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ORD (Chicago) airport winter delay (help choosing a flight)


aprilsp88
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6 hours ago, Ombud said:

I just flew NS from SFO to Miami. I am completely confused as to why OP cannot / will not do that. There are several NS options to choose from

Yes there is one nonstop option available, but it's restricted air and almost triple price, so I want to take a chance on connection flight.

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So book EZAir with the cruise line (I went with Princess & my flight was $580 when I went in July 2019 return August 2019, quite reasonable.) Princess air is flexible and refundable until 45 days b4. The only issue is that you have to go to Miami but its relatively close to the port.

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OP, flight delays can and do happen for a variety of reasons, not just weather related. SFO does have frequent delays but if you are on a non stop then you eliminate the possibility of missing your connection. No way for anyone to predict  weather delays or any other kind of delay this far ahead so it’s pointless to worry about it. Others have suggested a non stop Flight. Additionally, flying in at least ah day ahead is advisable too. 

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8 hours ago, Ombud said:

So book EZAir with the cruise line (I went with Princess & my flight was $580 when I went in July 2019 return August 2019, quite reasonable.) Princess air is flexible and refundable until 45 days b4. The only issue is that you have to go to Miami but its relatively close to the port.

Yes I'm booking EZAir. However the only nonstop is jetblue, around $500 one way, restricted, vs $200 for the one stop, flexair. Maybe all other nonstops are fully booked, as I remember flying UA, and alaska nonstop flexair in the past.

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1 minute ago, purduemom1 said:

OK I just saw that you can’t fly in a day ahead. I am not sure what you mean by a restricted ns flight. However, since you can’t fly in a day ahead, it seems all the more necessary to try for a non stop. Just my opinion for what’s its worth.

Restricted air is one type of cruiseline offered air. After booking you can't make change. While flexair you can change it up until 45 days before departure, so there is a lot of flexibility (say if you see a lower fare or better itinerary you can change to it) . I also prefer nonstop, but currently the only nonstop is restricted and almost triple the price.

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11 minutes ago, purduemom1 said:

OP, flight delays can and do happen for a variety of reasons, not just weather related. SFO does have frequent delays but if you are on a non stop then you eliminate the possibility of missing your connection. No way for anyone to predict  weather delays or any other kind of delay this far ahead so it’s pointless to worry about it. Others have suggested a non stop Flight. Additionally, flying in at least ah day ahead is advisable too. 

This is a very good point. Just wonder, do you know why SFO have frequent delay? Can't they try to fix the existing problems, or arrange flight accordingly to account for the delays that can be predicted?

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:17 PM, aprilsp88 said:

layover for 2 hours in ORD before Christmas, to catch the next day cruise. Should I be concerned for weather delay? How often does it happen?

 

Any flight can be affected by weather at any time in the year.  As for how often it happens, there's no way to really answer that accurately.  I'm sure there are stats on how often a particular airport has been affected by weather, but the bad weather that affects a given flight doesn't have to be occurring at the departure or arrival airport; it could happen anywhere in the country and keep the aircraft or crew from getting to the departure airport on time, for example. 

 

On 8/24/2019 at 8:33 PM, d9704011 said:

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the data at this site, but see no particular reason to doubt it for giving an idea of how much snow to expect (historically) in Chicago:

 

Just keep in mind that what has ACTUALLY happened in the any given year in the past has no bearing on what MIGHT happen on any given day in the future.  It's all a game of chance.

 

On 8/24/2019 at 9:26 PM, PescadoAmarillo said:

We’re happier routing through DFW or ATL or CLT, not that any of them are immune to serious delays. 

 

Correct.  It's kind of a catch 22.  Book a connection through a northern/midwest airport that is more likely to see snow, and ice but also has more capability/equipment to deal with snow.  Book a connection through a southern airport that is less likely to see snow and ice, but understand that even a relatively small amount can paralyze an airport that is ill-equipped to deal with it. 

 

On 8/25/2019 at 2:14 AM, aprilsp88 said:

Missing the connection is also my worry. I know past performance is no guarantee of future, just want to increase the possibility of arriving on time. It's very strange this year, much less direct flight.

 

You really can't.  You can make decisions that mitigate the risk, but in the end it's all a game of chance.

 

22 hours ago, janina said:

Do not pick 55 minutes in Atlanta it is not enough time in Atlanta.  A lot of time to get from the touch down in Atlanta to the gate. 

 

2 things here:

1.  Unless you have mobility issues, a person should be able to make a 55 minute connection at ATL.  The plane train between concourses runs quickly and often, so if your inbound flight isn't delayed and you can walk easily, a  55 minute connection is very doable.  I frequently transit ATL with 30 min or less due to a delayed inbound combined with an initial connect time of 45 or less.

