A 35-minute connection... bad idea?

Old Sep 12, 20, 6:25 pm
  #1  
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A 35-minute connection... bad idea?

I want to fly from PDX to BUF and the only flights I see are either 1) one stop with a 35-minute layover at Midway 2) two stops with a 50-minute layover at LAS and then a 1:40 layover at MDW. Is taking that first flight a terrible idea? If I miss that connection, am I screwed because of the reduction in flights due to COVID? I really don't want two stops. I would fly direct if I could but I don't see any, even on other airlines. Other airlines do have longer layovers though. I just need to get away from these wildfires and this smoky air.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 6:36 pm
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What's the back up plan if you don't get make the 35 connection? Is there another flight later in the day MDW-BUF? Or are you stuck overnight? Checking bags? How close to BUF will you be staying?

Best case your looking at pretty much walking from one plane onto the next. I would probably do it if there isn't anything too pressing that you have to be in BUF at a certain time.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
What's the back up plan if you don't get make the 35 connection? Is there another flight later in the day MDW-BUF? Or are you stuck overnight? Checking bags? How close to BUF will you be staying?

Best case your looking at pretty much walking from one plane onto the next. I would probably do it if there isn't anything too pressing that you have to be in BUF at a certain time.
I don't need to be in BUF. I am just fleeing the wildfires in PDX. But COVID is still a thing, and I am not particularly interested in staying in hotels or at the airport overnight.

I see two nonstop flights from MDW to BUF, one of them being my connection, so there's only one other nonstop as a backup that is five hours later. Otherwise, all the other MDW to BUF routes listed have connections as well.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 6:45 pm
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They made a whole TV show about Southwest misconnects, drunks, and weather issues...I would want a little more buffer though maybe loads are not high enough yet to worry significantly.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 7:05 pm
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Traveling west to east, I would reckon your MDW-BUF leg is the last one of the day. The will certainly wait for you for a minor en-route delay. If the PDX flight leaves hours late, do not board it.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Traveling west to east, I would reckon your MDW-BUF leg is the last one of the day. The will certainly wait for you for a minor en-route delay. If the PDX flight leaves hours late, do not board it.
No, my connection is at 1:35pm and there is another MDW > BUF flight at 6:30pm. So if I could get on that flight I would be okay - the question is whether there'd be room. Middle seats are blocked off, correct?
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Old Sep 12, 20, 8:44 pm
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I have found weather to be the largest source of delays on WN. In September with no snow, ice, fog, I would take my chance with the 35 minute connection.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 9:33 pm
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Also, flights have generally been running early. I would accept a 35 minute connection under current circumstances, while under more typical conditions I prefer a 1 hr+ layover to one that is shorter.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 10:14 pm
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I can't take being here any longer - my apartment smells like smoke, even with my windows taped up, my eyes burn and my throat itches. I'm giving the 35-minute layover a shot and I will report back. I haven't been on a plane (or out of the house much at all) since COVID started but I can't stand the thought of staying here where it's so smoky that a building five blocks away is now a faint shadow. Hopefully it works out, and hopefully I don't have to run through an airport in an n95 mask.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 3:05 am
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MID is very small and unless the flight is really late, you will make it. Have a back up plan, but I'd do 35 at MID. Heck, I have made 35 at ORD.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by oreocookies View Post
I don't need to be in BUF. I am just fleeing the wildfires in PDX. But COVID is still a thing, and I am not particularly interested in staying in hotels or at the airport overnight.

I see two nonstop flights from MDW to BUF, one of them being my connection, so there's only one other nonstop as a backup that is five hours later. Otherwise, all the other MDW to BUF routes listed have connections as well.
I'd do it and not even think twice about it if there is another flight. I highly doubt a MDW-BUF flight is going to be sold out. If you miss the connection it's only going to cost you a few hours at the airport. And the odds of making that connection today or tomorrow is probably pretty good.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by oreocookies View Post
I want to fly from PDX to BUF and the only flights I see are either 1) one stop with a 35-minute layover at Midway 2) two stops with a 50-minute layover at LAS and then a 1:40 layover at MDW. Is taking that first flight a terrible idea? If I miss that connection, am I screwed because of the reduction in flights due to COVID? I really don't want two stops. I would fly direct if I could but I don't see any, even on other airlines. Other airlines do have longer layovers though. I just need to get away from these wildfires and this smoky air.
No issues on this one usually, can't comment on the flight loads right now, but if you are at the back of the plane and everyone has to remain seated exiting the plan at social distance it might add a bit of stress.
If you are near the front of the plane I can't see any issues with the 35 minute connection.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:31 am
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It is all about your personal risk tolerance for the factors in play today.

Of course you can make the connection if you are on time. The question is what happens if you misconnect due to weather, mechanical, or whatever. In that case, you face a lengthy wait or, if there is no availability on the later flight, an overnight at MDW. Both the wait at MDW or an overnight come with the Covid risks associated with public places.

On the other hand, a two connection -- not just stops -- routing comes with the inherent risks of the same misconnect features at each location.

Don't worry about bags, If you can make the connection, the bags can. If the bags misconnect, WN will deliver them to you and the carry-on allowance should allow you to pack for 4-5 days in any event.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 8:19 am
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i would do it. In normal times you would normally make it.

With light loads, you are in better shape.

And, people still do not cancel until last minute opening up flights.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:48 am
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Question: New York has a quarantine for travelers from Illinois. Does that include airport layovers? Will arriving in BUF from MDW cause one to be quarantined or face a big fine?
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