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PrincessLeppard
10-27-2011, 09:43 PM
Of course you do!:lol:

Sorry, I can't think like a backpacker and I don't buy much clothing where I go. I never know if they will have what I like. I am nitpicky when it comes to clothes, so I carry whatever I think I may need, in addition to the necessities.

I'm with you. I am not a light traveler.

I've had to clear customs at Dulles, when everything was under construction, with a group of high school students :scream: and we actually made it through in less than 40 minutes. This was at the peak of the summer travel season as well.

I think your 2 hours + will be enough time.

danceronice
10-27-2011, 10:02 PM
Dulles? Should not be THAT bad. Just don't bring anything you have to declare.

(Re: overbooking: this is done because 99 times out of 100, not everyone shows up. The airline loses money if they send seats off empty, so usually overbooking works out fine and the passengers never even know it happened. Thanksgiving weekend all bets are off. But the system still does it, and they still normally get away with it.)

Rob
10-27-2011, 10:45 PM
I have never had unusually long waits for regular suitcases in Dulles in the International area in the Main Terminal. I haven't been through customs in the new Gate C area. In the domestic areas, the wait is also normal, except once I had some skis that were put aside and not loaded in the large item rack -- so if you have any oversize items, I would start asking right away. But it is not one of those airports that routinely chews up your luggage or sends it all over the place. You might make it in 2 1/2, but plan as much as you can for plan B.

One thing I would check on is that the last few times I flew out of Dulles, the airport had a rule that if you had to check bags, you had to check them in at least 30 minutes early for domestic flights and at least 45 minutes early for international flights. I once stood on line for an hour at the main check in only to be told that I was now only 28 minutes from flight time so I could not have a boarding pass because I could not check my bag -- this was the first flight, not a connection. I would find out from the airline whether that will apply to you -- for example, will you need to recheck your bag in the customs area 30 minutes before your Phoenix flight or does this not apply because you are already en route. When it happened to me, it was shortly after 9/11 so there were all kinds of new rules and long lines.

kwanfan1818
10-27-2011, 11:12 PM
Will your bags be ticketed all the way to your final destination? If not, that might be a problem. If they are, the bag drop should be just inside customs.
You have to reclaim your baggage within the customs area and bring it through customs in the US airport in which you clear customs. By not checking a bag, you go straight to customs after clearing immigration, instead of waiting for your luggage.

"Ticketed-through" in most airports -- I've never done this through Dulles -- means that as soon as you clear customs, you give back your luggage at a special "check-through" area/conveyor that sends your luggage to the sorting area to be transferred to the domestic connecting flight. Sometimes there are two conveyors, one for domestic and one for further international flights. (Example, Europe to Canada, changing at a US airport.)

For anyone who travels a lot, $100 will get you five years of GOES, a program where you either clear immigration, which is usually where the lines are, not customs, with the pilots and staff crew, or in some airports, like JFK, you scan your passport in a machine, and it pops out a form you hand in on your way through customs. (You still have to wait for checked baggage, but you're not stuck in the immigration lines.) If you're within limits and haven't brought in half a sow -- an immigration person at the Vancouver Airport once told me that someone was carrying half a pig back from Hong Kong, but had checked "No" to the box about bringing in meat -- and you're coming from Europe, you should be able to cross without any questions at all.

I am a member of NEXUS ($50 for five years) for crossing the US/Canadian border, and they added on GOES membership for no additional fee.

Both programs have saved me a lot of time at the US and Canadian borders.

skatemomaz
10-27-2011, 11:31 PM
The itinerary you booked is a valid connection, Austrian Airlines and United codeshare that route. You will actually be boarding an Austrian Airlines flight, but it will also have a United flight number associated with it. Conversely, when you depart IAD for PHX, your flight will be operated by United but will also have an Austrian Airlines flight number listed.

Vash01
10-27-2011, 11:52 PM
Don't know much about Dulles (I usually fly to Europe via Atlanta, Newark, or Houston), but I usually plan only about 1.5-2 hours to change planes and to get through customs. The Friday after Thanksgiving shouldn't be too bad. I think you'll be fine. United and Austrian both Star Alliance partners, right? Will your bags be ticketed all the way to your final destination? If not, that might be a problem. If they are, the bag drop should be just inside customs.

I am sure they will be ticketed all the way through. I will just need to pick them up at Dulles to go through customs, then return them to the baggage people to send on. I have done it at different airports in the past, so I think it's safe to assume Dulles will have something similar. The only exception is Southwest airline. Even though I travel on it frequently domestically, for international flights I always use one of the other airlines (usually United or US airways).

Vash01
10-27-2011, 11:54 PM
I'm with you. I am not a light traveler.

I've had to clear customs at Dulles, when everything was under construction, with a group of high school students :scream: and we actually made it through in less than 40 minutes. This was at the peak of the summer travel season as well.

I think your 2 hours + will be enough time.


Thanks! That makes me feel much better.:)

mikey
10-28-2011, 01:25 AM
I am sure they will be ticketed all the way through.Then you should be fine.

PRlady
10-28-2011, 02:04 AM
I just came into Dulles from Europe this week. Even if you fly into the new terminal -- which doesn't have passport control and immigration -- they move you over into that area fairly quickly. We got through everything, at the busy time at day, in 40 minutes, and you have much more time than that. You'll be fine.

Vash01
10-29-2011, 08:31 AM
For those who frequently use Orbitz-

How difficult is it to get a flght route changed after purchasing the ticket? Mine is a nonrefundable and nonchangeable ticket. Does it mean it is absolutely impossible to get it changed (or deleted, and replaced by another ticket)?

PrincessLeppard
10-29-2011, 12:45 PM
No, just call the airline. It's going to cost you, though.

Vash01
10-31-2011, 02:56 AM
No, just call the airline. It's going to cost you, though.

Cost is definitely a concern, and in this case calling the airline may not work, since it may mean taking a completely different airline, in order to land in SF instead of in DC.