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International-to-international Connection tips at SFO from SK935

International-to-international Connection tips at SFO from SK935

Old Jan 9, 23, 12:35 am
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International-to-international Connection tips at SFO from SK935

I am poising myself for a tight connection on CPH-SFO-AKL from SK935 to NZ7. The connection is 1h50min which is a tad tight, and I have never done an international-to-international connection in SFO.

I expect to have a checked bag, no global entry, known traveller number, etc. Any hints how we can make it? Or words of comfort?

We are on a single ticket.

Last edited by SK2751; Jan 9, 23 at 5:55 am Reason: Thanks oliver -> fixed AUX to AKL
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Old Jan 9, 23, 3:46 am
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NZ flies to Arauca, Colombia? or AKL?

Who sold you this ticket? AFAIR there is no way to do a transit in the US without entering the US via immigration collect bags, hand them to the next airline and then go thru security again. https://www.flysfo.com/de/node/9354

Tad tight is probably optimistic. Thoughts and prayers.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 3:59 am
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Also wondering how this ticket was purchased... I can't see a layover in SFO of less than 27 hours CPH-SFO-AKL (SK to NZ)
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Old Jan 9, 23, 4:19 am
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SK/NZ I/I MCT at SFO is 1h45m.


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Old Jan 9, 23, 4:20 am
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Basically it is not an int-int. connection as you need to enter the US; the US works very differently from Europe or other countries in respect to transfer. Also keep in mind that you need to apply for ESTA also.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 5:31 am
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San Francisco is very variable in time needed, but can easily become absolutely chaotic on the UA/Star Alliance side of the terminal. A friend recently took over two hours on a Saturday evening.

But most airlines hand out express/short connection passes which does help. Be sure to ask for one of those as you exit the aircraft. And hope you are landing early.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
San Francisco is very variable in time needed, but can easily become absolutely chaotic on the UA/Star Alliance side of the terminal. A friend recently took over two hours on a Saturday evening.

But most airlines hand out express/short connection passes which does help. Be sure to ask for one of those as you exit the aircraft. And hope you are landing early.
This is very helpful. Do people know where I will deplane from SK, and where the NZ gate will be? Are there any significant hints what route to take?

I do presume that I will have a BP for the NZ flight before leaving CPH.

I also checked there is a UA flight to AKL 3-4 hours later, which is a "natural" back up plan. But to whom should I talk if I misconnect at SFO? Should I try to find NZ? (they will probably be all gone, if I misconnect,)
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Old Jan 9, 23, 6:05 am
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The airline that brings you in late and causes you to misconnect has to arrange for alternatives. So you have to find someone from SAS to assist.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by SK2751 View Post
This is very helpful. Do people know where I will deplane from SK, and where the NZ gate will be? Are there any significant hints what route to take?

I do presume that I will have a BP for the NZ flight before leaving CPH.

I also checked there is a UA flight to AKL 3-4 hours later, which is a "natural" back up plan. But to whom should I talk if I misconnect at SFO? Should I try to find NZ? (they will probably be all gone, if I misconnect,)
There is only really one route to immigration and customs. I don't know if SFO added a connections only security flow, LAX did and that helped greatly on getting back in to the terminal. But keep your eyes out for that, as the standard security flows in SFO can be sluggish even the Premier Access line. If no dedicated connection lines, look out for the Premier Access line.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 6:13 am
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Will Premier Access line take an SK Gold? How about a traveling companion with no status?
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Old Jan 9, 23, 6:32 am
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In April the G gates (aka the 'international terminal' where LH and SAS depart from) didn't even have a separate line for premier. Only TSA precheck and general. Assumung you have GE you will also have precheck, if NZ participates. So there is some hope there.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by SK2751 View Post
Do people know where I will deplane from SK, and where the NZ gate will be?
I do presume that I will have a BP for the NZ flight before leaving CPH.
Your questions show that you have not understod the arrivals procedure at US airports (when arriving on international flights). I repeat that you will not be able to walk directly from the arrival gate of SK935 to the gate of the NZ flight. This is not like in CPH or the other SK hubs that you are used to.

You have to proceed through US immigration and customs, pickup your checked bag (even if tagged to final destination) and drop it of at a designated belt nearby and then you proceed upstairs to the check-in area and security checks etc to get into the transit area/gate area.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 1:55 pm
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SK AAR - I understand the arrival procedures in US very well. Have done that many times, but not in SFO and not between SK and NZ. Every airport and even every pair of airlines is different in US. Sometimes it is very smooth with a bag drop in arrivals hall and dedicated security, and sometimes requires taking trains, main halls, long lines to check-in counters etc. Then sometimes the former is possible, but you make a silly mistake, follow the wrong stream, and end up doing the latter. This is why I ask.
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Old Jan 9, 23, 2:44 pm
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I am a travel agent. Although not the one who sold OP his ticket. I hope:-) But NZ do offer routings to NZ from Scandinavia that route via the US, including SFO. So i assume it is ticketed by NZ and not SK.

But according to my GDS then, as others have written, the MCT for that connection is 105minutes. The OP has 110minutes. So not an illegal connection, although very tight
.
NZ has a description of the transfer process here SFO Arrivals - Airport Maps, Transfers | Air New Zealand. Although it matches what others have written I thought it might be nice to have.

If you cant find a NZ ticketing booth /transfer desk open if you misconnect, you can call them on +1 800-262-1234 which, according to my information is a 24/7 number.

Last edited by TravelWonder; Jan 9, 23 at 2:52 pm Reason: Forgot link
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Old Jan 9, 23, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by SK2751 View Post
I am poising myself for a tight connection on CPH-SFO-AKL from SK935 to NZ7. The connection is 1h50min which is a tad tight, and I have never done an international-to-international connection in SFO.
I expect to have a checked bag, no global entry, known traveller number, etc. Any hints how we can make it? Or words of comfort?
We are on a single ticket.
Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
[...] Tad tight is probably optimistic. Thoughts and prayers.
Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
San Francisco is very variable in time needed, but can easily become absolutely chaotic on the UA/Star Alliance side of the terminal. A friend recently took over two hours on a Saturday evening.
But most airlines hand out express/short connection passes which does help. Be sure to ask for one of those as you exit the aircraft. And hope you are landing early.
Originally Posted by SK2751 View Post
[...] I do presume that I will have a BP for the NZ flight before leaving CPH.
I also checked there is a UA flight to AKL 3-4 hours later, which is a "natural" back up plan. But to whom should I talk if I misconnect at SFO? Should I try to find NZ? (they will probably be all gone, if I misconnect,)
As others have stated, this seems to be a legal connection, but you'll have to hope you land early and queues are short. You seem to understand you'll need to pass through C&I, recheck your bag, and go back through security. Helpful it's a single ticket and you expect to have all BPs. And how lucky it is that UA has a non-stop departing a few hours later, though hopefully it doesn't come to that (assuming SAS can even book you onto that if it comes to it).

My only addition is: can you somehow do cabin-luggage only? As we all probably know, even when everything is flowing smoothly, having hold luggage rather slows things down. There may be a wait for luggage to come out of the carousel, and there may be a long queue to check it back in. Much less when things aren't flowing smoothly. I could imagine a scenario where that process slows you down 10-20 minutes, and just enough to cause you to miss the flight.

If you absolutely need the hold luggage, that's fine, but if you can somehow make do with just cabin bags, that might assist in what seems like your primary goal of simply making the onwards flight.
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