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Potential missed connection with an upcoming international rewards flight?

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Hello, as an inexperienced international flyer may I ask the following;

I am looking at an upcoming trip to the US, flying BNE to LAX, then LAX to NYC via Phoenix on a Qantas reward booking.

The reward booking has the BNE flight landing in LAX at 16:00, with the connecting domestic flight on AA to Phoenix at 18:05.
Personally, I see this 2 hour gap having the potential to be too tight for the connection depending on a few factors.

If I miss this connection there is only one more AA flight out of LAX to PHX that day, departing at 19:35.
I would much prefer to be on this flight, but it is not an option via an award booking.

What happens if I miss the connecting flight?
I assume AA will try and get us on the later flight to PHX, but if there isn't any available seats on that flight would I have any luck trying to request to be moved to the next available direct LAX- New York City flight, or must we keep our original route transiting via PHX?

Cheers.
 

TheInsider

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No point worrying about it now, worry about it when or if a delay happens and you do actually misconnect.
2 hours is plenty of time.
 

Flying mermaid

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No point worrying about it now, worry about it when or if a delay happens and you do actually misconnect.
2 hours is plenty of time.
Asking for information is a reasonable thing! It’s not just “worrying”, it is expanding knowledge of how things work. You know a lot, why not share it. :). I don’t do international awards, so am a bit vague, but I assume AA would put him on the later flight, but whether they would put him on a direct flight, I don’t know. See - I can expand my knowledge as well :)
 

VPS

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Maybe try calling and see if you can get it changed - there shouldn't be change fee because you can't do it online

If you do miss the connection AA should look after you - they do it all the time. Good luck
 
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patrickk

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As it is on the same ticket AA will sort it out including putting you on a direct flight if that works better. Two hours is fine. 30-45 mins for immigration and after that security will be under 30mins; and I’m a nervous traveller who loves plenty of time. It is the 60-90minute connections I hate such as arriving at Sydney international at 6.30am and connecting with an 8am flight from a different terminal. It always works okay but a source of stress. The online booking forces one onto these tight connections.
 

Scarlett

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You'll be fine whatever happens if it's all booked as one ticket.
AA could put you on the later flight, or reroute you via DFW, CLT, or even onto a direct flight. They have many, MANY connecting options!
 
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Thank you all for your replies and info.

That helps confirm my initial suspicions.
I had thought about making a separate booking for the flights, BNE-LAX as one ticket and LAX-NYC as another, however it seems there will be more flexibility if the booking is kept as one ticket.

Last time I passed through LAX, the customs and immigration process took about 1.5 hrs, this was around 6:30pm.
I will take your advice that a 2 hour connection should suffice in most cases.

Thank you for the help.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Absolutely stick to one ticket then AA will proactively assist* you to get to your destination. At worst, your travel insurance should cover your hotel overnight (being a 'delay' in excess of 6 hours).


*unlike most other airlines, AA will also protect you on separate tickets if they are Oneworld. But it may not be obvious to them that you have two tickets. By having everything on the one ticket they can act in advcance to secure alternative flights if they know the inbound is late, or it's likely you will miss your connection.
 

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Absolutely stick to one ticket then AA will proactively assist* you to get to your destination. At worst, your travel insurance should cover your hotel overnight (being a 'delay' in excess of 6 hours).


*unlike most other airlines, AA will also protect you on separate tickets if they are Oneworld. But it may not be obvious to them that you have two tickets. By having everything on the one ticket they can act in advcance to secure alternative flights if they know the inbound is late, or it's likely you will miss your connection.
That makes sense, thank you.

If I were to say my arrival into New York City is somewhat time critical does that make things a little less straight forward? Being booked onto a flight later the following day (requiring an overnight hotel) wouldn't be ideal.

With a missed connection how receptive are the airlines (in this case AA) to having the passengers suggest re-routing options in lieu of a hotel stay?
 

MEL_Traveller

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That makes sense, thank you.

If I were to say my arrival into New York City is somewhat time critical does that make things a little less straight forward? Being booked onto a flight later the following day (requiring an overnight hotel) wouldn't be ideal.

With a missed connection how receptive are the airlines (in this case AA) to having the passengers suggest re-routing options in lieu of a hotel stay?
If NYC is time critical I’d probably suggest you reschedule your ticket, if you can. (but there may be financial penalties to do this in advance).

On the day of travel disruption, agents in the US have pretty free rein to get you where you need to go. No connection or flight is off the table, other than seats being available, of course. But agents also have the ability to oversell flights and put you on standby if necessary. So your chances of getting to NYC are probably pretty good... even if it might be a red eye arriving very early into NY.
 
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If NYC is time critical I’d probably suggest you reschedule your ticket, if you can. (but there may be financial penalties to do this in advance).

On the day of travel disruption, agents in the US have pretty free rein to get you where you need to go. No connection or flight is off the table, other than seats being available, of course. But agents also have the ability to oversell flights and put you on standby if necessary. So your chances of getting to NYC are probably pretty good... even if it might be a red eye arriving very early into NY.
Thank you for the info. That's good to know.
Arriving into LAX around 16:00 (if ontime), the latest direct-flight out of LAX I can be on is 00:30, earlier for connecting flights.
So that's about a 6 hour window of flight options to play with.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Thank you for the info. That's good to know.
Arriving into LAX around 16:00 (if ontime), the latest direct-flight out of LAX I can be on is 00:30, earlier for connecting flights.
So that's about a 6 hour window of flight options to play with.
If there aren't any significant weather events elsewhere on the system I'd say you're in pretty good shape to get across to NY. (Provided it's not Thanksgiving when you're flying.)
 
