Play it safe with international connections

Tracy Stewart, July 28, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I'm flying from Los Angeles to Brisbane on a Qantas flight departing at 11:50pm. I now need to book a flight from Bellingham or Seattle to Los Angeles to connect to my Quantas flight. If I arrive in Los Angeles at 7:37pm, is it enough time to make my Quantas flight? How much time should I leave between flights in order to arrive in plenty of time to check in for my 11:50pm flight?

    A. Given all the things that can and do go wrong in the course of a trip, we're not so sure we'd cut it so close. What if your flight to Los Angeles is cancelled and there are no empty seats for the rest of the day? And what if your Qantas fare is non-changeable/non-refundable? Miss your flight to Brisbane and you might have to buy a whole new ticket on the next available flight, if there's availability.

    I'd suggest arriving in Los Angeles the day before, just to allow yourself a little wiggle room. And if nothing goes wrong and you make it to LA with plenty of time to spare, you can always drop in on your long lost cousin Gertrude, or grab some In-and-Out Burger and loaf around Hollywood Blvd. Or something.

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