Rebooking due to tight connection in CHO

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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:24 am
  #1
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Rebooking due to tight connection in CHO

I have an award flight booked IAD-CHO-ORD-ARN. I just noticed that the connection time in CHO is only 24 minutes. I can't see a MCT for CHO anywhere, but clearly this is legal according to UA, since this is how the ticket was sold to us (not a schedule change). We are traveling with a lap infant and aren't familiar with the CHO airport, so I'm concerned we'll miss our CHO-ORD flight with even the slightest delay and then the ORD-ARN flight as well (since CHO-ORD is the last flight of the day). I probably shouldn't have booked this given the high likelihood of getting stranded in Charlottesville. Am I likely to have any success requesting different flights with a longer connection time?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
I have an award flight booked IAD-CHO-ORD-ARN. I just noticed that the connection time in CHO is only 24 minutes. I can't see a MCT for CHO anywhere, but clearly this is legal according to UA, since this is how the ticket was sold to us (not a schedule change). We are traveling with a lap infant and aren't familiar with the CHO airport, so I'm concerned we'll miss our CHO-ORD flight with even the slightest delay and then the ORD-ARN flight as well (since CHO-ORD is the last flight of the day). I probably shouldn't have booked this given the high likelihood of getting stranded in Charlottesville. Am I likely to have any success requesting different flights with a longer connection time?
Gotta be tiny, sure you're not arriving and departing on the same equipment at CHO? Hope you saved a ton of money with this routing!
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj View Post
Gotta be tiny, sure you're not arriving and departing on the same equipment at CHO? Hope you saved a ton of money with this routing!
Unfortunately it's different equipment (E145 IAD-CHO and CRJ200 CHO-ORD). It was an award ticket so the savings were significant.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:37 am
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Only one jetway at this airport, possibly total 3 gates (tarmac walk). If your inbound is on time, looks easy.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:39 am
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Since this is on one award ticket, you have a couple options:
1. Take the flight(s) as scheduled. Misconnect in CHO. UA is responsible for rebooking you.
2. Proactively reach out to UA and state that the connection time is 24 minutes and that's quite tight seeing how the boarding door closes 10 (i think its 10?) minutes prior to pushback if the flight is on time. Compounded with a lap infant, I'd say chances are quite high you'd miss the flight. BEFORE YOU DO THIS: Look at alternatives from CHO-ARN since it appears you will be staying a night. See if there are any suitable alternative routings (i'm seeing IAD potentially, so maybe you could just go IAD-???-ARN directly?).

I would do #2 .

EDIT: After reading kirkwoodj's comment, it seems like this airport is really small it sounds like its actually do-able LOL
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj View Post
Only one jetway at this airport, possibly total 3 gates (tarmac walk). If your inbound is on time, looks easy.
Perhaps easy traveling solo with a carry-on bag. I've realized less so with an infant and a gate-checked stroller that we'd have to wait for.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Perhaps easy traveling solo with a carry-on bag. I've realized less so with an infant and a gate-checked stroller that we'd have to wait for.
Good point. Would definitely get on the phone!
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Since this is on one award ticket, you have a couple options:
1. Take the flight(s) as scheduled. Misconnect in CHO. UA is responsible for rebooking you.
2. Proactively reach out to UA and state that the connection time is 24 minutes and that's quite tight seeing how the boarding door closes 10 (i think its 10?) minutes prior to pushback if the flight is on time. Compounded with a lap infant, I'd say chances are quite high you'd miss the flight. BEFORE YOU DO THIS: Look at alternatives from CHO-ARN since it appears you will be staying a night. See if there are any suitable alternative routings (i'm seeing IAD potentially, so maybe you could just go IAD-???-ARN directly?).

I would do #2 .

