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Old Nov 30, 19, 8:41 am
  #8  
gq_dq
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 459
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
What is your exact itinerary?
I thought I had responded to this previously but looks like not. Anyways I was doing Cabo-Dallas-Doha and onward from Doha on QR. Cabo-Dallas was AA 1225 and Dallas-Doha was QR 730. Furthermore, a second set of schedule changes had further reduced my cxn from 75 min to 70 min in DFW so now it was exactly MCT and even 1 min would cause this itin to fail.

I had been checking FlightRadar24 and GENERALLY speaking AA 1225 was performing normally as scheduled... but once in a while it would be an hour late all depending on the inbound from Dallas to Cabo since this is essentially a turnaround service (same flight number both ways). I checked with AA and while award space was available on two later AA services DFW-LHR which would give me a several hour layover in DFW and still allow for a legal/comfortable onward cxn from LHR to my final destination on BA (sidebar: not that award inventory would matter on the AA segment since it was a 4 hour sked change and they could override -- however it would matter on BA as they would not be able to force space on BA even through a liaison since BA was not on the original itinerary and thus not obligated to overbook), two factors dissuaded me from making the change. One was that BA got me to my final destination ~4 hours later than QR and the second was that despite the sked change (and I confirmed this with MULTIPLE agents and supervisors who were perfectly happy to but couldn't), no one could seem to utter the magic words to get the system to override the additional $200+ YQ on BA. This had been contrary to my previous experience where sked changes had allowed for the tickets to be reissued as an "even exchange" no matter what the difference in Taxes/YQ/Fees were... but anyways in this case the system wouldn't budge. Now in case this needed to be done the day of... like if AA 1225 was substantively late and they needed to rebook me on AA/BA at the airport, then fees etc. wouldn't apply since this would be a same day IROPS/invol reroute/misconnect situation and they wouldn't be looking for award inventory or whatever the technicalities would be... but my understanding is in that situation additional charges would be transparent to me as AA would simply need to get me to my final destination by any means they could. But if they do it in advance as a sked change, the difference in additional collection cannot be overridden.

So I thought... well paying $200 more to get to my final destination 4 hours later simply to hedge against a late AA 1225 arrival was probably not worth it and I took my chances... so my stomach was in a few knots when I woke up at the Resort on the day of, but I checked FR24 and saw that the inbound AA 1225 was doing well so I was a bit reassured. I still thought I-I:70 was insanity and even the agent in Cabo who checked me in was concerned... but she said if the system is printing out the boarding passes then it is a valid cxn. However it was still disconcerting to see a "stated" boarding time for the QR flight just minutes later than my arrival time in DFW so I downed a couple of Bloody Marys, threw a Hail-Mary and off I plunged into the abyss. I had been checking QR 730 on FR24 also and noticed that they significantly pad the schedule so wasn't too concerned as I saw it would usually depart 40-75 minutes later than scheduled.

I was traveling with several others in my party on the same Cabo-Dallas flight but they were on separate reservations and were going onward domestically from Dallas so they didn't have my tight cxn issue. Anyways we landed around 25 min early so I raced to and through Immigration and Customs (took me 10-15 min to get through) and was able to get to the QR gate around 45 min before scheduled departure and sure enough boarding was going to be delayed so I headed over to the lounge. I must have been there 15-20 min when I see the other members of my group walk in (they'd checked bags, I didn't) and they told me that by the time they got to Immigration the line was a lot longer than 10 min because another flight had docked and was disgorging pax moments after ours and while I had beat those pax to Immigration, the others in my group hadn't!! Nonetheless, obviously they were able to recheck their bags etc. and still show up at the lounge while I was still there.

So bottom line is although it was very comfortable for me as I was sitting towards the front of the plane and luckily got to Immigration before the pax from the other flight, I-I 70 min in DFW can be touch-and-go -- and YMMV especially if you get behind another flight (or two?!) coming in at about the same time. If we had been on time and not 25 min early I would have myself been behind that other flight. And I do wonder if I were in a wheelchair or if something had happened to delay my bag if I were to have checked one whether it would still be a comfortable connection especially if the onward flight wasn't always departing later than scheduled. Still... I-I:70 must work for the preponderance of the traveling public... or they wouldn't be offering it.
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