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70 minute connection in Toronto flying from DC to Vancouver enough?

70 minute connection in Toronto flying from DC to Vancouver enough?

Old May 31, 19, 7:11 am
  #1  
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70 minute connection in Toronto flying from DC to Vancouver enough?

Hi!

We have a 70 minute layover in Toronto (flying from DC to Toronto to Vancouver) Were headed to Vancouver fo a cruise the same day and need to be at the port by 3 at the very latest. Currently were due into YVR around 11.


After many friends have told us were crazy, and a broad google search to confirm this, Im concerned well get there on time.


If we miss our connection, there is one other flight that would get us there in time, presuming they can sit us together as a family with small children.

Air canada has assured us we will connect and have no issues.

Can anyone shed shed some light on this? Do we have any options at this point? The cost to switch to the flight a day earlier was cost prohibitive ($909/p) from our end.

Thank you!!!!
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Old May 31, 19, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Km814 View Post
Hi!

We have a 70 minute layover in Toronto (flying from DC to Toronto to Vancouver) Were headed to Vancouver fo a cruise the same day and need to be at the port by 3 at the very latest. Currently were due into YVR around 11.


After many friends have told us were crazy, and a broad google search to confirm this, Im concerned well get there on time.


If we miss our connection, there is one other flight that would get us there in time, presuming they can sit us together as a family with small children.

Air canada has assured us we will connect and have no issues.

Can anyone shed shed some light on this? Do we have any options at this point? The cost to switch to the flight a day earlier was cost prohibitive ($909/p) from our end.

Thank you!!!!
I recommend at least a day early for a cruise if not two. Especially in winter, which for Air Canada is October thru April.

Need a bit more info, what exact flights are you on? A day earlier is $909... is that change fees or flight change costs too. What is the cost of two days earlier (and yes am aware YYZ hotels are expensive but maybe combine with a brief visit to many of the local attractions). And there are cheaper options than a hotel down King street.

Did you consider another airline with a better OTP? Sometimes just booking thru say UA can save many $.
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Old May 31, 19, 7:27 am
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70 minutes is exactly the MCT for US to Canada in Toronto, hence Air Canada's "assurances". However it means that any slight delay to the first flight is going to cause you problems.

Its really up to your personal risk given the fixed obligation at the other end.
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Old May 31, 19, 7:33 am
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Like a previous commenter said, Air Canada is telling you that you fit their minimum connection standards. Under normal circumstances, 70 minutes will be plenty of time to get from flight to flight. But if that inbound flight is delayed, you're cutting into what's already a fairly minimal connection time. And it's not at all unusual to have significant delays out of Washington. It's nice to have that one-flight buffer, but if that flight is fully booked, you'll be bounced to a later one—you won't be prioritized ahead of passengers with confirmed seats.

Overall, while you're probably going to be okay, it would make sense to investigate your options, even if just for peace of mind. Then you'll have to be willing to put a price on that peace of mind, since flight changes aren't cheap.
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Old May 31, 19, 7:58 am
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Two more thoughts without exact details.

As 70 mins is MCT even a small change (to reduce it) gives you options for free changes. Albeit possibly not to an earlier day.

OMW may be worth the $$ here.

But really all depend which flight you are on, YYZ YVR flights are frequent but very busy (limited space) during peak season especially. Assuming you are on say 105 that gets in 10:53 there are 3 more that could get you in by just after 2pm. Can you collect bags and make the port by 3? Possibly not as it can take an hour to get yours bags. Likelihood of space on the other two...
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Old May 31, 19, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by jc94 View Post


I recommend at least a day early for a cruise if not two. Especially in winter, which for Air Canada is October thru April.

Need a bit more info, what exact flights are you on? A day earlier is $909... is that change fees or flight change costs too. What is the cost of two days earlier (and yes am aware YYZ hotels are expensive but maybe combine with a brief visit to many of the local attractions). And there are cheaper options than a hotel down King street.

Did you consider another airline with a better OTP? Sometimes just booking thru say UA can save many $.
The fee is the cost of the fare and the change fee ($75). We have another obligation and the earliest day we could come in is one day prior.
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Old May 31, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
Two more thoughts without exact details.

As 70 mins is MCT even a small change (to reduce it) gives you options for free changes. Albeit possibly not to an earlier day.

OMW may be worth the $$ here.

But really all depend which flight you are on, YYZ YVR flights are frequent but very busy (limited space) during peak season especially. Assuming you are on say 105 that gets in 10:53 there are 3 more that could get you in by just after 2pm. Can you collect bags and make the port by 3? Possibly not as it can take an hour to get yours bags. Likelihood of space on the other two...

Yes, we're on flight 105 from Toronto!

