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-   -   An hour and 8 minute connection at JFK on Thanksgiving Day (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/1994506-hour-8-minute-connection-jfk-thanksgiving-day.html)

david55 Nov 7, 19 2:20 pm

An hour and 8 minute connection at JFK on Thanksgiving Day
 
I gave my sister a gift of a trip to Milan using my miles. She will be leaving from CLE on Thanksgiving Day on Delta # 5415 at 2:51 with an arrival at JFK of 4:38. Her Delta flight #172 to Milan leaves at 5:46PM. We are now wondering about the sanity of this connection in winter on Thanksgiving. Although there are not any earlier Delta flights to JFK that day...there are to LaGuardia and she would be willing to try and change the outbound from Cleveland and then transfer over to JFK. Carry-on only.

Her trip is short.... 5 days......so a missed connection could really impact her vacation.

Any thoughts?

MSPeconomist Nov 7, 19 2:34 pm

This looks like a T2 to T4 D-I connection, so check MCT to make sure it's legal. [I suspect it is.] Check aircraft type (RJ from the flight number) and watch flight status or flight aware to see whether it tends to use a real gate or not, and also whether it tends to be on time.

My best guess is that it is legal and also perfectly fine in that airports in the USA are likely to be empty on Turkey Day itself, especially in the afternoon. I'd try to get her an aisle seat in the front of the aircraft for the domestic connecting flight and tell her what to expect at JFK regarding procedures (DL JFK jitney AIRSIDE bus from T2 to T4, check MXP gate to know which T4 stop to use), stressing that she should NOT exit the security area.

Check rebooking options and give her a Plan B list of flight numbers and times. There should be an AZ nonstop leaving later in the evening, AZ (and maybe DL) to FCO followed by an AZ connection to either Milan airport, probably DL/KLM through AMS or DL/AF through CDG, but note that AZ or AF departures from JFK would require a landside transfer to T1 using the little train. Another option might be DL or VS to LHR, then AZ to MXP but this would require changing terminals at LHR (and probably entering the UK too).

BTW, nice gift to sister!

The Situation Nov 7, 19 2:40 pm

I would say her current itinerary is the best option. Use the jitney as noted above if there is a transfer needed between T-2 and T-4. I have completed that transfer successfully with much shorter connection times. Flight schedules on Thanksgiving are very light and flights will likely arrive very early. Even with some weather, they will probably be on time. An LGA to JFK transfer is probably riskier if there is weather in NYC.

Often1 Nov 7, 19 3:03 pm

DL sells the 1:06 connection, so it is within MCT. However, I see this as a risky connection because any reasonable delay will cause her to misconnect. Practically, that turns into a significantly lengthier and less pleasant journey or a one-day delay at JFK. Thus, it is the consequences of a misconnect rather than the likelihood of a misconnect which ought to matter.

While I am no fan of 5-hour connections, if at all possible to move (or SDC) to the earlier flight, I would do that and even consider treating her to the SC (which will be close to empty on that day).

Thanksgiving won't really matter here, but the fact is that it is one of the lightest travel days of the year. The day before or Sunday after are a different story.

flyerCO Nov 7, 19 3:05 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31712517)
This looks like a T2 to T4 D-I connection, so check MCT to make sure it's legal. [I suspect it is.] Check aircraft type (RJ from the flight number) and watch flight status or flight aware to see whether it tends to use a real gate or not, and also whether it tends to be on time.

My best guess is that it is legal and also perfectly fine in that airports in the USA are likely to be empty on Turkey Day itself, especially in the afternoon. I'd try to get her an aisle seat in the front of the aircraft for the domestic connecting flight and tell her what to expect at JFK regarding procedures (DL JFK jitney AIRSIDE bus from T2 to T4, check MXP gate to know which T4 stop to use), stressing that she should NOT exit the security area.

Check rebooking options and give her a Plan B list of flight numbers and times. There should be an AZ nonstop leaving later in the evening, AZ (and maybe DL) to FCO followed by an AZ connection to either Milan airport, probably DL/KLM through AMS or DL/AF through CDG, but note that AZ or AF departures from JFK would require a landside transfer to T1 using the little train. Another option might be DL or VS to LHR, then AZ to MXP but this would require changing terminals at LHR (and probably entering the UK too).

BTW, nice gift to sister!

RJs normally land at far end of T4. They haven't normally landed at T2 since the T4 extension opened. Thus will likely be T4 to T4. AZ nonstop (if offered that day) would be best backup. After that DL/AZ to FCO and AZ onward. AF/KL would be next best and VS/LHR last. (No need to enter UK, just use connection bus between terminals)

Agree airport will be nearly empty on Thanksgiving day.

MSPeconomist Nov 7, 19 3:06 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 31712603)
DL sells the 1:06 connection, so it is within MCT. However, I see this as a risky connection because any reasonable delay will cause her to misconnect. Practically, that turns into a significantly lengthier and less pleasant journey or a one-day delay at JFK. Thus, it is the consequences of a misconnect rather than the likelihood of a misconnect which ought to matter.

