I'm flying from Las Vegas to Miami in September , My flight changes at Houston Bush International & my connecting flight to Miami is 49 minutes later , Will my luggage be put straight through to Miami & What are my chances of making this flight as it's the last leg of our dream holiday to the USA which will be taking in NY , San Fran , LA , Las Vegas & finally Miami & Key West , I've already checked out Bush Intl. & it would seem that all domestic flights are from Terminal C , I'm hoping that this could be a bonus , Also what happens if my wife & I do miss our flight to Miami ? any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated . Thanks Ian .
I'm a very frequent flyer within the US and I'd say the chances of your luggage following you from Las Vegas to Miami are over 95%. Sounds like you're flying Continental, that's a good airline, connecting in their Houston which is their main hub. In a race between you and your bags on which can transfer from the inbound aircraft to the outbound aircraft I'd bet on your bags. I've travelled US airlines hundreds of times now in the last 15 years and have only been separated from my baggage four times, if I remember correctly.
Next, don't worry too much about missing your transfer to Miami as long as your inbound flight from Las Vegas is timely. You have enough time to get from one gate to the other, although no extra time to peruse those airport shops for some "Don't Mess With Texas" souvenir kitchen magnets. Besides, the airlines computers know you are meeting the Miami flight and if your inbound Las Vegas flight has landed they will wait a reasonable time for you to arrive at the outbound gate. If you or your wife have walking difficulties simply explain your timing concerns to the flight attendant on the inbound Las Vegas flight -- they may be able to arrange a motorized cart to carry you from one gate to the other. I have used Bush airport in Houston before -- it's not difficult to get through.
Of course if your inbound flight is delayed getting into Houston then that's a different story and they will not hold your outbound flight to Miami for you. If the delay is caused by a mechanical problem in Las Vegas (airline's fault) then Continental will likely book you on the next available connection to Miami -- whether it's on their airline or another airline. (This has happened to me several times before; US airlines have reciprocal agreements to carry one another's passengers in such cases.) However, if the delay on your Las Vegas inbound flight is due to weather (not the airlines fault) then Continental will simply book you on the next flight to Miami on their own airline. That may be the next day. If so, they will give you a voucher to stay at a local hotel for the night at a discounted rate, at your own cost. They may provide you a discounted meal voucher as well. Changing hotel and other arrangements in Miami is up to you. So it comes down to weather in Houston in September. You should be fine unless you are terribly unlucky -- autumn is hurricane season in the southeastern US and yes, I did have my connection through Houston cancelled two Octobers ago.
Bottom line: you're probably more concerned about the connection that it merits. Good luck and enjoy your holiday.
Ian, I travel a lot and would second Tim on everything he is writing. To be on the safe side, airlines in US are generous for carry-on luggage...just make sure you have clothes and anything you need for 48 hours after arrival....like this you will be a lot safer.