Travel Noob; Is a 32 minute layover too short for two first time fliers?

posted 7 months ago in Travel
Post # 46
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee

Oooph I used to book travel all the time for execs at my old job, and I’ve traveled extensively and I would not do one 30 min layover, let alone two. MSP and ATL are also large airports. If you stick with that schedule, I am guessing you’ll miss your flight but the airline will re-book you. Basically, you’re going to get to Hawaii, but it might not be when or how you want.

Post # 47
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee

sollyb :  They will not hold the plane for you. Nope nope nope. I actually almost missed a flight once and it was booked together through Delta, and the first plane was delayed due to weather. They only hold for first class. I even made it to the gate just before the door closed, but my husband was farther behind as he waited to grab our bags from the overhead bin. Even though I was there, they told me they wouldn’t wait for my husband. 

Post # 48
Member
886 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

It’s tight, but doable depending on the circumstances.  I think the other bees have given you good things to think about.  Flying through an airline’s hub is a really different experience than flying another airline through that airport that does not have it as a hub.  I personally think MSP is pretty user friendly to navigate around quickly for a layover, ATL less so.  But again it depends on the proximity of your gates to one another.  I’d do some research – what is the on-time % for the flight?  If you miss your connection what other options are available to get to where you need to go?

Post # 49
Member
7749 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

whitums :  Right…they will rebook you, but it might be two days later or something depending on the level of shit show that is going on re: weather, level of competence of the airline employees, etc.  

A recent horror story from my own travels. We were flying back from the Middle East last year and had a connection in Newark. We landed in Newark around 8pm only to discover our flight home had been canceled due to weather. As it was the last flight out that night, we were automatically rebooked for the following day. Since it was a weather delay, the airline wouldn’t put us up in a hotel. But we also couldn’t stay in the terminal because our flight wasn’t til the next day, so we were stuck in the bowels of Newark where baggage claim is and no seats or anything.Pretty much all flights in and out of Newark were grounded due to the weather, which meant thousands of travelers were in need of hotels, and there were NO HOTELS left in the entire NYC area unless we wanted to pay literaly $1000. I’m not kidding you…we were on every hotel booking website, and we also had family and friends frantically trying to snatch up a hotel for us. In the end, we somehow snagged a room at a Motel 6 in Newark, for which we paid $200, and it had BED BUGS. Also it was in a super sketchy area and there was a giant sign on the door that said “for your own safety, use the chain lock” – but the chain lock had been ripped off the door! lol you can’t make this up. The place was so gross and scary that we ended up leaving it at 3am because we were so disgusted, and headed back to the airport.

So, we’re at the airport 4 hours before our flight. We go to check our bags with the kiosk and discover that the airline (United) fucked up our rebooking, and also fucked up the rebooking of several hundred other customers, so we were in a line with literally 100+ people and only two agents are working the line. Spoiler: we missed our fucking flight because of the ineptitude and had to get rebooked again through a different city. Well, THAT flight was fucking late too, and then the final flight home had a mechanical issue that led to another 3 hr delay! In the end we made it home about 36 hrs later than we were supposed to and probably spent an extra $400 between the disastrous Motel 6, taxis to and from, and airport food. Plus we were emotionally scarred for life from the experience.

Obviously this is a complete horror show where everything that could have possibly gone wrong did go wrong…but yeah. Because of this experience (and many other milder shit shows due to connection drama), I will pretty much do anythign to minimize the # of connections on any trip and to make sure there is plenty of time during layovers. 

Post # 50
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Nope, not in Atlanta. Don’t even try. Potentially missing a connection is not a way to start a vacation IMO. Like other people have said, you could land in Terminal A and be flying out of Terminal D. If you were an experienced traveler, I’d say you could risk it, but not for new flyers. 

Post # 51
Member
582 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Wouldn’t even try it. I thought a 35 minute layover in ATL was enough time, big mistake. **This was also the first time I was flying alone as a teenager** I had MAYBE 10 minutes by the time I got off the plane (which takes a minimum of 20mins in my experience) and just my luck, I had to catch the tram to my next gate which adds even more time. 

Based on what you said and how you booked, I’m going to assume your seats will also be at the back of the plane which will further delay you getting off. I had the very back seats and even if I mentioned to a flight attendant “I have X time to get to my connection” I had zero help and no one cared. I’ve also flown multiple airlines as well. 

Post # 52
Member
8274 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

whitums :  I’ve had planes held for us due to the earlier flight being late because over half of the first flight was connecting on to the second and I was never in first class. If it impacts enough travelers it doesn’t make sense to fly a half-empty plane and then try to fit all those people on other flights. BUT…there is no way of knowing ahead of time if that will be the case. If you’re the only person trying to make a connection I agree they won’t wait for you. 

Post # 53
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee

LilliV :  When was that? I have not in the past several years ever had that experience, both personally and professionally. I’ve been in situations where a good chunk of people were moving on to the same connection, and it did not matter. The same plane is scheduled to bounce all over the country/world that day, and holding it for even half the plane will screw up many flights afterwards. It has a domino effect then for all the other connections throughout the day. 

Post # 54
Member
5057 posts
Bee Keeper

It’s super tight.  I have made my flights with this but I had to sprint. Like no time to pee sprint.  ATL is a large airport. I’d see if you can switch it. But it can be done if the plane isn’t late and you can get to the gate and you run. 

Post # 55
Member
990 posts
Busy bee

Nope. No way.  I travel all the time (Platinum or Exec Platinum with AA for the last 10 years) and do not do connections with less than a 50-60 minute layover.  That’s really a 20-30 minute layover because flights start booking 30 minutes before take off.  International flights from the US board 45 minutes early, double check with your airplane because I believe Hawaii was treated like an international flight the last time we went. So your 30 minute layover is more like 10 minutes before the gate closes. 

 

Atlanta is one of the worst airports in the world, IMO. It’s hard enough to navigate on a good day, much less for a first time flyer with a super tight layover. 

 

Did you book all these on the same airline or separately??

Post # 56
Member
13707 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Ohhh man 32 minutes would give me so much stress.  There isn’t a chance that you’d make a connection in Atlanta with a 32 minute layover.  What if you have to change terminals?  You’re screwed.  Layovers suck, but it’s better than missing your flight!

Post # 57
Member
8274 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

whitums :  last time was 3 years ago. It was a smaller European airline so perhaps that was the reason? Come to think of it I’ve never had an issue with connections in the US – the couple times it happened were all in Europe lol. 

Post # 58
Member
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018 - City Hall

Travel consultant here. I would never book my clients with such short layovers at these airports. Some airports are tiny, in which case, you can totally get away with a short layer. This is not worth the stress.

What if one of the flights is delayed? You’d be screwed.

What if you have to switch terminals? (if these airports have multiple terminals). 

If you’ve never flown before, this would be stressful.

If you do book this ticket, ask the flight attendant before landing if they can find out your next gate so you can head straight there instead of trying to figure it out yourselves and waisting precious time. It would wise to select your seats ahead on time at the front of the aircraft, even if you have to pay for it – AND I’d do your online check-in as soon as you can so you can verify those seats first. If the airline doesn’t allow early seat selection, you can normally do this during online check-in.

Honestly, too many variables and I’d find this stressful, even for a well seasoned traveler like myself. 

Post # 59
Member
1638 posts
Bumble bee

I’m an experienced traveler and have never missed a flight, and I would personally chance it if the next flight wasn’t too long after, but as a first time traveller nope. You’re going to be too stressed and disoriented. 

Post # 60
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee

LilliV :  LOL I think you’re on to something there….no customer service or sympathy in the US.

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