A couple of quick questions We are looking to travel to Florida later this year and fly international with Qantas to DFW and connect to a domestic flight on AA once there.

7 replies

Lurch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Dec 2013

Total posts 20

A couple of quick questions

We are looking to travel to Florida later this year and fly international with Qantas to DFW and connect to a domestic flight on AA once there.

We are looking at a 1.5 hour layover, will this be long enough to get through customs & immigration etc.

Also, I fly with a US visa as opposed to my wife & kids who have an Esta, can we all transit together through carry EZ as opposed to going through separate lanes

I am a bit confused by it all to be honest.

TIA

Steve

HelpfulAmerican

Member since 06 Jan 2016

Total posts 29

It's cutting it terribly close. You'll probably get a express connect pass on the jet bridge in DFW to speed you up, but  even if you clear immigration and get through customs with your bags in 45 minutes, you could still easily get stuck in a security line.

I would only consider this if you don't mind the idea of having to be rebooked on another flight and can find it in yourself to forgive the poor offering that is an Adnmirals Club. 

Richard Brown

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 26 May 2012

Total posts 132

My experience with Qantas in the states is that they have always been very good in helping with connections, but to ease the stress, I would normally prefer to have at least 2 to 2.5 hours to allow for immigration, especially as I had a phase, where every time I entered the USA, I was pulled aside for some reason to have additional questions asked. Never did find out the reason!

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 336

1.5hrs seems to me to be uncomfortably short - although it may be doable. I would be a lot more comfortable with 2hrs. I do SYD-DFW with AA domestic connects in Dallas a few times a year and have done this since the QF DFW service began.

The introduction of computerised arrival terminals at DFW has vastly improved throughput at CBP (Customs & Immigration processing). My personal record from A380 through CBP has been 17 mins, but that is a rarity. Prior to the automated passport reader terminals, it would routinely take anything from 45mins to an hour or more. That said, there are a couple of possible concerns.

- Whilst QF has a pretty good on-time arrival record on the DFW route, sometimes things can go awry. Even a 10 minute arrival delay is gonna cut your 90mins down by 12%.

- You haven't specified your end-destination in Florida. If its MIA, then maybe not so bad, but if it is TPA, JAX or RSW, it could be a while between drinks if you miss your connect.

- I would also be checking your QF booking to see which Terminal your Florida flight departs from. You will arrive at Terminal D (International) and American uses virtually all terminals at DFW, so you may need to transfer via the AA transit monorail to either Terminal A, B or C etc.

- The other issue to watch (after you've determined which Terminal your domestic leaves from) is which GATE it leaves from in that terminal. DFW is a physically huge set of terminals and the GATE may be some distance from your arrival point in that terminal. Walking say 10 gates can take a bit of time as well (like 7-9mins) depending on the Terminal. If you're not familiar with DFW's layout, I'd suggest a serious study of the maps on either the QF / AA or DFW websites.

- Don't forget to collect your luggage from the A380 flight - and then put it on the Transit luggage belt. At 90mins, you may make your connection but you don't want your luggage being delayed either.

readosunnycoast

Member since 05 Oct 2011

Total posts 114

I have no idea what time the QF flight arrives. IF it happens to be in the early part of the morning, forget it. DFW is a big gateway for South American flights and LONG delays can happen. AS you will need to collect and re "deposit" your bags AND deal with the rest of the family, I suggest that you look for some alternative.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 336

QF 7 arrival time into DFW is currently flagged at 13:35 / 1:35pm

Lurch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Dec 2013

Total posts 20

Thanks to all for your informative replies. We have asked the agent to come up with flight options with a longer window.

By the way we are heading to Orlando, Washington, New York (Xmas 16), Vegas, LA & Hawaii

Should be a good trip :-)

 

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 336

No worries, Lurch.

I'm presuming you were provisionally booked on the AA 3:00pm MCI (Orlando) flight? The next option on AA (direct) will be 5:05pm ex DFW accrding to the current timetable info for Nov-Dec.

Good decision on your part to explore additional later options. With an on-time QF arrival at 13:35, that gives only 85 mins.

Once deplaned, you will have to claim your luggage (could take 20-40 mins on a heavily loaded A380-800) and walk through to the Transit Baggage area. Figure 5-10mins for getting the family through Customs line & questions, and then look at the overhead screens to see which belt to put your luggage on for Orlando.

 Then, do the Immigration dance, by using the automated kiosks. If your children are younger, you'll probably have to assist them with the questions and grab the printouts. Present these to the CBP personnel - shouldn't take too long, but be aware that there are also 1-2 other A380/B747 services arriving at the same time as QF, so the line might be large. It does move pretty quickly though.

Your Orlando flight will probably be from either Terminal A or C, so catch the AA train (free) from Terminal D to the relevant terminal. In most of the terminals, there are two 'stop' points, so know your Gate number.

Presuming that Orlando will be for the benefit of the kids with Disneyworld and Epcot being the main attractions. But at least you'll be able to do the transfer in a relaxed and orderly manner.

If your QF flight arrived 15 mins earlier, then hey - you would probably make the 3pm flight - but any delay on arrival or delay in luggage collection would undoubtedly see you miss it. So, the latter option is going to be your best bet - and you'll be arriving in Orlando just after 8pm, so will miss all of the peak hour traffic. Hope all goes well .. and enjoy the trip.

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