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Philadelphia airport layover

Hello all, trying to book flight to St. Thomas, USVI for the holidays. AA has flight with one layover in Philly but only 37 mins connection. Another flight has 2 stops- ORD and MIA both 1 hr each. Same price. We will be booking directly w AA so I know they’ll rebook us in case of delay. I’m leaning towards the short connection.... Thanks for your input.

Posted by
21875 posts

I am not a big fan of the Philly airport (avoid it all costs) but if the airline books it, I would go with it. Have you check the total schedule to see if there is a later flight if you miss the connection?

Posted by
16941 posts

If you miss the flight in Philly, you will have to wait 24 hours for the next one.

Posted by
8870 posts

Perhaps the news reports I have seen are not accurate, but it seems the NE area airports were just recently slammed by a weather system.

I am surprised AA has a 37 minute connection.

Given the weather at this time of year in that region, a 37 minute connection is more of an optimistic wish than probable reality

My $0.02

Posted by
71 posts

I suggest connecting through ORD because you will have more flight options if you miss the connection.

Even if I had a crystal ball and could see that the weather in Philly would be perfection that day, I would not book a flight that only had a 37 minute connection in Philly. There will be a high chance that you'll have to switch terminals. I'm a fast walker, light traveler, and extremely frequent flyer and I would not risk that connection.

Good luck and enjoy!

Posted by
4959 posts

Does AA have an earlier flight INTO Philly to make the connection longer?

Posted by
16941 posts

Looking at the schedule, they have to leave Cleveland at 5:46 am to make that 37 minute connection in Philly.

Posted by
501 posts

International flights usually leave from Terminal A in Philly. Most domestic flights arrive in one of the other terminals. It’s a long walk from anywhere to Terminal A.

I wouldn’t book a 37 minute connection at Philly, especially domestic connecting to international. If I did, I’d have a list of backup itineraries with me. If I miss my connection (probable in this case), I like to know what my options are when I talk to the airline to rebook.

Posted by
93 posts

I did a search on AA of separate flights from PHL to St Thomas and there is one that departs at 8:45 (vs. this one at 8:05). I don’t know why that’s not showing up when starting the itinerary from CLE. We will go with the longer route via ORD & MIA and hope for the best! Thank you everyone for your valuable advice!

Posted by
2492 posts

I am confused, as I do not see any flight from Philly to St Thomas. I see several Philly to St Croix on American, all with a stop on the east coast. Which would mean that the flight would likely leave from the same terminal as the Cleveland flight arrives or the next one over (and not the international terminals) - which would be doable and an airside connection (Philly is my home airport).

Posted by
3356 posts

I would avoid both of the options you described as 2 layovers are miserable, inefficient, and increase the likelihood of a problem. 37 minutes at PHL is unrealistic as your St Thomas flight could close 15 minutes before departure so you would only have 22 minutes to deboard your flight at PHL and then find the gate to St Thomas.

There has GOT to be a Door #3. Find it.

Posted by
2282 posts

Well, one way to resolve all the uncertainty, minimize the stress, and provide a more enjoyable travel experience would be to fly into Philly the afternoon or evening before and spend the night in an airport hotel before waking at a reasonable hour for what would then be a non-stop flight to St Thomas the next morning.
Am guessing that the cost difference (even with the hotel room) wouldn't be that exhorbitant, and the tradeoff in comfort and convenience might well be worth it.