Recommendations for DFW connection

Old Jul 28, 19, 2:05 am
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Recommendations for DFW connection

Hoping FT wisdom can help me help my parents here.

My parents are currently in the Munich, Germany, area on vacation. They are elderly (early 80s), and a couple of days ago my dad fell and broke his hip. He had surgery two days ago, and, thankfully, it went very well. They are scheduled to return in a week or so, and, assuming he is cleared to travel, I am looking for recommendations on a connecting flight.

Currently, they are booked to fly from Munich into DFW, landing at 2:55 PM in DFW. When traveling from overseas, they typically spend the night in whatever major US airport they fly back into. So, they are currently scheduled to spend the night in a DFW hotel and fly back into MCI (Kansas City) the next day.

My mom thinks it would be better to get home quicker -- less stress of having to spend the night in a hotel and deal with a lot more moving around with my dad. If they decide to return that same day they fly into DFW from MUC, there are two non-stop flights from DFW to MCI that would work. One departs DFW at 4:55 PM and the other at 8:46 PM. Not worried about change fees or any costs for anything. This is purely about getting my parents back home.

Bottom line question: Do you think two hours is enough time to get my dad off of the plane, through Global Entry, gather luggage, customs, re-check bags, possibly (probably?) switch terminals, and make that 4:55 PM flight to MCI? They are in business class on that flight from MUC, so hopefully they can get off of the plane first or almost first. We will be asking American and/or DFW for assistance along the way with wheel chair or cart, etc.

Thanks very much.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post
Bottom line question: Do you think two hours is enough time to get my dad off of the plane, through Global Entry, gather luggage, customs, re-check bags, possibly (probably?) switch terminals, and make that 4:55 PM flight to MCI? They are in business class on that flight from MUC, so hopefully they can get off of the plane first or almost first. We will be asking American and/or DFW for assistance along the way with wheel chair or cart, etc.

Thanks very much.
I would say no. Things are going to go slowly for your parents, even with Global Entry, which really only addresses passport inspection. Flying in J from MUC may not help; wheelchair pax often have to wait before they deplane. Take a later flight; not only to make the connection, itself, easier, but also to avoid any additional, otherwise unnecessary, stress for them worrying about making the connection.

For the future, you may want to take a look at MedJet. There is a maximum age on benefits; I think that it's 84. I have the annual membership (I'm not as old as your parents) and wouldn't travel without it. You can also buy the coverage for shorter periods, like a few weeks.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post

Bottom line question: Do you think two hours is enough time to get my dad off of the plane, through Global Entry, gather luggage, customs, re-check bags, possibly (probably?) switch terminals, and make that 4:55 PM flight to MCI? They are in business class on that flight from MUC, so hopefully they can get off of the plane first or almost first. We will be asking American and/or DFW for assistance along the way with wheel chair or cart, etc.

Thanks very much.
First of all, glad for you and your parents that the surgeries went well, and that your dad is doing well, all things considered.

I agree with Dr. HFH that trying to make the earlier flight is not a good idea. Could become a very stressful experience, and likely would not make the flight anyway. On the plus side, since they are flying J, they will have access to the AA Flagship Lounge once they clear Immigration and Customs. There they can have a decent meal, and a variety of drinks while they casually wait for their flight without fretting.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 6:19 am
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I agree with the other posters that a later flight would be better if trying to connect same day. They may end up rushing and still miss the flight.

Your parents may want to reconsider staying with their original plan however. Due to the time change do they really want to be taking off from DFW to go back home at 3 or 4 am German time? There is a Grand Hyatt in Terminal D that is nice and would be easy access for them after they land.

Perhaps they’ve already thought about this but wanted to put it out there.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 6:34 am
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I would definitely book the later flight. When one needs assistance, one has to plan on everything taking extra time. If by some chance, their inbound is early or things are looking good, AA may very well rebook them onto the earlier service depending on the flexibility of their fare and an agent willing to do so (not qualified for SDC).

I can fully appreciate the decision not to overnight as it involves multiple additional movements, none of them pleasant. I would nonetheless have done the research on DTW hotels which might suit in case of IRROPS and not rely on IRROPS handling by AA.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 8:15 am
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I wonder if having Five Star Service might help in this case? Would that help him make the earlier flight?
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Old Jul 28, 19, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post
Hoping FT wisdom can help me help my parents here.

My parents are currently in the Munich, Germany, area on vacation. They are elderly (early 80s), and a couple of days ago my dad fell and broke his hip. He had surgery two days ago, and, thankfully, it went very well. They are scheduled to return in a week or so, and, assuming he is cleared to travel, I am looking for recommendations on a connecting flight.

