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Old Feb 10, 12, 1:21 am   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
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Lightbulb Very tight international connection time at SFO

Hi flytalkers,

I booked a YYZ-PEK-PVG-YYZ trip on UA, just found out these is a 84 min connection time at SFO during PVG-YYZ leg. I need to pick up my baggage, go through the immigration and re-check my bags, is 84 mins enough? I checked the minimal connection chart and is was 80 min, also tried to call United, they said it's a valid connection and refuse to rebook me for free. Guess I just have to try my luck, right?
What will happen if I miss the connection due to long line at the immigration? Will United rebook me for free? Can I ask them to rebook me on a later or next day flight?

Cheers.

Last edited by gokeeper; Feb 10, 12 at 1:33 am.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 5:25 am   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Don't worry: if you miss your connection because of immigration lines, UA will get you to your final destination by rebooking you on a later flight without any extra cost.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 5:29 am   #3
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gokeeper View Post
Hi flytalkers,

What will happen if I miss the connection due to long line at the immigration? Will United rebook me for free? Can I ask them to rebook me on a later or next day flight?

Cheers.
They will rebook you for free on the next available flight. International flights are rarely significantly delayed so you should probably be fine.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 9:32 am   #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Don't you pre-clear customs at YYZ before getting on the plane? Since you go through US customs before getting on the plane it should just be a short walk from Terminal 3 to the international Terminal. I doubt you will even have to go through security.

That was the case the last time I flew from Toronto to SFO.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 10:06 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazzuFreddo View Post
Don't you pre-clear customs at YYZ before getting on the plane? Since you go through US customs before getting on the plane it should just be a short walk from Terminal 3 to the international Terminal. I doubt you will even have to go through security.

That was the case the last time I flew from Toronto to SFO.
The OP is concerned about the return flight, not the outbound from YYZ.

Since the SFO-YYZ leg is on AC, things might be a bit more complicated (you might need to talk to AC people at the gate), but you should be able to get home even if you miss your scheduled flight.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 11:00 am   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gokeeper View Post
Hi flytalkers,

I booked a YYZ-PEK-PVG-YYZ trip on UA, just found out these is a 84 min connection time at SFO during PVG-YYZ leg. I need to pick up my baggage, go through the immigration and re-check my bags, is 84 mins enough? I checked the minimal connection chart and is was 80 min, also tried to call United, they said it's a valid connection and refuse to rebook me for free. Guess I just have to try my luck, right?
What will happen if I miss the connection due to long line at the immigration? Will United rebook me for free? Can I ask them to rebook me on a later or next day flight?

Cheers.
From my experience of PVG to SFO flights, 90% they are early by min 1/2hr. 80 min to should be good if you speed up a bit in the de-plane process. recheck bag is easy, after you step out from customs, there will be service team to help get them back in. Only thing that is unknown would be security check on your flight to YYZ...
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Old Feb 10, 12, 7:26 pm   #7
 
Join Date: May 2001
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I'm sure there is a reason the OP booked this, rather than AC's non-stop flight PVG-YYZ. More miles perhaps?
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Old Feb 10, 12, 8:41 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Have you looked into the "global Entry" membership? I just got mine and it allows me to use the immigration kiosks, rather than waiting in the lines.. 84 min could be close in SFO depending on the line...

https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/go...gePreAction.do
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Old Feb 10, 12, 11:23 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CASAFlyer View Post
Don't worry: if you miss your connection because of immigration lines, UA will get you to your final destination by rebooking you on a later flight without any extra cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwm
They will rebook you for free on the next available flight. International flights are rarely significantly delayed so you should probably be fine.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonzhang
From my experience of PVG to SFO flights, 90% they are early by min 1/2hr. 80 min to should be good if you speed up a bit in the de-plane process. recheck bag is easy, after you step out from customs, there will be service team to help get them back in. Only thing that is unknown would be security check on your flight to YYZ...
That's useful, thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by restlessinRNO
I'm sure there is a reason the OP booked this, rather than AC's non-stop flight PVG-YYZ. More miles perhaps?
LOL, because now AC's cheapest fare to asia will only collect 50% miles, which is too bad. So I switched to United and TK FFP, will easily reach *G after 3 china trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech1
Have you looked into the "global Entry" membership? I just got mine and it allows me to use the immigration kiosks, rather than waiting in the lines.. 84 min could be close in SFO depending on the line...

https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/go...gePreAction.do
Thanks, will check it.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 12:15 am   #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech1 View Post
Have you looked into the "global Entry" membership? I just got mine and it allows me to use the immigration kiosks, rather than waiting in the lines.. 84 min could be close in SFO depending on the line...

https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/go...gePreAction.do
Global Entry is fine for speeding through Immigration, but it won't help a bit to speed up your bags, even if they are marked "Priority." I once waited 90 minutes at the baggage carousel in SFO on a flight from SYD after clearing Immigration (via Global Entry kiosk). My bag was one of the last 3 out, despite having the orange so-called "Priority" tag. Needless to say, I missed my 90-minute connection to IAD. Had to wait 3-1/2 hours for the next flight.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 5:22 am   #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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I have actually missed connections coming into LAX and SFO because I had to undergo secondary screening by customs*. Both times, UA re-booked me at no charge on another flight. The first time was when I was 2P, so it's not a status thing I think.

*Once you got that US work Visa in your passport they give you the proverbial rubber glove every time when entering from overseas... That GOES card is worth its weight in DEQMs....
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Old Feb 11, 12, 7:34 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Thanks all, it seems United will rebook me for free if I miss the connection due to the immigration delay.

I just have another question, because my original flight from SFO-YYZ will arrive at YYZ at 9pm, so the following flight from SFO might arrive at 11pm or even 1am. Can I ask united to rebook me for a later over night flight which arrive YYZ at the morning? Or maybe early morning flight on next day (within 24 hours)?
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Old Feb 11, 12, 8:19 pm   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gokeeper View Post
...I just have another question, because my original flight from SFO-YYZ will arrive at YYZ at 9pm, so the following flight from SFO might arrive at 11pm or even 1am. Can I ask united to rebook me for a later over night flight which arrive YYZ at the morning? Or maybe early morning flight on next day (within 24 hours)?
in the case of irrops or other causes outside your control, the rebooking can be flexible, assuming space is available -- but they willn't pick up the cost of the overnight lodging / food for a voluntary delay.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 8:29 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
in the case of irrops or other causes outside your control, the rebooking can be flexible, assuming space is available -- but they willn't pick up the cost of the overnight lodging / food for a voluntary delay.
And in SFO they will also make a reasonable effort not to provide you with lodging etc in case of an involuntary overnight.

I had maintenance delays 'upgraded' to WX by ground folks in SFO and had to insist on my 1K privilege in order to be provided with a motel...
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Old Feb 11, 12, 8:29 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
in the case of irrops or other causes outside your control, the rebooking can be flexible, assuming space is available -- but they willn't pick up the cost of the overnight lodging / food for a voluntary delay.
You should make it unless your flight is delayed, or unless something happens with bags. I do this twice a month and rarely see long customs or security lines.

I never check bags and have global entry, so it takes me about 20 minutes from the time I leave the airplane until I get to my connecting gate. Most of that time is walking and in the security line.
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