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Old Nov 27, 11, 6:48 pm   #1
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Advice on Long Haul Connections QF/AA

Next year in May I'll be travelling from Auckland to Des Moines via LAX and DFW...all on the same ticket with QF AKL-LAX & LAX-AKL and AA LAX-DFW-DSM & DSM-DFW-LAX.

I have about a two hour connection in LAX both ways and about an hour in Dallas/Fort Worth which I understand is really tight. I have not needed to connect before on international services so this is a new experience for me even though I am a well seasoned domestic, trans-Tasman and long-haul flyer.

Just a few questions: checked baggage...how on earth does this work? Do I get checked in all the way to Des Moines from AKL or do I need to re-check time and time again?

Also with connections at LAX from QF to AA and then again at DFW from AA to AA EAGLE.

And lastly - what's AA EAGLE like???

Any advice, comments etc would be MOST appreciated.
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Old Nov 27, 11, 7:18 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saabflyer View Post
Next year in May I'll be travelling from Auckland to Des Moines via LAX and DFW...all on the same ticket with QF AKL-LAX & LAX-AKL and AA LAX-DFW-DSM & DSM-DFW-LAX.

I have about a two hour connection in LAX both ways and about an hour in Dallas/Fort Worth which I understand is really tight. I have not needed to connect before on international services so this is a new experience for me even though I am a well seasoned domestic, trans-Tasman and long-haul flyer.

Just a few questions: checked baggage...how on earth does this work? Do I get checked in all the way to Des Moines from AKL or do I need to re-check time and time again?

Also with connections at LAX from QF to AA and then again at DFW from AA to AA EAGLE.

And lastly - what's AA EAGLE like???

Any advice, comments etc would be MOST appreciated.
You will have to claim at LAX and recheck for AA there. They should put it through LAX-DFW-DSM so you won't have to do anything at DFW. A hour should be fine at DFW since it's all US domestic, I have a couple of 45 minute DFW connections coming up over the next few months and I expect no issues.

That said, 2 hours inbound to US at LAX might be pushing it, depending on a lot of factors, such as how long customs takes, where the flights will arrive and depart from (AA is terminal 4 and the QF AKL flight also arrives at terminal 4 as far as I know so that shouldn't be as bad as if you arrvied at TBIT). You'd have to leave the secured area after passport control, claim your bags, and recheck them with AA to continue to DFW and DSM. Anyone else feel free to correct me if I am wrong. The other connections should all be fine if all the flights are close to scheduled times. MCT International to Domestic at LAX for AA is 1:30, so it may not be an issue. I would personally want a little longer but it probably isn't needed.
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Old Nov 27, 11, 7:32 pm   #3
 
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Would have been much easier to get QF7 and route AKL-SYD-DFW-DSM-DFW-BNE-AKL (and avoid the annoyance of LAX)

anyway...
Qantas will check the bags all the way through to DSM, but you'll have to collect them at LAX when you go through CBP.
You'll arrive at TBIT in LAX, go through CBP (and collect baggage), drop off the bags again just after customs, then head outside and walk to T4, go through TSA in T4.

DFW is a little harder since they won't know what gate the DFW-DSM flight will use when you depart LAX. You'll arrive in DFW at A, C or D and depart from B or D. They should tell you which gate shortly before landing. But DFW is all connected airside with the train, so no need to leave the secure area.

Last edited by Himeno; Nov 27, 11 at 7:38 pm.
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Old Nov 27, 11, 7:37 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
(AA is terminal 4 and the QF AKL flight also arrives at terminal 4 as far as I know so that shouldn't be as bad as if you arrvied at TBIT).
All QF flights arrive at TBIT in the morning (QF108 from JFK arrives at T4 in the afternoon as the aircraft then continues to AKL as QF26). Some (BNE [QF16] and AKL/MEL [QF26]) depart from T4 in the evening.
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Old Nov 28, 11, 5:47 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Himeno View Post
All QF flights arrive at TBIT in the morning (QF108 from JFK arrives at T4 in the afternoon as the aircraft then continues to AKL as QF26). Some (BNE [QF16] and AKL/MEL [QF26]) depart from T4 in the evening.
I knew it departed T4 for AKL but from what I was seeing searching online it seemed to arrived there, which is why I left myself open to correction as I thought in my head that they all arrived at TBIT. I definitely didn't know for certain so I didn't want to completely claim I was right.
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Old Nov 28, 11, 10:09 am   #6
 
