54 minutes @ ORD enough?

 
Old Feb 11, 06, 5:57 am
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54 minutes @ ORD enough?

My friend has booked a flight that seems to have a schedule change. Here is what she has:

MSP-ORD via Eagle Arrives ORD @ 8:08 p.m.
ORD-LAX via Mainline Departs ORD @ 9:02 p.m.

My concerns are threefold:

1. She's coming into ORD and on an RJ nonetheless.
2. She's coming from MSP where I'm guessing there just might be weather delays.
3. She is overnighting in LAX and going on to HNL the next morning on the 8:30 a.m. flight. If she misconnects, she won't make that 8:30 a.m. flight and will probably be stuck getting into HNL very late since HNL flights are VERY full on Saturday (Feb. 25).

My question for you FT experts is this:

Should we call AA and ask for a change since the connection time is so tight? I know it's technically a legal connection, but it probably shouldn't be given the Eagle to mainline and the MSP origination. Plus, you guys all know ORD, especially in the winter.

AA.com doesn't give us ontime statistics anymore, so it's hard to gague if this is okay or not. Personally, I wouldn't do it. I'd demand (as politely as possible) to be rescheduled on an earlier flight so I would have more than one option out to ORD.

Everything is on the same PNR, so she's covered there. It's all AA metal, and I'm sure they'd get her on the ORD-HNL direct flights if she does misconnect. But it's a longshot that she may end up in LAX and on the 8 p.m. flight instead of the 8 a.m. flight.

She's never been to HI before, and I know she wants to maximize her time there (hence the overnight in LAX for the early bird flight to the Islands). She does have to work on Friday, but there are 2 other options for her:

6:09 p.m. Departing MSP-DFW with a 1 hr 20 min connection
4:59 p.m. Departing MSP-ORD with a 1 hr 50 min connection

What do you guys think? Is it a safe risk, or should we phone AA to see if they'd be willing to change it?

Sorry this is so long. I don't go on on purpose, but it does tend to happen. =) Thanks for your help......
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Old Feb 11, 06, 6:14 am
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I was going to say that any schedule change will allow the pax to "adjust" their itn accordingly, but I'm not so sure in this case.

The incoming flight from MSP seemes to have actually "moved up" (correct me if I'm wrong), so it will be difficult to argue the "it's inconvenient" angle.

Assuming that the connection is "legal", then.....

I don't think a change is possible at this time, unless the fare allows it. Just because you see many possible problems, it does not automatically give you (or your friend) the possibility to change flights without paying the change fees.

I may be wrong, so a call is in order, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen

Good luck!
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Old Feb 11, 06, 6:29 am
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I believe that when she booked it she had at least an hour on the ground in ORD. But I won't swear to it, as I have no clue about her stuff. But when I look at it now and see 54 minutes, it really does worry me. I actually though it was 1 hr for a legal connection at ORD, but there again, I wouldn't swear to it.

I guess it all depends on the agent. I booked a HNL flight last year via DFW and LAX. The schedule changed, but I still had a legal connection in LAX (about 48 minutes if I recall correctly). I called, and the agent quickly changed it because she said that she wouldn't recommend anything short of an hour in LAX. She said it would PROBABLY be okay be she herself wouldn't do it, so she wouldn't recommend her paying customer do it.

If my friend got an agent like that, then she'd be accommodated most likely. But if she got one who's having a bad day, then she might be SOL.

There is one downside to the DFW flight (and no, it's not the less miles you get on that route). It's MSP-DFW on a CR7. Now, that isn't something I'd relish doing. I think that's why she picked ORD in the first place. The 4:59 through ORD is a Mad Dog. I like those odds better, and she should perhaps try and do same day standby for $25 if she can't get the change. But MSP flights on Friday evenings are FULL!!!!!!! Not as full as the HNL flights on Saturday, but they are pretty full. I guess the business travelers are running from the cold. =)

BTW, is there any way to get the on-time statistics for AA flights now that AA.com doesn't volunteer that information?
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Old Feb 11, 06, 7:35 am
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No way to say for sure if the incoming flight is late. Using only carry-on luggage is advisable.

