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indy71

What would you do regarding Delta schedule change?

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So, my optimal flight home to Tucson from FLL in February has been changed, creating a 36 minute layover in Atlanta. I know I can request a change, but the choices are less than ideal. Here are my options:

1) keep the flight as is (undesirable as we would probably miss the connection)

2) switch to a 1 hour connection in Salt Lake City (undesirable, as I try to avoid cold weather cities in winter)

3) switch to a flight with 2 stops-Atlanta and LAX (undesirable as a 7 hour trip becomes an 11 hour trip)

4) switch to a late afternoon/night flight with 1 stop in Atlanta with reasonable connection time (undesirable in that we don’t land till 10:15 and we are 2 senior ladies inconveniencing another senior for a ride home)


I am tempted to leave it as is and hope for the best. Does anyone know if a refund is an option? I would love to choose another airline. Thanks for your help. 

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Refund is dependent on fare (basis) purchased.

 

Good luck and bon voyage

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I would probably just keep it and know that I may need to really hustle between the gates, or I would go through SLC. It may go against your own rule, but seriously...SLC knows how to handle winter weather, and it's easy as heck to connect there on DL. 

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1 hour ago, Zach1213 said:

I would probably just keep it and know that I may need to really hustle between the gates, or I would go through SLC. It may go against your own rule, but seriously...SLC knows how to handle winter weather, and it's easy as heck to connect there on DL. 

Agreed. We often take Delta connections thru SLC. Great airport, easy to navigate and as Zach1213 mentioned, they are well equipped to handle winter conditions.

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Thanks, everyone! I appreciate your responses! I’ll let you know what I decide. 

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Look at how often DL operate ATL-FLL flights, it's almost a shuttle operation. Yes, it's no guarantee of making the next flight but it's not as if it operates twice a week...After all DL wouldn't offer the connection if they didn't think you could make it.

 

You may want to see what DL's restrictions are on involuntary reschedules, based on your information you might not be able to get a refund as I think your flights need to change by something like 4hrs (with possible exceptions for higher level Medallions). 

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3 hours ago, fbgd said:

Look at how often DL operate ATL-FLL flights, it's almost a shuttle operation. Yes, it's no guarantee of making the next flight but it's not as if it operates twice a week...After all DL wouldn't offer the connection if they didn't think you could make it.

 

You may want to see what DL's restrictions are on involuntary reschedules, based on your information you might not be able to get a refund as I think your flights need to change by something like 4hrs (with possible exceptions for higher level Medallions). 

 

The minimum legal connection time I could find for most domestic flights at ATL is 35 minutes. (Which isn't me idea of the minimum sensible connection time there)  If the connection goes below that, or if then change is more than 90 minutes,  then it's a guaranteed free schedule change. Delta's customer service reps also have a decent amount of leeway to change tickets without a fee if you say you're uncomfortable with a connection that gets decidedly closer to the minimum, though it's not mandatory that they reroute or refund like it is for more than 90 or less than the MLCT. 

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What time is your FLL flight?

Are you docking at Port of Miami or Port Everglades?

If you give us this information we can better assist you.

 

FYI.....We just changed a 36 minute ATL connection with ease last week and didn't even tell them we are both seniors with recent knee surgeries.

While Delta is frequently targeted for changes it's not alone. Every airline adjusts their schedules. 

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19 hours ago, indy71 said:

I am tempted to leave it as is and hope for the best. Does anyone know if a refund is an option?

 

18 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

Refund is dependent on fare (basis) purchased.

 

Not necessarily.  Delta has made a schedule change and if that change meets certain parameters, then anyone can get a refund or request to be rebooked to something more to their liking.  Without knowing the exact nature of the change the OP got, it's hard to say, but even if the change wasn't enough of a change to qualify, Delta is often lenient, particularly if you explain that two seniors just can't move quickly enough to make a 36 minute connect.  Call Delta and ask. 

 

12 hours ago, fbgd said:

Look at how often DL operate ATL-FLL flights, it's almost a shuttle operation.

 

My thought too.  I don't know what time your departure is from FLL, but possibly it is late enough that you can switch to the next earlier departure, thus giving you more time to connect at ATL?   If not, I'd consider the SLC option instead.

