Connecting through ATL

Old May 1, 14, 7:43 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: Virgin America Elevate Gold
Posts: 220
Connecting through ATL

Hello fellow road warriors.Being booked on awards flight by partner so options are limited I think. Flying from SFO to MCO on 5/22 Thursday. Need to be in MCO at 5:27. Do I wake up ungodly early for the 6:15am flight and a 2+ hour layover in ATL or is 46 minutes enough time to make a connection and take the 7:35am flight?
SoCalZman is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 7:49 pm
  #2  
In memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,408
Under "normal" condtions, 46 minutes is enough. The question is, what happens if something unforeseen happens and you don't make it? You don't say why you hafto be there, or how important it is.

If it's for another flight that's possibly int'l, or non-changeable - - Do the earlier. If it's to watch a TV show at a certain time - - Do the later.
davetravels is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 7:51 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: Virgin America Elevate Gold
Posts: 220
Yeah, I am meeting my partner there around the same time. He's flying from LAX. Thats why I was hoping to make it at 5:27pm. I am not sure what the later options are if I miss so maybe its a bad idea to push it.
SoCalZman is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 7:57 pm
  #4  
In memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,408
I flew LAX/ATL/PIT on Tuesday, and, after we boarded the plane, they told us that they had to put new brakes on the landing gear. It delayed us about 55 minutes into ATL.

Also, it was the same night as the big storms in the SE.

Also, the same exact flight the next day on Wednesday was delayed 3 hours due to whatever glitch happened at LAX that day that someone told me they heard on the news.

Does that help'ya any?
davetravels is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 8:00 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: Virgin America Elevate Gold
Posts: 220
Point taken and good insight. I do not have much experience with connections. I will just grab some Starbucks or something as I board the plane.
SoCalZman is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 8:19 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP
Programs: DL Gold, DL MM 8/22/16!
Posts: 2,563
ATL is one of the more logical airports. Take a look at the map in the DL magazine. Think of a centipede. Each terminal runs across the main body. Downstairs is a train running the length of the body. The terminals are almost, but not quite, in alphabetical order.

The numbering of the gates starts at far end of one centipede leg, continues to the main body, and then on out the other leg. I think the center is about gate 19.

When you depart the plane at ATL, look up at the screen just outside the door. DL has gotten really good about showing connections there. You generally have to go to a different terminal. Go to the center of the terminal. If your arrival and departure terminals are adjacent, it is a toss-up whether to walk or ride the train. If you choose to ride the train, find the escalator downstairs to the train and catch it to your departure terminal.

I tell you this, not to encourage you to take the 46" connection, but just in case DL manages to melt most of the 2'+ connection and you have to hurry anyway.

If you have lots of time, ATL has some wonderful, very southern, food options.

Romelle
Romelle is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 8:27 pm
  #7  
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: 90,447
Originally Posted by Romelle View Post
ATL is one of the more logical airports. Take a look at the map in the DL magazine. Think of a centipede. Each terminal runs across the main body. Downstairs is a train running the length of the body. The terminals are almost, but not quite, in alphabetical order.

The numbering of the gates starts at far end of one centipede leg, continues to the main body, and then on out the other leg. I think the center is about gate 19.

When you depart the plane at ATL, look up at the screen just outside the door. DL has gotten really good about showing connections there. You generally have to go to a different terminal. Go to the center of the terminal. If your arrival and departure terminals are adjacent, it is a toss-up whether to walk or ride the train. If you choose to ride the train, find the escalator downstairs to the train and catch it to your departure terminal.

I tell you this, not to encourage you to take the 46" connection, but just in case DL manages to melt most of the 2'+ connection and you have to hurry anyway.

If you have lots of time, ATL has some wonderful, very southern, food options.

Romelle
Even if you decide to walk between terminals at ATL, you must first go down. They're connected at the same (basement) level as the PlaneTrain.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 8:36 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: IND
Programs: DL DM & 2MMô, Lifetime HHonors Diamond, Cholula General Member
Posts: 20,252
46 minutes at ATL is enough and if you don't make it there are many other options to MCO later. There would be approximately 6 more flights on Delta after the one you are one.
indufan is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 8:46 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: Virgin America Elevate Gold
Posts: 220
Welp, while I was consulting with you fine experts I have been told windows for the other options dried up. I didn't realize Delta did that. VX allows any seat to be an award flight.