I recently made a 34-minute connection, off an international flight no less, but you can be sure I only had hand luggage. I was booked on a later flight with a 2 hour connection since 34 minutes isn't allowed. I used my PLT status to move up the standby list and got the last seat on the earlier flight. My cause was helped because the flight was delayed about 10 minutes.
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Old Feb 11, 06, 11:16 am
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I made a 35 minute connection in ORD last week. Arrived at the top of H and departed from the bottom of K. Had to double time it down the gate which was not a lot of fun at 5:30 on a busy Friday afternoon with all the other business travellers trying to get home for the weekend.

I didn't think I had a chance of making it since my flight into ORD took off 40 minutes late, but the second leg of my trip was slightly delayed, so I just made it in time (they were just about to shut the doors).
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Old Feb 11, 06, 11:39 am
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As long as the flights aren't seriously delayed, she should make it.
O'Hare is very easy to navigate. Most likely she'll land in G and takeoff from H/K. It's a hike but it doesn't take that long at a good clip.
If she's truly worried, she should standby for an earlier MSP -> ORD flight. Maybe even fork over the $25 for "confirmed standby" if it's available.
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Old Feb 11, 06, 11:43 am
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If her flight arrives on time, she should easily be able to make her connection.
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Old Feb 11, 06, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace
If her flight arrives on time, she should easily be able to make her connection.

But isn't Eagle into ORD consistently delayed? And won't it be more likely so out of MSP in the evening since NW pretty much owns that airport?

If she were mainline to mainline, I might not be so concerned, but since about every Eagle flight I've ever been on has had a delay of some sort, the tight connection is really disconcerting. This is especially true since a missed connection will butcher the rest of the trip.

If she does misconnect because of weather, I know she'll be paying the ORD hotel bill, but will AA try to put her on a flight to HNL that will get her there sooner rather than later.

BTW, someone suggested only carry-on luggage. That's pretty hard when you're packing for 8 days in Hawaii. I can do carry-on only for a 4 day trip max, but in a week or more, it's pretty hard. We are females, afterall.

And to make things worse, my friend is a leisure traveler in the purest sense of the word. She doesn't fly a lot and hasn't in several years. So this is already a daunting process sans the 54 minute ORD connection.

Last edited by chicaloca453; Feb 11, 06 at 3:56 pm
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Old Feb 11, 06, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by chicaloca453
But isn't Eagle into ORD consistently delayed? And won't it be more likely so out of MSP in the evening since NW pretty much owns that airport?

If she were mainline to mainline, I might not be so concerned, but since about every Eagle flight I've ever been on has had a delay of some sort, the tight connection is really disconcerting. This is especially true since a missed connection will butcher the rest of the trip.

If she does misconnect because of weather, I know she'll be paying the ORD hotel bill, but will AA try to put her on a flight to HNL that will get her there sooner rather than later.

BTW, someone suggested only carry-on luggage. That's pretty hard when you're packing for 8 days in Hawaii. I can do carry-on only for a 4 day trip max, but in a week or more, it's pretty hard. We are females, afterall.
Why all this worry ahead of time???

Anyway, why not check the dep/arr history of the flight on www.aa.com?

I just did 2 Eagle flights and both were on time (as a matter of fact, both were early). One was LGA-BOS and the other was DCA-ORD. Why do you assume that Eagle will screw up? After all, they do carry many paxs for AA mainline connections and if they screwed up everytime they would cost AA mucho $.
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Old Feb 11, 06, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by andrzej
Why all this worry ahead of time???
It's not really a worry so much as a question of whether I should approach AA and propose to confirm her on different flights. My worries are just reasons why I thinkk I have a case to do so. I'm just seeing if you all concur. Personally, I wouldn't book a 54 minute connection at ORD unless there were other options to get me to my destination after that.

