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Consolidated IAH connection time/logistics-Domestic & International

Old Jul 12, 2016, 8:59 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Checking in and departing from IAH:

Terminal C has the most reliably open Precheck and Premier Access security lanes. Consider checking in and clearing security in at Terminal C even if departing from another terminal.

There are no UA check-in counters in Terminal A, even though UA has a few flights that depart from Terminal A. Check in at Terminal B or C.

There is an underground, somewhat slow landside tram system (the Subway) that runs between the basement level of all terminals (plus the on-site Marriott hotel) outside of security. (The Subway was built by Disney and modeled after their PeopleMover ride. It's worth a look if you're into that sort of thing.)

Recommended practices for transiting IAH:

IAH is a huge airport, but all terminals are very conveniently connected by a very frequent, fast airside tram system (the Skyway) inside security. You can pretty much get from any point in the airport to any other point in the airport within about 15 minutes (with a combination of Skyway and a brisk walk) without reclearing security. UA publishes as low as a 35-minute minimum connect time (MCT) at IAH, and while you shouldn't dilly-dally, this is doable on a typical domestic-domestic connection. (It helps if your inbound is not delayed and you're seated towards the front of the plane, of course; your departure flight will be almost fully boarded by the time you get there, but you'll make it.)

Note that the higher-numbered C gates (C29-C45, aka "C South") are directly connected to the E terminal by a walkway. It is usually faster to walk from C South to E (especially the low E gates) than it is to take the train. Similarly, C North (C14-C27) are directly connected to the D terminal, though the Skyway is not really out of the way and is useful if going from a low C gate to a high D gate (C24 to D10, for example). Terminal A and Terminal B are not connected by any walkways, and you must use the Skyway to change to or from these terminals.

For international arrivals: after clearing customs, stay to the left of the baggage re-check belts and follow signs to exit to arrivals (like you're going to curbside). Once in the arrivals lobby, take the elevator or escalator up one floor to find a PreCheck checkpoint and a usually-less-crowded regular checkpoint. If you ignore this advice and proceed up the escalator behind the baggage re-check area, the transit security checkpoint there is often congested and does not have a separate PreCheck checkpoint.

While perhaps not usually recommended, in a pinch, with Global Entry, no checked bags, and PreCheck, it is possible to make a one-hour (or even slightly less) connection by following the above instructions specifically (on a good day, it can take less than 30 minutes from flight arrival to sitting in the Terminal E United Club, as one member reported in the thread). Without Global Entry and with checked luggage (which must be retrieved to go through customs and dropped back off after clearing customs), especially if you are a foreign resident, expect the immigration and customs process to take longer, so allow enough time accordingly. For UA-UA international-international connections (ITI), there is a special immigration line that usually moves pretty quickly, and your baggage will be checked through and does not need to be retrieved to go through customs. No need to collect checked luggage while transiting through IAH. [OneStop]

Again, do not follow signs for international connections up the escalator behind the baggage re-check area; exit to the arrivals waiting area and re-enter one floor above through normal airport security. A map follows for visual learners:

Terminal E arrivals level / departures level:



The marked elevator will spit you out literally directly in front of the PreCheck checkpoint.

Standard UA-UA MCT table for IAH:

Results from ExpertFlyer.com
Code:
Minimum Connect Times:
Connecting at IAH
Incoming airline UA
Outgoing airline UA

STANDARD.D/D...D/I...I/D...I/I.
ONLINE .45 1.00 1.00 1.15
OFFLINE .45 1.00 1.00 1.15
There are lots of exceptions, though, and some specific flights have as low as a 35-minute MCT, which is doable as mentioned above. IAH is a very efficiently designed airport, and you should not worry about what appears to be an abnormally low connection time; if UA says your connection is valid, it is almost certainly doable within the allotted time (notwithstanding delays, of course, and standard advice regarding allowing longer connections for mission-critical travel or travel on separate tickets still stands).

Airport map, courtesy of United Airlines:
Map displays Star Alliance partners only; most non-Star Alliance airlines have domestic operations in Terminal A or international operations in Terminal D




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Consolidated IAH connection time/logistics-Domestic & International

Old Jan 8, 2019, 5:03 am
  #1  
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Hi.
I'm flying LHR-IAH-SYD+
SYD-IAH-LHR on UA.
Do they still have the one stop lane at IAH to make things go smoother in immigration and for checked luggage?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 11, 2024 at 12:13 am
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Old Jan 8, 2019, 9:32 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Tor Viking
Hi.
I'm flying LHR-IAH-SYD+
SYD-IAH-LHR on UA.
Do they still have the one stop lane at IAH to make things go smoother in immigration and for checked luggage?
Last I looked, IAH is one of six US airports which feature I --> I through-check of luggage (if that's your question).
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 1:06 am
  #3  
 
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ITI baggage

If I have the following booking (all in the same reservation):

HKG-NRT on ANA
NRT-IAH on UA (codeshare, ANA flight number, but operated by UA)
IAH-LIM on UA (codeshare, ANA flight number, but operated by UA)

When checking at ANA counter at HKG, I think ANA will check the baggage to LIM. But at IAH, does airport baggage system automatically identifies this to be ITI baggage? Or should ANA need to place any special tag to mark it as ITI?

