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50 minute layover in Philly -- too short?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by DK528, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

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    Thinking about heading to Vegas in July after a few days in Maine. Leaving aside the insane cost of the flights, I'm trying to figure out the best way to get there.

    There are no direct flights between PWM and LAS and I'll either have to layover in Philly or DC. Is a 50 minute layover in Philly too risky? Should I play it safe and book flights with a 2 hour + layover? Never flown in/out of Philly so I don't know if its an airport known for delays.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated.
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    50 minutes is usually more than enough time to connect in most airports. Only problem will be if your inbound flight is delayed and everything else is on time.

    I'm surprised you can't get a flight on Untied to LAS vie ORD. I know that I can (could, it's been a while) go from OMA to Portland via O'hare with a single transfer there.
     
  3. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    PHL probably one of the worst in the east for delays. It all depends on your departure time and weather and how many flights are landing in Philly. If you're flying USeless Airways, this is one of its biggest hubs, so you the chances of getting on another flight are pretty good, but not a way to start a vacation. Can you drive to Boston and get a direct flight? How about Manchester?
     
  4. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

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    DMR -- the United flights are insanely expensive, with most being $504 one-way. They mostly seem to fly through Newark or DC, even though the frequent flyer options go through ORD. I've been watching the prices on Bing's travel site but they're not getting cheaper.

    Hammie -- looks like no direct flights from Manchester and only 2 a day from Boston. Was trying to avoid getting in at 11pm/midnight (which is what would happen if I took a direct JetBlue from Logan) but that may be the better option. And thanks for the heads up about PHL -- I would be flying USAir.
     
  5. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    MHT has direct flights on SWA.

    Nick:beer:
     
  6. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

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    Thanks, Nick! I never think to check Southwest's site since I don't think they have many nonstop options from the NY area.
     
  7. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    I'd do 50 min in PHL w/ US, but that'd be awfully tight for most folks going US. Long way between gates, and lots of shuffling of airplane gates so you'll never be certain of how far you need to go. That haul from F Concourse over to B/C is a long one! The shuttle bus from F-14 to C-16 saves you rescreening at security, but isn't frequent (or consistent) enough to get you to your flight if you're running late. And if you choose another airline, your gate run should be OK but if your flight is late expect any checked luggage to go missing.

    If you're flying alone, no checked luggage, maybe have *A status, if your flight from Portland is a mainline flight instead of an Express flight (Express usually dock at F Concourse) I'd book the 50 minute flight figuring you'll get seated on the next flight out, even in summer. Otherwise...waiting an extra 70 minutes isn't horrible and you'll have peace of mind.

    Try SWA.
     
  8. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    50 mins should be enough time, as long as you actually can take off and land.

    But, if you don't mind driving to MHT, that'd be the way to go. Several flights a day to LAS including one non-stop (through mid-August).
     
  9. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

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    Bruinfan -- you make it sound so stressful!

    Chuck et al -- there's one nonstop from MHT at 7am -- I'm looking to leave in the afternoon so if I'm going to do a one-stopper, I'm probably just going to stay in Portland. Plus the one-stoppers on Southwest are also $350-$422.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. You've got me worried about PHL and it looks like I can book a flight using United miles, go through ORD and have it be the shortest flight time, so I may just do it that way.
     
  10. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    As someone who flies into & out of PHL upwards of 100 times a year, I would say a 50 minute layover in Philly is taking a big risk - PHL is an absolute nightmare when it comes to delays [as I like to say "at PHL, a bird shits on the runway & your flight gets delayed for an hour"]. If you're flying in the summer, PHL is notoriously bad for flight delays related to thunderstorms - PHL is actually worse in the summer because of thunderstorms than it is in the winter because of ice & snow.
     
  11. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    The one time I went to Philly was last year. We were 40 minutes late getting in which left me 50 minutes for my connection. It was tight as it was such a long way between gates (different terminal if I remember correctly).
     
  12. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    You probably arrived in Terminal A West from over the pond and had to clear customs then get to Terminal B or C for your domestic flight. 50 minutes is cutting it close.

    I just read an article about the planned expansion of the PHL Airport and it mentioned that the additional runway won't reduce delays because of the way the FAA routes planes and controls takeoffs and landings in the congested airspace between NY and DC.

    Drk: if your flight from Portland is on a US Airways regional carrier, and you end up arriving in terminal F, and you carry on luggage, and your plane arrives on time, and you're up for doing vintage OJ Simpson/Hertz running through the airport, you might make the connection.
     
  13. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    First time for everything. Normally I'm the one trying to make a 20 minute connection - see other threads for examples. If you're a frequent flyer, 50 minutes is fine. If you're asking...it's not for a F-->B connection. Will it be an F-->B? Who knows....

    What I hate about PHL is the uncertainty, especially around the Express flights. Some end up in B/C, most in F. Expect to be in C, end up in B and have to wander down one pier and back up the other. US flights seem to end up at randomly selected gates instead of following a pattern for the same city/time. Not like Phoenix. Add in summer where rebooking can be challenging, and even my very high risk tolerance is stressed. Maybe Jilly can explain their gate system over drinks one day. :drunk:

    Plus the luggage system is ancient and apparently never worked well in the first place, or at least was last time I was there. So if you're checking bags, I think of PHL as your first roulette spin of your Vegas trip. Minimum Connection Time is 40 minutes - pretty long for a domestic airport.

    Too bad about SWA. Glad you have a Plan C to get to Vegas - I'd hate to have to drive out to Maine, pick you up and drive you to Vegas. :nono:
     
  14. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

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    Hammie -- I think I'll be checking a bag (doing some hiking in Maine and will need totally different clothes for LV) so at least if I'm running, it won't be lugging a suitcase. But you all have definitely turned me off connecting through PHL.

    Bruinfan -- you'd hate it even more since I'm a Rangers fan! (I'm assuming that your screenname refers to the Boston Bruins).
     
  15. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    LOL - the main problem with PHL are 1) it's too small for the amount of traffic it gets and 2) its main airline is USAir, which is just a horrible airline in every way an airline can be horrible. So, add those two together with all the delays and what you get is a total [email protected] that constantly has them shuffling gates at the last minute - there've been many, many times when I've been at a gate at PHL, checked in and then had the announcement come that my flight was now going to depart from a gate in another terminal on the other side of the friggin' airport :grrr:

    Oh, yeah - and the baggage claim is indeed hands down the slowest of any airport in the country.
     
  16. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    If the airline allows you to book it, you are pretty much okay. If the connection does not work, it is on them to get you on the next available flight.

    Two words to the wise once you land. Do NOT, repeat do NOT rely on what the first agent tells you about next gate. Check the screens while enroute. I have know them to be wrong and then updated. Or something changes. Like a delay. If delayed, you can stop running.
     
  17. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    I would be very concerned about it.

    I live in Philly and traveled quite a bit for business and pleasure. In the summer, you definitely have the threat of storms - especially if it is an afternoon flight.

    There are also frequent delays in finding a gate....you can land and sit on the tarmac for a half an hour waiting for a gate.

    And if you come in on terminal F - frequently this is where you come in when you are on less traveled routes with smaller planes - you can have a pretty extensive distance to terminal B or C (the usual gates for USAIR flights to major cities like Vegas.) And if you have to get to terminal A (usually international, but being used more and more for domestic flights as well) you are really screwed. It is a huge terminal that can take 20 minutes to get from the first gate to the last.

    Good Luck!!
     
  18. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I have flown US Airways and Delta and didn't really find any difference apart from the food being terrible on US and no free alcohol on US. The flight itself was one of the smoothest I have had though.
     
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