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dajop

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The other thing it would seem if you miss the AA flight to PHX the following flight has a (admittedly tight) connection to the same PHX- NYC flight. One good thing there are various combinations that AA can put you on to get to NYC on a red eye. Also consider if you care which of the three airports in NYC you are ok with travelling to - and let them know if you don’t care which airport you land in.

But general rule, go to the toilet before you land (from BNE) and once you land don’t dilly dally. If possible, walk as fast as you can to get the front of the queue. Looking at current wait times for immigration at that time of day, If BNE arrives on time you should be OK.
 
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rabbits5

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As a data point I recently had a Miami-DFW-Palm Springs flight on AA. I had a 50 min connection in DFW and missed the connection.

Next flight was in 9 hours time, so I instead asked to be routed to any other airport in Southern California and then drove to Palm Springs (got a seat to San Diego and ended up getting into Palm Springs 3 hours earlier than the arrival of the flight I would have been put on).

Point of the story is the agents get a high degree of flexibility for those misconnects on the day of travel so you shouldn’t be too worried. What I would recommend though is that you have 2-3 of those options you might like in mind, so you can proactively offer them to the agent when you discuss how you might get to NYC.
 

Mike65

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I'm surprised by all the "2 hours will be fine" responses. Connecting in LAX or even SFO can be a lengthy and stressful experience which is dependent on so many factors - other aircraft arrivals, number of agents in use, whether the kiosks are working etc. In my recent experience, 90 mins in the Immigration hall is not uncommon, leaving very little time to collect bags, re-check and get to your new gate. There is no mechanism or sympathy for "I have a connecting flight I'm going to miss" pleas. You are in a queue and you have to wait like everyone else. As others have said though, the airline will be responsible for your onward flight as long as it is a single booking.
 

dajop

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I'm surprised by all the "2 hours will be fine" responses.
Looking at current published wait times that time of day does seems to be a bit better than many other times of the day

Irrespective, the OP is travelling onwards to PHX, followed by a red eye connection to NYC. The point about “being fine” is that even if missing the flight there are a range of options that OP could be transferred to that make no difference to final arrival time. Different scenario to someone connecting to a single flight to their final destination.

My preference is not to worry about things you just can’t control and go with the flow. What will be will be. The main thing OP can maybe control is the speed with which they move towards immigration after landing. I’ve travelled with colleagues in some places who’ve decided to have a smoke and go to the toilet between immigration and landing to which I’ve said “see you at breakfast tomorrow morning then” and I’ve reached hotel and in bed before they’ve reached the immigration counter.
 
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Mike65

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Looking at current published wait times that time of day does seems to be a bit better than many other times of the day

Irrespective, the OP is travelling onwards to PHX, followed by a red eye connection to NYC. The point about “being fine” is that even if missing the flight there are a range of options that OP could be transferred to that make no difference to final arrival time. Different scenario to someone connecting to a single flight to their final destination.

My preference is not to worry about things you just can’t control and go with the flow. What will be will be. The main thing OP can maybe control is the speed with which they move towards immigration after landing. I’ve travelled with colleagues in some places who’ve decided to have a smoke and go to the toilet between immigration and landing to which I’ve said “see you at breakfast tomorrow morning then” and I’ve reached hotel and in bed before they’ve reached the immigration counter.
Sure - I understand the situation but many people would still be stressed by the uncertainty. I'm an experienced and usually pretty relaxed traveller, but relying on US airlines to do the expected or "right" thing is not where I would want to be. If you have no problem getting to the final destination "whenever" then different story.
I would also strongly recommend going to the toilet as late as possible on the plane (or after landing while waiting for the doors to open). Worst thing in the world is to be busting when you're half way through a 90min queueing experience!
 

dajop

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but relying on US airlines to do the expected or "right" thing is not where I would want to be. If you have no problem getting to the final destination "whenever" then different story.
The thing is here that the OP has a connection to New York, not a non-stop, which gives time to find alternates and as they have to collect to clear customs, they will have their luggage in their hands as well. The OP’s 1805 LAX-PHX connects to the same PHX-NYC flight as the 1946 flight, and then there are later non stops which would allow the OP to reach at same time. Not to mention other routings, and despite their reputation, US carriers are good at IRROPS, as long as flights aren’t full and the whole “system” isn’t down ( such as East Coast winter storms).

This is different to relying on a non stop which means any alternative will certainly result in a significant delay.
 
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BAM1748

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Don't let the optimists fool you, it took more than 2 hours to transit the customs hall when I went through in May before getting to the baggage conveyor. Don't rely on everything working 100%. Another trip it only took 50 mins.

However, unless you really want to go via Phoenix AA will route you on an alternative route/flight (maybe even direct) should you miss it. I've never had a connection go smoothly at LAX (not always the airlines, could be weather at the destination or even in Brisbane)
 

RichardMEL

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The very WORST thing you could do is split the bookings!!!!

Keep it as is. If you enter and can use the kiosk, and if that 1600 arrival is a more quiet time (as opposed to the crazy early morning rush) then it may well be very easy (note a bunch of european flights may arrive around then).

However AA will protect you. They have a very good system there for managing oneworld connections and I have found them to be proactive and on the ball when connections are tight or missed - they could put you on the later redeye to JFK for example, or some other option.. or overnight in LAX at the worst case but the key is the same ticket to ensure that you will be protected.

It may be a non issue depending on the arrival (and/or any delays).
 

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