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Is 30 minutes enough time to change planes?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by slot guppy, Mar 18, 2013.

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  1. slot guppy

    slot guppy Tourist

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    I booked our flights with Southwest. Don"t know a lot about them. Only flown with them 1 time & it was nonstop.
    On our return trip (from Las Vegas of course!) we are supposed to land @ 11:00 AM change planes & leave Denver @ 11:30AM.
    I am concerned that if there are any problems we will be in trouble. Looks like thats the only flight of the day to Dayton.
    Since Southwest does not have an agreement with other airlines is there a chance we will be stuck in Denver overnite?
     
  2. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    I have been through that same scenario coming home from LAS and changing planes in DEN. I was scheduled for 25 minutes and they said it would be no problem. I ended up with about 55 minutes in between after it was all said and done.

    If they leave on time, flights should really be early going from west to east.

    The only problem with SWA is that you will likely be transferring to a half full plane. So even if you get a good boarding group, you will likely not get a good seat.

    Oh and either get early bird or check in to the exact minute of 24 hours before your flight to ensure you get a good boarding position for the LAS-DEN flight. Then sit as close to the front as possible so you can bolt after arrival. That will give you even more time.

    Stephanie
     
  3. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I fly SWA now and love them. I have not changed planes in Denver so i am unfamiliar with distance to travel after you get your carryon luggage, exit the plane, walk up the boarding ramp and find a monitor to get your gate number. HOWEVER, Southwest is generally early and seldom takes off late. they generally start boarding 30 minutes before take off time as scheduled so as you start walking to the gate they are going to be boarding and if you have an A Boarding Pass, especially if the plane is half full or better, you may board with the B or C pass holders......in other words, have limited choice of seats and most likely will be sitting in the middle seat.

    My minimum time frame is 45 minutes. i figure if i know the airport, most you can walk to in about 15 minutes, and therefore get in line with the A group if you have an A Boarding Pass. The exception is Kansas City where the airport is not secure. Unless they have changed in the last several years, after you arrive you have to go through security again to board. It is a pain, to have to do that again the same day. I wouldnt mind if the flight was cheap and I had plenty of time.

    My flight was delayed due to a backup because of bad weather several years ago and United's flight was late arriving in Chicago, and I missed my connection (surprised huh?), and I got stranded in Chicago until I was finally flown to San Francisco and put on standby for a shuttle into LV. It was a real hassle,, I was over 12 hours late arriving in LV. It was the 2nd year in a row that this happened, the hotel gave up my room after midnight, and UA lost my luggage on my return flight. It was also the last time I flew United and precipitated my switch to Southwest.

    You may not care and it might be fine but I don't like to take chances flying and getting stranded. Perhaps someone familiar can give you a better idea of the timeline but i wanted to share my perspective.

    Jimbo338
     
  4. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    In denver the gates are really close to each other for the most part, they also build in a fudge factor for their schedules, meaning even if the plane leaves LAS somewhat late, you can still arrive on time in denver. They will usually hold a plane if alot of people are transferring as well(not forever but for a few min at least). You should be fine for an early morning departure from las vegas like you have.
     
  5. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    Worst case scenario, you could fly to Columbus and then drive for an hour to Dayton.
     
  6. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    If you book a connecting flight through the same airline then its a lot less likely you will have a problem.

    For the time, the 30 minutes to get from one jet to another, they'll pretty much have it set up where they know what the times needed are - you may not have time to stop for a drink, do some shopping and then grab a burger at the food court, but you should have ample time to walk from the first flight to the second.

    Just keep in mind that you aren't the first person to book this connecting flight, there are probably a few people on your first flight that are also on the second, and that the airline has probably had that connection in their schedule for a couple of years.

    As for a problem like your first flight is running late: when they do up the schedules they always pad them with a little extra time, but if something were to happen where your first flight was running 15-20 minutes late they have all that information on your first flight and you in their computer and almost always the airline will hold up the second flight for connecting passengers.
     
  7. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Airlines HATE having people miss flights. They will book what works almost all the time, and then deal with the few percent that have a problem.

    The only time you MIGHT be concerned is if you MUST be somewhere that day without fail, and the connection flight is the last one of the day. Still, after flying thousands of flights, even a dozen in one week, I would not worry about it. They know what they are doing.
     
  8. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Denver's my home airport, so I'll speak to that part. You won't be changing terminals, so you can walk, and with Southwest's block of gates all being relatively close, it's not going to be a long walk.

    The only airline you have to be careful with when you're connecting in Denver is United, since they have so many gates.

    I think you're gambling if you take a 30 minute layover, but I think it's a reasonable gamble where you're going to win way more than you lose. You may end up late in the boarding and have crappy seats for your second leg, but if you're okay with that, I'd probably book it.

    Of course there are a dozen SW flights a day from vegas to Denver...you could just take one earlier if you weren't sure.
     
  9. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    As written above they usually board 30 minutes or so prior to take off if the plane is ready (has arrived and turn around time is wide) or originates at Denver. HOWeVer, you may be the last to board; in the last group to board, or down the line from your printed boarding pass so your choice of seats may be less than you expected. Make new friends and share that (those) drink ticket.....if everyone is going to Vegas how bad can / could it be? Good luck....
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  10. slot guppy

    slot guppy Tourist

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    Denver to Dayton

    Thanks everyone.
    It is my return flight (from Vegas) that only has 30 minutes between flights. I did add the $12.50 early bird fee to our flight. Sounds like it probably wont matter though.
    If there had been any other time to choose from I would have allowed for more time. SW from Dayton to LV & back didn't have a lot to pick from. Unless I wanted to pay a couple hundred more. Not happening.
    Good to hear the gates are close. That does relieve my anxiety.
    Guess if we get stranded in Denver overnight it wont kill us.
    On our last trip to Vegas we were delayed in Denver for 3-4 hrs due to tornadoes.What a nitemare.
     
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