Currently, they are booked to fly from Munich into DFW, landing at 2:55 PM in DFW. When traveling from overseas, they typically spend the night in whatever major US airport they fly back into. So, they are currently scheduled to spend the night in a DFW hotel and fly back into MCI (Kansas City) the next day.

My mom thinks it would be better to get home quicker -- less stress of having to spend the night in a hotel and deal with a lot more moving around with my dad. If they decide to return that same day they fly into DFW from MUC, there are two non-stop flights from DFW to MCI that would work. One departs DFW at 4:55 PM and the other at 8:46 PM. Not worried about change fees or any costs for anything. This is purely about getting my parents back home.

Bottom line question: Do you think two hours is enough time to get my dad off of the plane, through Global Entry, gather luggage, customs, re-check bags, possibly (probably?) switch terminals, and make that 4:55 PM flight to MCI? They are in business class on that flight from MUC, so hopefully they can get off of the plane first or almost first. We will be asking American and/or DFW for assistance along the way with wheel chair or cart, etc.

Thanks very much.
a two-hour window is pretty tight in my view; i think AA's five star service or five star select might be of benefit. i'd def call them and see what they say. either that or maybe move the connecting flight to the late evening one. i think the biggest question is how fast will your parents get off the plane (can they walk or need an ssr) and how fast can they find their bags. I've gone through DFW's global entry recently when there was no one at the global entry kiosks prior to my flight's arrival, and it took me about five minutes to go through.
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Last edited by flyinggum; Jul 28, 19 at 8:53 am
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Old Jul 28, 19, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by FAA1996 View Post
I wonder if having Five Star Service might help in this case? Would that help him make the earlier flight?
That certainly would greatly help reduce the stress of the arrival formalities.
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Last edited by enpremiere; Jul 28, 19 at 12:47 pm
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Old Jul 28, 19, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by FAA1996 View Post
I wonder if having Five Star Service might help in this case? Would that help him make the earlier flight?
Can you please elaborate on the Five Star Service? I am not familiar with this option.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 28, 19, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post
Can you please elaborate on the Five Star Service? I am not familiar with this option.
Thanks!
In short you are greeted by an agent and they will escort you through the connection. $350 for the first person and 100$ per person after the first. There is a little more here:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/plan-travel/...ar-service.jsp

and a thread on FlyerTalk about it:

AA Five Star and Five Star Select Personal Assistance Service (master thread)
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Old Jul 29, 19, 12:18 am
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Thank you very much for your thoughts and recommendations. My family and I sincerely appreciate it.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 12:33 am
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If I purchased Five Star Service for my parents AND they chose to spend the night in the DFW Hyatt (as per their original plan)......do you think the FSS would:

- receive them at the gate when then arrive from MUC?
- escort them to the Hyatt for the night?
- escort them to their departure gate the next day?

....all as one FSS experience and, thus, one charge?

Last edited by Travel22; Jul 29, 19 at 12:56 am
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Old Jul 29, 19, 2:05 am
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Sorry, one more - and hopefully final - question.

If I purchase Five Star Service, do you think that would be enough for them to make the two hour connection to MCI?

Thanks again for everyone’s assistance!
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Old Jul 29, 19, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post
Sorry, one more - and hopefully final - question.

If I purchase Five Star Service, do you think that would be enough for them to make the two hour connection to MCI?

Thanks again for everyone’s assistance!
I do think that they would make the two hour connection with five-star service... That said, I honestly think the best move would be purchase the five star service and the two-hour connection and see if AA will protect you by also booking your parents on the later MCI flight. Typically, AA won’t do this outside of IRROPS but given that your parents are in J, you’re purchasing FSS, and there are clearly extenuating circumstances, I think the chances are >0% that you could find an agent willing to do it.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 7:29 am
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Originally Posted by Travel22 View Post
Sorry, one more - and hopefully final - question.

If I purchase Five Star Service, do you think that would be enough for them to make the two hour connection to MCI?

Thanks again for everyone’s assistance!
No one knows for sure. Slightly delayed flight.. slow baggage delivery, a ton of unknowns could throw a wrench into the best intended plans. I honestly don't understand the urgency when there is a later flight. Trying to make the earlier one will introduce unnecessary stress to gain exactly what? And I'm sure the 5* service is nice, but that is a lot of cash for essentially an escort. Given your parents ages and your dads condition, they will still be afforded the courtesy of a cart service if needed.
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