Minimum connection time at Tampa TPABack to Forum
Anonymous9 Jan 2014
I may need to go to the US in a couple of weeks and I’ve been offered a routing via Tampa with only 1 hour 20 minutes connection, which is either a system glitch at the agency or is allowed.
It sounds like lunacy to me, but has anyone else connected at Tampa and is it really realistic given the needs to clear immigation?
Thanks for any replies.9 Jan 2014
Could you let me know the routing and even flight numbers if you have them? I can check this out for you…
Sounds crazy but I have seen valid 1 hour connections through airports such as AMS so anything is possible!9 Jan 2014
Let alone immigration, you need to think of the likelihood of getting there on time, departing on time (weather conditions in 2 weeks time). Basically, if your agent has selected this flight, it means the airline is happy with this connection, but that is on the basis that everything runs smoothly, and based on an American citizen maybe, ha! They will reprotect you if you miss your onward journey but still it is a pain in the backside. Maybe this connection was the only one available for the time / price / route you wanted. I think it’s too short but then again, I have had a transit of 35 minutes in EWR and made my connection with UA then CO on CUN-EWR-EDI… have fun anyway!9 Jan 2014
FDOS, TPA is my local airport. Flights from Europe (presumption) (BA or Edelweiss/Swiss)arrive in terminal F, and it is also used by AA and US Airways. So if you have a thru ticket and boarding pass, so well to the good. If not and you have to change terminals and/or check in your bags again then 2 transit rides are added into the equation.
Immigration at TPA is generally quick for aliens 10 – 30 minutes seems the norm, and if you are first off then 10 minutes should be possible. They do favour US residents but after the modest numbers of returnees are cleared the manpower is moved to the aliens.
Baggage reclaim in my experience is reasonably quick but never put it on the second bag mover that duplicates the transit ride into the main terminal, as you will have to wait to collect your bag from the bowels of the building before ascending back up to check in. Take it with you on the shuttle train.
To summarise, although TPA is a civilised and reasonably fast to pass thru airport, a world apart to ATL or JFK, I must advise 1 hour 20 is cutting it too fine unless you love stress and disappointment. Have a safe and enjoyable trip, and if you are lucky enough to stay in Florida enjoy a balmy winter break.9 Jan 2014
Thanks all and particularly GKing92.
I’ve informed my client that I’m happy to accept their agent’s routing, so long as they indemnify me against a late arrival (i.e. if I arrive late, I still get paid full fees), since the connection is the last BA to US connection of the day and the last connection at all is only 45 minutes later.9 Jan 2014
I regularly use TPA, the last time being late Nov, flying in on the BA flight in J.
If the flight is on time, or even 10 mins late or so, and you are in J or the front of the PE cabin, you should be through immigration in no more than 30 minutes (probably less) and luggage is generally delivered in 20 mins or so, so could be waiting for you on the belt.
If onward with AA or US, it is the same terminal, so you just need to go through security again, which is generally light at TPA, and you may have access to the priority lane.
I wouldn’t be too concerned, purely based on my experiences of travelling through TPA. The crunch is if the flight is on time.9 Jan 2014