Just returned from AC this morning. Should have been last night. Customs and Immigration in Houston is a mess. We missed our connection to Nashville after hurrying and running most of the way. In talking with a Continental ticket agent that was setting us up for an overnight stay and meals, etc., She said this is a daily occurance for those that have connections with less than a 2 hour "window". Our flight was about 10 minutes late getting in from BZE and this cost us the missed connection along with the customs delay. Continental will let you book connections within an hour of arrival, but you might want look at that carefully.
It seems customs and immigration have not replaced some people that have quit and the lines get long due to lack of manpower. Our connection was still at the gate with the jetway attached to the plane, but they wouldn't let us on. We found out later that the flight was oversold anyway and they had asked for volunteers to get off. The "rules" of being there at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure really applied this time. We could only manage to get there 3 minutes before departure time.
This was our first trip to AC and we fell in love with the place. We went down for a family wedding and reunion and had about 40 people in our group. We all will be going back. Locals are very friendly, say hello to you on the street, etc. Snorkling was great. If you have kids that like peanut butter, take some with you. It is about $11 US per jar in San Pedro.
I feel your pain. On my recent return, we RAN through the airport in Houston and were the last ones on our plane. I'm not even sure we were there with 10 minutes to spare. More like 5 or less, too. Oh well, small price to pay for traveling to paradise.
Oh, joy! But, I'm glad we found out ahead of time. Even last year we had to run throught the airport, at full gallop, to make the connnection. This year might be even worse. Well, at least we'll be prepared. Thanks for the info.
Just goes to show ya - ya just can't ever tell. Been thru HOU 4x (Int'l) since Jan 1 and never had a problem catching a gate.
For those of you who do worry about such things - the generally accepted rule of thumb ( even before 9/11) is a 1 hr window on domestic connections....2 hrs on int'l...anything less can be construed as not a "legal ticket" (their term, not mine) and should they choose to play hardball, are under no obligation to assist/compensate any add'tl overnite costs. etc., should you miss a connection. I f you do find yourself in that situation, being "nice" to the cust svc reps realllllllllllllly helps.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
My daughters just arrived home on Continental via Houston and had no problems. Their flights were all ahead of schedule both going and returning. We were pulling into the parking garage at Love Field to pick them up at the exact time the flight was supposed to land and they called on the cell phone to tell us not to park in the garage, that they were already through with baggage claim and in front of the terminal waiting to be picked up!
They said they bought a small jar of peanut butter for around $3.50 (because the place they wanted to have lunch yesterday was closed for Commonwealth Day?)
Looks like they were the lucky ones on this trip; hope you have better luck next time!
Yes, same experience on our trip home from A/C on 4/24. Customs was a mess, we literally ran through the airport, practically lost our way given the construction and ended up sardine-packed in a little tram with some mighty sweaty stinky folk. We would have missed our connecting flight to Chicago had there not been bad weather b/t Houston and Chicago that night. I've travelled through a number of airports in my life and Houston is definitely not my favorite - especially for incoming international flights.
NJGal I travel from PHL and have never missed a connection in Houston to BZE. You'll have time. We even left almost an hour late once and still made up the time and made our connection. You'll have time but not so much that your waiting forever. Have fun