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Vienna Int. Short layover of 25 mins.

I’m currently deployed in the E.U. with the US army and am trying to go home on leave. Adria airlines shutdown which screwed my flights up so my wife has had them changed. She didn’t notice they only gave me a 25 minute layover when I arrive in Vienna. I’m very afraid I won’t get to my connecting flights to get me home to Alaska. Is this enough time? Is there anything I can do to fix this? The airline is saying that it has given me enough time, but it’s very unrealistic. Is there any way or anything for me to do to ensure I don’t miss that flight? Please help I leave Oct. 23

Posted by
5608 posts

I would keep calling and calling the airline.

My experience arriving in to or flying out of Vienna to/from smaller airports (e.g. in countries of the former Yugoslavia) is that those small flights park out on the apron and you have to bus in to the terminal. If that’s the case with your flight, you probably won’t have even reached the terminal 25 minutes after your flight has landed!

Posted by
2516 posts

You mention connecting flights (plural). So is Vienna a stop that doesn't require Passport Control ( either arriving or departing?) Are all legs on a single ticket? And will you be checking luggage? I agree that this is likely too tight, and would be looking for later flights.

Posted by
1291 posts

If you booked both flights together from one airline, then you should be able to request at the departure of the first flight that the check-in crew in Vienna for the connecting flight is notified about you. Transfer from one gate to another should be no problem. Make sure that your luggage gets this special red tag denoting short layover.

But this is all under the assumption that your flight will be on time.

You may look up your flight numbers using showing data about delays for previous days during the past weeks. So you might get an impression what to expect.

Posted by
4 posts

CJean I will be arriving in Vienna from Pristina Int. Then from there to Frankfurt to Seattle to Anchorage Alaska. I’m not sure if they’re all on one ticket. I got my tickets through Expedia online and have to get my tickets at the airport when I arrive.

Posted by
1291 posts

Vienna to Frankfurt is one of the busiest routes, i.e. there are several flights per day. So should you miss your connecting flight you may get on the next flight. Whether you will make it in time for your flight to Seattle depends on the layover in Frankfurt.

Posted by
5010 posts

I would not accept a 25 minute connection, even in a "smaller" airport. If everything goes perfectly, you might make it, but things rarely go that perfectly - too many ways for it to fail.

The problem is compounded by the fact that this is at the start of your looooong flight homeward. If this was the last leg of my flight to Europe, it might be acceptable. But if you miss that connection, getting all the way back to Alaska could be a hard task (especially if this is during a busy time).

Here's what I'd do: first, do your homework (because, the airline's customer service agents are not always highly motivated/skilled to get you what you want, they're incentivized to just process you and move on). That means you go online and put together alternative that works for you (on the airline you booked with originally and their partners - presumably that's Adria and United, and all their partners). Look at routings that get you from your original departure point to your destination. The routing can go through any cities, it does not have to match your original routing. Pick something that has reasonable layovers. Note all the flight details. Be aware that the price shown for your new routing does not matter - it can cost a lot more than your original ticket -- that's not your problem. Then call and tell them the new itinerary they gave you with the 25 minute connection won't work for you, ask them for something that does. Offer them the details of the routing you came up with online. Ask them to put you on that (or another that's acceptable to you).

Be nice. Do not demand. You are asking them to do the right thing. They should try their best to accommodate you, as long as your request is reasonable. If you are getting nowhere, thank them and hang up, call back and ask someone else. Still getting nowhere? ask for a supervisor.

Things you can not change: Origin and destination cities. Class of service (they won't upgrade you to business class, sorry). Date of departure.
Things you can ask to change: Routing. Airline. Times. The "price: that your ticket shows as (price does not matter, you already paid for it). When your original flight is canceled, they still have to get you where you are going, and it needs to be an acceptable alternative - acceptable to you.

Bottom line: First do your homework, then call. Be polite, work with them, ask them for help. They should. Good luck.

Posted by
5184 posts

Kosovo is not in the Schengen Area. Do you have a passport or are you using orders as ID? What airlines are they?

Posted by
5010 posts

Oy, this is not good. A textbook example of why many of us always book directly with the airlines -- adding in some third-party booking agency (expedia, in this case) tends to make any fixes much harder if anything goes sideways.

The critical bit is, you need to get to FRA to catch your long flight (I'm guessing probably Condor airlines; Alaska Airlines doesn't fly to Europe but partner Condor does). Never mind Vienna.

Anyway, you need to call Expedia, ask to speak with a supervisor. They need to find a way to get you to Frankfurt with enough time to make your onward flight. FRA is a huge airport (careful - it takes time to make connections there, don't accept a tight connection, give yourself more than an hour) but it has a bazillion flights from everywhere.

Looking online now, I see no nonstop flights from Pristina to Frankfurt, but 13 different one-stop routes. One of those has got to work for you. Call Expedia - the airlines themselves probably won't help you - explain you're military, and need their help to fix this. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Be polite and friendly, but be firm and make the urgency clear.

Adding: Your flight isn't until 10/23. That's at least 4 days from now, which should be plenty of time to resolve this once you reach a helpful person. But get on it now, every passing hour reduces your options. Giddyup.