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AA Guide: DFW / Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc

Old Sep 7, 2015, 10:18 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: controller1
Please edit or add information to this wiki as necessary.

Check-in times Link for current information.

In most locations, you must be checked in:

At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States

At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States


If you’re beginning travel from any of several airports operating u Dee more restrictive check in times, follow the link above, as the check-in period is longer.
Link to DFW airport website

Link to aa.com DFW page

General Information

Despite it's size and five terminals, DFW is a fairly easy airport to navigate and connect though. If you have any difficulty, look around for kiosks / booths staffed by volunteer Ambassadors - they can usually be spotted wearing "ten gallon" cowboy hats. They offer maps and terminal guides (which include dining and shopping information).
.. ..
DFW Ambasadors - look for the "Ask Me" button

Peculiarities: DFW can be severely affected by rare winter ice or snow, and summer thunderstorms. Lightning effectively shuts the flight line down. This is AA's prime hub; over 80% of aircraft movements here are AA, so knock-on effects during lengthy OSO / IROPS can manifest themselves systemwide.

Note: DFW Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP): DFW is undergoing a fairly extensive terminals refurbishment program, and parts of terminals A, B and E have been under construction/ refurbishment, as are some parking garages, so changes in security screening, etc. are common. See here for further information and updates.

DFW all Terminals , SkyLink and DART Exit Map


Operating terminals and gates

AA operates flights out of terminals A, B, C, D; as of March 2016 AmericanEagle by ExpressJet use Terminal E with AA partner Alaska and others.
  • Terminal A is the ex-international terminal, used for domestic flights (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal B is usually used for regional (American Eagle branded) flights (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal C is usually used for domestic flights
  • Terminal D is the current international terminal; most AA international flights depart here, as well as all partner and Lufthansa international flights.
  • Terminal E is used by some AA regional and ExpressJet CRJ flights (E34-E38) as of 3 Mar 2016, AA partner Alaska (and others) (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal "V" or VIRT means an actual gate has not been assigned yet

* may always be subject to change

DFW American Airlines Terminals Map:
Ticket Counters and Hours of Operation Link
Please use link to check today's hours; below accurate 8 Mar 2016

Terminal AA8 - A15: full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
A16 - A23: full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4:30 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.

Terminal BB6: Daily: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.
B30: Daily: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Terminal CC2 - C15: self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.
C16 - C25: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 3 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
C26 - C39: Self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.

Terminal D D1 - D18: Self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
D20 - D40: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Terminal E (American Eagle by ExpressJet CRJ flights) E34 – E38: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 5 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.

AA Headquarters CTO / City Ticketing Office 4333 Amon Carter Blvd? (at Sovereign Rd. across from USPS), Fort Worth, TX
Lobby, on left prior to security; free visitor parking. Weekdays, 10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Alternative for ticketing, voucher use, etc.
Check-in and ticketing at DFW and check in times Link

Flagship Check-in: NO

Minimum time for checking in and arriving at the gate

To better ensure an on-time departure, our goal is to close the jetbridge door 10 minutes before departure time. This allows all customers to board and stow their belongings. (AA may release your seat if you show up at your gates less than fifteen minutes prior to scheduled departure.)

To retain your pre-reserved seat on a confirmed flight, make sure to follow the minimum check in and gate arrival times.*

For flights within and between the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands:
  • Minimum check-in is at least 30 minutes before scheduled departure in most locations
  • Arrive at the gate and be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure; gates close 10minutes prior to departure. Early boarding and departure are not unknown.




For flights originating outside the U.S. or flights departing the U.S. for an international destination:
  • Minimum check-in is at least 60 minutes before scheduled departure except in Buenos Aires, Dublin and Maracaibo, Venezuela
    • Arrive at the gate and be ready to board at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure Upgrades May be cleared prior to announced boarding times, regardless of your position on the list.


Minimum time to check baggage

To help us get your bag on the same flight with you, present your bag to an airline representative for check-in no later than the cutoff time.

For flights within and between the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands:Check bags at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at DFW

For flights departing the U.S. for an international destination:Check bags at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure

Time to baggage delivery: minimum 20 minutes
Getting from concourse to concourse

Landside, one can use the terminal link orange vans (see below), but it's faster and easier to use Sky Link.

Airside elevated bidirectional Sky Link is the easiest way to get around
  • bi-directional system connects all five terminals and is the shortest route to your stop while inside of security.
  • Free service
  • Trains arrive every two minutes
  • Average ride time of five minutes
  • Maximum ride time of nine minutes between farthest points
  • Easy access to other terminals’ shops and restaurants


Station escalator/elevator locations:
  • Terminal A: Between A13 and A16 and between A29 and A34
  • Terminal B: Between B9 and B12 and between B28 and B31
  • Terminal C: Between C8 and C12 and between C27 and C32
  • Terminal D: Between D11 and D20 and between D24 and D34
  • Terminal E: Between E8 and E11 and between E31 and E32


Walking between terminals
  • Terminals A-C and B-D (international) are connected at the ends by departures level walkways; the people mover belts on these walkways have been out of service at least for years. Estimate at least a five to ten minute walk between A and C, B and D, more if gates are farther from the connector.
  • Terminals A and B are connected by overhead walkways (escalator or lift / elevator). This walkway is serviced by working people mover belts, all of which are out of service as of 7/18/19. Courtesy carts use this route by using lifts.
  • Terminals C and D (international) are connected by overhead walkways (escalator or lift / elevator). This walkway is serviced by working people mover belts.


There is no need to leave the secure area to move from one concourse to another. *Exceptions are arriving international flights. In such case one must normally clear immigration and customs, reclaim bags and proceed through security.

Landside free interterminal transportation

Terminal Link's orange vans arrive every 10 minutes and will transfer you between all terminals once outside of security.
  • Free service
  • No ticket or pass of any kind is needed to board
  • Service available between 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
  • To request van pick-up between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., call 972 574 LINK (5465)
  • All vans are wheelchair accessible


Two easy-to-locate orange pick-up/drop-off areas are located outside baggage claim areas of each terminal. Follow the Terminal Link signs to reach the nearest pick-up/drop-off area:Terminal AEntry A10 serving Gates A1-18
Entry A24 serving Gates A18-39

Terminal B Entry B12 serving Gates B12-B25
Entry B25 serving Gates B25-B49

Terminal C Entry C12 serving Gates 1-14
Entry C24 serving Gates 15-25

Terminal D Entry atLower Level D17 serving Gates D1-D22
Entry at Lower Level D24 serving Gates D23-D40

Terminal E Entry at E7 serving Gates E1-E10
Entry E31 serving Gates E31-34 (American Eagle by ExpressJet)
Security at DFW

Link to DFW Airport Security information (including checkpoints and hours)


Note: coming out from immigration and customs, you may find yourself near the D22 and possible lengthy queues through TSA security. As swag says in a post, "D has multiple checkpoints, all easily walkable, and any ticketed passenger can use any one of them. If you find yourself facing a long line at D22, it may be worthwhile to walk down to D18 or D30."

Note: D22 has PreCheck but may be closed; D30 PreCheck is open most of the time.

Link to AA Flyer Guide wiki DFW Security

Priority Access lines available at Terminals A, C and D.

PreCheck lines are available at A20, C20, D22, D30 and E18; none at Terminal B.
MCT: Minimum and reasonable connection times at DFW

Q. What is the Domestic to Domestic or Domestic to International Minimum Connection Time (MCT)?

The MCT for Domestic to Domestic or Domestic to International is 40 mins.

There are other MCT's for specific connections including:
-Connections from Terminal E to Terminal E 30 mins
-Connections to/from ERD/ER4 aircraft 50 mins
-Connections to/from Terminal E to other Terminals 50 mins
-Connections from a US Pre-Clearance airport 60 mins

Q . What is the MCT for International to Domestic?

