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BA (International) to Domestic transit

BA (International) to Domestic transit

Old Sep 29, 16, 7:54 am
  #1  
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BA (International) to Domestic transit

Hi all,

I plan to arrive to SFO on BA from LHR (on a Saturday around 17.00) and I want to book a consecutive flight to LAS. Frontier is cheap and convenient at 18.50, but will that give me enough time (i have only carry-on) to disembark the 380 and move from T3 to T1B? My next option would be United at 19.50.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 8:27 am
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There is no such thing as "transit" in the US and you are also not connecting if you are contemplating F9 as a carrier. I suggest that 1:50 cuts it way too close because if you no show for the F9 flight, your ticket will be cancelled and you will wind up purchasing a new one.

While 1:50 would be a decent connection time on one ticket, I would not do this on two tickets.

The UA flight makes sense and you should book it as one ticket so that you have protection if your flight into SFO is delayed and so that you have EC 261/2004 coverage all the way to LAS.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 8:30 am
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I used the word "transit" just as a way to show that I want to change terminals. I know how US connections work (they are lovely!).

I will have the SFO-LAS on different ticket since I am already booked on the LHR-SFO route (it was a cheap offer), so I guess I will take my risks with UA.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 8:42 am
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Planning 1:50 between flights for international to domestic is reasonable if everything goes smoothly. The risk is if your flight arrives late, or the queues in immigration move really slowly, or the security queues for your subsequent flight are really long, you could be in trouble. With separate tickets the onus to be there on time for your second flight rests entirely on you.

You might take a look at Southwest flights SFO-LAS. With Southwest you can rebook your ticket without change fees if you need to change it to a later flight. Of course, if you do have to rebook it on the day of the flight, you'll pay full price for the new seat-- if the flight's not sold out. But still that's better than any other airline.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Planning 1:50 between flights for international to domestic is reasonable if everything goes smoothly.
Not for a foreign national w/o Global Entry. I've witnessed some pretty nasty immigration lines on the A side.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 9:53 am
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i thought of Southwest as well, but last flight departs at 17.20 :P

I guess I will book on UA and pray. Thanks!
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
i thought of Southwest as well, but last flight departs at 17.20 :P

I guess I will book on UA and pray. Thanks!
Best of luck. I suggest that you try to get a seat near the front on your BA flight (i.e., among the first to offload), and really hustle once you arrive at SFO. As noted above, Immigration lines can be long for foreign nationals.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 9:51 pm
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Also, with the UA flight (assuming you have your BP), after you enter the general arrivals hall, go back upstairs to departures, walk to the left toward the Int'l G pier (gates 91-102) and if the security line is short, use that one. There is a passageway to T3 just to the right after the security checkpoint. If the line is long, just walk landside to T3 to the appropriate checkpoint.

I really don't know if UA has automated kiosks by their Int'l check-in counters (the last row of counters before the G security) but if for some reason you don't yet have your BP, check there first. (Yes, despite my 1K handle, in the past 4 years my UA flying has consisted of one LAX/SFO segment earlier this year.)
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Old Sep 30, 16, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Also, with the UA flight (assuming you have your BP), after you enter the general arrivals hall, go back upstairs to departures, walk to the left toward the Int'l G pier (gates 91-102) and if the security line is short, use that one. There is a passageway to T3 just to the right after the security checkpoint. If the line is long, just walk landside to T3 to the appropriate checkpoint.

I really don't know if UA has automated kiosks by their Int'l check-in counters (the last row of counters before the G security) but if for some reason you don't yet have your BP, check there first. (Yes, despite my 1K handle, in the past 4 years my UA flying has consisted of one LAX/SFO segment earlier this year.)
Great advice. jerry_greece, you can print your United boarding pass, or download it onto your smart phone, starting at 24 hours before departure. I highly recommend that you do this as it will speed things up at SFO once you clear Immigration/Customs. The security line at International-G is often short, and as Eastbay1K mentioned, that could be an excellent option for you since you're already in the International terminal upon your arrival.
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Old Sep 30, 16, 4:06 pm
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Hi,

I always checkin online and make sure to have a BP on my mobile. So I will try to use the shortcut to T3. Thanks for the advice!
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Old Sep 30, 16, 5:28 pm
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Safe travels, best of luck, and please report back on your experience, jerry!
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Old Nov 1, 16, 11:21 am
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Just to say that everything went pretty smooth. BA was delayed (landed SFO around 17.30 instead of 17.00), immigration queues were kind of long and moving slow, finished around 18.30.

My UA flight to LAS was departing from the international terminal so didn't really have to do much. Security check was OK (was in by 18.50) and even had time to refresh at United Club lounge.
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Old Nov 2, 16, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
Just to say that everything went pretty smooth.
Only because you went with UA. If you'd stuck with Frontier this post would have had a slightly different tone...
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