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2 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

I don't know what time your departure is from FLL, but possibly it is late enough that you can switch to the next earlier departure, thus giving you more time to connect at ATL?   If not, I'd consider the SLC option instead.

Unfortunately, we are on the first flight to Atlanta already. 😞 That’s a good thought, though. 

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36 minute in ATL is NOT enough time (trust me, I work there). To make that connection, you’d need to arrive and depart from the same concourse. But murphy’s law says that you will arrive at gate F1 and depart from T1, which is literally over a mile away. You’d need to walk the length of the F concourse, take the escalator to the train, make 6 stops, go back up the escalator, and then walk the length of the T concourse. And remember that doors close 10 minutes before departure. You’d need to be in top physical shape, sprint, and hope that the train isn’t experiencing technical delays.There’s no worse feeling when trying to make a tight connection than standing in the train, with the doors open and the red doors flashing, and the prerecorded voice stating that the train is experiencing delays. 
 

With that said, worse case scenario if you keep your original flight through ATL and miss your connection is that you’ll be automatically routed again. You may be placed on the later Tucson flight that was offered to you (assuming that seats are available) and you’ll end up with a long layover in ATL, or you may be routed through yet another intermediate city. One way or another, Delta will get you home, but it may turn out to be a longer day. 
 

I agree with others. Probably the easiest thing for you is to go through SLC. It may be a a “cold weather” city, but Delta is well equipped to handle winter operations, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to have a hub there. 

Edited by Tapi

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What time is your FLL flight?

Are you docking at Port of Miami or Port Everglades?

If you give us this information we can better assist you.

 

FYI.....We just changed a 36 minute ATL connection with ease last week and didn't even tell them we are both seniors with recent knee surgeries.
 

My flight is at 7:30, but it’s the day after the ship docks, so no issues there, at least! Thanks for sharing your experience. We also made a tight connection in Atlanta once. Delta once changed my Atlanta connection to 20 minutes. Before I was smart enough to know I could ask for a change, I thought “well, they must think it’s possible or they wouldn’t have done that”. Our connecting flight was delayed or we wouldn’t have made it. You just never know. All I’m trying to do is predict the future. Lol!!!

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I decided to switch the flight to connect in SLC. Thanks so much for your help!

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1 hour ago, indy71 said:

I decided to switch the flight to connect in SLC. Thanks so much for your help!

Hope your travels are uneventful & enjoy your cruise!

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14 hours ago, DogLover said:

Hope your travels are uneventful & enjoy your cruise!

Thank you so much! I feel good about the flight change. 😊 

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20 hours ago, indy71 said:

Unfortunately, we are on the first flight to Atlanta already. 😞 That’s a good thought, though. 

 

You had me worried with that answer until I saw where you later clarified that it's the day AFTER you get off the cruise!

 

20 hours ago, Tapi said:

36 minute in ATL is NOT enough time (trust me, I work there).

 

Actually, an able bodied person CAN make that connection; I've done it many times and so have thousands of others, considering that 35 minutes is Delta's "legal" connection for domestic flights at ATL.  If fact, after a delayed flight I've made a connection there in much less time.  Now, I don't necessarily recommend it for others, particularly someone like the OP who is traveling with two senior companions, but it's doable.  The plane train is very fast and runs very frequently; I usually wait no more than a minute for it, it's less than a minute between stops and each stop is less than a minute.  The concourses are long so you may still have a hike at one end or the other, but the biggest factor in my opinion isn't where your gates are but where you are seated on the inbound flight.  If you're near the front of the plane you can deplane quickly.  If you're in row 42, good luck!

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Just now, waterbug123 said:

Actually, an able bodied person CAN make that connection; I've done it many times and so have thousands of others, considering that 35 minutes is Delta's "legal" connection for domestic flights at ATL. 

That’s what I mentioned in my previous post. You need to to be able bodied to make it from T to F in less than 26 minutes (gates close 10 minutes prior). I’ll be at the ATL airport in a few hours. I’ll give it a try. 😉

 

I do agree that seat position in the inbound airplane can be crucial. That can definitely add up to 10 minutes to the mix, specially if you’re on row 49 on a 757-300. It takes forever to get off that airplane. 

