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How much time for connections?

Looking at two different flights home from Athens.

One goes Athens to Munich and we have 1 hr and 10 min to catch our international flight home and the other flight goes from Athens to Newark and we have 3:20 min before leaving for our destination of Washington DC.

I'd sure prefer to get home and not have that long 3 hour stop, but is the 1:10 cutting it too close arriving in Munich?

What would you choose?

Posted by
8647 posts

Its always a gamble, isn't it? I prefer longer than 1 hour, but then, you're on your way home, and can afford to gamble. I haven't been to Munich airport for many years, but every time I look at connection times anywhere, I think of the many times that it has taken 15-30 minutes just to get off the plane, even when it is on time.

Posted by
2713 posts

My last flight layover connecting in Munich was a bit over two hours. Had they not held the plane for us we would not have made it. I would not do a connection that close again. A three hour layover is nothing. Between clearing immigration, getting a bite to eat, comfort breaks it will go by quickly.

Posted by
1922 posts

Yes, that's right. I forgot about going through immigration in the states. Good thought, maybe it won't feel that long after all.

Posted by
2651 posts

One hour and ten minutes is way too short for my comfort zone.

Posted by
11613 posts

I agree, I like having at least two hours for the connection. The stress of a short connection is too much for me. I am trying as hard as I can to hold on to my relaxing, fabulous vacation, and that just disappears while rushing for a flight.

Posted by
1878 posts

I always target a minimum of two hours when connecting in Europe, sometimes might do a shade less like 1:50. 3:20 will go by really fast, I would go for that. Munich has always been easy when we have connected there, but I have heard stories that were otherwise.

Posted by
6670 posts

The risk with Munich is having a delayed arrival, eating into your 70-minute connection time. Plus you'll have US-style security there -- shoes, belt, liquids, the whole parade -- which could take awhile. (I can't imagine the Germans trusting the Greeks to inspect you adequately!)

Another advantage of flying straight to Newark is that if delays occur you'll at least be in your home country, with lots of domestic flight choices (or even Amtrak) if needed. Given possible flight delay, immigration and customs time, and notorious TSA screw-ups at Newark, you'll find the 200 minutes flying by (so to speak). And you'll be ready for a little break from the airplane seats and bathrooms. Walk around, have a bite, at least you've got the big crossing behind you.

Posted by
19170 posts

Even if you are flying in and out of Terminal 2 in Munich, you would be coming in on a Schengen flight and leaving on a flight to a non-Schengen country, so you will have to go through outgoing passport control in Munich, plus, as I remember, change levels in T2. You might be able to do all of that in 70 minutes, including deplaning and boarding, but there are too many reasons that the Athens flight could be late. If the ticket were all Lufthansa, they might find you another flight to the US, but how many of them are there in a day.

And if you are flying any other airline than Lufthansa into Munich, it probably means changing terminals, which would be difficult in the time provided.

On the other hand, with the other flight, you would go through immigration and custom in Newark, and that could take a big portion of the 3h20. Plus, if the trans-Atlantic flight is late, there are probably many more flight options from Newark to DC.

I'd take the Athens to Newark flight. I'd rather be almost home when I missed a connection than thousands of miles away.

Posted by
1922 posts

Thank you for the help! You have answered my question. I'll try to get the flight into Newark.

Posted by
15678 posts

Via Newark, remember that any duty-free liquids you buy in Athens will have to go in your checked luggage for your flight to CA.