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Old Jul 18, 12, 7:30 am   #1
 
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Options for award flight with tight connection

I've just managed snag a couple of low BE awards from MCO to LHR for October, and had some of questions:

My outbound only has a 58 minute connection in ATL, I assume this is legal (over MCT), but is tighter than I would like. When I booked it, I thought I could SDC if needed, but after reading stickies and searching, it looks like SDC is not valid on an international itin before the international legs have been flown. So now I'm hoping for a schedule change to lengthen my connection or shorten it enough to be less than MCT. In the latter case, I assume DL will allow me to change to an earlier flight even if there is no low award availability, is that correct? If I see low first availibilty between now and October for an earlier flight, I assume I would have to pay $150 fee (each) if I call up and ask to be changed, is that correct or is there some basis for having that waived (no status)? The MCO-ATL flights run every hour, so as a last resort I plan to get to the airport a couple hours early, and if my flight shows any delay, ask to move to an earlier one.

This one is no biggie, just wondering if this is common. When I booked the tickets, my wife and I had seat assignments in different rows, scattered about the cabin seemingly at random for every segment. My profile preference is aisle, and hers isn't set. Since the seatmap was almost wide open on all segments I was able to pick seats together (taking FEBO into account), but it seems odd they were assigned like that.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 7:40 am   #2
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If a schedule changes puts your itinerary below MCT, you will be changed for free, even if low award must be created for you, although you might not have 100% free choice of new flights--for example, if two flights both give new legal connections and one is very full, you might not be allowed to pick it.

Without a significant schedule change or one the violates MCT, to change you would pay $150 per ticket plus more miles if the new flights aren't available in low.

I have answered for passengers with no status and where the miles did not come from an account with status. High tier elites do not pay change fees and are more likely to have reasonable requests regarding tight connections granted.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 8:13 am   #3
 
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Thanks, that was pretty much what I was expecting. I will watch for low awards on earlier flights for the MCO-ATL segment, but will have to decide if it is worth $300 to give more cushion.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 8:23 am   #4
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Look at what would happen if your connecting flight is delayed. Is your ATL-LHR (nonstop, I presume) the last flight of the day. What about alternatives ATL-CDG-LHR or ATL-AMS-LHR?
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Old Jul 18, 12, 8:42 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Look at what would happen if your connecting flight is delayed. Is your ATL-LHR (nonstop, I presume) the last flight of the day. What about alternatives ATL-CDG-LHR or ATL-AMS-LHR?
We are on DL10 (ns ATL-LHR), which leaves at 10:55pm, it doesn't appear that there are any later flights, so we would lose a day on a misconnect. First segment is DL 2330, which leaves MCO at 8:30. There are earlier flights at 7:30, 6:30, 5:30, etc., but not with low availability last I checked.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:19 am   #6
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That may well be Delta's last ATL-origin TATL departure of the day.

Options, as outlined by MSPeconomist, are as they always are:

- use a flight time change (>60 minutes to departure or arrival, or missing MCT)

- be prepared to pay the difference in award miles and the change fee if you request alternate flights in the absence of such a Delta change
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:31 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
We are on DL10 (ns ATL-LHR), which leaves at 10:55pm, it doesn't appear that there are any later flights, so we would lose a day on a misconnect. First segment is DL 2330, which leaves MCO at 8:30. There are earlier flights at 7:30, 6:30, 5:30, etc., but not with low availability last I checked.
Since you're in BE, I'd simply get to the airport in plenty of time to catch one of the earlier departures and relax in the SkyClub (still one of my favorite in the system despite some of the recent furniture changes). I'd also keep an eye on the inbound flights for delays. I know many of the flights from ATL-MCO immediately turn and head back to ATL, but you'd likely know ahead of time where your plane is coming from and can make changes as necessary. Remember too that the MCO-ATL flights have 30+ minutes of cushion built-in.

I'm not sure what the MCT is for ATL, but if a schedule change drops the connection below 45 minutes, I bet you could get an agent to switch you to the 7:30 departure.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:35 am   #8
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Perhaps the OP should start by actually checking what the MCT is for ATL DL domestic to international. Do not assume....
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Old Jul 18, 12, 10:29 am   #9
 
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On a similar note, I have an award flight, ATL-LAX-SYD
The SYD segment is on VA.
I have a 70 minute connect time in LAX.
If I miss my VA flight, will I be accommodated in BE on the DL flight to SYD?
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Old Jul 18, 12, 10:46 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomphot View Post
On a similar note, I have an award flight, ATL-LAX-SYD
The SYD segment is on VA.
I have a 70 minute connect time in LAX.
If I miss my VA flight, will I be accommodated in BE on the DL flight to SYD?
Start by verifying exactly what is MCT at LAX for DL domestic to VA international. Given the terminal change, it could easily be more than 70 minutes.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 11:49 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Perhaps the OP should start by actually checking what the MCT is for ATL DL domestic to international. Do not assume....
There are lots of flight number, equipment and city of origin exceptions, but the MCT DL to DL, domestic to international at ATL can be as short as 40 minutes.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 11:49 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Perhaps the OP should start by actually checking what the MCT is for ATL DL domestic to international. Do not assume....
Looks like 40 minutes for Domestic to International on DL metal.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 11:51 am   #13
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Originally Posted by Tomphot View Post
If I miss my VA flight, will I be accommodated in BE on the DL flight to SYD?
Sure, if it's Delta's fault and BE is available. You would be welcome to wait for the next flight with a business seat available on VA or DL.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 12:07 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Perhaps the OP should start by actually checking what the MCT is for ATL DL domestic to international. Do not assume....
I've been trying to find that out, but can't find it on the DL site, maybe I am looking in the wrong place. I also browsed the Definitive DL MCT ATL thread, but at 100 pages, haven't come close to reading it all, and haven't found the MCTs. Any hints where to check for a truly definitive answer?
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Old Jul 18, 12, 12:18 pm   #15
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You could check ExpertFlyer, as I (and probably javabytes) did.

One really easy way to see if a connection is legal is simply by trying to book it again. Search by schedule. If flights aren't sold out and meet the MCT, your routing will be shown. If you haven't had a schedule change your connection has been legal all the time.
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