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(27 Posts)
Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 08:03:57

Ok I am self confessed worrier. So need to clarify things in my mind!

We have booked flights to Orlando in October with 2 stops. We connect at Heathrow then at Miami before arriving in Orlando. Great I thought.

We have 2 hours in between flights (there and then the same on return journey). Now I am being told 2 hours might not be long enough to clear immigration at Miami and get to our next flight.
Really? So what happens then? I am in a bit of a panic mode!

Also what happens with baggage? Do we collect it a Heathrow and then at Miami and check it in again?


OP’s posts: |
CatsCantFlyFast Thu 31-Mar-16 08:16:16

Where are you flying from?

Baggage - you should be able to send your bags straight through to Miami (assuming all on one booking). You will need to collect your bags in Miami to go through customs and then check them in again.

Who booked the flights for you? An agent normally ensures minimum connection times are met - 2 hours 'should' be fine I reckon but it might be a bit rushed. If an agent booked the flights on one booking then you should have no problem either changing to a later connecting flight now, or getting transferred to a later connecting flight (if there is space) if you miss your original flight in Miami. It's slightly different if you have booked the flights yourself.

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 10:28:46

We're flying from Aberdeen and booked the flights through Skyscanner (travelUP agent) - so it was Aberdeen to Orlando and that was the flight 'package' we got for the price we were willing to pay.

So we haven't booked all the flights separately ourselves. I assume it will be fine just like you said a bit of a rush.

OP’s posts: |
Sidge Thu 31-Mar-16 10:34:06

I don't know what Miami is like, but I flew to JFK New York last week and it took 2 hours to clear immigration, that was without collecting bags or transiting through security and a connecting flight.

I think you'll be pushing it, but I have no idea what happens if you miss your connecting flight. It may depend on the airline - who are you flying with?

mummymeister Thu 31-Mar-16 12:58:18

we had the same experience sidge. took us ages just to get through immigration and had to run for our next flight. I think 2 hours is fine in Europe airports to transfer but a whole different ball game in the us.

caroldecker Thu 31-Mar-16 13:46:26

As you have booked it all as one package, they will need to put you on the next flight. AA flies at least 4 times a day, so no long wait.

caroldecker Thu 31-Mar-16 13:47:05

Its also only a 4 hour drive, so if you are hiring a car anyway, i would stop and Miami and drive.

CatsCantFlyFast Thu 31-Mar-16 16:05:44

Why don't you ring skyscanner and ask if there's a later Miami - Orlando flight they can put you on?

PatriciaHolm Thu 31-Mar-16 16:20:09

Did you book anything else other than flights? If so I think the booking (looking at travel ups T&cs) counts as a package. If not, then it counts as "individual components" and so if you miss a connection, it's up to you to sort it.

I would have said that 2 hours to clear immigration, collect luggage, deposit it and make the plane was very tight. We made it though Miami quite quickly in late August but that seems to be a rare thing.

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 20:14:33

We have only booked flights through them, but we do need to hire a car, so maybe we should book that through them and that will count as a package ?

OP’s posts: |
AveEldon Thu 31-Mar-16 20:29:12

Who are your flights with? If they are with the same airline then usually it's fine

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 21:00:58

It's BA flights from Aberdeen to Heathrow then Heathrow to Miami, but the Miami - Orlando is BA operated by American Airlines.

Return flights are BA operated by American Airlines from Orlando to Miami to Heathrow, then BA from Heathrow to Aberdeen.

OP’s posts: |
Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 21:03:23

Carol, that might have to be an option if we miss it !! confusedconfused

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Thu 31-Mar-16 21:04:58

It's probably not long enough of you have to collect your luggage and check it in again.

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 22:07:25

Oh dear - not looking good. I emailed travelup today and they said "we checked your booking and you have enough time to collect your baggage and re check-in.

Hmm... I replied and asked ..again .. About the immigration part - waiting to hear.

I also checked AA flights on our day and there are 2 or 3 more after ours at about £115 each, so I guess at worst if we miss ours and don't automatically get put on a later one we have that option ( or hire a car and drive up )

Damn - knew it was going too well. ( although a friend reckoned they easily did it in 2 hours last year ...)

OP’s posts: |
SwedishEdith Thu 31-Mar-16 22:15:09

Did you pay for one ticket - Aberdeen to Orlando? Is the Miami - Orlando BA operated by American Airlines bit a code share thing and you've just booked with BA from Aberdeen to Orlando?

If it is, you don't have to pay for another flight if you miss your connection. But, they can only put you on the next flight if there's space.

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 22:42:45

Yes we paid for the whole thing as 1 trip with 2 stops (return). The Miami - Orlando part wasn't a separate booking.

OP’s posts: |
SwedishEdith Thu 31-Mar-16 22:47:34

Well, that's good in that they pay if you miss your flight. Just keep some alternatives in mind if you'd rather not wait.

Sparkygal Thu 31-Mar-16 23:08:22

Thanks swedishedith

OP’s posts: |
fruitlovingmonkey Thu 31-Mar-16 23:12:51

Last time I flew to Miami it was really quick to get through immigration (by US standards). They had electronic terminals to do the first stage then the queues for the human part weren't very long. Hopefully you have the same experience.

Sparkygal Fri 01-Apr-16 16:11:32

I have emailed TravelUp again and they apparently contacted the airline who said we would have enough time to get through immigration and re-check in.

Just not going to worry about it until we get there, then deal with it if there's an issue.

They did offer us a later connection from Miami for an extra £241 per person lol! Em no - considering it was £114 per person when I looked up AA last night.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Apr-16 19:21:11

I think you have been misled.

Two hours to connect at Miami is not enough time. It could take you almost half that time to actually arrive at the immigration hall, it is that big an airport. Last time I was there the electronic machines were not working properly so everyone had to line up. After immigration you will need to put your bags onto the transfer carousel.

Your bags should be checked through to Miami (they will likely make that connection) but I would be fully prepared to miss your onward flight from Miami to Orlando. I do not think that either you or your bags will make that connecting flight to Orlando.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Apr-16 19:26:03

Also the clock starts ticking on your connecting flight from the time your plane from the UK lands at Miami. They will not wait for you if you are late. The AA staff may be able to rebook you on a later flight that same day but if you arrive after the last AA flight to Orlando has left you will need to fly on there the next day.

I sincerely hope you make your connection at Miami but I would not be surprised if you did not make the flight to Orlando. Am sorry but I think you were sold some duff connections anyway.

Frazzled2207 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:40:05

Don't panic. You will have to pick up bags at miami but not heathrow. Airlines and reputable agents only sell "safe" connections which doesn't mean you will catch if but does mean you'll be sorted out if you don't.
Coming back you won't have immigration to clear and you may be able to check bags through so less worrying.

eurochick Fri 01-Apr-16 19:46:37

Ive been through Miami a few times and think that is VERY tight. It's a clusterfuck of an airport. But as you've booked a package you should be put on the next connecting flight. That's happened to me without any problem when I've missed a connection (not at Miami).

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