Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

Does DL ever delay the last flight of the night?

Does DL ever delay the last flight of the night?

Old Jan 19, 14, 5:57 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ORF
Programs: DL Silver
Posts: 249
Does DL ever delay the last flight of the night?

Has anyone ever heard of Delta ever intentionally delaying a flight, for pax whose inbound flight was delayed? Here's the deal: my mother-in-law is flying PDX-DTW-ORF today, and her connecting flight from DTW is the last one of the night to ORF. Her outbound flight got diverted due to a medical emergency on board, and now she's scheduled to arrive DTW about 30 minutes after her connecting flight home leaves. Checking Delta's schedule, it looks like her DTW-ORF is the last one of the night.

Just curious if anyone has any experience with that situation; my guess is they'd only do it if it were 5-10 minutes, at the pilot's insistence.
timothyp_787 is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:05 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Programs: DL PM 1MM
Posts: 3,154
Originally Posted by timothyp_787 View Post
Has anyone ever heard of Delta ever intentionally delaying a flight, for pax whose inbound flight was delayed? Here's the deal: my mother-in-law is flying PDX-DTW-ORF today, and her connecting flight from DTW is the last one of the night to ORF. Her outbound flight got diverted due to a medical emergency on board, and now she's scheduled to arrive DTW about 30 minutes after her connecting flight home leaves. Checking Delta's schedule, it looks like her DTW-ORF is the last one of the night.

Just curious if anyone has any experience with that situation; my guess is they'd only do it if it were 5-10 minutes, at the pilot's insistence.
Unlikely, IMO. Remember, ORF is not a base. The same crew operating DTW-ORF today likely is scheduled to operate ORF-DTW tomorrow. If the airline were to delay today's flight, the delays could easily cascade into tomorrow due to mandatory crew rest requirements.
mnbp is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:21 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TPA-MKE-PHX
Programs: Ex DL-DM. MM. TWA-Aviator Plat. HHonors-DVIP, MR-Gold. Nat-Emerald. Avis Chairmn.
Posts: 1,912
They will and have delayed flights. Highly unlikely they would delay for over a half hour unless half the plane is going to Norfolk from your connection.
tvnwz is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:24 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,245
BITD they would, but not any more with the on time performance grading. MIL should plan for spending the night in DTW. Delta might give some assistance given the circumstances. But I would not expect much.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:28 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ORF
Programs: DL Silver
Posts: 249
Just checked, and her connecting flight pushed back at 8:17. I really didn't think it'd be delayed (certainly not 30 min), but had hoped, for her sake.

Looks like she's spending the night in Detroit. Well, at least this way I get to watch the season premiere of Sherlock.
timothyp_787 is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:31 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AUS
Programs: AA Exec Platinum/MM, DL Silver/MM, Hilton Diamond, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 6,109
IME the last DL flight of the day is delayed only if they are NOT waiting on connecting passengers.
Stripe is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:33 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,653
Unfortunately rather unlikely.

If the inbound is estimated to arrive 30 minutes after the other flight is scheduled to depart, that likely means about a 45+ minute delay on that DTW-ORF flight. That's a comparably huge delay for connections.

The decision is an operational one, not something the crew has any power over. Those decisions are generally based on the number of affected passengers, the amount of the likely delay, and the "protection" (alternate flight option) for the connecting passengers. That misconnects will need to spend the night in DTW is a factor favoring to hold for connections, but 45 minutes is a big delay. She has better odds if there are 30 more people connecting PDX-ORF, but I suspect she has few if any counterparts.

The concern of crew rest and delays is a legitimate one, however it is not likely a delay of 45 minutes would endanger tomorrow's schedule. Relatively routine weather delays can easily pass 45 minutes, and operational integrity would be a disaster if margins were that thin. This particular plane is scheduled to spend about 9 hours in Norfolk from touchdown tonight to departure tomorrow morning if everything is perfectly on time, and that's just not enough time.

Good luck to your M-I-L...
knope2001 is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: CrampedRegionalJet200
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
IME the last DL flight of the day is delayed only if they are NOT waiting on connecting passengers.
They've waited for me when I landed before takeoff time as recently as a week ago. I stepped off my inbound flight at T-0 and took 10 min to get across the terminal and they were waiting for me.