The MCT for International to Domestic is 80 mins, or 85 mins if arriving off a widebody aircraft. 85 mins is applicable for most all long haul destinations in Europe, Asia, South America, etc.

There are other MCT's for specific connections including:
-Connections to Terminal E 90 mins
-Connections to/from ERD/ER4 aircraft 90 mins

Q. If I am making an international to international connection, what is the process?

There is no international transit process in most U.S.A. airports, but (DFW and MIA have a ITI baggage exception for international to international if arriving from some "approved" international origins). Arriving internationally, unless you have been pre-cleared or are excused by meeting ITI requirements as described here, you must proceed through U. S. immigration (there are kiosks and a fast channel for Global Entry approved passengers, and a "green line" for those with no checked bags), recover your baggage from the baggage carousel and proceed through U. S. Customs. There is a "green line" shortcut for passengers traveling only with carry-on baggage (no checked luggage) and there are Global Entry kiosks and a short cut to Global Entry queues.

Upon exiting Customs there is a bag drop facility; drop your checked connecting baggage, exit to the landside arrivals area.

NOTE: if your connection exceeds 11 hours or entails remaining overnight, you will normally be required to take your baggage with you and re-check it within ~four hours of departure.

NOTE: Any liquids in excess of security allowance will have to either be packed in checked baggage or, in the case of duty free purchases at your origin (or in air from other airlines), presented in STEB (Secure, Tamper Evident Bags) with receipts to TSA

Proceed to the kiosks to get boarding passes for your ongoing travel, or check in and re-check your baggage, then proceed through TSA security to airside (see the "DFW Security" section). Your international departure will be from Terminal D, also your international arrival terminal.

See DFW / Dallas Ft. Worth Connection & Times - Domestic & International (consolidated)
DFW dining, services and shopping

Lounges: please see the Lounge Dashboard "sticky" for further lounges information at DFW

Admirals Clubs and Lounges:
  • Terminal A: Admirals Club across from gate A-24
  • Terminal B: Admirals Club Service Center across from gates B-5 and -6
  • Terminal C: Admirals Club across from gates C-19 and -20
  • Terminal D: Admirals Club, and coming Premium lounge near gate D-23;NOTE: offers new Flagship Dining
  • Terminal E: Admirals Club at top of escalator on Mezzanine level
  • American Express Centurion Lounge take lift opposite gate D-17
  • BA, LH, QF and QR have their own lounges between D-21 and D-22
  • The Club at DFW (Pay, Diners, Priority Pass) between D-21 and D-22
  • Terminal E: Delta Sky Club
  • DFW Airport Travel Lounges are free, offer warm lighting, comfortable lounge and workstation seating, and power outlets at every seat; near gates A29, B8, B28, C8, C27, E8, E31


Dining, Shopping Link to DFW services, dining guide and interactive map

See here for shopping and dining changes.

AA Employee Store: Link: (open to the public) Shop for AA ware, baggage, memorabilia, etc. at Gate C-2

Currency exchange: Travelex at D11, D22 (Outside Security), D24, D36, E8, Intl Re-Check.

WiFi / wireless service: Free AT&T Wireless Hot Spot throughout airport

Device Power Charging: DFW Airport Travel Lounge - B28, C8, C27, E8
Free Power Stations - A10, C6, C20, C27, C35, D21, D23, D30, D40, E10, E37 (also see DFW Travel Lounges above)
Guest Services Center - B14

Disabled and VIP Services

For disability assistance contact AA Special Assistance services (no fee) (link)

For VIP gate to gate connections (fee), see AA Five Star Service (link)

Smoking: No smoking in terminalsTerminal A Admirals Club and D Club smoking rooms are closed)

Rental cars: The Rental Car Center is located at 2424 E. 38th St, DFW Airport, TX, near the south entrance of the Airport and is served by 10 companies. Link. Arriving Passengers: After collecting your baggage, follow the Rental Car signs to the designated pick-up area on the lower level of the terminal. From there, board the Rental Car shuttle bus. Buses run 24 hours a day, depart (theoretically) every five minutes and reach the Rental Car Center in approximately 10 minutes.

