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How long to transfer between international and domestic flights on different tickets?

How long to transfer between international and domestic flights on different tickets?

Old Jan 19, 18, 4:39 am
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How long to transfer between international and domestic flights on different tickets?

I'm looking at an EVA flight from Cambodia to SFO, but my ultimate destination is PDX, so I will be buying a separate ticket for that leg of the journey. How long should I budget to go through immigration (I'm an American), get my bags, and get on a domestic flight to Portland? The flight I am looking at arrives on a Thursday at 2:45pm. Is a flight leaving at 5:10pm cutting it too close?

Last edited by giblet; Jan 19, 18 at 5:28 am
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Old Jan 21, 18, 1:31 am
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Plenty of time - presuming an on-time arrival.

EVA come into International G, which at that time of day has a few flights landing but not a huge number. Absolute worst case you should be through both immigration and customs within an hour. If your luggage was tagged all the way through to PDX then you'll still need to collect it at SFO and drop it back on the belt. If it wasn't, it's a short walk to the UA check-in areas.

Then back through security and to your gate. Easy to do in less than 2 hours.

If your inbound is late then obviously it could be a different story, but FlightAware claims it's average delay is less than 10 minutes - and United are pretty good at rebooking you on a later flight if you arrive late, even on a separate ticket (the good old "flat tire" rule).
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Old Jan 22, 18, 1:38 pm
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I think it really depends what your appetite for risk is, and how much you won’t care if the next flight out that had space for you was the next day. I agree if all flights are on time it should be plenty of time, but I tend to leave a three hour full window if I’m traveling on separate tickets.

Keep in mind with separate ticket you have no requirement that the ongoing carrier has to put you on another flight – they probably would, all things being equal but you may go to the bottom of the list and if there are disruptions, it could be a while before you get out. Especially as I would guess that SFO to PDX is united express, and those planes are small and the flights are often canceled for weather issues etc.
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