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How early can you drop bags for a domestic flight?

How early can you drop bags for a domestic flight?

Old Nov 20, 16, 1:47 pm
  #1  
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How early can you drop bags for a domestic flight?

Does anyone know how much before a domestic flight one can drop bags with Delta's skycaps?

We're flying Wednesday and my toddler son is a giant transportation nerd, so I thought we'd take the train to MSP. But, I can't take his bag, my bag and a giant bag of Christmas presents, plus him and a car seat, on the train. So I was thinking I'd drive down early and skycap the bags. My wife will be with us with a car on the way home, so the return is easy.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Nov 20, 16, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jrkmsp View Post
Does anyone know how much before a domestic flight one can drop bags with Delta's skycaps?

We're flying Wednesday and my toddler son is a giant transportation nerd, so I thought we'd take the train to MSP. But, I can't take his bag, my bag and a giant bag of Christmas presents, plus him and a car seat, on the train. So I was thinking I'd drive down early and skycap the bags. My wife will be with us with a car on the way home, so the return is easy.

Thanks for any help.
At a hub ive never had issues checking bags on same day if within 12hrs of flight. Non hubs can vary. Also dont tell them youre planning on leaving. Some agents have said theres a rule not to check if they know you're leaving.
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Old Nov 20, 16, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
At a hub ive never had issues checking bags on same day if within 12hrs of flight. Non hubs can vary. Also dont tell them youre planning on leaving. Some agents have said theres a rule not to check if they know you're leaving.
Definitely not. Just a long trip to find parking. 😎
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Old Nov 20, 16, 7:44 pm
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The official rule is no earlier than 4 hours prior to departure AFAIK.
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Old Nov 20, 16, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXflier View Post
The official rule is no earlier than 4 hours prior to departure AFAIK.
At non-hubs yes. This has more to do with storage/handling and personal being present, which isn't an issue at a hub. In fact it's likely to fly early before you, if you get it there early.
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Old Nov 20, 16, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXflier View Post
The official rule is no earlier than 4 hours prior to departure AFAIK.
I have been told 6 hours...

A call to DL would be a more reliable source of information that a FT thread.

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Old Nov 20, 16, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
I have been told 6 hours...

A call to DL would be a more reliable source of information that a FT thread.
A call will do nothing. If there's one thing with DL that's consistent, it's inconsistencies in answers. Also it does nothing if checkin agent refuses.

Six hours is when the system allows you to short check a bag. 12 is when you must short check. 4 hours is when the checking desk opens for a flight(DL agent, not contract). Hubs though are open and staffed by DL checkin agents all day. Thus why you can get away with it at hubs, but varies elsewhere.
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Old Nov 22, 16, 10:50 pm
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Was able to checkin today 6 hrs before flt without questions

I guess if 4 HR rule exists, it's not consistently applied.
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Old Nov 23, 16, 12:18 am
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I've always heard 6 hours at MSP.
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Old Nov 26, 16, 2:04 am
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Delta's "Checked Baggage" page:
When you arrive at the airport, you can drop off your checked baggage at the nearest baggage drop, marked with red "Baggage Drop" signage, or curbside check-in station (available within 6 hours of departure time). You may also check your bags at the airport kiosk, ticket counter, or curbside.
It's not 100% clear language (*sigh*), but I think that if they'll allow curbside at T-6h they should also be willing to allow it at the ticket/bag drop counter.
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Old Nov 26, 16, 4:40 pm
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In Tampa a month ago, I attempted to check in and check my bag with a Sky Cap 6 hours before my scheduled departure. The Sky Cap was not able to process the transaction. I had to check in and check my bag inside using the regular check in line. The transaction completed inside without a problem.
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Old Nov 26, 16, 7:32 pm
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With the introduction of the radio chip bag tag this may also present an
early check-in problem of an undetermined nature i.e. where to store all
dem chipping bags to be boarded on the flights with the customers.
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Old Nov 27, 16, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
I have been told 6 hours...

A call to DL would be a more reliable source of information that a FT thread.
I second the comment on the ... what's the respectful way to put this?

The most respectful way to put it, is that FT is quite often a faster and more accurate source of information, on a wide variety of topics, than any "call to Delta."

You can generally check-in and drop luggage same-day for any flight. This may be an issue at some non-hubs. YMM and will vary; there is no consistency in on-the-ground operational practices of this nature. But at MSP you should be fine.
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Old Nov 27, 16, 6:01 am
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Given that connections can be up to <24 hours, seems as if it is possible to check a bag that far in advance. So it is likely to be station dependent. They probably won't check bags if there are any gaps in staffing at non-hubs.

Personally I think it is a higher risk of lost or delayed baggage to early check, but can't provide hard evidence as such.
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Old Nov 27, 16, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
Given that connections can be up to <24 hours, seems as if it is possible to check a bag that far in advance. So it is likely to be station dependent.
The 24-hour suggestion gets trashed in the international c of c. See a reference to short checking at >12 hours above.

Delta agents will cite published rules accurately at least as reliably as FlyerTalkers will attempt to find and read them.
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