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connecting flight !!

Travel Forums North America connecting flight !!

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1. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

okay so i'm headed off to japan in august, but since I'm leaving from the east coast [boston] I'm going to have to transfer planes in Chicago.

My layover is 1 Hr 40 Minutes ... I've never had a connecting flight in my life before, in fact I've only been on a plane once, with my whole family to Florida when I was 11. Now i'll be transfering planes alone.

i'm just really nervous about the process, I mean 1hour40min is nothing! :P You don't have to check your luggage again right? It just automatically goes to the next plane? I hope?

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

You will not have to pick up your luggage. You may not even need to clear security again, depending on what gates your flights are at.

The biggest problem with O'Hare in August will be thunderstorms, which could delay your flight. But there isn't much you can do about that.

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Because you'll be connecting in the same country you left from, you won't have to go through customs and so your bags should automatically go right through. Just follow the signs in the airport that lead to connecting flights; it should be pretty clear. You can check ahead to see if you have to change terminals and catch a shuttle, but you really have plenty of time. I once caught a connecting flight in 20 minutes and had to change terminals in the process. I was out of breath, but we made it!

4. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

Thanks guys ^^ ahh I am nervous, thankfully I won't have a connecting flight in a foreign country. If i'm nervous about connecting in the USA i'd be dead in like Japan or something, haha.

Also for international flight. How long before departure should you arrive? ... My flight is at 8:55AM .. i'm gonna be about 30 min from the airport ... wondering if I'll have to wake up at 3AM ... of course I might not sleep because of the time difference and stuff but yeah.

Also I'm taking United Airlines & Japan Airlines. Any comments on either?

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 22, 2007, at 10:21 AM by starlight2 ]

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

The first leg of your journey will be considered a domestic flight since you will be changing planes in Chicago, then considered international for the trip to Japan. I have not flown from the Boston airport, but I would think an 8:55am flight would be right in that morning commuter (air) traffic. I would recommend being at the airport 1.5 hours prior to take-off to ensure checking your luggage, sorting your tickets, getting through security and to the gate 30 minutes before departure. They usually start boarding the plane 20 minutes before take-off.

At the ticket desk, the agent will give you the boarding passes for both Boston and Chicago. Once in Chicago, do look at the big boards with the departure information for all of United's flights to double-check the departing gate. Sometimes they do change while you are in the air. But, O'Hare's terminals are easy to navigate - just loooooonnnnggg.

United Airlines has it's own terminal at O'Hare as it's United's hub. It is Terminal #1. You will mostly likey have to take the shuttle from Termial #1 to Terminal #5, which is the International terminal. Looking at O'Hare information, JAL departs from Terminal #5. It is easy to get to the shuttle and it announces each terminal as you approach it. There are also quite a few airport personnel who will help you get where you need to be. Don't be afraid to ask! (The shuttle goes around in a circle so if you miss the stop the first time around - just stay on and wait until it comes up again.)

During the flight from Boston to Chicago, the attendants will give the gate information for those with connecting flights. They will also tell you if you need to collect your luggage and check it through again. I don't think you will. If they don't say anything - ask before you land so you have an idea where to go and what to do. It never hurts to explain this is your first flight alone.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 22, 2007, at 10:51 AM by Isadora ]

6. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

Wow thanks Isa.

You really explained everything to a T ^^ ... but you also confirmed my worst fear, ... that I'd have to take a shuttle. I am the WORST when it comes to things like that. If I get even a little lost, I freak.

I guess the best thing is to keep asking questions all the time, I mean that is what the workers are there for.

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting starlight2

I guess the best thing is to keep asking questions all the time, I mean that is what the workers are there for.

On my first trip alone, I must have asked someone for help every 5 feet! I found people to be really helpful, though. I also panicked a bit about having to change gates at LAX - purportedly a huge airport - only to discover the first plane landed at gate 45 and the second took off from gate 46.

8. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

I'm glad i'm a girl. Haha. I think if it were a guy asking these questions people might be like .. "ummm dude" :P

9. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

Quoting starlight2

I'm glad i'm a girl. Haha. I think if it were a guy asking these questions people might be like .. "ummm dude" :P

I know a few men who'd freak in just about any airport situation as well :)

It's a real pity that o'Hare has such a lousy website... I expected that they'd feature step-by-step transit manuals for the scared and the insecure, like Atlanta intl airport does, but alas... Fortunately, they likely have well-trained service personnel, so you shouldn't worry.

10. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Hi Starlight

My first ever trip on my own out of Ireland was to the States. I flew into Newark and had a connecting flight on to San Fran. Even though I had about 3 hours of an interim, i was still REALLY nervous. I remember my Dad gave me a map of Newark and I freaked out looking at it. There seemed to lots of terminals and I had no clue what to expect. My big issue was wondering how I was going to get from one terminal to the other.

It all worked out just fine. Everything is signposted and all you have to do is ask an airport worker if you get really confused :)
I think as long as you keep checking the departure screens, you'll do fine. It's really important to know what time you have to be where, if you get me

And, as everyone else already pointed out, your luggage should be checked through so once you get off the plane you dont have the usual hassle of waiting at a conveyor belt for ages, etc.
Best advice I can give is once you deboard, head straight for the nearest info screen, check things out, get yourself to whichever terminal or gate you are meant to be at, get through security and then AND ONLY THEN, allow yourself to be distracted by the lovely shiny DUTY FREE products.