American (PHL-CLT-MCO) or (PHL-MCO)

Old Nov 28, 17, 2:53 pm
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Post American (PHL-CLT-MCO) or (PHL-MCO)

Hello all,
I found a cheap flight on February 14 (Valentine's Day) because I am traveling for work on that day. It was only $137. It is on American Airlines:

American:
PHL-CLT: 10:31 AM--12:27 PM (AA 459--A321)
33 minute connection
CLT--MCO: 1:00 PM--2:41 PM (AA 691--A321)
American:
PHL-MCO: 10:40 AM--1:23 PM (AA 1746--A321)

My problem is that this is during a Northeast winter and I am scared I will miss my connection, due to one flight being delayed. What should I do?
Should I pay the $150 change fee for the nonstop? The problem would be that it would more than the value of the ticket I purchased.
Should I wait and pay $75 for a same day flight change for the nonstop? My fear is that all seats will be taken because it is President's Day weekend.
Should I just leave my flight? I am just scared of the connecting time, and even AA had a orange cone with a "Warning. Short connection time" on it.

What would you guys do in that scenario if you wanted to change from a connecting flight to a nonstop?

Last edited by elipisk123; Nov 28, 17 at 3:04 pm
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Old Nov 28, 17, 2:59 pm
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Charlotte usuallly isn't that affected by winter weather, and if it is AA usually posts a waiver that allows you to make changes to your itinerary (perhaps to that nonstop if there is availability) several days in advance with no change fees. You can do a connection in Charlotte in about 25-30 minutes no problem, especially if mainline to mainline (which PHL to CLT to MCO will be)

If PHL is affected by weather it's likely to affect both flights, so not much you can do there. But I wouldn't sweat, AA has flights roughly every 120 minutes to MCO from CLT, so unless you have to be there by 3:00pm, you should be able to get there by early evening if you miss your connection by getting put on the 2:30, 4:30, or 6:30p flights. I wouldn't waste money on changing it at this point
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Old Nov 28, 17, 3:07 pm
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I have to be at MCO by 3PM.

Also, I have tried to talk to the agents on the phone, and they claim they are sympathetic, but tell me that there is nothing that I can do because I have Economy (S) class fare.

Last edited by elipisk123; Nov 28, 17 at 5:37 pm
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Old Nov 28, 17, 3:14 pm
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Leave it.

If there's winter weather expected there will be an advisory and a waiver for free changes a few days out.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 3:39 pm
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I'm going to differ here. You only have 33 minutes connection in CLT, the problem isn't CLT though it's PHL. If it decides to snow in PHL and you need to de-ice. that could be just enough time to miss the connection.

Last edited by SpinOn2; Nov 28, 17 at 4:20 pm Reason: redacted info not pertinent as op has time constraint
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Old Nov 28, 17, 3:55 pm
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I believe this is technically not a valid connection. I believe Domestic/Domestic for CLT is 40 mins. You might be able to get American to change without the change fee.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 4:17 pm
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I agree with most others. Leave it and watch for a weather waiver if the weather is forecast to be bad.

If the PHL-CLT flight is on time, the connection is do-able. Not comfortable, but entirely do-able.

Originally Posted by elipisk123 View Post
I have to be at MCO by 3PM.
Per your OP, you are scheduled to arrive at 2:41pm

May I humbly suggest that scheduling only a 19min buffer between your flight's scheduled arrival time and when you "have to be" there is pretty risky regardless of weather. A 20 minute delay is nothing in the scheme of air travel.

Originally Posted by rfett2 View Post
I believe this is technically not a valid connection. I believe Domestic/Domestic for CLT is 40 mins. You might be able to get American to change without the change fee.
AA is selling it as a legal connection currently. So that's not the case.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 4:28 pm
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Feb. 14 is far enough away that AA may issue a schedule change on your itinerary. In this case, you can call in and propose a counter-change for free. Monitor your itinerary weekly (do not count on AA to email you and tell you about the schedule change) and call in if you see the times change.

As others have said, AA will issue a weather advisory if conditions deteriorate enough to impact flights. You can switch to the nonstop in this case, as well.

The minimum connection time at CLT is 40 minutes from what I've read online (can't find an official source). You could try calling in and mentioning the connection time under 40 minutes. You may get a sympathetic agent.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 5:03 pm
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Where, exactly, do you "have to be" by 3 PM? The airport gate? Baggage claim? Somewhere in Orlando?
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Old Nov 28, 17, 5:04 pm
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I have to be at the gate by 3 PM.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 5:38 pm
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Also, the agent on the phone tried to be sympathetic but said that there is nothing that she can do because I booked a ticket on an economy (S) class fare, and that those flights are nonrefundable.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
AA is selling it as a legal connection currently. So that's not the case.
While it's possible that things have changed, this thread indicates that the AA DD MCT at CLT is 40 minutes:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...t-lus-hub.html
​​​​​​
The fact that AA is selling a sub-40-minute connection does not necessarily mean that AA is selling it as a legal connection. An IT problem might be causing AA to offer an illegal connection for sale. I suggest that the OP call AA and ask what the current MCT is at CLT. If it is in fact 40 minutes, the OP can probably get switched to the nonstop without charge
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Old Nov 28, 17, 6:03 pm
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You’ve gotten good advice. Given that you have purchased the ticket already, your best bet is to hope for a schedule change (and then ask move to flights that have more buffer) or keep an eye out for weather waivers.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
While it's possible that things have changed, this thread indicates that the AA DD MCT at CLT is 40 minutes:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...t-lus-hub.html
​​​​​​
The fact that AA is selling a sub-40-minute connection does not necessarily mean that AA is selling it as a legal connection. An IT problem might be causing AA to offer an illegal connection for sale. I suggest that the OP call AA and ask what the current MCT is at CLT. If it is in fact 40 minutes, the OP can probably get switched to the nonstop without charge
Maybe. But that's not the only route where AA is currently selling sub 40 minute connections mainline to mainline at CLT.

I'm not sure that a single line in the FT wiki is authoritative for MCTs. MCTs can also be different for express to mainline connections vs. mainline to mainline connections.

OP can certainly call and ask, no harm there.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 7:54 pm
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There are a few situations where a .30 MCT applies. I bet this is the one that applies to OP:
Code:
AA-AA DD   .30 FLT    1 - 2814 - FLT    1 - 2814
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