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Connecting flight time only an hour- enough time coming from Paris to Amsterdam, returning to US

Hi, my friend and I just got a change in our flight schedule. We will be arrivng in Amsterdam from Paris and will only have an hour to make our connecting flight back to US. Is this possible? Should we make changes to our flights to allow more time? Thanks so much!

Posted by
90 posts

I have done an hour change time in Amsterdam when arriving from Zurich, but it did make me nervous. I would recommend more than one hour to make connecting flight to US from Amsterdam.

Posted by
16878 posts

Are both flights on the same ticket, so one company is responsible to get you home? When I had a similar circumstance several years ago, I believe the new flight scheduling gave me 45 minutes to connect at Schipol. I had to get assistance from the transfer desk (for instance, they made a phone call to get my checked bag transferred faster), since I was under the 50-minute minimum rule and I had to really run to be the last person to board.

Posted by
26 posts

If I am reading this right, the flight from Paris to Amsterdam is Delta but says operated by Air France. The flight from Amsterdam to Portland is Delta. So we would have to get assistance from the transfer desk? We are checking our baggage in Paris instead of doing the carry on.. Thanks.

Posted by
1994 posts

Were I in your situation, if I could easily change the ticket to get a longer transfer time, I would do it. My last two trips to Europe have been on Delta/KLM/Air France/Alitalia code shares, both times with about 1 hour transfer time in Amsterdam. One time, by running the whole way and talking my way into the short-connection line at immigration, I made it -- only because the departing flight was over an hour late leaving; I was the last person to board. On the other trip, even taking all those steps, I missed the connection, and arrived home more than 14 hours late, on a flight with multiple stops before my destination. Those experiences, coupled with other details of the flights, were enough to convince me that I won't book with Delta again. I'll pay more for another carrier.

Posted by
201 posts

Yikes we are in the same boat. When going from Venice to Amsterdam we wouldn't have to go through immigration would we? Just run for the plane correct?

We are Delta for both legs code sharing with KLM.

Posted by
1994 posts

Gretchen, I could have used the wrong word... It was passport control of some kind. I was flying Italy (once Venice, once Florence) to Amsterdam to SFO. I may just have had bad luck, but it has been a mob scene every time I've gotten to that screening in Amsterdam. They also had pretty extensive security re-screening when I finally got to the gate in Amsterdam. So it wasn't a quick run between gates... 2 inspection processes plus a very long run between terminals in my experiences... enough to make me decide to avoid delta. However, maybe I just had extraordinarily bad luck.

Posted by
5663 posts

Given that you are on your homeward bound half of your air travel and on legal connect I would go with it. Just be prepared to run or at least move with haste. Not having to drag a roller is a good idea. It would be a good idea to get a forward seat on the AF so that you don't get trapped behind the folks trying to unload their max legal carry-on bags. Study the AMS terminal layout so you have an plan.

Two worse cases are delayed bags or getting rebooked on a later Delta. If your checked bag misses the right connection, it could be a minor blessing in that you will not need to lug your bag through US customs and it gets delivered to you, usually the nest day. Down side is waiting for the bag then dealing with lost baggage paperwork.

If you miss the Delta you would likely get rebooked on the later flight anyway. Its a goof idea to know what else is going your way even if its a different carrier.

Posted by
201 posts

The maddening thing is if you look at the KLM flights it still shows the plane leaving AMS at the later time even though we received the change notification over a month ago.

Posted by
4538 posts

The 'passport control' would be the exit check made on leaving the Schengen area. There is no avoiding of this.

Posted by
137 posts

We learned our lesson about not having more than one hour (maybe need 2-3 hrs) between connecting flights this year in May. We went on United from LAX with 45 minute connecting United flight in Newark NJ to Berlin. First plane was delayed due to problems in Newark. We missed our connecting flight and had to rebook via London. Arrived in Berlin 4 hours later than our original time which was not too bad. It was the same airline but it didn't matter to them a bunch of people missed their connecting flight. So why do they schedule the connecting flights in this manner if it will most likely will lead to failure? Basically the airlines are saying that it is the job of the passenger to figure out if they have enough time for making connections.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks everyone for your info. I will be making a call today to the travel agency that booked our flights to see what options are available. First time to Europe-I'm so excited.