Last edited by kevincl; Jan 19, 2019 at 1:18 am
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 4:50 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by kevincl
But at IAH, does airport baggage system automatically identifies this to be ITI baggage? Or should ANA need to place any special tag to mark it as ITI?
No special mark should be needed. It will detect I-I based upon the next flight's destination.
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 9:21 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by kevincl
If I have the following booking (all in the same reservation):
HKG-NRT on ANA
NRT-IAH on UA (codeshare, ANA flight number, but operated by UA)
IAH-LIM on UA (codeshare, ANA flight number, but operated by UA)

When checking at ANA counter at HKG, I think ANA will check the baggage to LIM. But at IAH, does airport baggage system automatically identifies this to be ITI baggage? Or should ANA need to place any special tag to mark it as ITI?
Luckly for you IAH is one of six (IIRC) US airports that are trying out a new system where you don't have to physically pick up checked luggage and after Customs place it on the belt to connecting flight.

You will of course have to enter USA and then clear IAH security for you flight to LIM. If you go, enjoy Lima and Peru, great place to visit.
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 4:33 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
No special mark should be needed. It will detect I-I based upon the next flight's destination.
Thanks for the information. Since both UA operated flights (NRT-IAH, IAH-LIM) carries ANA flight number (NH 6450 and NH 7172), which flight number will baggage tag show? ANA number or the corresponding UA number (UA 6 and UA 854)? If it shows ANA number, does it still detect that it's actually UA to UA transfer, and treat it as ITI?
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 6:10 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by kevincl
Thanks for the information. Since both UA operated flights (NRT-IAH, IAH-LIM) carries ANA flight number (NH 6450 and NH 7172), which flight number will baggage tag show? ANA number or the corresponding UA number (UA 6 and UA 854)? If it shows ANA number, does it still detect that it's actually UA to UA transfer, and treat it as ITI?
I would expect them to print the NH information, but I'm not 100% sure. I think you're overthinking this, though. What will happen is that the baggage handlers will take the bag off of the belt, scan it, and their scanner will tell them that the next flight designation is LIM and that it should bypass customs / baggage claim. I don't think the baggage handlers spend a lot of time manually inspecting each tag to see where it should go, or whether or not the flight numbers are codeshare flights.
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Old Jan 19, 2019, 7:59 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by kevincl
Thanks for the information. Since both UA operated flights (NRT-IAH, IAH-LIM) carries ANA flight number (NH 6450 and NH 7172), which flight number will baggage tag show? ANA number or the corresponding UA number (UA 6 and UA 854)? If it shows ANA number, does it still detect that it's actually UA to UA transfer, and treat it as ITI?
I think codeshare baggage tags are *typically* printed as the primary airline (i.e. whose metal it is).
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 8:22 am
  #9  
 
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Quick question,

i have a flight in August from CUN-YOW , connecting in IAH and IAD. My flight CUN-IAH arrives at 2:55 and flight from IAH to IAD departs at 4:35, which leads to a connection of 1h 40 min. I will be traveling with my kids aged 7 and 10. We are all Nexus members. Is it enugh time to clear customs and immigration? And would our baggage will ne check up to YOW?
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 8:35 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by domtarlsq
Quick question,
i have a flight in August from CUN-YOW , connecting in IAH and IAD. My flight CUN-IAH arrives at 2:55 and flight from IAH to IAD departs at 4:35, which leads to a connection of 1h 40 min. I will be traveling with my kids aged 7 and 10. We are all Nexus members. Is it enugh time to clear customs and immigration? And would our baggage will ne check up to YOW?
You should be fine. And yes, your luggage should go all the way through under the trial program. If only there was a sterile transit area for pax.
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid
You should be fine. And yes, your luggage should go all the way through under the trial program. If only there was a sterile transit area for pax.
Would the baggage go all the way to YOW? Yes, both IAH and IAD have the I-->I baggage transfer without customs but the OP is not making any I-->I connection. Only the total itinerary is I-->I but I kind of doubt this situation fall into that program.
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 6:35 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio

Would the baggage go all the way to YOW? Yes, both IAH and IAD have the I-->I baggage transfer without customs but the OP is not making any I-->I connection. Only the total itinerary is I-->I but I kind of doubt this situation fall into that program.
Kind of a red herring

You would not pick up your luggage at IAD to recheck it to YOW if you originated at IAH @:-)
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 7:48 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by EmailKid
Kind of a red herring

You would not pick up your luggage at IAD to recheck it to YOW if you originated at IAH @:-)
No, but IAH-IAD, obviously, is a domestic flight, with no customs or immigration on either end.
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by joe_miami

No, but IAH-IAD, obviously, is a domestic flight, with no customs or immigration on either end.
Don't know what point you are trying to make
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Old Jan 20, 2019, 8:04 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by EmailKid
Don't know what point you are trying to make
My point is that the other person's comment wasn't a "red herring." It's reasonable to wonder if the domestic flight in CUN-IAH-IAD-YOW still qualifies as an international-to-international connection.
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