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International Transit Time in SFO

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Baysider

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I'm potentially travelling Calgary(YYC) - SFO - SYD. Best routing has 1.5 hrs from arrival in SFO to departure for SYD. Is this long enough for an international to international transfer? Do I still have to do the whole customs thing after arrival from Canada prior to transit?
 

serfty

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I'm potentially travelling Calgary(YYC) - SFO - SYD. Best routing has 1.5 hrs from arrival in SFO to departure for SYD. Is this long enough for an international to international transfer? Do I still have to do the whole customs thing after arrival from Canada prior to transit?
90 minutes is not enough time in my book for an SFO transit.

One word: FOG!

While the airport is rarely closed; it often operates at a reduced capacity.

I have been at the mercy of ground holds and delays to/from there at a greater rate than any other airport though which I have travelled.
 

BAM1748

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Allow more time. While it could be done, it will be a problem if you miss the connection going this direction.

Personally, at LAX or SFO, I'd prefer 3 hours, any extra time can be spent having a coldie.
 

dfcatch

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90 minutes is not enough time in my book for an SFO transit.

One word: FOG!

While the airport is rarely closed; it often operates at a reduced capacity.

I have been at the mercy of ground holds and delays to/from there at a greater rate than any other airport though which I have travelled.
+ 1 on this.

In SFO right now and today is the first clear day in almost a week of rain, cloud and delays.

And when there's not a storm, there's fog :)

For immigration - you would clear US Preclearance in Calgary, and assuming you're on Air Canada or United then you arrive at Terminal 3 (domestic), you would then transfer over to the International Terminal.

Even without delays, I would consider 90 minutes to be pretty tight. (you'd make it, but no time for error or to relax before your flight).
 

Baysider

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Thanks everyone. Found an option that gives me 2.5 hrs, hopefully that will be adequate.
 

airbound

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A related question on transiting through SFO: I have 1:55 between landing on QF73 from SYD at 08:35 and departing on QF3063/AA2034 for DFW at 10:30 on 5 March. Does anybody foresee problems for this connection? Does QF73 have a reputation for being late? I have only caught it once (with no connection in SFO) and it was an hour late as we had to wait at SYD for passengers connecting from PER.
 

serfty

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You will be protected on one of the many DFW flights from SFO should QF73 be late enough. (assuming the one booking)
 

Baysider

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If you are not changing terminals you should be fine. The US flight search engines seem to be content to allow a 90 minute transit in SFO if both flights are in the same terminal. Also, since they are both QF, at least it's their problem to get you on to DFW if you don't make it.
 

airbound

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Thanks for the responses serfty and Baysider. I know that there are a few later direct AA flights between SFO and DFW; I just hope that there are seats available should QF73 be delayed. The seat availability chart on the AA website seems to show the next flight (AA610) as being near capacity. (I also hope that QF doesn't put me on an UA flight!)

Baysider, I do have to change from the International Terminal to Terminal 3 (after clearing immigration, etc). I think that 115 minutes should easily be enough time, presuming QF73 behaves!
 

NYCguy

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With hand-luggage only, 90 minutes is do-able at SFO. Twice that for checked bags.
 

dfcatch

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I've been delayed 8 hours on in inbound QF73 before, but you are protected and will just be bumped to the next flight if late.

It all usually depends on the on-time arrival of the inbound aircraft to SYD
 

djfuzz

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Good question, I'm more than a little bit paranoid about this.

Am booking AA85 (dep JFK 1530, arr SFO 1855) to connect to QF74 (dep 2310) - naturally, separate PNR otherwise I wouldn't be concerned. On paper it seems like more than adequate time, but I've been delayed on AA85 at JFK for quite some time in the past (2-3 hours), and would be worried about such a delay eating up into that considerable buffer and missing the baggage check-in cut-off for QF74.

