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International connection with 1 hr 20 min at JFK

We have reservations from Portland to JFK in mid May of this year (2017) with a one hour and 20 minute layover, connecting with Air France to Paris. Apparently 75 min is the minimum layover advised., but had no choice.
We will come in at terminal 1 and fly out of terminal 4. I know it may be tight. Wondering if anyone has had difficulties with that turn-around time frame with an on time arrival at JFK. Thanks. Transit time between terminals 1 and 4?

Posted by
8516 posts

All booked on the same itinerary/ticket? If so and you miss your connection, they'll put you on the next available flight, and there's an Air France/Delta flight almost every hour. If not on the same ticket, ... Someone else needs to answer, but it seems risky to me.

Posted by
2931 posts

Are you sure that it is Terminal 1? I thought it was Terminal 2. Anyway, I have never taken a flight to JFK that arrived on time but if it does, you should be okay assuming that you are incorrect about Terminal 1. When is the next flight to Paris? If you miss this one will you have to wait overnight? Anyway there is a shuttle bus offered by Delta between Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 and the trip takes about 5 minutes. Take a look at http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/where-we-fly/destinations/featured-locations/new-york-city/our-new-home-at-jfk.html.

Edit: Following up on Bets, but if it is not on the same ticket, absolutely forget about it. Way too risky. I assumed that you had bought a ticket from Delta from Portland to Paris and that when you check in at Portland's airport, you will be checked in all way to Paris, including that your luggage will be checked to Paris and you will have your boarding pass for the Air France flight. Really, forget about this connection if that is not the case.

Posted by
1878 posts

That sounds awfully tight though I have no doubt it's a "legal" connection. I assume it's all on the same ticket or this would be totally insane. On the plus side about 100 flights are scheduled every day to leave JFK around the same time so chances are the connecting flight will be delayed. You might consider watching airfares and pay a change fee if it's economic, to get a longer layover.

Posted by
11469 posts

Are you arriving on Delta? Then it is Terminal 2 (Terminal 1 is for international airlines only.) If so, read the following info:

JFK--transferring form Terminal 2 to Terminal 4

If the above is correct, do not, under any circumstances, go out to the Airtrain to go between terminals. Use the jitney.

Posted by
2165 posts

Even if an airline told me this was a legal connection I would never book it. What do you mean that you had no choice? Did you already buy these tickets and can't change them?

Hopefully you're on a single ticket with all the protections that offers (see above posters). I can't speak to how hard/long a connection is at JFK - I try not to go through that airport and haven't transferred there in years.

Posted by
1105 posts

I was told by my husband's uncle who travels a lot that the one good thing about JFK is that if you miss your flight there are a lot of others to hop on. Good luck!

Posted by
3660 posts

If you have no choice you'll just have to hope for the best and maybe it will work out for you. If at all possible, however, consider changing flights to increases the connection time.

Posted by
439 posts

First, double check which terminal it is. I always will then research the map of the terminals so I have a general idea. If you do have to take the air train, I believe that means you have to go through security again. Only in a few instances, I have found little or no line at JFK. They are usually very very long. One thing that has improved things for us is applying for the global entry card. I think you still have time before your trip. Some credit cards will pay the fee for applying for the global entry card.

No one has mentioned this, but pack light. If you don't carry on, do it in this instance. Your bags may not make it even if you do.

Posted by
5780 posts

Unless I missed it, you still have not addressed the single most critical question that has been raised:

A: Is this all on "one ticket" (that is, you paid some airline to fly you from Portland to Paris, and you happen to stop in JFK)?

or

B: Did you buy one ticket from PDX to JFK, and another, separate ticket (purchased separately) from JFK to CDG?

The difference between these two scenarios is critical.

If A, and you miss that connecting flight, they will put you on the next flight with an empty seat, at no charge to you (maybe an hour later, maybe the next day, but the flight switch costs you nothing).

If B, and you miss your connection, then you are hosed: you missed your flight from JFK to Paris, and you will need to buy a new ticket (probably a stunningly expensive one) or you're not going to Paris.

If A, at worst, you may get there late. If B, you are playing with fire, and you should change one of your flights to protect yourself (because your connection time is pretty risky).

Hope that helps.

