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whats enough time between connecting flights?

Travel Forums North America whats enough time between connecting flights?

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1. Posted by hindsy (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

my son is travelling to the USA for the first time, his international flight gets into la at 4.30pm, he then needs to travel to Washington. how much time should we put between flights considering customs, & collecting luggage as he's changing airlines.
then returning his LA flight back to Australia is at 11.30pm, what time should he get to LAX by? :(

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jan-2009, at 23:27 by hindsy ]

2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I would be nervous about anything less than 2-3 hours. Normally 1-2 would probably be fine, but I've heard enough stories from relatives about missing connections in the US to make me sceptical. My brother even had to buy another flight home. And you won't get any sympathy either

3. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I would say at least 2 hours on the way in, though I don't know LAX specifically so longer might be better. On the leaving end I'm not for sure either. I'm going to guess again in the 2-3 hour range, but you could look up the airline online and see what they recommend for international flights. Good luck!

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5174 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

At least 3 hours for LAX. Customs and immigration can take forever, and with changing airlines, there's a very high chance of needing to travel to a different terminal (there's many, and transport between them is bad) and needing to clear security there all over again, which is an extremely slow process at LAX. Tell him to try and not judge the USA by what he'll see as LAX; it's one of the most depressing airports out there.

For the flight back 2 hours should be plenty, as there's no customs and immigration to clear. (Ordinarily I'd say 1-1.5 hours, but it's still LAX we're talking about, so 2 to be on the safe side.)

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2009, at 09:15 by Sander ]

5. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1030 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I second three hours. LAX is a little disorganized as well. A friend of mine and I had to run across a couple of streets to get to the other terminal to catch a connection. Maybe it´s just me, but I found LAX confusing. 3 hours is best....two, gutsy.