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Our cruise line has booked us on a flight from Charlotte (CLT) through San Francisco (SFO) on to Sydney (SYD) in late February, but the connecting time is only 1.5 hours. The cruise line says it’s a legal connection and won’t change to earlier flight out of Charlotte.

What is likelihood that fog will delay us getting into SFO, which could cause us to miss the flight to SYD?

  • Welcome to TSE. It is a little unclear: are you on a flight chartered by the cruise line, or did they book you a ticket on a scheduled airline? If the latter, are your CLT-SFO and SFO-SYD flights on the same ticket? Since American is the only airline that flies CLT-SFO nonstop, I'm going to assume this is an AA or AA+Qantas itinerary, in which case it is AA who would decide whether a connection is legal, not the cruise line. – choster Jun 11 at 15:18
  • @choster Sure, it's the airline that decides whether the connection is legal. So what? The cruise line has reported that the connection is legal, surely using the airline's definition, rather than some arbitrary definition of their own. – David Richerby Jun 11 at 16:18
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    @DavidRicherby The point is that rather than asking the cruise line to rebook the flight, which they're never going to want to do, the OP could just go directly to the airline and ask if they can get on an earlier flight—assuming this is a scheduled commercial flight. – choster Jun 11 at 16:31
  • @choster OK. I don't think your first comment gave any hint that that was the point, but you've made it clear, now. :) – David Richerby Jun 11 at 16:33
  • In February, I'd be less worried about fog than Pacific storms. They come with high winds that cause major flight delays, and can last for half a day or more. On the other hand, weather that delays your arriving flight might also delay your connecting flight... – Nate Eldredge Jun 11 at 17:09
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Fog in San Francisco is largely a morning phenomenon when it happens, and has largely cleared out by afternoon. If your flight arrives after, say, 1pm then you'll probably be OK. All the SFO-SYD flights I see currently leave in the evening.

SFO On Time Performance
SFO On Time Performance by Brett Snyder/Flickr

While a bit dated, this graph is pretty representative of what you can expect at any given hour of the day. The later your flight arrives, generally, the more likely it will not be delayed by weather.


Also, since your flights are eight months away, it's quite possible the flight schedules will change between now and then and you'll have to be rebooked anyway.

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Michael Hampton is correct that fog is unlikely to be a problem. High winds are more likely to be an issue, as they cause one of the runways to close, but there is no way to guess that months in advance.

I suggest you prepare a list of alternate connecting cities, e.g., LAX or DFW. If SFO weather is bad, you may know that already when you arrive at CLT. Point out that you need to be rebooked to make it to SYD. This works best if you are already prepared with a better itinerary. Check the SFO flight hours in advance.

If the flight is on time, 90 minutes is more than adequate to change terminals and for your baggage to get transferred.

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