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Houston Intercontinental (IAH) Airport

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Tips and ideas on how to best spend a layover at Houston Intercontinental IAH airport. Got a favorite quiet place to connect to wifi? A great bar or restaurant? Maybe an exhibit or a walk? Share your IAH Airport layover experiences with others, or post a question and get notified when there is a response.

Discussion Topics
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  • Need to claim baggage or not for overnight layover
    Nov 23, 2016
    We arrive in IAH at 12:36 am after pre-clearing US customs in Canada. Connecting to Mexico at 11:50 am. It's an 11 hr 14 min layover. Do we need to claim our checked luggage, or will it be held and placed on the connecting flight to Mexico?


    You will have to claim your bags because of the overnight layover.


    I just found this on United's website, so the question is - which takes precedence - less than 13 hrs connection or overnight stay? If I'm arriving after midnight, is it still an overnight stay, or is it same day connection?: Connecting flights For a trip that includes one or more connections, United will check bags to the final destination stated on the ticket. United will transfer bags to a connecting flight on your United itinerary, or on a separate itinerary that includes a Star AllianceTM partner airline flight, if the connecting flight is scheduled to depart within 13 hours after arriving at the connection city. You'll need to claim and re-check baggage if you are: Making a voluntary stopover Making a connection that involves an overnight stay Connecting to an itinerary booked on a separate ticket that doesn't include a Star Alliance partner airline Traveling internationally and connecting to a domestic flight within your destination count


    Nov 21, 2016


    Yes, that is enough time. You will pre-clear US Immigration and Customs in Toronto. All you have to do in Houston is go from your arrival gate to your departure gate. The Skyway train connects all terminals inside security.


  • Toronto - Houston - Liberia (Costa Rica)
    Nov 21, 2016
    Hi - I'm flying from Toronto (Canada) to Liberia Costa Rica) with a 6.5 hour layover at IAH. I'm a Canadian citizen - can i leave the airport for a few hours and come back to catch our flight to Costa Rica? Do i need to bring my check-in bags with me?


    Yes, you will pre-clear US Immigration and customs in Toronto. Once you arrive in Houston you will be free to go where you want. You will not have to do anything with your checked bags in Houston if the connection is during the day.


  • Layover for 1 hour
    Nov 4, 2016
    Hey i have a flight to Auckland from Toronto with 1 hour layover at Houston . Is it a safe connection ?


    No, that is completely impossible. You will have to go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the re-check desk, go through security and to your departure gate in a different terminal. You need at least 2 hours.


    I have America airlines from toronto nd then houston also American Airlines to auckland at the same terminal 0 do i still have to go through all tgis


    American Airlines does not fly from Toronto to Houston or Houston to Auckland - please double check your reservation. However, I misread your post, I see now that you're going TO Auckland. In that case you will pre-clear US Immigration and Customs in Toronto. In Houston you will just have to go from your arrival gate to your departure gate if both flights are on the same reservation. You have enough time.


  • Luggage
    Oct 26, 2016
    Hi! We have a 15hour layover in IAH. Coming in from LHR and going on to Costa Rica. Can we check bags all the way through since it is an intl connection? Would like to avoid claiming them but if we follow signs for intl connections, we cannot leave the airport, right? And if we do have to claim them, will we be charged twice by United when we check in for the CR leg? TIA!


    If your connection is overnight, you will have to claim your bags and re-check them in the morning. Do you have excess baggage? If not you won't be charged. You can leave the airport - once you clear US Customs you will be in the US and free to go where you want.


  • connecting flight must clear customs or directly to third country
    Oct 25, 2016
    my flight is ua6 from nrt - iah and connecting fllight through out in the third country ( flying with ua 5625 to gdl mex city) my bag should be collect in iah or not ? cuz the last time I flown with nh 174 connecting flight with ua I can clear custom in mexico city, i do nervous for this time. thx for answer me


    You will have to go through US Immigration, Customs, and Security, but you won't have to claim and re-check your bag in Houston.