EDIT: After reading kirkwoodj's comment, it seems like this airport is really small it sounds like its actually do-able LOL
It looks like we could backtrack to IAD if we miss the flight. So IAD-CHO-IAD-ORD-ARN. Still not ideal though, I will try calling UA and see if there is any way to be proactive about this...
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
I can't see a MCT for CHO anywhere,
The MCT for CHO is 20 minutes. See below

STANDARD.D/D...D/I...I/D...I/I.
ONLINE .20 1.00 1.00 1.00
OFFLINE .20 1.00 1.00 1.00
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
The MCT for CHO is 20 minutes. See below

STANDARD.D/D...D/I...I/D...I/I.
ONLINE .20 1.00 1.00 1.00
OFFLINE .20 1.00 1.00 1.00
Which, frankly, is crazy, given that UA requires that you be in the boarding area 15 minutes prior to departure or risk losing your seat. I understand that it's a small airport, but I don't see any realistic way to make the connection unless (a) the inbound is early, (b) the connection is late, or (c) the ground staff at CHO decide to wait longer than UA requires.

UA can open up award space on its own flights, but you'd need to find a sympathetic agent. Alternatively, you could try to waitlist for seats on IAD-ORD, but, of course, there's no guarantee they'd ever clear. Is it feasible for you to stand by for an earlier IAD-CHO flight at the airport? How about asking UA to drop the first segment and driving to CHO?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:11 am
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I've flown through CHO and IIRC, it's only 4 gates in 1 terminal. Maybe a few hundred feet from end to end? As long as your incoming is on time, I think you'd be fine.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:48 am
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It's 9 minutes to get the stroller and make it to the new gate. I don't think I would risk this at any airport, no matter how small.

The problem with rebooking now is ORD-ARN is SAS operated. There may not be partner availability now if they reticket. In your shoes, I'd be thinking of SDC to an earlier flight to CHO.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by jeff191 View Post
I've flown through CHO and IIRC, it's only 4 gates in 1 terminal. Maybe a few hundred feet from end to end? As long as your incoming is on time, I think you'd be fine.
As have I.....UA ended up putting us on a bus to IAD

After getting to San Diego I called and demanded money back saying "If I wanted to take a bus I would have paid Greyhound!"
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Old Feb 13, 18, 10:30 am
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Called UA and was turned down to reroute IAD-ORD-ARN despite having only 9 minutes to transfer with a gate-checked stroller. Also would not allow me to drop the IAD-CHO leg (and drive to CHO) since this is how I booked the trip. In the words of the agent, "no sympathy". Not sure if it's because it's a more friendly airline or having elite status helps, but it's quite a contrast with my experiences with Delta. Night and day actually.

It looks like I could take the same plane back to IAD if we miss the ORD flight and still make our TATL (IAD-CHO-IAD-ORD-ARN), but that would be unpleasant with a squirmy baby and would rely on having open seats on the additional flights. But at least it's possible.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Called UA and was turned down to reroute IAD-ORD-ARN despite having only 9 minutes to transfer with a gate-checked stroller. Also would not allow me to drop the IAD-CHO leg (and drive to CHO) since this is how I booked the trip. In the words of the agent, "no sympathy". Not sure if it's because it's a more friendly airline or having elite status helps, but it's quite a contrast with my experiences with Delta. Night and day actually.

It looks like I could take the same plane back to IAD if we miss the ORD flight and still make our TATL (IAD-CHO-IAD-ORD-ARN), but that would be unpleasant with a squirmy baby and would rely on having open seats on the additional flights. But at least it's possible.
So some additional guidance:

1. If you want to call again, call again. Remember HUCA! Try one more time or maybe even 2 if you're feeling lucky. You may get a more sympaethetic agent. It wouldn't hurt in this case.
2. Day of Departure: Watch your inbound aircraft via the UA app. If it pushes back 5 minutes late, takes off 5 minutes late, is scheduled to arrive 5 minutes late, call. Go see an agent at IAD. Say, look 9 minutes just became 4 or less. And with a child! Ask to either have the original IAD-CHO leg removed so you can fly IAD-ORD-ARN. Or ask to be protected on the CHO-IAD return flight to make the IAD-ORD-ARN flight.

P.S. I hope you booked this trip on a credit card with trip delay insurance so that your overnight won't be out of pocket. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
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