Departing Passengers: Before your departing flight, please return your vehicle at the Rental Car Center. For transportation from the facility to your terminal, board the Rental Car Shuttle. The Rental Car Shuttle runs 24 hours a day and departs every five minutes from the facility.

Animal Relief Areas: (all land side)Terminal A: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal B: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal C: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal D: Lower level, outside the D30/D31 baggage claim area by the parking garage and at D18.

Terminal E: Lower level grassy areas.
DFW Parking

There are Valet, Terminal, Express and Remote parking options. See here for options, pricing and interactive guides.

Disability Parking: see Link

Cell phone lot (none)
DFW transportation

Public transport

Metro DART Orangle Line to Dallas. Take from entry near Terminal A, A-10. Take the elevator to the lower level, then walk to the right and follow the signs.

TRE / Trinity Rail Express to Dallas and Ct. Worth. NO SERVICE SUNDAYS. Take free bus to Remote south Parking; take connecting bus to CentrePort/DFW Airport station.

Shared Vans: City Shuttle, L.L.C. shared van service 1.240.760.1998

Go Yellow Checker Airport Shuttle shared vans to Ft. Worth hotels. Board at upper level roadway marked areas.

Taxi: at every terminal; see DFW Taxi Guide for prices, etc.

App Based Transportation (Uber and Lyft)
When using these services for pick-up, exit the terminal and proceed to the Shared Ride sign.
Airport and Area hotels

DFW has many hotels, most served by shuttles, many nearby options.

There are two hotels at DFW, both connected to terminals. They tend to be rather pricey and fill up quickly.Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport Hotel at Terminal C (link)

Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel at Terminal D (international terminal) (link

There is a "Minute Suites" cubicle hotel (with rental showers) that rent by the hour or eight hour period near gate D-23 at Terminal D. (link. (Terminal A has a Minute Suites planned for 2016.)

There are several lower priced hotels with shuttles. These and "alternative" sleeping or rest opportunities are listed hereon sleepinginairports.net. This page includes many helpful listings - baggage storage, lounges, where to sleep in the airport, etc.

During Off Schedule Operations / Irregular Operations, cots with blankets and pillows are available for affected passengers.

During OSO / IROPS, AA will generally not offer hotel and meal vouchers for disruptions from causes not directly under the airline's control (such as weather). You may be able to at least get "distressed traveler" certificates for lower rates from AA, or you may be able to request distressed traveler rates from reservations center's or properties.
Is there anything to do at DFW?

See DFW / Dallas-Ft. Worth Layover Questions (consolidated) ...

You can visit the

C. R. Smith Museum (AA history, DC-3 Flagship Detroit, gift shop)
4601 Texas HWY 360 at FAA Rd
Fort Worth, Texas 76155
817-967-1560
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00-5:00, Sunday 1:00 - 5:00; Closed Monday
Cost: $7.00, $4.00 seniors 65 or +, students w/ ID, children 2-17, military
Getting there: taxi; (unofficial: take crew shuttle if space available to Conference and Training Center, get dropped at the Museum).

See FT DFW and the AA / C. R. Smith Museum in Dallas (consolidated)

Do I have time to go to Dallas?

A minimum of six hours would be suggested for "going to town".
Other resources
  • Link to AA FAQ: Will I make my connection?