  • Our Marine has a 2 hour layover
    Oct 18, 2016
    Our son is a Marine. He has a layover of 2 hours connecting to another flight. I was just wondering what the rules are around layovers these days. We would love to come hang out with and have a bit to eat while he waits. I know some airlines allow this for military families and other don't. Does anyone know? If not how much time would he have to go to a restaurant with us?


    If he is flying into Houston on an International flight he won't have enough time to meet with anyone, he'll have to hustle to his next flight. You'd have to ask his airline if it's a domestic flight and he does have time.


  • Do i need US visa?
    Oct 15, 2016
    i am travelling going to Cancun from Canada, my layover is on Houston Texas airportand i have 4 hours lay over there, do i need US Visa for that lay over? Thanks in advance


    What is your citizenship. I can't answer your question without it. You will pre-clear US Immigration and Customs in Canada.


    Filipino Citizen. Holding a Philippine Passport but Permanent Resident of Canada


    Yes, you will need a US Transit Visa. Your Canadian permanent citizenship doesn't get you anything in the US.


    Sorry, I mean permanent residency.


  • Houston to Corpus Christi
    Oct 10, 2016
    I'm flying Dulles to Houston, to make a connecting flight to Corpus Christi. I've got about 40 minute layover in Houston. I'm flying United all the way and I won't have any checked luggage. Do you think 40 minutes will be enough time to connect?


    Yes, that's enough time if the flight from Dulles is on-time. The Skyway train connects all terminals inside security.


  • 4 Hr Layover-Recommendations!
    Oct 10, 2016
    My fiance and I are flying from CUN-ORD with a 4 hour layover at IAH. Looking for good recommendations to waste time or get a great meal (BBQ, Southern, etc). Thanks!!!!


    Considering you will have to go through US Immigration, customs, and security after you arrive in Cancun, you will only have an hour or two to kill.


  • 9 hour layover
    Sep 18, 2016
    Hi there. My daughter and boyfriend arrive at 11.55pm and only leave the next day at 9pm. Flying in from Canada and leaving for new Zealand. Would there be anywhere in the airport to stay over as if they leave the airport I presume they'd need a visa ?


    What are their citizenships? Canadians and New Zealanders don't need a Visa to visit or transit the US. They will pre-clear US Immigration and Customs in Canada. They are free to leave the airport in Houston.


  • Connection with oversized bag
    Sep 14, 2016
    Hi, We are landing in IAH from Mexico, and then connecting to EWR with an oversized bag. Do we need to retrieve our bags when we clear customs? Where is the oversized bag drop off in relation to customs? We have two hours, is this doable?


    Yes, you will have to go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the re-check desk, then go through security and to your departure gate. The re-check desk is just past customs. They should be able to handle your oversize bag for you.


  • Enough Transit time
    Sep 14, 2016
    We are flying into Houston IAH from Frankfurt FRA and connecting to Guatemala City GUA with a transit time of 1:10 hrs. Will we have enough time to get to our connecting flight, if flights are on time?


    both United flights ( UA47 and UA1902)


    That is not enough time for an International to International connection in Houston.


    Thank you for your reply- So what can I do now? I booked the tickets already and the travel agency told me that according to United Airlines it is the minimum conntecting time, and I should go to the UA Counter in case I miss the flight. Is there anything I can do at the Airport to get to my Connection faster?


    Bring an extra change of clothes and prepare to spend the night in the Houston Airport unless your flight from London arrives early.


    Sorry, I meant Frankfurt, not London.


  • Short layover and checked luggage
    Sep 6, 2016
    I will be flying to Houston from ICT (Wichita) and have an hour layover until my next flight to Phoenix. I would like to have a checked bag, but am worried it won't have time to transfer. Do you think there would be enough time for any checked luggage to get to my second flight? Both are United and morning flights.


    That is enough time. If you need to change terminals the Skyway train connects all terminals inside security.


  • New Orleans to Cancun
    Aug 3, 2016
    I am thinking of flying from New Orleans to Cancun with a 1hr layover in Houston. Is one hour enough for the connection? Thanks


    Yes, that is enough time if your flight from New Orleans is on-time. All you have to do in Houston is walk from your arrival gate to your departure gate.


    I will have check luggages. Don't I need to claim my luggages first or they will do that for me?


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