1 hour between flights - too short?

We are looking at an itinerary that has a flight from Rome that arrives in Paris at 9:30 a.m and leaves from Paris at 10:30 a.m. Both flights are with Air France, though we will have to change planes. Being that we are traveling in November, is this too close of a time frame to be comfortable?? I can't seem to find another flight that works for us without spending alot of time and changing airlines. Would you risk it?

Posted by David
Portland, OR, USA
805 posts

Definitely too close. I would allow no less than 2 hours personally. Among other things, you will likely have to change terminals which takes at least an hour.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8335 posts

I wouldn't risk it, either. If your first flight was delayed or there was some kind of problem you'd miss the ongoing flight. However, if you have a backup plan for what to do in that case (is there a later ongoing flight?) you might try it.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7432 posts

If you do miss your flight, Air France can easily put you on a later flight, or use one of its SkyTeam partners airlines and connect you through another city. But if you have checked baggage you run I high risk of them arriving at Rome later than you do.

Posted by Lamont
Corsicana, Texas, USA
354 posts

If your Paris airport is Charles de Gaulle, a one hour layover is probably not enough time for you or any checked luggage to comfortably make the connection. CDG is a large airport; because of construction, some flights require a bus to get to/from the plane; clearing security can often be time-consuming; and your first segment could arrive late. A two-hour or longer layover would give you a better chance to make the connection.

Posted by Jeff
Fort Worth, TX, USA
84 posts

I wouldn't risk it. Flying Iberia I had a three hour layover in Madrid going to Italy and a four hour layover in Madrid coming back. On the flights to Italy we were late and I made my connection with two minutes - literally two minutes - to spare. Coming home we were three hours late and I had an hour to get to my connecting flight.

I don't know if Air France's ontime ratings are better than Iberia but I'd assume there will be some delay and build that into the lay-over if I possibly could.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7870 posts

I prefer more time. Any idea where the gates will be? Will you have to clear customs? Will you have to pull your luggage and recheck? If so, I would want more time.

The good news is international flights have pretty good on-time records. The long leg over allows the plane to make-up some time lost on departure.

Posted by Michelle
Anaheim, CA, USA
1410 posts

I too would prefer more time. I took Air France and on my way from LHR to LAX they were delayed 40 minutes. That right there would be your buffer to connect.

Would you be willing to connect to London instead of CDG?? You'd be in Terminal 2 if you took Air France and LHR has plenty of things to do to kill time.

Posted by Audrey
Keizer, Oregon, USA
577 posts

My experience is that 2 hours minimum is needed between flights. If I have to change terminals, add another hour.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1456 posts

I always try to have at least three hours on an international flight. There have been many times when I've needed it. Of course, I am not one to take chances. It's just such a pain these days if you miss your connecting flight because it can be difficult to get another one the same day.

Posted by Bonne
Columbus, OH, USA
208 posts

I'm with Carroll from PS - I like 3 hours for international flights. I just went from Columbus, OH to ER (Newark) to Dublin. I allowed just over 2 hours to connect in EWR. My flight leaving CMH was over an hour late leaving since EWR wasn't allowing incoming flights d/t air traffic in the NYC area.

Since you only have an hour, here's what I would do. I woud keep an eye on seat availability through the AF website. I would know all of the future flights from CDG to Seattle (is that correct?) Have a list of those flights with you - flight #'s and times in the event you won't make it.

I tried the AF website and from Rome to CDG to SEA, it said that there wasn't enough time in between flights and I'd have to select other flights. "There is not enough time between the connecting flights selected. Please modify your selection." I plunked random dates (11/11) Rome-Paris-Seattle. AF 2305 arriving at 9:30, AF 040 departing at 10:30. Sound about right? Check your itinerary closely - Alitalia operates the first filght under the auspice of AF. I'd look VERY carefully at the flights - I tried the earlier flight from FCO-CDG and it still said there wasn't enough time. I see my error - I as booking as 2 flights. When you do one, it allows the 1 hour between.

Random search shows AA from FCO-SEA stopping at JFK:
Tue, Nov 11 American Airlines 235
Depart: 10:00am
Arrive: 2:00pm Rome, Italy (FCO)
New York, NY (JFK)
1 stop in JFK
10hr 0min | Boeing 767
Change planes. Time between flights: 2hr 20min
American Airlines 269
Depart: 4:20pm
Arrive: 7:35pm New York, NY (JFK)
Seattle, WA (SEA)
Will that work?

Posted by Lynette
Blaine, WA, USA
9 posts

After all of your warnings, we decided to change our schedule. We had to change airlines, though, too. But it should work out better now. We fly out of Rome to Atlanta on Delta, have a 4 1/2 hour layover before flying on to Seattle. We ended up having to pay a bit more, but I think it will take some of the worry out of it all.
Thanks for all your input! Glad we didn't just take what was available.