While I am no fan of 5-hour connections, if at all possible to move (or SDC) to the earlier flight, I would do that and even consider treating her to the SC (which will be close to empty on that day).

Thanksgiving won't really matter here, but the fact is that it is one of the lightest travel days of the year. The day before or Sunday after are a different story.

Assuming it's one ticket/itinerary (and I certainly hope it is), you can't SDC before international flights.

david55 Nov 7, 19 3:32 pm

What is SDC?

Looking at today's flights as an example the CLE flight arrives at a B gate and the Milan flight departs at a B gate. I assume that is the same terminal?

flyerCO Nov 7, 19 3:56 pm


Originally Posted by david55 (Post 31712690)
What is SDC?

Looking at today's flights as an example the CLE flight arrives at a B gate and the Milan flight departs at a B gate. I assume that is the same terminal?

Same Day Change. Not applicable for international reservations except once all international flights have been flown.

Mr. Tickets Nov 7, 19 4:08 pm

You must also look at the constant wind/weather waivers that happen in the NY area all year long. They only get worse in the Winter. Airport congestion will not likely be a
problem, but weather is not terribly predictable.

ATOBTTR Nov 7, 19 4:39 pm


Originally Posted by david55 (Post 31712472)
I gave my sister a gift of a trip to Milan using my miles. She will be leaving from CLE on Thanksgiving Day on Delta # 5415 at 2:51 with an arrival at JFK of 4:38. Her Delta flight #172 to Milan leaves at 5:46PM. We are now wondering about the sanity of this connection in winter on Thanksgiving. Although there are not any earlier Delta flights to JFK that day...there are to LaGuardia and she would be willing to try and change the outbound from Cleveland and then transfer over to JFK. Carry-on only.

Her trip is short.... 5 days......so a missed connection could really impact her vacation.

Any thoughts?

Unless there was a schedule change, she's stuck with the connection. 1:06 will likely be fine if things run on time and of course DL pads its schedules but JFK is always a crap shoot especially if winter weather hits. In IROPS though, knowledge is power and speed is key as alternate options disappear. Either she (or you since you may be more likely to know what to look for) should have a long list of alternate options, both in CLE and once in JFK. If she is delayed even before departing for JFK, she could look to be re-routed from CLE via DTW or ATL and then AMS or CDG to Milan or at least be protected on an CLE-JFK-AMS/CDG/etc-Milan itinerary. If at JFK already, look to be rerouted through CDG, AMS, or FCO. If you have DL status (your profile doesn't say), unless she can get to an agent right away at the airport, I would recommend possibly having her let you know and have you call DL and then 3-way her into the call to get through to an agent as quickly as possible.

ETA: Also keep in mind that if weather is predicted to impact JFK the day of operations, a weather waiver may be issued a day or two before. Tell her to keep an eye out and check frequently for weather waivers and call and ask to be re-routed on one of the above options.

bennos Nov 7, 19 6:06 pm


Originally Posted by david55 (Post 31712690)
Looking at today's flights as an example the CLE flight arrives at a B gate and the Milan flight departs at a B gate. I assume that is the same terminal?

Yes, it's about a 5 minute walk from the high B gates where the RJs arrive to the mid B gates where the widebodies board. This will be an easy connection if everything is on time. Obviously if weather or mechanical issues happen then all bets are off, but that could also screw up a 5 hour connection. I would keep this as the itinerary, and follow ATOBTTR's suggestions if it looks like a misconnect might happen.



FlyDeltaConnection Nov 7, 19 6:19 pm

Unless there is a crew/mechanical problem which are always unpredictable, the connection time is fine. Only problem might be the weather which is always unpredictable in NYC, but if the inbound is late the outbound could be late as well.

xliioper Nov 7, 19 6:55 pm

While there can be "winter" weather on T'day, it's not actually winter yet and your odds of experiencing it are quite a bit lower than late December when it truly is winter. As already noted, T'day is a very light travel day which is benefit, not a detraction.

rylan Nov 8, 19 7:12 am

I wouldn't be too worried about that connection. It'll be most likely, as others mentioned, from the end of T4 (b gates) and she'll have to walk to the middle so not bad. Its a smaller plane from CLE which also means faster to get off.

Just watch weather to make sure there are no issues with that when you get close to departure day.

nystateofmind Nov 8, 19 7:23 am

You likely won’t have an issue in terms of traffic as there are fewer flights on Thanksgiving. The bigger issue is that with an RJ you will be gate checking larger roll aboard pieces. It is hit or miss the wait times for those. I would suggest avoiding carrying aboard anything larger than a laptop bag so that way you can just get off the plane and get to the next gate as expeditiously as possible.

flyerCO Nov 8, 19 8:08 am


Originally Posted by nystateofmind (Post 31714787)
You likely won’t have an issue in terms of traffic as there are fewer flights on Thanksgiving. The bigger issue is that with an RJ you will be gate checking larger roll aboard pieces. It is hit or miss the wait times for those. I would suggest avoiding carrying aboard anything larger than a laptop bag so that way you can just get off the plane and get to the next gate as expeditiously as possible.