It's not a guarantee or anything, but I would always go through the motions of getting to the gate, just in case they feel generous.
32767a is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 6:37 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: ORD / MDW / FLL
Programs: DL DM/1MM, AA EXP, SPG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,148
GA I spoke with in ATL last week was telling me that they will hold the last flight if 20+ are in-bound and likely to misconnect if they do not, otherwise it's a no. Not sure if this is true or just her opinion. My experience has been similar to what others have said...they don't hold the plane.
SOBE ER DOC is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 7:45 pm
  #10  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
More likely to happen when there are lots of connections and the inbound delay is within DL's control (where DL is on the hook for hotel + food and, in the case of EU inbound flights, compensation).
Often1 is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 8:08 pm
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 92,249
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
More likely to happen when there are lots of connections and the inbound delay is within DL's control (where DL is on the hook for hotel + food and, in the case of EU inbound flights, compensation).
IIRC DL only is subject to the EU compensation rules for flights exEU, not for flights from the USA to the EU. European carriers are subject to the regulations for flights in both directions that originate in or depart from the EU.

ADDED. Upon retracing this, I'm confused about the meaning of EU inbound.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 8:28 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TPA-MKE-PHX
Programs: Ex DL-DM. MM. TWA-Aviator Plat. HHonors-DVIP, MR-Gold. Nat-Emerald. Avis Chairmn.
Posts: 1,912
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
IME the last DL flight of the day is delayed only if they are NOT waiting on connecting passengers.
That's the way I see it. Some sort of rule: The plane will wait if it is not waiting for me. If it is waiting for me, the plane will not wait. This is a pretty absolute rule.
tvnwz is offline  
Old Jan 19, 14, 10:12 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BDU
Programs: DL:MM, Marriott:LTT
Posts: 8,779
Tuesday of this week, my first flight was delayed because of a passenger medical issue, which required an ambulance be called and baggage be retrieved from under the plane. The plane left 80 minutes late. While on the flight, I messaged back and forth with DeltaAssist. He didn't promise anything, but said he would put a note in the file. I thought I was scr*wed.

We deplaned at ATL E32 T-18. My seat mate was going to B18. I was going to B2. His flight had pushed back by the time we got to B18. As I was getting down the B Concourse as fast as possible (carts had stopped running) a woman yelled out from the end of the hall, "Are you my guy from E32?" She had held the plane waiting for me, but told me she would have only been able to hold it until T-2. I got on the plane at about T-3. She hadn't given away my UG F seat, either!

I'm not sure if this happened because I'm DM, because I reached out to DeltaAssist, a combination of both or neither. The guy next to me was PM. There were at least two other people on our flight with his connection at B18. I was the only person going to B2 as far as I know. (Was in Row 2 of earlier flight and didn't hang around to see who was going where.)

My checked bags did not make it.

Last edited by CJKatl; Jan 19, 14 at 10:17 pm
CJKatl is offline  
Old Jan 20, 14, 7:53 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: IND
Programs: DL PM & 2MM™, Lifetime HHonors Diamond, Cholula General Member
Posts: 20,303
Originally Posted by timothyp_787 View Post
Just curious if anyone has any experience with that situation; my guess is they'd only do it if it were 5-10 minutes, at the pilot's insistence.
Interesting perspective. I don't think the pilot has much input to it. I think it is the GA and operations and probably the computer. How many people are they waiting on and how long? When operations or the computer does it, I think it happens a lot more than people think....even not the last flight of the day. I think a lot of those 20 minute delays are for late incoming passengers.
indufan is offline  
Old Jan 20, 14, 8:05 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Western NY
Programs: Delta plebe
Posts: 475
I think there can be discussion of holding a departure for misconnects but it's by no means a certainty.

I know a few years ago (5/2012) they held a connecting flight for a group of ~10 of us who would have otherwise misconnected and needed to overnight in NYC. As far as I could tell, none of the connecting pax had status based on lack of tags and the general sense they projected when traveling (e.g., unfamiliar with DL hub terminal, general air of panic).

Also in that last flight of the evening to head from LGA to Roc, I've had several flights where we just sit at the gate a few minutes past scheduled departure, and then somebody (usu. F pax/medallion pax) comes running up and they close the boarding door almost immediately thereafter. My guess for those is that LGA is winding down for the night so getting a departure slot isn't hard to come by, and the few extra minutes wait will still show us arriving on-time into the regional airport due to the amount of time they pad into the estimated trip time.
jb008 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: