I'm travelling from London to Washington Dulles to Orlando with United Airlines. We get to Dulles at 10:55am connecting flight at 12:45pm. Will 1 hour 50 minutes be enough time to collect our luggage, clear customs and immigration, then check our bags in and then get to our connecting flight at Dulles? Do we have to go through Customs and Immigration at Orlando as well?

  • 4
    For the last sentence, remember that the flight from Washington to Orlando will be full of Americans many of whom don't even have passports, so there would be no way for authorities to herd everyone who comes off that plane through an immigration check -- and no way for them to separate people who shouldn't be checked from people who might. So definitely no immigration check on arrival in Orlando. Jul 17, 2018 at 15:22
  • In my opinion, it will be tight. You face two problems (1) the US air system is falling apart - it's becoming impossible to make any connections. For example, in my last say 10 connections within the US, 2 were completely cancelled, 2 were so late I missed the connection and 2 were incredibly late. Locals now just assume that "you can't make connections in the US" as the system falls apart further. (2) As you probably know security wait times can be pretty long. In general I would say the 2 hours you have is "pushing it" for your international->local connection.
    – Fattie
    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:44
  • (Note however that it's entirely likely your second flight, being an internal US flight .. will be delayed anyway. That works for you in this case.)
    – Fattie
    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


There is a good chance that you will make the connection, otherwise United wouldn't have sold you this ticket. However, there is a non-trivial chance that you will miss it.

You can check customs wait times here: https://awt.cbp.gov/. At Dulles the average wait times fluctuate a lot with time of day but average wait times are mostly 30 minutes or less.

You can also check security wait times here https://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/check-wait-times but I think you need to install an app for that.

So maybe you need 60 minutes to get out of plane, through immigration, collect bags and through custom. Another 20 minutes to get through security again and that leaves you with 15 minutes to get to they gate before boarding closes (15 minutes before departure).

No if anything goes wrong (delay, unusually long waits, bag misplaced, etc.) then you will miss the connection. Assuming that's a single ticket, United will rebook you for free on the next available flight and may give you food and hotel vouchers if needed.

You do not need to go through customs or immigration in Orlando.

  • ...rotisserie? :D
    – Muzer
    Jul 17, 2018 at 16:35
  • 1
    @Muzer Sent from my iPhail... Jul 17, 2018 at 18:25
  • @MichaelHampton What, are you Hilmar as well, or is it your family member/significant other?
    – Crazydre
    Jul 17, 2018 at 19:33
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    Keep in mind that Dulles has those horrid "mobile lounges" (which were totally cool in 1970), and the lines at immigration are usually quite long. I don't think I've ever cleared customs/immigration at IAD in less than 45 minutes, usually closer to an hour. Jul 17, 2018 at 23:18
  • It is extremely unlikely they will give out vouchers these days. It's a thing of the past. The policy of all US airlines now is just "give nothing". (So many flights are missed, they'd all go broke if they still handed out vouchers.) If you're stuck overnight you can get in a legal battle with them and get a check for $22 or something a year later.
    – Fattie
    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:46

It should not be a problem, but maybe you miss the connection.

I had also a short connection (but in Atlanta), and because of long immigration process (longer than usual, the statistics), I missed the second flight. No problem, you go to transfer desk, and they book you in a successive flight. Just take into account that on busy period, the next flight could already be overbooked. So annoyance could increase.

My tip: try to get a seat as much as forward as possible on your flight. Study the map of the airport and go quickly to immigration, avoid WC (go before landing). This add some stress, but it could reduce the waiting time of 10 minutes (or more). Consider also that often intercontinental flights arrive earlier then timetable (on timetable you do not have the average expected time, but a "normal worst case" (so using a bad Atlantic route).

For the last question: no, the second flight is a internal flight, so will not pass to immigration and custom offices on destination airport.

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