I have an Indian Passport, and I am traveling FRA-IAD-BUF (Frankfurt-Washington(Dulles)-Buffalo. I have a single Lufthansa ticket, however the connecting flight from Washington to Buffalo is United Airlines.

Given that Washington is the port of entry, will 1 hour 30 mins be sufficient to catch the onward flight?

Do I need to re-checkin the baggage(for customs)? Or will it be forwarded to Buffalo?

What happens if I miss it? Will Lufthansa schedule me on the next flight?

Also, given the baggage allowance of 23*2 for international, if a new flight is booked from Washington to Buffalo, will I be able to carry it?

  • 2
    I would tend to say no; on international arrivals, I always give myself at least four hours. You never know what will happen at customs/baggage claim. Jul 15, 2014 at 19:23
  • 3
    IAD is one of the worst airports when it comes to customs and immigrations.. Jul 15, 2014 at 19:35
  • @pnuts [Citation needed] Jul 16, 2014 at 6:55
  • 1
    The first port of entry requires you to collect your bag, go through customs, recheck your bag, go through security again and get to your flight. So my advise is Tell the agent when checking in your bag in Frankfurt, it's in their best interest to get you to make the flight so they may put your bags as priority. And tell the flight attendants, they usually are nice and help people with short connections get off first. Other than that don't take any food, even the stuff that is allowed will get you more scrutiny which eats time.
    – Stephan
    Jul 16, 2014 at 11:13
  • 2
    So I went ahead with the above itinerary and made it comfortably to the connecting flight. Although with reasonable 'quantum of luck'. :) The arriving flight was 15 minutes early and the following immigrations took a little less than an hour. However, customs and re checking was a breeze. The security check took another half an hour and thankfully the connecting flight was in the same terminal. After a long walk, I made it with about 5 minutes left for the boarding to commence. However, I would avoid making such tight travel plan in the future and avoid all the anxiety. Phew.
    – Outflanker
    Sep 6, 2014 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


IAD is indeed a dreadful airport. A new train system has very slightly improved matters. From the exit past customs to the furthest gate at remote terminals can take 20 minutes easily. You will miss your connection if (a) your incoming flight is late, (b) the Border entry officer hassles you, (c) your luggage, which I believe you will have to re-check, is slow. For international flights, the luggage at least is not usually a problem. However, you will make your flight with a reasonable quantum of luck. Although the computer should know, tell the customer service personnel that you are transferring: they may hold the Buffalo flight a few minutes.

Now, yes, if you are on a continuous ticket, Lufthansa will be responsible for rebooking you. Unfortunately, I only see one non-stop a day IAD-BUF, so you will end up on some circuitous route. Check the schedule for your flight day to know what options to ask them to rebook on.

  • Agreed. I've laid over for 23 hours in LAX for missing a once-a-day flight due to weather. Jul 16, 2014 at 6:56

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