So I guess the questions are - is it worth leaving even more time up our sleeves (would be a factor of several hours more, as there are no other direct flights from JFK in the late afternoon) and, despite the recent announcement from QF, does anyone know if AA at the least still provides interline baggage check-throughs on different PNRs?
 

straitman

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Good question, I'm more than a little bit paranoid about this.

Am booking AA85 (dep JFK 1530, arr SFO 1855) to connect to QF74 (dep 2310) - naturally, separate PNR otherwise I wouldn't be concerned. On paper it seems like more than adequate time, but I've been delayed on AA85 at JFK for quite some time in the past (2-3 hours), and would be worried about such a delay eating up into that considerable buffer and missing the baggage check-in cut-off for QF74.

So I guess the questions are - is it worth leaving even more time up our sleeves (would be a factor of several hours more, as there are no other direct flights from JFK in the late afternoon) and, despite the recent announcement from QF, does anyone know if AA at the least still provides interline baggage check-throughs on different PNRs?
I have just had a look at the FAQs that QF issued with their changes to Through Check Processes. It states:

Customers holding two separate reservations (PNRs) for their journey will no longer be provided with through check or baggage interline through to their final travel destination. -- It then gives an example and goes on to say,

Qantas will however, continue to provide this facility for customers connecting with Qantas flights and oneworld carriers.



Previously I have checked bags with AA through to MEL where my AA and QF flights are on different PNRs so unless AA have changed their rules it should be OK IMHO.
 

blueflamenco

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^^ I have a question which kind of relates... I have separate reservations from QF 73 on to an AA codeshare operated by Alaska Airlines.. So is this classed as connecting to a OneWorld carrier or not?

Does anyone else frequent SEA from SYD? Now that they are cutting SFO I am looking for a new route that avoids LAX..
 

Baysider

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Alaska Airlines is listed by Qantas as a partner airline. Also, if its AA codeshare and ticketed as AA it will count as OneWorld.
 
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dfcatch

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Good question, I'm more than a little bit paranoid about this.

Am booking AA85 (dep JFK 1530, arr SFO 1855) to connect to QF74 (dep 2310) - naturally, separate PNR otherwise I wouldn't be concerned. On paper it seems like more than adequate time, but I've been delayed on AA85 at JFK for quite some time in the past (2-3 hours), and would be worried about such a delay eating up into that considerable buffer and missing the baggage check-in cut-off for QF74.

So I guess the questions are - is it worth leaving even more time up our sleeves (would be a factor of several hours more, as there are no other direct flights from JFK in the late afternoon) and, despite the recent announcement from QF, does anyone know if AA at the least still provides interline baggage check-throughs on different PNRs?
When you check-in at JFK, present both your AA and QF itineraries and they will through-check your bags to SYD. They may give you both boarding passes or they may advise you to pick up the QF BP in SFO, but your bags will be fine.
 

Baysider

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I queried Qantas via email about my 2.5 hour transit time in SFO, and the reply came back:
"The recommended minimum connection time in San Francisco is 1 hour and 25 minutes. Therefore, we would anticipate that your current connection time of 2 hours and 30 minutes is more than sufficient."
 

djfuzz

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When you check-in at JFK, present both your AA and QF itineraries and they will through-check your bags to SYD. They may give you both boarding passes or they may advise you to pick up the QF BP in SFO, but your bags will be fine.
I queried Qantas via email about my 2.5 hour transit time in SFO, and the reply came back:
"The recommended minimum connection time in San Francisco is 1 hour and 25 minutes. Therefore, we would anticipate that your current connection time of 2 hours and 30 minutes is more than sufficient."
Excellent, thanks for your responses. Will advise how it turns out. :)
 

serfty

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It's already been mentioned here that the booking meets MCT; the problem is that's OK when flights are all on time.

It's not so OK should your flight be 100 minutes late - that's tight. Any thing later and you may miss the flight.

I have had a mid afternoon flight delayed as by 2½ hours into SFO, merely from LAX - and due to the ubiquitous SFO fog! It was a "Ground Hold".
 
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