Posted by
26 posts

Called the travel agency that booked our flights. It is a MINIMUM fee of $350.00 to change flights. The woman I talked to thinks that we can make it because she has done the same thing. She said if we had to connect out of DeGaulle, it wouldn't work but that Amsterdam airport is better organized. :(

Posted by
3565 posts

An hour is very tight, as you realize, and even if you make it, your luggage may not. Please go around the travel agent and talk directly to the airline issuing the ticket to find an earlier flight on the first leg. It will be helpful if the airline changed the schedule; if you did, then the chances of a stiff fee for a change are higher. In my personal opinion, "Legal" is a meaningless term applied to airline connections. Twice my bags failed to catch up to the second leg of a flight on international schedules. "It happens all the time" was the answer from the lost-luggage agents, who are the airline employees who actually know. If there is some sort of law, it is not enforced.

Posted by
4538 posts

If tne connection time is not below the IATA minimum then the airline can stick to its guns. It is though the one running the risk of having to pay out if you are unable to make the connections.

Posted by
7858 posts

I agree with Southam that it is worth calling Delta directly, not the travel agent who feels you can do it because she has done it. I have found Delta to be helpful in these situations. You should let them know that this is your first trip, you can't run too well, you are worried, etc. On the other hand, you may find your options are very inconvenient, so you should look up options for your route on the internet before calling.

Posted by
9110 posts

Before high panic sets in, how about tell us what piers/gates are involved. The whole thing may be a big nothing.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks everyone. I got an email back from the travel agent with this option:
If you would be interested in the flight from Paris to Amsterdam the night before (September 14th) at 5:50pm arriving in Amsterdam at 7:05pm, and then returning on the same flight from Amsterdam to Portland, I am willing to work with Delta on your behalf to see if there is anyway they might be able to make an exception and not require the change fee.
This would require an over-night in Amsterdam.

I replied no thanks as this would mean that my friend and I would miss the last night of our Rick Steves tour, saying good by to our fellow tour members dinner, and hotel stay all of which have been paid for.
My friend talked to another travel agent at the agency ans she assures us that we can do it. And if any other changes are made by Delta that she will call us immediately. Also, that there just are not that many options available.
Regarding the piers/gates involved. We only have that info on the flight leaving Paris to Amsterdam. I asked the agent yesterday what the terminal info was on the flight from Amsterdam back to Portland hoping to map that ahead of time and she said that hadn't been posted yet. Apparently, this might mean there could be another change. Yikes.
This has definitely been a learning curve for first time international travelers! At least, this is on the way home! Who wants to come home and go back to work after a trip like this!!!!!

Posted by
7858 posts

Does Delta fly directly to Portland from Amsterdam, or will you end up with three flights?

Delta flies directly from Paris CDG airport to Boston, New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, Los Angeles and more. You could have been routed to any of these cities and then directly to Portland. It's only a few dollars more, about $6 and up.

This trip will be the learning experience, and hopefully you will feel confident to make your own reservations after this.

Posted by
5663 posts

The glass half full is a missed connection on your return doesn't destroy your holiday.

http://www.klm.com/travel/us_en/prepare_for_travel/at_the_airport/connections/index.htm#p2

The standard transfer time at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to a flight within Europe is 40 minutes and 50 minutes for an intercontinental flight.
If you are travelling to/from Schengen and non-Schengen countries, you should count on having to go through additional security checks and customs inspections. These can substantially extend the time it takes to complete your transfer procedure.
If you do not make your next flight because of a lack of time, you will automatically be booked on another flight. Your baggage will be relabelled and you will not have to retrieve it or check in for the new flight. Your new flight details can be retrieved and you can print out your new boarding pass on a self-service machine.

Posted by
8642 posts

@ Bets - Delta does fly directly from Amsterdam to Portland.

Posted by
1812 posts

Your luggage probably has a better shot that making a tight connection then you do. Luggage generally has a shorter routing then humans. Over the years my luggage has made several flights I missed :)

As a general rule if Delta changes a schedule by a substantial amount of time they will let you make adjustments for free. (how long was your original layover time?) So the agent acting like she's doing you a favor to assist you is a bit bizarre.