Anyway, it looks like the 46 minute connection is my best/only option so cross your fingers for me. And if I miss it, there is a flight that lands at 6:27 too so thats not the end of the world.

Unfortunately I am not sure I will have time for any of that great southern food unless its very quick, it sounds like.

Last edited by SoCalZman; May 1, 14 at 9:03 pm
SoCalZman is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 9:39 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Addison, TX
Programs: DL PM, AA PM, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 212
Last week I flew CLT-ATL-DFW, and the CLT-ATL flight landed at A33. My ATL-DFW departed from E9 approximately 30 minutes later, and with some fast walking, I made the trek in 14 minutes (taking the train).

Just be familiar with the airport when you land, and use your phone to connect to GoGo Wifi during the flight to determine what gate you're likely to arrive at, and what gate your next flight departs from. 46 minutes can be a lifetime in Atlanta, you shouldn't have a problem at all.

Also, barring any mechanical/weather delays, since you're flying west to east, the odds are in your favor that you will arrive earlier than scheduled.
stealthmidget is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 10:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: CHI/MSP
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Prem Exec
Posts: 1,334
Should be fine with that connection, provided there is a) a gate available upon landing at ATL and b) you are not seated too far in the back of the plane and have to wait for everyone else to get off before you. While I find the ATL concourses to be very narrow and, especially at peak times, uncomfortable to navigate through the crowds if you are in a rush, assuming you're off the plane with 25-30 minutes before your connecting flight departs, you should make it to your connecting gate just as they're making the final boarding announcement.

In other words, doable without external delays, and once you're on the ground, do not stop for the restroom or food/drink, and proceed immediately to your connecting gate.
TheMoose is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 10:50 pm
  #12  
In memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,408
Originally Posted by indufan View Post
46 minutes at ATL is enough
Unless . . . . . .

Originally Posted by stealthmidget View Post
barring any mechanical/delays
Originally Posted by stealthmidget View Post
barring any weather/delays
Originally Posted by TheMoose View Post
Should be fine with that connection, provided there is a) a gate available upon landing at ATL.
Originally Posted by TheMoose View Post
Should be fine with that connection, provided there is b) you are not seated too far in the back of the plane and have to wait for everyone else to get off before you.
Originally Posted by TheMoose View Post
While I find the ATL concourses to be very narrow and, especially at peak times, uncomfortable to navigate through the crowds if you are in a rush
Originally Posted by TheMoose View Post
once you're on the ground, do not stop for the restroom
Also, sometimes the door is closed a few minutes early.

All of that said, I wouldn't hesitate to book a 46 minute connex - - AND HAVE, including a 36 minute connection on my way to Europe - - but, if you absolutely can't deal with a possible misconnect because you're meeting someone, or some other reason, it's probably a bad idea.

edited to add another "Unless" from below:

Originally Posted by greathustle View Post
Well, unless SFO fog.

Last edited by davetravels; May 1, 14 at 11:36 pm
davetravels is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 11:30 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Summit County UT
Programs: Delta PM Hilton Diamond Bonvoy Ti/LTP Hertz PC
Posts: 636
I wouldn't worry about that connection time in ATL, especially knowing that there are multiple later options that day in case of a misconnect. Flying east, you'll probably land early anyway. Well, unless SFO fog. But you're leaving early enough in the morning, even on the later flight, for that to be less of an issue
greathustle is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 11:43 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: Virgin America Elevate Gold
Posts: 220
Right. I fly out of SFO all the time. In the morning fog delays are rare due to less traffic, so I think I am good there.

The tickets are booked, and its a very large aircraft (767). I don't know why but he picked a seat near the back of the plane for me. I went ahead and upgraded to Economy Comfort for $89. Now in row 13. Not sure if its worth it "comfort" wise, but as others have said I want to be off the plane ASAP to start making it over to the other gate. I can't control a mechanical delay, but I will minimize risk where I can.
SoCalZman is offline  
Old May 1, 14, 11:50 pm
  #15  
In memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,408
Originally Posted by SoCalZman View Post
I went ahead and upgraded to Economy Comfort for $89.
Oh, yeah! They LUV'YA for sure, now!

davetravels is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: