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  • SYD - SFO - JFK
    May 24, 2016
    1
    Hello, We are flying Sydney to San Francisco (landing in SFO at 7am). Our connecting flight to JFK leaves at 8:25. Is an hour and 25 minutes enough time to clear customs and make our next flight? Any additional information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

     

    No, that is below the minimum International to domestic connection time at SFO. I recommend at least 2 hours.

     

  • Enough time?
    May 23, 2016
    1
    I will reach SFO at 12:33pm via United Airlines and will fly to Korea via SIA at 2:05pm. Do i need to go through security screening again? Do i have enough time? Thank you.

     

    If both tickets are on the same reservation you will not have to go through security - you just have to walk to your departure gate - and should have enough time.

     

  • Official Minimum Connect Time
    May 23, 2016
    1
    Dear SFO, I am doing some research for an article that I'm writing on the topic of airline connections. If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions and a comment. (1) Question. Is there an "official" minimum connect time (MCT) for international-to-domestic transfers at SFO? A representative of United Airlines told me that the official connect time for this type of flight at SFO is 90 minutes. Is that correct? (2) Question. If there is an official MCT, how do SFO and other airports inform the airlines about the MCTs? Is this information officially communicated through the publications of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)? Are airlines required to follow the MCTs, or can they ignore them if they want? (3) Comment. It looks as though the most popular topic on this SFO forum is "SFO Gate connections." I have read through many of your responses, and I don't see any response where you have mentioned an important fact that affects international-to-domestic transfers at SFO: the 45-minute minimum window. When an international passenger arrives at SFO, she must of course clear Immigration and Customs first. However, once she clears Customs, she must have a minimum of 45 minutes left before she can recheck her baggage for her next flight. If she does not meet the 45-minute minimum, she has missed her flight. For example, consider this schedule that was offered by UA for ICN to IAD in 2012 (my Korean girlfriend and I took this schedule): ICN to SFO UA #892 Lv ICN 6:15 pm, Ar SFO 11:24 am "connect time in SFO is 1hr 34 min" SFO to IAD UA #847 Lv SFO 12:58 pm Ar IAD 9:04 pm (This schedule is no longer offered, but UA offers other schedules that are similar.) In this illustration, according to UA, the connect time is 94 minutes. Actually, that's very misleading. The real connect time is only 49 minutes when you consider that the passenger must meet the 45-minute minimum before rechecking baggage for the connecting flight. In fact, the real connect time is actually completely unreasonable, especially when you consider that it can take 12-15 minutes for a passenger sitting in the back of the plane to get off a full plane and arrive at Immigration check. Also, according to Customs and Border Protection, it takes a passenger, on average, about 25 minutes to 60 minutes clear Immigration/Customs. (First/business class passengers clear in less time because they are at the head of the line.) When all factors are considered, the UA flight schedule is completely unfeasible for anyone sitting in the back 1/3 to 1/2 of the plane. I have firsthand experience of this type of problem when my Korean girlfriend and I arrived in SFO on the above schedule. Even though we had about 42 minutes left after clearing Customs at SFO, we were told that we had "missed" our next flight. We were delayed 10 hours, and the only compensation we received from UA was a meal voucher. In my view, airlines should be prohibited from offering such unfeasible schedules. In the meantime, I think it would be very helpful if you would mention the 45-minute minimum window to international passengers who inquire about transit times at SFO. I would be very grateful if you could provide an answer to my two questions. Thank you in advance!

     

    Firstly, this is not SFO's website - nobody from SFO will read this. Secondly, airlines determine minimum connection times, not airports.

     

  • Enough time/
    May 23, 2016
    1
    hello, I will fly from LAX to SFO and SFO to Paris CDG on United Airlines (same reservation), I will land in SFO terminal 3 at 1.30pm and my second flight is leaving from the International Terminal at 2:45pm. Will I have enough time? and do I have to go through customs and checkingmy baggage again? Thank you!

     

    Yes, you have enough time. There is no US Customs when leaving the US and you won't have to go through security. There is a walkway to the international terminal inside security.

     

  • Connection to International terminal
    May 23, 2016
    1
    Arriving on United domestic term 3 and connecting to United International G. Will I have to go through security?

     

    No, there is a walkway to the international terminal inside security.

