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wwyd...flight layovers


caedmyn
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I'm looking to take my 11 YO and the baby to visit my grandparents next month.  I have 2 flight choices for the same price on different airlines.  One leaves at 6:30 am and has about a 2 hr layover one way.  Coming back the layover is about 80 mins, but we don't get back til 10 pm (coming from a time zone that's 2 hours later).  The baby does not go to sleep easily away from home.  I haven't flown on this airline recently and I don't know if the arrival and departure terminals are likely to be the same or not.  (Denver airport if that makes any difference.)  I like the longer layovers but would prefer not to have to leave so early or get back so late.

 

The other flight leaves at 7:10 am and the return would have us back around 1:30 pm, but only has 50 minute layovers, which make me a little nervous.  I have flown on this airline in and out of Denver quite a bit in the past and I know both flights will be in the same terminal, so at least we wouldn't have to run all over the airport trying to get to a connecting flight.

 

I flew with the baby in May and had several delays leading to missed flights, which makes me leery of short layovers, but every delay was long enough that even a 2 hour layover wouldn't have been enough for me to have made the connecting flights.  

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Anything under one hour is iffy, IME. I would normally go for the connection with the late arrival and the 80 minute layover, but I understand about baby and late arrival.

OTOH, if the short connection is early in the day, there would be time to get rebooked.

6:30 vs 7:10 makes not a significant enough difference to me to have that affect decision.

Edited by regentrude
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Am I reading this correctly that your baby is BRAND NEW, like... days old right now?  If so, I would not assume that the way he sleeps now will be the same as the way he sleeps 7 days from now... haha!  

 

I would go with longer layovers.  I would NOT want to attempt running through an airport with a kid and baby in tow.  I would choose adequate layover over departure/arrival time in terms of priorities.  

 

Best of luck.  BTDT traveling with babies... always an adventure.  :-)  

 

ETA:  I see now that your baby must be closer to a year old...  still doesn't change my answer.  But it IS the hardest age to fly with, IMO as they want to be crawling all over every grimy surface available.  

Edited by Monica_in_Switzerland
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My answer changes, though, if you have a bunch of gear to get on and off the plane. If you plan to gate-check anything (like a stroller) or you have a carseat and/or roll aboard suitcases to wrangle, take the longer connections. If all you have is the baby in a carrier and a diaper bag or backpack (that's what I did with my youngest), consider the shorter connection. Also, how quick is your 11yo? How helpful? That can make a difference as well.

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I'd go with the longer layover. DIA is spread out, with the train and all. Would you be leaving from the same concourse? 

 

Yes, same concourse, at least for the flights with the shorter layover...not sure about the other airline (Delta).

My answer changes, though, if you have a bunch of gear to get on and off the plane. If you plan to gate-check anything (like a stroller) or you have a carseat and/or roll aboard suitcases to wrangle, take the longer connections. If all you have is the baby in a carrier and a diaper bag or backpack (that's what I did with my youngest), consider the shorter connection. Also, how quick is your 11yo? How helpful? That can make a difference as well.

 

I think we would take one carry-on suitcase plus our personal bags, although DH might want me to check the suitcase instead.  I won't take a carseat and I don't think I'll take a stroller either as it was easier to put him a carrier on my back than to deal with the stroller last time.  The 11 YO is...spacey.  She's fairly helpful but easily distracted.  If she's worried about missing the next flight she'll probably focus reasonably well though...she dislikes being late/missing things.

 

I'm not as worried about the first set of flights because we could probably reschedule and even fly into a different airport if they offer that option as there are 3 or 4 that are about the same distance from our destination.  That won't be an option on the return though as we'll have to fly back into our home airport.

Edited by caedmyn
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You could locate a DIA map Concourse map online. Then, look on the airline's website and pull up that same exact flight for today. Which gates did it depart/arrive? Or, you could figure out which Concourse your chosen airline uses. Be aware, though, that if the first flight is a feeder flight from a small city into DIA (a contracted carrier using a regional jet) and the next flight is a main line carrier not contracting with a regional carrier, you will likely be moving concourses.