However, in your case Delta doesn't take "ownership" of the reservation until after the first flight and often won't deal with you directly. Even so what you need to do is quit depending on this TA. Go on Delta.com and look and see what your options are.

Looking at CDG to Portland on Sept 15th I see several options that don't go through AMS. On the AMS option your only two choices have a 1:30 and an hour. I would at least ask for the hour and a half. That extra 30 minutes might be useful. Your big issue is that you have to get the TA to actually DO their job and call Delta and say "this won't work, what option do you have to get them from Paris to X on date Y" and when the first agent says "none" say "what about flight X via Madrid" or "the earlier flight to AMS" etc.... It helps if you have the options all lined up. (That's what the TA gets paid for but apparently...)

You can try calling Delta directly. I have had success with this, but they don't have to help you if there's a TA involved.

As for making your connection, here are my rules to live by when I have a short connection
1. Don't load yourself down like a pack mule. Yes, the airlines charge to check luggage, but if you have to stop every 20 feet to rearrange then you aren't going anyplace fast. I see this every time I am in the Atlanta airport. The poor family stopping every other gate to try to figure out how to comfortably carry their oversized and over stuffed bags!
2. Don't stop to shop, eat, bathroom etc until you get to the departure gate. (I honestly cannot tell you how often I have seen travelers come running to a gate screaming "you left me" while hauling several bags of "goodies" they just "had to have" from the airport shops.)

(Oh and gates are rarely posted this far in advance. Even the info you have on the first flight is probably not 100% accurate. Even if they give you the gate info in CDG when you check in, check again when you land in AMS, it can change!)

Posted by
2081 posts

imperatricedeux,

Im flying from PDX to MUC and have a 50 minute layover and its suppose to make it. All flights are on KLM/Delta. So im going to play with a tiger this flight and see if they can do it. Of course it all depends on if my flight from PDX to AMS is on time.

what you should realize is that Schiphol has their TSA at the gate in AMS. So, everyone entering the airport doesnt have to go through TSA it like they do in the states. You can wonder around the airport and have fun. One other thing is that if i remember correctly there is only one Direct/Non Stop flight from AMS to PDX and it leaves ~ 1000 ish local time and arrives ~ 1200 ish PDX time.

ive been taking that flight for 2+ years now and so far, they havent changed it that much.

the only thing thats a pain is that the airport is large! So if you end up at one end and have to make it to the other end, it will be a long walk.

what you can do is to go to the Schiphol web site http://www.schiphol.nl/index_en.html and see what gates your flight arrives/departs and get an idea on how far you will need to walk/trot/run. But if your flight is too far out, that info may not be good or current. the box on the right of the page is where you can plug and chug your flight info. Note that it may not be the same due to conflicts or scheduling, but you may get an idea. also, look at the airport map and see where your flight may leave to PDX. You should look at the map anyway to get an idea of the layout. Also, many of the rags on the planes will have an airport map so once you get closer or on the planes, you should have an idea on your gate and how far.

what you can also do is that once you arrive, there are usually some Custome Service reps at the gate that should be able to let the connecting flight/gate know youre on the way.

happy trails.

Posted by
8642 posts

I will just add that it might be good to also know that there is a Delta flight AMS to SEA leaving at 230PM, so if by some chance your plane is late you've got a chance to get back to the West Coast. (There is also one at 1030 but if you miss yours you will likely miss that one too.) I have usually seen both of those flights leaving from Pier E, Portland on the right side as you head down the gates and Seattle on the a little further on the left. The last 2 times I've been thru there for the 1030 flight to SEA this was the arrangement, of course that is just my experience and gates can change.

I don't think anyone has given you a map link to Schiphol. Here's the one on the Delta site. The red circles with arrows are the sites where there are transfer desks and the staff there are extremely helpful and of course very fluent in English.

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/airports-and-aircraft/airports/amsterdam.html

If something goes awry, getting to Seattle would be good as there are a couple of flights to PDX later in the day and multiple ones on Alaska which is a codeshare partner.