2.  When you are looking at the connection time, you need to understand that the times listed are the gate times, not the wheels up/wheels down time.  ex. inbound shows a 1:00 arrival and outbound shows a 1:55 departure, for a 55 min. connection.  You don't have to add the time it takes to get from touch down to gate, as you implied.  In this example, the scheduled 1:00 arrival refers to the time the flight is scheduled to arrive at the gate, not the time it is scheduled to touch down.  Same for departure; 1:55 is the time it is scheduled to leave the gate, not the time it does wheels up.

 

22 hours ago, MixerDave said:

I recall arriving in Atlanta with plenty of time to make my connect....except we did not have a gate available until I saw my connection pull away - then we had a gate.  Spent the night in a hotel provided by the airline.

 

You don't indicate the reason for the missed connection, but as this discussion is about weather, the OP (and others) should understand that when the cause of delay is weather, an airline is under no obligation to pay for a hotel.  They might occasionally, especially for  very frequent flyer, but that is not standard practice and should not be expected.

 

13 hours ago, aprilsp88 said:

Yes there is one nonstop option available, but it's restricted air and almost triple price, so I want to take a chance on connection flight.

 

I just don't get that.  SFO and MIA are both major airports/hubs.  I find it hard to believe that neither UA (lots of SFO flights) or AA (MIA is a major hub) have a nonstop between the two.  I suspect you have applied additional parameters that must be met and that is why you can only find a single nonstop on Jet Blue.

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1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

I just don't get that.  SFO and MIA are both major airports/hubs.  I find it hard to believe that neither UA (lots of SFO flights) or AA (MIA is a major hub) have a nonstop between the two.  I suspect you have applied additional parameters that must be met and that is why you can only find a single nonstop on Jet Blue.

 

United does appear to have a 1x daily SFO-FLL redeyes. United does not appear to fly SFO-MIA at all.

 

AA does fly SFO-MIA, and has four nonstops today, for example. Two of them appear to be redeyes.

Edited by Zach1213
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Wish the Mods would combine these two threads. Hard to keep track of what has been posted.  Anyway, a big problem here is that the OP is flying around Christmas. Difficult to find an inexpensive fare around the holidays. Then you add the possibility of delays due to a variety of reasons, and it seems pretty difficult to meet all expectations. If a one stop is the choice, I’d make sure I had sufficient time between flights. As Waterbug pointed out, weather delays can occur at any point along the route. Having additional flights to your destination should you be delayed will only be helpful if there are seats available. During holiday travel periods, this can be a problem. In the end, you can’t eliminate all the possible risks so book the choice that you feel works best for you and hope all goes well. Unfortunately there are no guarantees. 

 

One other point -since since you are booking thru the cruise line, make sure your ticket can be transferred to another airline or another route. Some tickets bought at a deep discount cannot which will severely limit your options should you miss your connecting flight.

 

Good luck to you!

 

 

 

 

 

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We live in Chicago and agree with the prior poster, it's hit or miss about the weather in Chicago from December -March (although we had 2 big snow storms in April last year). First choice, take a non stop to Florida. Paying a little more to guarantee not missing your cruise is worth it. Otherwise we try to take the first flight out in the morning. Subject to a big snow storm closing the airport, the delays will not have built up in early am. BTW, if your red-eye is landing at Ohare, you do not want to have to cross the city to Midway Airport in bad weather.

Edited by dabear
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15 minutes ago, dabear said:

First choice, take a non stop to Florida. Paying a little more to guarantee not missing your cruise is worth it.

 

"Guarantee" is a bit strong of a word and definitely not a thing. Nobody can guarantee a flight being on time, or guarantee making it to the ship on time. Yes, a nonstop has a better chance of getting you there, but there's no such thing as a guarantee.

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Maybe contact NOAA.gov?  For predictability on the weather, also have you ruled out mechanical or other kinds of delays that can hit any aircraft at anytime...Flying around Christmas is crazy at most, but depending on no interruptions....I wish you the best...

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A note on ATL- if you're connecting there, you're flying Delta and they do tend to buffer their flight times by 20-30 minutes depending on route in order to hit their on-time arrival numbers, And on a flight that long, you're also not likely to hit the ATC' hold at origin due to air space congestion' departure delays that are common for short haul flights going into ATL. 

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1 hour ago, sumiandkage said:

A note on ATL- if you're connecting there, you're flying Delta and they do tend to buffer their flight times by 20-30 minutes depending on route in order to hit their on-time arrival numbers, And on a flight that long, you're also not likely to hit the ATC' hold at origin due to air space congestion' departure delays that are common for short haul flights going into ATL. 

 

Southwest does a lot of ATL connections now. Yes, DL is still king by far, but WN has started a pretty decently sized operation at ATL. Their connections are even easier.