  • Link to AA Flyer Guide wiki: Minimum Connecting Times

  • Link to AA Lounge Dashboard (guide to AA and other lounges)

  • Link: to DFW connection guide in Texas forum

  • Link: to DFW layover guide in Texas Forum

  • Link: to DFW Employee Store (open to the public) Shop for AA ware, baggage, memorabilia, etc. at Gate C-2
Contributors to this thread include: aamilesslave;

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AA Guide: DFW / Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc

Old May 25, 2023, 4:44 am
  #1651  
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Originally Posted by LAX/HKG
Hi DFW experts! Planning a trip for my relative, a novice. The best routing in terms of price and time is CMI-DFW-BUR with 51 minutes of connection time. Doable? The next best option is CMI-DFW-SNA with 2.5 hrs in DFW. Thanks.
51 mins is fine at DFW even for a novice although it obviously doesn't leave much room to spare. Thousands of folks connect through DFW every day with similar connections.

That said what destination is more convenient as there's quite a difference between BUR and SNA. If SNA is more convenient then I'd just go that route.
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Old May 25, 2023, 9:53 pm
  #1652  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
51 mins is fine at DFW even for a novice although it obviously doesn't leave much room to spare. Thousands of folks connect through DFW every day with similar connections.

That said what destination is more convenient as there's quite a difference between BUR and SNA. If SNA is more convenient then I'd just go that route.
Thanks for your input.

BUR is 30 minutes away from me, whereas SNA is about 55 minutes. Also, the DFW-BUR flight arrives earlier in the evening than the DFW-SNA one.
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Old Jun 1, 2023, 4:06 pm
  #1653  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AA Plat Pro
Posts: 962
Hello FT,

I have an AA r/t XXX-DFW-BZE. The return is a Monday, mid-November arriving DFW at 5:50pm(?) and I have the bare minimum MCT (INT -DOM) of 80 minutes (minus 20 = 60 minutes to connect) and last chance back to XXX that night. Traveling with no checked luggage and both travelers GE. Probably arriving at D and most likely departing from C, how likely am I to make it? I can certainly hustle, but the old days of jumping suitcases is over!

The alternative is a connection in MIA with 95 minutes (minus 20 = 75 minutes to connect). Any thoughts on which point of entry is better in this situation based on day, time and time of year and GE? If no difference, perhaps I should just book a hotel in DFW now? I do realize there are many unknows that will factor into play, but let's assume an on-time arrival from BZE. Anyone experience such short MCT's at DFW?
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Old Jun 2, 2023, 4:56 am
  #1654  
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Originally Posted by Bradhattan
Hello FT,

I have an AA r/t XXX-DFW-BZE. The return is a Monday, mid-November arriving DFW at 5:50pm(?) and I have the bare minimum MCT (INT -DOM) of 80 minutes (minus 20 = 60 minutes to connect) and last chance back to XXX that night. Traveling with no checked luggage and both travelers GE. Probably arriving at D and most likely departing from C, how likely am I to make it? I can certainly hustle, but the old days of jumping suitcases is over!

The alternative is a connection in MIA with 95 minutes (minus 20 = 75 minutes to connect). Any thoughts on which point of entry is better in this situation based on day, time and time of year and GE? If no difference, perhaps I should just book a hotel in DFW now? I do realize there are many unknows that will factor into play, but let's assume an on-time arrival from BZE. Anyone experience such short MCT's at DFW?
With GE and no checked bags you shouldn't have any problems at all with an 80 min connection at DFW (or 95 mins at MIA for that matter).

I certainly wouldn't panic or book a hotel now, etc., if you're on time you will be fine. Additionally a Monday in mid-Nov. is about the least busy of a time you can get in terms of international travel.

You hid your final destination for some reason but if the schedules are roughly the same then generally speaking I'd always go with DFW over MIA for an I>D connection.
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Old Jun 2, 2023, 12:55 pm
  #1655  
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Originally Posted by Bradhattan
Hello FT,

I have an AA r/t XXX-DFW-BZE. The return is a Monday, mid-November arriving DFW at 5:50pm(?) and I have the bare minimum MCT (INT -DOM) of 80 minutes (minus 20 = 60 minutes to connect) and last chance back to XXX that night. Traveling with no checked luggage and both travelers GE. Probably arriving at D and most likely departing from C, how likely am I to make it? I can certainly hustle, but the old days of jumping suitcases is over!

