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Old 11-16-2014, 06:05 AM
 
131 posts, read 150,191 times
Reputation: 147

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My wife and I missed our Airline connection due to long immigration and Customs Lines. As a result we had to be rebooked on a flight 24 hours later. (The flight we were to connect on had already left when we got out of customs and it was the last flight of the evening.) Is the airline at least partially at fault? The only option they offered us was the 95 minute connection between flights. That was not enough time due to incredible lines at both immigration and customs in Miami, our arrival destination in America. (Our final destination was Minneapolis.)

The airline told us that it was not their problem that the immigration and customs lines were so long. They told us to blame the government for low staffing levels. I told them that if the lines at immigration and customs were always so slow the Airline should have offered us a longer connection.

We were forced to pay $150 for an airport hotel for the 24 hour wait until the next available flight. Plus our travel insurance would not pay for it, under their missed connection coverage, because both flights we were schedule to be on arrived and left on time. Is this fair?
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:26 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
Yup, it's fair. I'm sure there were other connection options that would have been more expensive or on other airlines. You gambled and lost. I never accept less than a four hour connection when returning to the US, unless I am pre-clearing in Canada or Ireland--and I have Global Entry.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:58 AM
 
4,657 posts, read 7,704,188 times
Reputation: 4818
Miami is not an easy airport when it comes to Customs and Immigration any day because of the volume on international traffic it handles.

Did you purchase this ticket yourself online or did you use a travel advisor?
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
sorry that happened to you. It sucks and imo is not fair, but I doubt there's any recourse for you.

At the least you should have been able to finagle some sort of extra meal out of the situation...
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:49 PM
 
2,285 posts, read 3,108,137 times
Reputation: 3664
Should change the title to "Missed Airline Connection Due To Poor Planning!"
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, California
118 posts, read 127,935 times
Reputation: 619
One time I was booked on a flight Munich to SFO. It did not list any stops and I assumed that it was direct as it had a single flight number. Imagine my surprise when we landed in Chicago and had to stand in very long lines for customs, then claim & recheck our luggage and change terminals and go thru TSA. I had 3 1/2 hours to do it and failed. Boy did I get some great aerobic exercise running to the next terminal!

Boy do I check those flights now to see if it is truly a non-stop. But actually with 3 1/2 hours it would have been a reasonable connection, oh well. I really felt sorry for those passengers traveling with little ones.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:46 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,764,328 times
Reputation: 2236
For years I was red-flagged as a potential smuggler or something, so I would be pulled to the side for secondary screening every time I re-entered the country. Because of this, started booking my onward travel separately upon returning to the US, and have grown accustomed to spending my first night back in the US at an airport hotel. It sucks, but better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,590,315 times
Reputation: 5769
95 min connection when you have to go through immigration and customs is unrealistic... there are so many delays these days at airports 95 mins is nothing.. for example yesterday my flight left on time but we had to wait 45 mins just to take off since there were so many planes ahead of us, net result arrived an hour later
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:33 PM
 
405 posts, read 419,576 times
Reputation: 464
It may seem unfair because you think that you did everything you could do to make the connection, but in reality, it is completely fair.

On an international flight, you should always book the longer connection. I'm not saying the longest connection, just a longer one. If you booked the flights yourself, then I'm assuming you did it online. Most airlines will pick a connection for you when you pick a certain routing. For instance, it may have you arriving in MIA at 10:50am and leaving at 12:20pm. If you don't look at the schedules, you will probably never know that their is another flight leaving MIA for MSP at say 1:15pm. So what I do in these cases is call the airline and explain that I need a longer connection than they one I'm finding on their website and they have ALWAYS accommodated me. It definitely helps though if you look at the schedules first and have an idea of which flight you want out of MIA in this case.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:13 AM
 
131 posts, read 150,191 times
Reputation: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior12 View Post
Should change the title to "Missed Airline Connection Due To Poor Planning!"
Everyone says we should have picked a flight with a longer connection. Yes, this sounds good in theory but the airline only offered two options both with short connections. There were limited flights offered and no longer connections were available. By offering only the short connections the airline told us that they were confident that we would make it through immigration, customs, baggage reclaim and recheck and then the TSA line after all that... on time. They set the flight schedules, not me.
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