I know she can do same-day standby confirmed for $25 which is always an option. But I was just asking if you guys thought I should approach AA and ask for confirmed change now and have one less thing to worry about day of departure. Or is the 54 minutes really not that big a deal.

And FYI, this Eagle flight last night didn't arrive until 8:38 which is a huge deal. But I can't seem to check anything but last night, today, and tomorrow on aa.com. Is there another link I don't know about?
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Old Feb 11, 06, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by chicaloca453
It's not really a worry so much as a question of whether I should approach AA and propose to confirm her on different flights. My worries are just reasons why I thinkk I have a case to do so. I'm just seeing if you all concur. Personally, I wouldn't book a 54 minute connection at ORD unless there were other options to get me to my destination after that.

I know she can do same-day standby confirmed for $25 which is always an option. But I was just asking if you guys thought I should approach AA and ask for confirmed change now and have one less thing to worry about day of departure. Or is the 54 minutes really not that big a deal.

And FYI, this Eagle flight last night didn't arrive until 8:38 which is a huge deal. But I can't seem to check anything but last night, today, and tomorrow on aa.com. Is there another link I don't know about?
As I said earlier, you can always call AA but don't be surprised if there is a change fee involved.....
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Old Feb 12, 06, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by chicaloca453
My friend has booked a flight that seems to have a schedule change. Here is what she has:

MSP-ORD via Eagle Arrives ORD @ 8:08 p.m.
ORD-LAX via Mainline Departs ORD @ 9:02 p.m.

..
One thing to note. It is within the MCT (min connection time) for an online domestic to domestic connection
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Old Feb 12, 06, 12:10 am
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I probably wouldn't stop in the AC for a shower and a drink, but 54 minutes should be enough time at ORD, if there are no real delays.

FWIW.. I've flown on some 10 Eagle flights this year.. of course 9 of those were in CA. I had one ATL-ORD, and it arrived earlier.
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Old Feb 12, 06, 11:58 am
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Then go Standby from MSP!

Originally Posted by georgehf
If she's truly worried, she should standby for an earlier MSP -> ORD flight. Maybe even fork over the $25 for "confirmed standby" if it's available.
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Old Feb 12, 06, 12:56 pm
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I do Eagle -> mainline connections at ORD with some degree of regularity. I can't remember ever missing a connection due to a delayed Eagle flight.

In fact, I fly Eagle fairly regularly, and I'd say that my on-time percentage on Eagle flights has been the same or perhaps slightly better than mainline. Eagle can tolerate a little more lateness on either end than a mainline flight, because there are far fewer passengers on board, so boarding/deplaning takes much less time.

(One percentage that has been higher for me on Eagle is the percentage of flights needing bump volunteers -- winter weather can wreak havoc with weight restrictions on smaller planes. If your friend wants to avoid this, be sure that she checks in online or shows up to MSP with plenty of time before her flight.)

Personally, I wouldn't be concerned about a 54-min connection at ORD at all. I've made it from the end of G (Eagle terminal) to the end of L (furthest terminal away from G) in 25 mins without even hurrying, so I'd expect that a 54-min connection would get me to my mainline flight in time for priority boarding I wouldn't even be concerned about the delayed flight that arrived at 8:38; I'd have to hustle a bit, but I'd expect to make a mainline flight at 9:02 (especially because they would likely hold the 9:02 flight for a few mins for connecting passengers, considering it's the last flight of the day).

I would recommend that your friend bring only carry-on luggage that will fit on Eagle. If she needs to check a big bag, that's fine (sounds like the worst that will happen is that she might have to do without luggage for a day or so, but at least she'll be in Hawaii...), but she should try to avoid Eagle's gate-check. Not that there's anything wrong with Eagle's gate check, but avoiding it will get her going about 5-10 mins faster at ORD.

And yes, if she's really concerned, she should just stand by for an earlier flight out of MSP.
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