That's also my fear with flying later ...

Are we required to collect our bags during the layover in Toronto and re-check? Or will those be carried through to the final destination?
We arrive and depart from Terminal 1; are we required to leave the terminal to go through customs?
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Old May 31, 19, 8:30 am
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Personally, I would bite the $905 for peace of mind. The question I would ask myself is: should I miss my connection (in this case heading to a cruise), would I kick myself for not paying the difference upfront.
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Old May 31, 19, 8:43 am
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In the winter, Air Canada has an on-time performance of below 50%.
That means there is >50% chance that you flight will be delayed by more than 15 minutes.

Do you feel lucky?

I would wait until about 4 months before the flight to see if there arent any schedule changes, any slight changes will put you below MCT, and allow a free change.
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Old May 31, 19, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
In the winter, Air Canada has an on-time performance of below 50%.
That means there is >50% chance that you flight will be delayed by more than 15 minutes.

Do you feel lucky?
The flight is in June, so we're hopefully dealing with nice weather.

Always feeling lucky; but also don't want to be stupid about this either if I can help it
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Old May 31, 19, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by YOWzer View Post
Personally, I would bite the $905 for peace of mind. The question I would ask myself is: should I miss my connection (in this case heading to a cruise), would I kick myself for not paying the difference upfront.
I really don't know anything about cruises, but I would guess that $905 is a fairly small amount compared to the price of the cruise?
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Old May 31, 19, 8:54 am
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Do you have Nexus? Any extensive line at Canada Customs at YYZ and you are in big trouble.
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Old May 31, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by DCAFly View Post
I really don't know anything about cruises, but I would guess that $905 is a fairly small amount compared to the price of the cruise?
Well it would be $905 per person, which combined, is nearly the cost of the cruise itself.
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Old May 31, 19, 9:26 am
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Here is what is the most serious issue: you're flying in the day of the cruise. Now, as you're leaving out of Vancouver in June, I'm going to guess you're on a one-way Alaska itinerary. Most likely, all other stops on the cruise are US cities. And here's the real issue: if something happens and you miss your cruise departure, if all other ports are in the US, you will not be able to board the cruise in any other port. That's because the Passenger Vessel Services Act (or PVSA) prevents foreign-flagged ships from transporting passengers between 2 different US ports without calling at a distant foreign port. So, in essence, it's all or nothing - you miss your connection, and you could be blowing your whole vacation.
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Old May 31, 19, 9:28 am
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I don't do 70 minute connections in YYZ even when I don't have a customs or security re-clear, and I'm flying by myself with carry-on. You've got small children, and have to clear customs although not security, and you don't need to worry about your bags.

Check the math:
  • 70 minutes really means 55 minutes since you need to be at the gate 15 minutes before the flight closes. Even if you are able to cut it a bit tighter than that they will close the flight some time 15 minutes or closer to departure.
  • Out of those 55 minutes:
    • It could take 10 minutes to deplane if you have small kids and are further back in the plane, especially if you have a stroller
    • Then you need to walk from your F gate to domestic transfer customs, let's leave 5 minutes for that, but it could be longer depending on what gate you get
    • Then you need to clear transfer customs; this can take anywhere from 1 minute to 20 minutes depending on the lineup. Let's say 10 minutes. NEXUS as pointed out above is irrelevant, there are no NEXUS machines at US-Can transfer customs in YYZ.
    • Then you need to go downstairs (probably using the elevator with small kids), board the bus to the D gates, wait for it to leave and then drive over to the D gates. This could easily be 10 minutes.
    • Then you need to take the elevator up and walk down to your D gate, which to YVR is probably around D40 down the end of the D3x/4x domestic pier. Another 5 minutes.
  • So 55 mins - (10+5+10+10+5) = 15 mins. You have 15 minutes of slack time. Your flight arrives just a little bit late, you get stuck waiting for a gate crew to deplane or fetch a stroller, or the customs lineup is a mess for whatever reason and those 15 minutes can evaporate quickly. And it isn't like sprinting through the terminal with small kids is an option.
So technically yes, you can make it. Maybe your flight will even be early! Both of my AC flights today were Or maybe the YYZ-YVR will be delayed, giving you more time. I would not count on that though.

Thus, your chances of misconnecting are high. I would make sure you understand the alternate/next flights and be confident there is room on them. Air Canada will reprotect you on to another flight, but it may not be the next one that would still give you a chance of getting there on time. And even if you make it the stress of this connection is going to be weighing on you the entire time.

Only you can decide whether those risks are worth taking. Just be aware that they are high, personally higher that I would take.
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Last edited by RatherBeInYOW; May 31, 19 at 9:36 am
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