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1 minute ago, Tapi said:

That’s what I mentioned in my previous post. You need to to be able bodied to make it from T to F in less than 26 minutes (gates close 10 minutes prior). I’ll be at the ATL airport in a few hours. I’ll give it a try. 😉

 

I do agree that seat position in the inbound airplane can be crucial. That can definitely add up to 10 minutes to the mix, specially if you’re on row 49 on a 757-300. It takes forever to get off that airplane. 

 

I know this sounds picky but you actually said you'd have to be "in top physical shape and sprint..." which is a much higher degree of fitness than simply being "able bodied."  Makes it sound like the only person who could do it is a a competitor athlete/runner, which isn't true at all.   I've timed the train trip from F to T and while I can't recall exactly what it was, it wasn't anywhere close to 26 minutes.  But time it yourself and see.  There's a reason Delta sets 35 min as a legal connection.   Beyond that, while and F-T connect is certainly possible, the likelihood of it isn't great, simply due to the number of possible combinations.

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5 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

I know this sounds picky...

Yes, it sounds picky 😂

 

My T to F scenario is obviously worse case scenario. Expect the worst but hope for the best. 

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While there aren't a ton of domestic flights involving F, Delta  seemed to  have the 737s often parked at E concourse flipping back and forth between domestic and Caribbean routes a fair amount in 2019.  Since E was originally international flights, it seems odd to be doing domestic routes near the 'giant ear of corn' gate. 

 

While it's definitely not 100& of the time, Delta does tend to cluster similar aircraft types, so if you're talking two flights both scheduled as Mad Dogs/717s, they're often not that far from each other. 

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28 minutes ago, sumiandkage said:

While it's definitely not 100& of the time, Delta does tend to cluster similar aircraft types, so if you're talking two flights both scheduled as Mad Dogs/717s, they're often not that far from each other. 

 

Mad Dogs tend to operate from the low number of the B concourse.  Know as Little Beirut.

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Delta is doing away with the Mad Dogs so soon you can just refer to the 717's.

I have had more than a few E to T connections but generally my flight lands at gate 1 (any concourse) and my next flight is at gate 37 in the most crowded and farthest concourse........

As to gate configurations. The concourses are designed to accommodate different sized aircraft. That's why there can also be international flights also leaving from terminal A which can handle bigger aircraft. There is only one gate that can handle the 350 or it the 380...can't remember but it's a double decker monster and parks at the only available gate at F. Just a little Hartsfield Jackson lore.

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On 1/18/2020 at 6:35 AM, waterbug123 said:

Actually, an able bodied person CAN make that connection; I've done it many times and so have thousands of others, considering that 35 minutes is Delta's "legal" connection for domestic flights at ATL.

I passed through ATL this weekend. So I decided to conduct a little experiment to see how long it would realistically take to go from one gate to another. Not quite “worst case scenario” (sitting in the back of the plane, going  from T1 to F1), but I went from A31 to E9. I’m able bodied, very familiar with the ATL airport, and I walked at a normal pace without making any stops along the way. 
 

I started the timer when we parked at the gate and the seat belt sign was turned off. There were no delays getting off the airplane, and no delays taking the train. I stopped the timer when I walked up to the counter at E9. Total time? 23 minutes.

 

If I’d had a 35 minute connection, I would’ve made it, but with two minutes to spare before they closed the door 10 minutes before departure. Add any other variable (sitting farther back, gates farther apart, unfamiliar with the airport layout and where to go, slower pace, and maybe having to make a bathroom stop after sitting in a plane for hours), and I would’ve without a doubt missed the connection.

 

Is it doable to connect in ATL in less than 35 minutes? Absolutely! But it’s not realistic for every connection and every circumstance. 

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28 minutes ago, Tapi said:

but I went from A31 to E9. I’m able bodied, very familiar with the ATL airport, and I walked at a normal pace without making any stops along the way. 
 

 Total time? 23 minutes.

 

If I’d had a 35 minute connection, I would’ve made it, but with two minutes to spare before they closed the door 10 minutes before departure.

 

 

Emphasizes my prior point that where you are seated on the plane is particularly important!

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