     

  • Enough time to make connecting flight?
    May 24, 2016
    2
    We are flying into SFO from Auckland at 12:40pm and want to get a connecting flight to New York at 3:30pm. Is this enough time to collect luggage, clear customs and checkin to domestic flight?

     

    It should be enough time.

     

    Thanks Zap, you're a champion

     

  • AA flight PHX --> SFO --> SYD
    May 21, 2016
    2
    considering a flight from PHX to SFO to SYD on American/Qantas. the PHX flight gets in at 1026 and the SYD flight departs at 1125. What terminal does AA use at SFO and would I have to go through security again in SFO?

     

    You will have to go through security again in SFO. I do not think that this connection is reasonably possible.

     

    ZAP Thank you very much. i've adjusted the flight time into SFO to give me more time to make the connection.

     

  • Layover
    May 18, 2016
    1
    I arrive at san fransico from Vancouver and I only have 30min layover time to catch the plane to haiwaii Honolulu do I have enough time ?

     

    If both tickets are on the same reservation that is enough time as long as the first flight is on-time. You will pre-clear US Immigration and customs in Vancouver.

     

  • AUK > SFO > LAX Via United
    May 18, 2016
    1
    I am Flying United Airline back home from NZ to LAX but there's a layover in SFO. Do I need to get my bags, go through custom, recheck it, and go back through TSA in SFO?

     

    Yes, that is the process you have to go through at SFO.

     

  • Arriving Terminal 2, leaving International Terminal,
    May 17, 2016
    1
    Do I have to go through screening a second time when arriving on Virgin in San Francisco (terminal 2 and departing on Hawaiian Airlines in the International terminal? Have less than 2 hours on the ground but flying at peak travel season.

     

    Yes, you will have to go through security again. This is a difficult connection.

     

  • Time to go through customs Sydney - SFO - Newark
    May 17, 2016
    1
    How much time should my daughter allow to change planes at SFO 1) arriving from Newark going to Sydney 2) arriving from Sydney going to Newark given TSA security issues and customs on the return?

     

    On the way to Sydney, an hour is sufficient. On the way back from Sydney I'd want 3 hours.

     

  • Terminal 1 to 3
    May 17, 2016
    1
    We are flying into San Francisco Terminal 1 tomorrow on United arriving at 10:25 am and departing at 11:25 am for Honolulu on United at Terminal 3. Is this enough time for us and our bags? there are 5 of us including my partners 74 year old mother

     

    United does not use Terminal 1 at SFO. All United flights are in Terminal 3 or the G concourse of the International Terminal and are connected inside security. where are you flying into SFO from?

     

  • is 2 hours enough connection time
    May 17, 2016
    2
    Hi - I arrive on a flight from Auckland at 12.45pm on a weekday, landing at the international terminal and then connect through to Newark at 2.45pm from terminal 3. Is this enough time to get through customs and across to terminal 3? I'm on an Australian passport and last time I arrived in SFO the customs/immigration queue at that time of day took more than 1 hour and a quarter

     

    that is barely enough time if everything goes smoothly. If you miss your connection, United has frequent flights to Newark.

     

    Thank you ZAP!

     

  • Time to take to book domestic flight
    May 17, 2016
    1
    My wife & daughter will be coming in international flight to SFO from Abu dabhi which is scheduled to be arrived at 7:25AM. I need to book domestic flight from SFO to DAL. Could you please tell me how much time is typically required, assuming flight is on time, for booking the domestic flight. I may book non partnered flight of etihad.

     

    They will pre-clear US Immigration and Customs in Abu Dhabi. I recommend at least 3 hours between flights in SFO.

     

  • Connecting time required
    May 11, 2016
    1
    Hi I'm flying domestic from Los Angeles to SFO on United airlines and will reach at about 5pm. On the same day, i have an international flight to Singapore at 11pm. I'm flying United Airlines for both and the 2 tickets are bought separately. I will have checked baggage. I suppose I will need to check out, collect my baggage and check in again for my flight to Sin. May i know if the duration is sufficient or i need to be back earlier? Thank you

     

    If you call United they can join your two reservations together or you can show your confirmation to Singapore to the agent in LAX and your bags can be checked through to SIN. even if you have to claim your bags in between you have PLENTY of time.

     

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