 

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The 50 minute layover would make me nervous.  Sometimes airlines actually do close the cabin doors 10 minutes before the flight leaves. So you're down to 40 minutes. And if you're in the back of the plane, you have to wait until everyone else gets off. And then if ds or you need to use the bathroom or change the baby, you're going to be cutting it close. If your first flight is even 15 minutes late, you're going to be stressed. 

 

If I had to do a 50 minute layover with kids, I'd book a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible. As far as checking  a bag vs carrying it on- is a short layover likely to mane your luggage isn't going to make it on to your second flight? I don't know, as I rarely check luggage. But someone here surely knows that answer. 

 

A 2 hour layover gives you time to let the baby crawl/walk off some energy before being confined for another flight. And maybe you can feed both kids and they'll snooze during flight 2. 

 

Getting him at 10 PM sure makes for a long day, though!!

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If you are checking luggage, chances are the luggage will not make the short layover (and even the 80 minutes may be tight). Since this is the return home, this is not a big problem. They will deliver it to your house. However, it may mean waiting a long time at the luggage claim until you find out yours didn't make it. Just make sure to be prepared for this likely possiblity.

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Neither option is good.  If they were equal, the 2nd situation, the airline and terminal you are familiar with, would be the better choice. 

 

I would not even begin to think about those tight connections, unless the same airline has several flights AFTER the one you are scheduled to leave on. If you misconnect, with 2 DC, you may have some issues.

 

I am assuming those are Domestic flights and do not involve International segments, which would require much more time.

 

The best option is always to fly as early in the day as is possible, so that if something goes awry, hopefully one can be rerouted and get to their final destination the same day. Go out on the first flight of the day...  Never on the last flight of the day!

 

We prefer to allow plenty of  time between flights and have a good chance of making our connecting flight and having our luggage on the connecting flight with us.

 

Enjoy your trip!

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It may be worth it to pay a little more for the tickets to get an earlier return time on the return trip. Unless the airline is only running twice a day there may be a better third option. Go directly to the airlines website to check all the flight times.

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I'm looking to take my 11 YO and the baby to visit my grandparents next month.  I have 2 flight choices for the same price on different airlines.  

 

 

Do you have better options if you travel on different airlines for the outbound vs. the return flight?

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Ugh...just realized the one that gets in at 10 pm only has a 50 minute layover because it connects at SLC and not Denver like I thought.  And it looks like on at least one of the connections we'd likely have to go from concourse E to B or vice versa....that's going to be way more of a pain than having to go part-way down one of Denver's straight concourses.  I guess I better go with the one that has the two 50 minute layovers and hope for the best.

 

There are no direct flights.  It costs as much for a one-way as it does for the round trip ticket.  And the only other option is one that has 2ish hour layovers but would cut basically an entire day off our trip with a later arrival and earlier departure, and we were only going to be there for 3 days anyway.  Otherwise the options have 2 layovers and are much longer, like 10-12 hours for the trip instead of 5-6, besides being more expensive.

Edited by caedmyn
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 And the only other option is one that has 2ish hour layovers but would cut basically an entire day off our trip with a later arrival and earlier departure, and we were only going to be there for 3 days anyway. 

 

If that is an option at all, I would go for it. It is much easier to plan for the day of travel than to miss your connection and spend many more hours than this. 2 hours layover is sane and comfortable. That more than makes up for the slightly longer (planned) travel.

Edited by regentrude
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If that is an option at all, I would go for it. It is much easier to plan for the day of travel than to miss your connection and spend many more hours than this. 2 hours layover is sane and comfortable. That more than makes up for the slightly longer (planned) travel.

 

I already booked the other one.  As long as the planes are on time we should be ok.  The planes are small and our seats are at the front of the wing which was as far forward as I could get them, so we should be able to get off pretty quickly and I know we can get through the Denver concourse fairly quickly.  We just won't have much extra time.  I'll just hope for the best as far as on-time planes.

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