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I don't imagine there is immigration at T4 (or is there one?) thus all international flights have to arrive at TBIT for passport/customs. 2 hours in LAX is pushing it unless you can get through customs faster (Global Entry, etc).
I know I have always arrived at TBIT but I could be wrong.
I would allow more time for both connections (LAX & DFW) if you can, to reduce the stress factor with possible late arrivals, etc
YMMV
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Old Nov 28, 11, 12:29 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Himeno View Post
Would have been much easier to get QF7 and route AKL-SYD-DFW-DSM-DFW-BNE-AKL (and avoid the annoyance of LAX)
LAX may be a bit of an annoyance, but no way is it worth flying an extra 2,200 miles to avoid imo.

Dave
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Old Nov 28, 11, 3:27 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulchili View Post
I don't imagine there is immigration at T4 (or is there one?) thus all international flights have to arrive at TBIT for passport/customs. 2 hours in LAX is pushing it unless you can get through customs faster (Global Entry, etc).
I know I have always arrived at TBIT but I could be wrong.
I would allow more time for both connections (LAX & DFW) if you can, to reduce the stress factor with possible late arrivals, etc
YMMV
There is immigration at T4 but only for AA flights.
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Old Nov 28, 11, 3:34 pm   #9
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Qantas used to use T4 immigration for most of its flights but basically moved to TBIT when the 380s came on line.

In fact, in the past I have arrived at TBIT and directed through an underground tunnel for immigrations customs processing at T4.
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Old Dec 7, 11, 11:09 pm   #10
 
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Thanks for the advice folks.

I phoned QF to book it and they did all the work for me in building the connections so to speak.

Connecting at LAX should be "interesting" to say the least.

Sounds like a bit of a nightmare with the connections, I'll fumble my way through LAX and DFW no doubt with some weird sense of direction that I seem to have a nose for in these situations

The 2 hour at LAX DOES indeed worry me as it's short...VERY short. I had some dim idea I would have to re-check bags. I assume I would turn up at the AA desks with my QF itinerary and passport... as I say I have NO experience of connections before on international flights so I'm pretty much in the dark about it.
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Old Dec 7, 11, 11:10 pm   #11
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulchili View Post
I don't imagine there is immigration at T4 (or is there one?) thus all international flights have to arrive at TBIT for passport/customs. 2 hours in LAX is pushing it unless you can get through customs faster (Global Entry, etc).
I know I have always arrived at TBIT but I could be wrong.
I would allow more time for both connections (LAX & DFW) if you can, to reduce the stress factor with possible late arrivals, etc
YMMV
The 2 hour connection was pretty much all they were offering I'm afraid. I wish it was more myself
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Old Dec 8, 11, 2:57 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saabflyer View Post
Thanks for the advice folks.

I phoned QF to book it and they did all the work for me in building the connections so to speak.

Connecting at LAX should be "interesting" to say the least.

Sounds like a bit of a nightmare with the connections, I'll fumble my way through LAX and DFW no doubt with some weird sense of direction that I seem to have a nose for in these situations

The 2 hour at LAX DOES indeed worry me as it's short...VERY short. I had some dim idea I would have to re-check bags. I assume I would turn up at the AA desks with my QF itinerary and passport... as I say I have NO experience of connections before on international flights so I'm pretty much in the dark about it.
At AKL, you should be able to receive all your boarding passes and have your bags tagged to DSM. Upon arriving TBIT and after immigration, you should retrive your bags, go through customs, and drop your bags to your right. (There will be a sign.) T4 is on the right side after exiting the terminal, and is just a short walk, so no need to take the shuttle bus.
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