Thanksgiving Day it is unlikely the flight will be even half full.

Duke787 Nov 8, 19 11:00 am

Wouldn't worry about it. Just keep monitoring and if any weather arises you can change to an earlier flight on the day of to be safe. But 1:08 at JFK is plenty of time if everything is on time even on a busy day. The gate-checked concern is valid but they are usually pretty quick at JFK so not a deal-breaker by any means.

The walk from RJ gates to the international gates is 5-7 minutes at most -- usually less. I've found the FCO/MXP (and other non-hub Europe destinations) flights tend to be in the B30s range while the LHR/CDG/AMS flights are further down in the B20s making the walk even shorter.

Also note that if she misconnects at JFK for some reason, there is an AZ flight that leaves later that night that they would likely be able to easily accommodate her on or the late night AF/KL flights to CDG/KLM that could also get her there if necessary.

awayIgo Nov 8, 19 12:40 pm

Coming in domestically, she should be okay. As said, Thanksgiving afternoon is quiet- people are too busy stuffing their faces.As someone who lives between JFK and LGA that idea is horrific. With traffic on the connecting highway and construction at LGA, I would only recommend with a 5-6 hour break between the two flights - and I still would be wary!

MSPeconomist Nov 8, 19 12:43 pm


Originally Posted by Duke787 (Post 31715598)
Wouldn't worry about it. Just keep monitoring and if any weather arises you can change to an earlier flight on the day of to be safe. But 1:08 at JFK is plenty of time if everything is on time even on a busy day. The gate-checked concern is valid but they are usually pretty quick at JFK so not a deal-breaker by any means.

The walk from RJ gates to the international gates is 5-7 minutes at most -- usually less. I've found the FCO/MXP (and other non-hub Europe destinations) flights tend to be in the B30s range while the LHR/CDG/AMS flights are further down in the B20s making the walk even shorter.

Also note that if she misconnects at JFK for some reason, there is an AZ flight that leaves later that night that they would likely be able to easily accommodate her on or the late night AF/KL flights to CDG/KLM that could also get her there if necessary.

Note that some TATL flights don't operate on certain days around Thanskgiving weekend. That's partly why I suggested earlier that the OP check schedules and forumlate a list of Plan B options.

Duke787 Nov 8, 19 12:52 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31716058)
Note that some TATL flights don't operate on certain days around Thanskgiving weekend. That's partly why I suggested earlier that the OP check schedules and forumlate a list of Plan B options.

Yeah I checked on Thanksgiving Day before posting the later CDG/AMS/MXP flights are all on the books on AF/KL/AZ metal as of now.

Plus a re-route option via DTW on a 2pm flight is possible if JFK becomes untenable (CLE - DTW - AMS - MXP)

cplunk Nov 10, 19 11:30 am

I was just in JFK first time in 10-15 years last week.
Switched from terminal 2 to terminal 4, if I remember correctly.
Incoming flight left late, mechanical issue, anti-lock brake sensor. Arrived 35-40 minutes late on a 70 minute layover.
I checked out the terminal map in the in-flight magazine to familiarize myself. Saw what looked like a shuttle or bus between terminals.
Off the airplane, followed the signs, found the bus, walked up and asked the guy which bus to make sure. (I almost did get on the wrong bus, didn't see signs).
Told him I was late, only had 20 minutes, he told the driver, the bus didn't wait long for more people.
Getting to the next terminal discovered 5 people behind me going to the flight...
Everyone made it with time to spare. And sat on the plane 5-10 minutes past departure time.

david55 Nov 28, 19 7:24 am

So this morning her flight from Cleveland to JFK shows an arrival gate change to terminal 2 C65. ( last night it was scheduled to arrive at B53 which would have made life simpler)

I have explained to her about the jitney bus.

sspontak Nov 28, 19 8:53 am

It is a beautiful sunny day here on Long Island near JFK but the winds are gusting to around 30 mph.

JumboJet Nov 28, 19 9:03 am


Originally Posted by sspontak (Post 31785219)
It is a beautiful sunny day here on Long Island near JFK but the winds are gusting to around 30 mph.

Yes. Definitely windy here today

Austin787 Nov 28, 19 2:49 pm

I see the CLE-JFK flight will arrive 30+ minutes early. So should be no issues in making the connecting flight.

david55 Nov 28, 19 9:45 pm

She made her connection with minutes to spare. I got a little nervous when she texted from the CLE-JFK flight while still at the gate and said the pilot was coming through the cabin shaking everyone's hand and wishing them a " Happy Thanksgiving". My immediate thought.... was this a way of easing a coming delay announcement. But alas...he was just being hospitable.


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