The alternative is a connection in MIA with 95 minutes (minus 20 = 75 minutes to connect). Any thoughts on which point of entry is better in this situation based on day, time and time of year and GE? If no difference, perhaps I should just book a hotel in DFW now? I do realize there are many unknows that will factor into play, but let's assume an on-time arrival from BZE. Anyone experience such short MCT's at DFW?
No problem. I normally sail through customs and immigration with GE and no bags in 5 minutes at DFW regardless of what time I land. There is no more ticket to take. You just go to the machine, scan passport, then you still have to manually check out with a CBP officer (WHY). Anyway, no worries.
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Old Jun 3, 2023, 8:09 am
  #1656  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 29
Connecting in DFW tomorrow (Sunday) early evening, on a possibly tight connection.
Gate B19 to D36 (transatlantic flight), would you recommend SkyTrain or walking?
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Old Jun 3, 2023, 10:43 am
  #1657  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by Silja
Connecting in DFW tomorrow (Sunday) early evening, on a possibly tight connection. Gate B19 to D36 (transatlantic flight), would you recommend SkyTrain or walking?
Pretty good chance the gates will change before tomorrow. If they stay the same, I think B19 - D36 will be a little quicker on the Skytrain. It looks like it is about a 3,000 ft walk so a little over a 1/2 mile, so about 10-12 minute walk for the average person. Guessing skytrain would be in the 8-10 minute range.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #1658  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: RNO
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DFW -- Run from B6 to D36 or take the train?

Tight connection to make CDG flight today. Faster to run (OK walk sort of fast) or take the train?

Thanks for your help.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 12:40 pm
  #1659  
 
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Train

I tried to "run" once between terminals. It took forever. I get the feeling that waiting for and riding the train when you have a tight connection is taking longer. It usually doesn't.

Keep an eye on your phone, though. It's possible AA might automatically rebook you if the inbound is late.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 12:55 pm
  #1660  
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Originally Posted by ferriswren
Tight connection to make CDG flight today. Faster to run (OK walk sort of fast) or take the train?

Thanks for your help.
Train. Or pay for the 5 star service and get Tarmac ride for the tight connection, so you don't miss the international connection.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 1:02 pm
  #1661  
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Originally Posted by ferriswren
Tight connection to make CDG flight today. Faster to run (OK walk sort of fast) or take the train?

Thanks for your help.
So looking at your location, I hope you're not connecting from RNO to the 5:00 CDG, as that delayed flight is scheduled to come into C6 (not B6) now arriving at 5:06 with CDG departing 5:03 from D36. At this point, I would just expect that you will be getting rebooked, and hope there is space on AA24 to move you to.

Just looked and the later RNO flight is delayed and schedule to come into B6 connecting to AA24 out of D36. The current delay on that one only cuts the connection to around 50 minutes. Not tight at all at DFW.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 1:33 pm
  #1662  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: RNO
Programs: AA EXP
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Thanks for your help.

We'll see how the turnaround goes in Reno, but Skylink it is.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 4:28 pm
  #1663  
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Originally Posted by ferriswren
We'll see how the turnaround goes in Reno, but Skylink it is.
From B6 to D36? If those gates do not change, the Skylink is not the way to go. B6 to D36 is a very easy walk and likely quicker than the tram since you'd have to go north to get the Skylink, go past your gate traveling southbound, then walk back north to gate D36.
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 4:34 pm
  #1664  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by ferriswren
We'll see how the turnaround goes in Reno, but Skylink it is.
Looks as if you had 11 minutes to make this connection. How did it go?
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Old Jul 18, 2023, 6:13 pm
  #1665  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: RNO
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Likely not going to make it
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