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On 8/25/2019 at 9:19 AM, janina said:

Do not pick 55 minutes in Atlanta it is not enough time in Atlanta.  A lot of time to get from the touch down in Atlanta to the gate.  I would never and I often travel through Atlanta, pick a layover that is not 1.5 hours, so that I'm not stressed and running.

55 min is plenty of time in Atlanta.  While it is large, it is quite simple and efficient to navigate. No reason to sit there any longer than one has to.

Edited by TruckerDave
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21 hours ago, purduemom1 said:

it seems pretty difficult to meet all expectations.

 

This.  The OP seems to want to connect rather than fly nonstop, but only because the nonstop is more expensive.  But then, the OP is only seeing one nonstop option which is very odd.  Can't fly the day before, not comfortable with shorter, although legal, connections, and extremely concerned about weather which no one can control.  With air travel, you generally can't have your cake and eat it too, so I think at this point the OP needs to decide what's most important to her.... price?  connection time?  departure time?   and then just pick a flight and be done with it.  

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On 8/26/2019 at 4:48 AM, waterbug123 said:

Correct.  It's kind of a catch 22.  Book a connection through a northern/midwest airport that is more likely to see snow, and ice but also has more capability/equipment to deal with snow.  Book a connection through a southern airport that is less likely to see snow and ice, but understand that even a relatively small amount can paralyze an airport that is ill-equipped to deal with it. 

 

 

You really can't.  You can make decisions that mitigate the risk, but in the end it's all a game of chance.

 

 

2 things here:

1.  Unless you have mobility issues, a person should be able to make a 55 minute connection at ATL.  The plane train between concourses runs quickly and often, so if your inbound flight isn't delayed and you can walk easily, a  55 minute connection is very doable.  I frequently transit ATL with 30 min or less due to a delayed inbound combined with an initial connect time of 45 or less.

2.  When you are looking at the connection time, you need to understand that the times listed are the gate times, not the wheels up/wheels down time.  ex. inbound shows a 1:00 arrival and outbound shows a 1:55 departure, for a 55 min. connection.  You don't have to add the time it takes to get from touch down to gate, as you implied.  In this example, the scheduled 1:00 arrival refers to the time the flight is scheduled to arrive at the gate, not the time it is scheduled to touch down.  Same for departure; 1:55 is the time it is scheduled to leave the gate, not the time it does wheels up.

 

 

You don't indicate the reason for the missed connection, but as this discussion is about weather, the OP (and others) should understand that when the cause of delay is weather, an airline is under no obligation to pay for a hotel.  They might occasionally, especially for  very frequent flyer, but that is not standard practice and should not be expected.

 

 

I just don't get that.  SFO and MIA are both major airports/hubs.  I find it hard to believe that neither UA (lots of SFO flights) or AA (MIA is a major hub) have a nonstop between the two.  I suspect you have applied additional parameters that must be met and that is why you can only find a single nonstop on Jet Blue.

Some very good points here. Thanks.

 

When using google flights I see UA also has nonstop, but only Jetblue has redeye. I'm using cruise air, and UA is not shown, even if I change the arrival time.

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On 8/26/2019 at 8:09 AM, purduemom1 said:

One other point -since since you are booking thru the cruise line, make sure your ticket can be transferred to another airline or another route. Some tickets bought at a deep discount cannot which will severely limit your options should you miss your connecting flight.

 

Good luck to you!

Thanks. cruise line actually has next port protection, meaning if I miss the connection, they'll fly me to the next port. Still, I don't want to miss any day to enjoy the cruise.

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:39 AM, dabear said:

BTW, if your red-eye is landing at Ohare, you do not want to have to cross the city to Midway Airport in bad weather.

I now change the flight to connect in IAH. But just for my education, I don't quite get the above, do you mean to say not to change airport?

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6 hours ago, aprilsp88 said:

I now change the flight to connect in IAH. But just for my education, I don't quite get the above, do you mean to say not to change airport?

 

Chicago has two airports - O'Hare and Midway. Sometimes (almost always when someone has chosen to book separate tickets, one in to O'Hare and a completely separate one out of Midway), you have to switch from one airport to another. It's not the worst thing in the world, but can be a pain, especially in winter.


Some other places (like NYC, London, Washington DC) have the major airlines operating at multiple airports within the city, so it's more likely to find one ticket that is in to one airport and out of another (for example, a British Airways ticket where you fly in to Gatwick and out of Heathrow with some hours in between)...but since the only airline that operates out of both O'Hare and Midway is Delta, and they're unlikely to offer a Chicago connection (though it's technically possible), you likely wouldn't be having to switch airports unless you chose to, for example, fly United in to O'Hare on one ticket, and book a completely different ticket on Southwest out of Midway.

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