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Old Nov 24, 07, 11:11 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Clear Customs In Denver

Hi All,

I am thinking of flying through Denver back to LA from Frankfurt in January.

Given weather, etc., I am worried the itinerary I am on doesn't leave much leeway for clearing customs and making my flight back to LA.

I would be flying on LH446 (FRA-DEN) arriving @ 3:50p connecting to UA245 (DEN-LAX) departing @ 5:15p.

And is it easier to clear customs/immigration in Denver? I could fly UA 905 FRA-LAX, but I prefer LH C-Class to UA's and immigration in LA can be tiresome!

Any advice would be appreciated!

Last edited by FoxFlyer; Nov 25, 07 at 12:06 am.. Reason: added times
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Old Nov 25, 07, 12:40 am   #2
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IMHO customs in Denver is better than in LAX. But my statistical sample is rather small. But even with everything running smoothly you will have a tight connection if you have checked-in baggage. Maybe you should take a later flight to LAX like UA 1223.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 4:23 am   #3
 
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I would never take a connecting flight if I can go direct. Take the nonstop LH FRA-LAX or MUC-LAX. Imigrations in LAX is bad, bud not bad enough to justify to go via DEN.

Cheers, S
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Old Nov 25, 07, 4:40 am   #4
 
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IMO Denver Immigration is a breeze because they have only 3 int. Flights a day(FRA+MUC,LHR).
After you dropped your luggage you have to go trouh security again, which take some time and afterwards there is a long walk(and train ride) to your UA Gate.
In september I had 2:30h conneting time between a LH Flight and a UAX Flight. I needed about 2h(beeing the first one out of the plane) and had 30min left in the RCC.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 7:49 am   #5
 
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There are several flights arriving from Mexico. Specifically, Mexicana has a daily flight from Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas and weekly from Puerto Vallarta, United has 1 flight from Cancun, and Frontier has flights from Cancun (2), Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas, Guadalajara, and San Jose, Costa Rica. In addition to the numerous charter flights operating to Mexican beach destinations. So, customs and immigrations is a bit busier than just 3 European flights per day, albeit much less than LAX.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 7:58 am   #6
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As a rule of thumb don't ever plan on connecting in a US airport if there is a european connection available that takes you directly into your destination. Either you waste 3 hours of your time and the connection is hit or miss. Although I'm terribly bored of the FRA-DTW flight now, I've learnt to prefer the connection in FRA, instead of flying MUC-IAD/ORD/EWR/JFK and waiting in RCCs for hours to connect to a NW/UA733/UX RJ flight that is late, especially in Winter.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 10:57 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW-SEN View Post
I would never take a connecting flight if I can go direct. Take the nonstop LH FRA-LAX or MUC-LAX. Imigrations in LAX is bad, bud not bad enough to justify to go via DEN.

Cheers, S
Agree completely!

OP: Are you a US citizen or resident? I know immigration at LAX can be a pain, but I (a US citizen) have not experienced any difficulties, even at Bradley terminal.

In addition to avoiding the connecting flight, you would get to spend 2 +/- more hours in LH or UA C, a much better alternative than UA domestic F.

Finally, count me not impressed by Denver immigration layout, especially for connecting pax. Long, long walks, up stairs, over the bridge, down stairs, train ride; seems like a Rube Goldberg setup to me.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 12:06 pm   #8
 
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1h25m is a bit tight, but if it's gonna work, it's gonna work at DEN. If a nonstop to LAX is not an option, this should be fine.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 1:52 pm   #9
 
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Thanks everyone!

I know, I know - I always try to connect in Europe, but for the Z fare I am booking, getting the LH FRA or MUC-LAX non-stop isn't avail.

So my options are flying UA FRA-LAX non-stop or LH FRA-DEN-LAX.

Of those two options, I think I prefer flying LH C as opposed to UA. They actually both get into LA at the same time, so I am basing my decision on comfort, food, IFE and general service (of which I prefer LH).

Or am I crazy?
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Old Nov 25, 07, 4:00 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxFlyer View Post
Or am I crazy?
Not really. LH C beats UA C hands down.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 8:04 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxFlyer View Post
Or am I crazy?
Not at all. I am also one of those "why fly direct when you could have 3 AC changes" type of person. Go for it.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 10:44 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by DownUnderFlyer View Post
Not at all. I am also one of those "why fly direct when you could have 3 AC changes" type of person. Go for it.
I agree if this either has an effect on the comfort, the airline I am flying on, the aircraft I am flying on (I hate B747 to the US), the airport I have to go through or the ETD/ETA. Nonstops are of course my first choice but once in a while, you just need to go somewhere else first
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