky. If this is the case, no airline will be flying.
As long as you keep that in mind, then you'll be fine. If the weather is high enough and the runway conditions safe, everyone will be flying and you'll make it home the same day.
I'd suggest a later flight to avoid any rebooking and availability issues if the overnight doesn't make it in due to weather the previous evening or if you end up on a bus to DEN due to the weather conditions.
Something else to keep in mind is that a risk on the longer flights out of ASE is that your bags get bumped or you get bumped due to weight issues. ASE is at about 7800 MSL, so the amount of weight the aircraft can takeoff with is reduced. Add to that a long flight (more fuel required) over the holidays (lots of people and bags) and conditions are ripe for overweight situations. However, during the winter the Lynx Q400's very rarely have weight issues and usually bulk out before getting into an overweight situation. This is one of the many reasons a Q400 is a superior mountain aircraft than the RJ's.
Oct 15, 09, 11:34 am
Thanks for the good advice - my only trepidation about doing Frontier, is if Denver is snowy and Aspen is fine (therefore the RJ to Atlanta would leave Aspen), and if the flight from ASE is slightly delayed I may miss my connection to FLL from Denver. There is a cost savings on Frontier, plus I get in earlier... that is why I am debating this.
Oct 15, 09, 3:18 pm
Somehow my edit turned into a double post....
Oct 15, 09, 3:20 pm
If it's snowing enough to cause problems in Denver, most likely ASE is getting it just as bad or worse. It's much more common to see isolated snow over the mountains and better weather in Denver than vice-versa.
I'd say you'd actually have a better shot of getting into ASE from DEN than you would on one, easily cancellable/divertable flight from ATL. Worst case scenario you take a bus or van to ASE or back to DEN if the airport is closed (possibly even on the airline's dime). You don't have that option through ATL.
Furthermore, the winter weather is a bit overblown for Denver. Chances are, it will just be a cold clear day when you transit. Yes it snows and yes it can get bad occasionally, but as airports go DIA is well designed for snow ops and while flights get delayed they will still go in a reasonable amount of time. Many airports can't say that.
If I was a betting man, I'd say if you encountered issues, they will have something to do with ASE, not DEN.