Posted by
2931 posts

"Sorry folks, my ticket says we arrive at terminal 4 depart terminal 1"

Okay now that makes sense but makes it worse for you because the JFK Jitney operates between terminals 2 and 4. I don't want to jinx you but my gut feeling is that you are not going to make this connection and if you do, your luggage will not. Not to worry about the luggage though, AF will deliver it to you later and what I do when I have such short connection if I have checked luggage is pack a change of clothes in my carry on luggage. If you are a party of two and are in Economy, I'd go for it after confirming with Delta that if you miss the flight, AF will put you on the next one without charge. If "we" is more than two people or you are in Business Class, I would not count on being able to get on the next flight. Business class from JFK to Paris is usually full and finding seats for more than two people on flights nowadays is a challenge -- it once took three days for United to find four seats for my family when we missed a flight because of a combination of bad weather and a short connection. Although, it looks like tourism is down in Paris so it could be that the flights are not as full as they used to be. Unless it has changed in the past year or so, you will have to take the Air Train between terminals and then go back through security to get to your gate at Terminal 1. You may want to call Delta and check to see if they offer a non-publicized jitney that connects for flights on their partner airlines. I don't think that they do, but you never know and if they do, that will make a huge difference. I used to live in New York and have family there and fly into and out of JFK a lot and it is an awful airport but as said above, the good news is that they have lots of flights.

Posted by
2576 posts

I'm a bit puzzled by "had no choice". On Kayak I see multiple options on Delta, Air France. Many connect through LAX with 2-3 hour layovers. Consider calling customer service. Tell them you are ___ years old or have a mobility issue (don't we all?) and now that you have looked at the JFK layout you are worried about the transfer time. If you call M-F business hours and you are lucky you may get a sympathetic ear and be able to switch your flights without penalty.

Posted by
1976 posts

You could call the airline and ask if they can put you on an earlier flight out of Portland that day, or on a later flight to Paris. Last April we flew from STL-ORD-CDG on United. The airline changed our flight from STL-ORD so that we had a 56-minute layover. Even though it was apparently a "legal" connection time, it was unacceptable to me. United got us on an earlier flight out of STL so that we had a 3-hour layover at ORD.

Posted by
3709 posts

Icelandair does this route faster (it's shorter) and likely cheaper and with the Reykjavik transfer you are assured of making it. I once flew to JFK for a European flight in 1988-- and that was the last time.

Posted by
2931 posts

carleencowan, I have a feeling that you have already purchased your tickets because of your response that your ticket says Terminal 1 and Terminal 4. If you have your tickets and you cannot change them for whatever reason, then just go ahead and try and be aware of the fact that you probably will not make the connection and make your peace with that and get on the later flight. This morning, I mentioned your post to my husband who travels a ton for business and goes through JFK (and Newark) against his will quite often and is the least stressed traveler I have ever seen and he shook his head and said, "she's not going to make it because she does not have enough time and she is not going to arrive on time anyway. Tell her to just accept it and be happy if she makes it but plan to arrive in Paris on the later flight." And he is definitely a glass is half full kind of person. That being said, our domestic experiences flying into JFK are flying from SFO and it could be that flights from Portland have a better on time arrival history.

I don't travel on partner airlines because of a number of bad experiences with missed connections so I do not have specific advice on this connection but you must make sure that you checked in for the AF flight before your get to JFK. If you have to check in at JFK, this is a major issue because the check in deadline for AF at JFK is 60 minutes before scheduled departure time. There are a couple of things that can help you out and increase your odds of making this connecting flight by getting through security faster. Are you in Business or First Class? If yes, there are usually shorter security lines for premium passengers. Do you have TSA PreCheck so you can use those lines? What time is your flight from JFK? Some times are worse than others. In my experience the security lines are nuts between 4 to 7 PM.

Posted by
8516 posts

The itinerary won't be cancelled because she will have already taken the flight from Portland. Indeed, if you miss your first flight, it can be cancelled, which is what happened to Mrs. eB. But not in Charleen's situation. I once missed a flight home because I mixed up the dates. Air France put me on the next flight.

Posted by
11469 posts

If your plane is late getting to JFK, alert a Delta agent at terminal 4 especially if you know you won't make the next plane. They will rebook you.

If you get to Terminal 1 and the TSA line or check in line is long, find an AF employee and explain the situation. They, sometimes, can walk you to the front of the TSA line and expedite your getting to the gate. They might even hold the plane.

Most times, if a passenger is late getting on board, they will try to find them. More so on international flights than domestic ones.

Even if things are not going as planned, there are people and resources that can help. You just have to ask.

One last thing, if you can, pre-print your boarding passes at home. (Not sure if AF will need to do a passport check or if DL will do it at PDX.)

Posted by
1419 posts

Just to clarify, TSA Precheck only applies to some airlines. As far as I can tell, AF is not a participating airline. A quick check on flyertalk indicates that code share flights are not eligible either. It's the operating airline that's relevant. So in this case an AF flight is unlikely to have Precheck.

OP, as mentioned above be prepared to miss your flight and take a later one. Get a seat up front on the flight from PDX to get off a little quicker. Look at the terminal maps to understand where you are going and how to get there. If there is an AF person at the security area in T4 show them your boarding pass, sometimes they walk you to the front of the security line to get you through.

Good luck and have fun in Paris.