Is It Possible?

 
Old Feb 17, 06, 11:06 am
  #1  
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Is It Possible?

Never flown AA, but have decided to give them a try because Iíve defected from AC to BA for all my international travel, so OW pairs me with AA. Great.

So, I booked myself, my sister and the kids down from YYC to PHX to see grandma in March. Hereís my question: coming back on AA 1117 from PHX to DFW we have 39 minutes to get to AA 2081, DFW-YYC. 39 minutes with 2 five yr-olds? Puzzled, I called AA, thinking it odd that aa.com would allow me to book an illegal connection and was told, no 25 minutes is all we need.

Is this possible? Does this involve security? Never been to DFW, but I imagine itís huge and with a terminal change can I make it with the little ones? (To be honest, Iím more worried about my cigarette smoking sister, but not being a smoker, I donít really care about her need for nicotine.)

Any help is appreciated.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 11:16 am
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Welcome to FT.

You're right to be worried, even though there's no security to clear at DFW, but in reality it depends on (a) on-time arrival of your incoming; (b) how far between gates - a terminal change will be bad for your chances; and (c) how fast you & family disembark.

To help your chances, (1) travel light -- no rollaboards, only under-seat baggage if possible; and (2) book seats as far forward on the first flight as possible. If you're running late, ask the FA if they would make an announcement that there's a family with a tight connection and asking other pax to hold in seats til you clear the aisle.

Last edited by CO FF; Feb 17, 06 at 11:17 am Reason: typo
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Old Feb 17, 06, 11:19 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by CO FF
ask the FA if they would make an announcement that there's a family with a tight connection and asking other pax to hold in seats til you clear the aisle.

let's be honest.... what was the last time you actually witnessed people listen and follow that particular request?

I agree with the rest of your post....
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Old Feb 17, 06, 11:38 am
  #4  
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Agree with the above posts. I'll just add that it is a bit of a crap-shoot at DFW, as you are dealing with four different AA terminals. If you've never been to DFW, it's hard to imagine how vast that place is.

Fortunately, they replaced the old klunky shuttle train (TrAAin) last year. The new system is MUCH faster than before. I can usually get from one gate to any other gate at DFW within 10-15 minutes. But then, I'm a fast walker, and don't travel with small children. YMMV.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 12:20 pm
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Thanks everyone for the advice and the welcome. Iím not too worried about the kids, because I can insight a mad dash and theyíll think itís fun. Iíve trained them, to the best of my ability, to be good flyers. And they are good. Theyíre twins and were flying before they could walk. Other passengers have said as much, so itís not just me gushing.

At this point weíre in row 18 of a 757. I guess weíll try and do our best. Maybe GA in PHX will move us to the bulkhead. Excellent idea, thanks. Itís why I lurk here all the time.

Worst case and we miss the flight, is AA going to help us? They have another flight in the evening, but being Sunday, I assume itís quite full. Weíll be in the system.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 12:22 pm
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Welcome to FT / AA!

39 minutes is certainly possible, but there are a lot of "ifs" and "maybes" - including the little ones. I could imagine it might be a little like trying to herd cats.

You can see the layout and specific terminal maps here.

A larger overall layout with the new, nice airside Skylink information (which gates are closest to Skylink, etc.) is here. "The bi-directional system keeps average ride times to 5 minutes, with a maximum ride time of 9 minutes between the farthest distances. In addition, passengers wait an average of only 2 minutes for the trains to arrive in the stations."

(Frankly, Skylink is so cool, you may never get the twins OFF!)

You can also look on aa.com to see arrival and departure gates for those flights a day or two out, but there is not any certainty those will remain the same - in fact, they could change any time.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 12:35 pm
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I have had several of these tight connections in the last year or so. I find that the departure gate is always quite close to the arrival gate, within two or three gates. If operations are normal and the arriving flight is on time, you should have no problem. The FAs should announce arrival gate and connection gates.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by jetboy747
At this point weíre in row 18 of a 757. I guess weíll try and do our best. Maybe GA in PHX will move us to the bulkhead. Excellent idea, thanks. Itís why I lurk here all the time.

Worst case and we miss the flight, is AA going to help us? They have another flight in the evening, but being Sunday, I assume itís quite full. Weíll be in the system.
Good idea on moving to the bulkhead... I would suggest getting to the airport as early as possible, even if it means going by yourself ahead of time, to get a TA to assign you the bulkhead.

If you are concerned about missing the connection and you want to check on the relative availability of the next flight, many would recommend a subscription to EF (www.expertflyer.com) or if you don't want to pay, you can get the poor man's version at AOW (http://flyaow.com/classcwt.htm).
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Old Feb 17, 06, 1:52 pm
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Again, thanks everyone for the excellent information!

And JDiver you hit the nail on the head with the Skylink. Iíve never seen so much excitement to board any type of mass transit train, which I loathe with gentle compassion, but to them is the most exciting thing in the world. We have a few hours on the way down, so Skylink will be very much appreciated.

Thanks. And if you see us stampeding through DFW April 2nd, please understand, herding cats takes concentration.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 1:59 pm
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FWIW I made it from Terminal A to E while ducking out for a smoke and coming back through security and did it in exactly 19 minutes gate to gate. Yeah I timed it... sticks in the mind as I happened to get off the connection at *exactly* noon so I noticed it. One data point. No line at security was a plus.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 6:31 pm
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Just make sure you check the display to confirm your connection gate

because the FA could have wrong information.

We flew OAK/DFW/FLL early Feb. Our connection at DFW was the last flight out to FLL at 9:30 pm or so. We arrived at C22. The FA announced our connection to FLL departing at C26. We thought we were very lucky and took our time to walk, restroom /water fountain stops. When we arrived C26, there were much less crowd than I expected for a very full flight. Only 40 minutes to departure and no GA in sight ... I immediately went looking for overhead display, lo and behold, our gate now is D40 ! Luckily the Skylink station is nearby and we got to D40 within 10 minutes, in time for us to volunteer for a bump (we got it.) :-)

So do check your connection gate as soon as you are in the terminal to make sure.

Last edited by Happy; Feb 17, 06 at 6:45 pm
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Old Feb 17, 06, 6:44 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Happy
because the FA could have wrong information.



So do check your connection gate as soon as you are in the terminal to make sure.
Yup. And they announce very clearly each and every time I've heard it, that one should do just that as gate assignments are subject to change. Not just idle banter...but good advice.

Cheers.
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