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Travelling from New Delhi , India to Washington with 90 mins layover in Newark. I will have 90 mins to change terminals C to A to catch my connection. What is the fastest way to do this? Is this feasible? Flight into Newark arrives at 0445 est and connect leaves at 0604 est.

  • That's 79 minutes, not 90 minutes. Did you buy these flights as one ticket, or two? – Doc Jan 6 at 5:21
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    The question seems clear enough, to me. To be absolutely clear, it would have to specify whether the flights were on a single ticket. However, it's easy enough to answer "If your flights are on separate tickets, there's no way in the world this will work and, furthermore, the airline for the connecting flight will just say 'It's not our fault you weren't at the airport on time, so you can buy a new ticket or walk to Washington.' Otherwise, ..." – David Richerby Jan 6 at 18:25
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I'm guessing this is a United to United connection, in which case you might arrive into either Terminal B or Terminal C, although in either case the process is the same.

You will need to go through immigration, collect your bags, go through customs, re-check your bag, catch the AirTrain to terminal A, go through security, and then get to your gate.

Your flight will close 15 minutes before the departure time, so you have around 60 minutes to do all of that - IF your inbound flight is on time.

Whilst it's certainly possible to do that in that time, it's far from guaranteed - especially if you are not a US citizen which could result in a much longer line at immigration. If you do miss your connecting flight the airline will move you to a later flight, but that presumes that seats are available.

Personally I might consider taking this connection, but only if I was a US citizen or ESTA (and thus could use the kiosks at immigration) and didn't have checked bags. Otherwise I would suggest a longer connection.

  • In my experience of entering the US, having checked bags doesn't introduce any noticeable delay. My bag has always been on the conveyor waiting for me by the time I've got through immigration, even with ESTA and the kiosks. I've never had to queue for the recheck. Having said that, with a connection this tight, your bag may well miss the flight, even if you get it. The airline will put your bag on the next available flight and courier it to you, in that case. – David Richerby Jan 6 at 18:21
  • @DavidRicherby I check bags rarely, but 100% of the time I do I've had to wait. It depends on where on the plane you're sitting, and how long you need to wait at immigration (plus obviously which airline, airport, plane size, etc) – Doc Jan 6 at 20:19
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If this is on a single ticket then there are grounds to think that the airline believes that the the connection is feasible. My question here asks about this. The two excellent answers explain how airlines model these connections. One key point being that the airlines have statistics which may show that the inbound flight tends to arrive early so there is "padding" in the schedule.

Even with that in mind I personally would never book flights with such short connection times especially when entering the US. I have stood in immigration lines for up to an hour (which is why I now have Global Entry) and have experienced some horrid delays at EWR Terminal A security.

In the past I have booked flights with, in my view, safe connection times and then seen the schedule change. So my airline tells me my connection is now short. In those circumstances I have rung the airline and asked them to give me a different connecting flight, which they have done, at no cost - when my ticket formally has a fee for changes.

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