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  1. Default Connecting flight advice ?

    Hi to all

    Myself and my girlfriend are coming to San Fran in June from Dublin. We both have extensive experience of airports from travelling around europe and regular trips to NYC however neither of us have ever had a connecting flight so I was hoping someone with experience could help.

    Basically we arrive in Chicago O'Hare from Dublin at 1pm before getting a connecting flight to San Fran two hours later at 3pm. I understand that as we are coming from Dublin we will need to collect our luggage, pass security and re-check our bags etc however I am just a bit confused as to the process.

    Our connecting flight is from the same terminal with the same airline (AA) but its a different flight number and a different type of aircraft:

    1. Do we follow the connecting flight signs or do we just go to the regular check in desks for our connecting flight after collecting our luggage ?

    2. Given that we only have 2 hours before our connecting flight leaves will I have enought time to get onto our connecting flight after all the re-check procedures have taken place, is there priority queues for people connecting to other flights at security etc ?

    3. Finally if through no fault of our own we miss our flight due to hold ups in security, luggage collection etc are we entintled to a free flight later on or compensation or are we on our own ?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As long as this is all on the same ticket, you shouldn't have any problems.

    The only reason you'll have to get and re-check your bags is to go through customs, as that has to be done at your first stop in the US. As soon as you have cleared customs, you should be able to immediately re-check your bags and continue towards your next boarding gate. You should get your boarding pass for the ORD-SFO flight right when you check in in Dublin.

    2 hours should be more than enough time to get between flights. The security checkpoint will only be for people who have gone through customs and are on connecting flights. You won't be going out into the main entry area of the terminal.

    As long as your connecting flight is a part of the same ticket, you will be put on another flight if there is a problem with your connection. In fact, if it looks like there will be a problem at all, the airline will do what they can to make sure you get the flights you need. For example, my parents recently flew to Beijing. They were originally supposed to first fly to Newark, and then take a connecting flight to Beijing. However, their first plane had mechanical problems that would have made it difficult to make the connecting flight, so the airline rebooked them on a different flight and instead of going to Newark, they were flow to Chicago, where they caught a flight from there to Beijing.

    Now, again, the important thing is that you originally purchased this all on the same ticket. If you booked a round trip flight from Dublin to Chicago, and then bought a different ticket from Chicago to San Francisco, (as if you were going to do a one way roadtrip from SF to Chicago, and then fly back home) then Chicago-San Francisco would be your first flight, and it would be your responsibility to get there on time, and you would want much more than 2 hours to make the connection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Confirmed

    I can confirm all that Michael said, is correct. Last year I flew with my Grandson into LAX. We had a connecting flight to Atlanta less than two hours later. Once through customs, our bags went straight back into the connecting flights luggage (or whatever it was called). We then continued to our boarding gate. No need to go to the departure hall.

    If, as you say, it is all with the same airline, you may even find, as I have in the past, that a late arriving aircraft will announce the procedure for onward passengers, before landing. These passengers are then given priority off the aircraft and through customs, etc.

    Why not confirm that all the above is the airline's policy, when you check-in in Dublin.


  4. Default

    As the others have stated, if you bought the Dublin-Chicago and Chicago-San Francisco tickets at the same time, that is, as one journey, then you should be fine. Some airlines have their own immigration and customs area at airports which facilitates connections between flights. I don't know if American has their own customs area in Chicago. You should be able to get some more details about process and normal length of time before you get to the airport in Dublin. Yes I've been on flights where changes with ongoing flights were announced on the plane, passengers with tight connections were first off the plane then expedited to their next flight, and flights waited a bit for connecting passengers.

    Enjoy your trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area


    On a return flight from Munich a few years back we had a connection through ORD, and due to late flights we had less than an hour.

    We rushed through, got to the gate in time but found they had no record of us... but they found some seats and we were good.

    We discovered later that the airline had already known were were late arriving, and had rebooked us on a later flight... why the gate crew didn't know that is beyond me (UA).

    Anyway, two hours should be plenty of time, even for foreign nationals clearing customs/immigration.

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