My first truly bad trip on DL

Old Mar 3, 18, 5:36 am
  #1  
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My first truly bad trip on DL

1.7MM BIS miles so far and this was the first trip I felt I needed to come whine about here.

Booked HSV-ATL-CDG-VIE, then VIE-AMS-ATL-HSV, all in premium economy. ATL-CDG-VIE was all on AF metal, VIE-AMS was on KL metal. The rest was all Delta.

The trip started fine. DL advised me the night before of a 30-min delay on the ATL-CDG leg. No problem. Checked 1 bag, got to ATL and boarded. We arrived ~50min late, causing a misconnect on my 1:24 connection, so after a lot of arguing, AF rebooked me to an OS flight 3 hours later. (I am skipping the usual complaints about CDG; I knew what I'd be getting if I connected there.)

Problem... my bag didn't make it to VIE. I was headed to Slovakia (VIE is the nearest international airport to my destination) so when I got there, I bought a couple of changes of clothes and carried on with my business. The bag showed up 3 days later, where I picked it up at the VIE airport the night before my flight home. I had it for about 13 hours before checking it, along with a second bag containing my Slovakia clothes, with KL.

My KL flight was delayed 40min due to a crew rest issue. We got to AMS 55min late and I was worried I'd misconnect.. so I sprinted for my flight and boarded, just in time to sit for 97min while we waited for a takeoff slot. 2 of the onboard lavs were broken, as a bonus.

We arrived into ATL 45min late, leaving me 45min to get bags, clear security, and board my connection home.. except... no bags.

I waited until the last AMS-ATL bags had come off, confirmed that my bags didn't make it, and shuffled over to the ridiculous TSA line while calling the PM desk to get rebooked.

Both remaining flights to HSV were full. I ended up getting a flight to BNA, renting a car, and driving home.

I realize that for lots of the warriors here this is just another Tuesday, but having 3 of my 6 flights be delayed, misconnecting on the last leg both out and back, and having my bags lost TWICE was a new experience for me. I'm not even complaining about the logistical issues of losing my bag, such as not being able to go running since my running shoes are in the damn bag. I am about to fly to SEA today and am missing half the stuff I'd normally take with me, and DL's unhelpful baggage tracking system is merely telling me that there are no updates.

Grrrr. I feel better after venting to y'all, at least.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 5:44 am
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Your first problem was your connections were too tight. As you said CDG is a disaster to start with. I would never expect everything to go
right without adequate layovers. You can argue all you want about meeting airline minimums, but you have to approach it realistically. Plus
you were dealing with multiple airlines. Not a good recipe when you are tight on time.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 5:58 am
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Sorry to hear, sounds like a rough trip.

Realistically, triple connection itineraries should probably be protected better with longer connection times. It's just playing with fire having 90 minute international connections on an itinerary like this. None of your delays were particularly bad, but they were enough to cause you a lot of trouble.

And when you sprint to your flight connection, your bags are at a big risk of not moving so quickly.

Better luck next trip, hopefully you can get some longer connection times.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 6:47 am
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CDG is the one airport ( maybe PVG here too ) where the more time the better. In the US we are used to padding in the schedules to accommodate for much of the ground delays, but at CDG the times listed tend to less forgiving. I've had 2 hour+ connections get shortened to 75 minutes due to delays, and bags miss my next flight ( even though I had plenty of time to transit since I know the airport well, including a stop for macaroons for the wife ;-) ).
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Old Mar 3, 18, 12:39 pm
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Who doesn't remember their first time...?

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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:21 pm
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I will never again allow less than 2 1/2 hous for INTL connections, no matter where it is. I am soon facing a 6 hour layover at JFK because I refused to take the legal 1:50 minute connection they tried to give me. Good thing because the schedule on both flights changed, first one forward, second one back.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 4:37 pm
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I'm curious, why did you check a bag for a 4-day trip? I've gone to Europe for a month with a carry-on. I never worry about my bags making it.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 9:41 pm
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Curious as to the reason for the ATL-CDG delay... sounds like it may've been crew rest also?

Anyway, getting delayed bags on both ends of the trip is pretty bad... however it doesn't sound like its DL's cause. Outbound is AF screwing up, and the return is probably KL since they didn't get the bag to the DL connecting flight.
You should be able to submit your incidental and clothes purchases for reimbursement however.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by pfreet View Post
I'm curious, why did you check a bag for a 4-day trip? I've gone to Europe for a month with a carry-on. I never worry about my bags making it.
Serious question - how do you travel for a month with a carry on bag only???
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Old Mar 3, 18, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
Serious question - how do you travel for a month with a carry on bag only???
Laundromats.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
Serious question - how do you travel for a month with a carry on bag only???
I never check a bag (have had too many problems with lost luggage, theft, damage, etc.) and have traveled 6 weeks with only a carryon, including on E.U. airlines with strict weight limits. We have multiple carry on bags to choose from depending on size/weight restrictions we face. We don’t mind hand washing and have never visited a laundromat or had clothes laundered at a hotel, though I do keep an eye out for the occasional apartment-hotel unit that has one of those washer-dryer combo things (but they’re rare). Onebag.com is a good resource.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
Serious question - how do you travel for a month with a carry on bag only???
I have a friend who has done this many times. His strategy: shortly upon arriving at the destination city, he hits thrift stores and picks up a few items for very little money, and then he donates them back before flying home.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
Serious question - how do you travel for a month with a carry on bag only???
I rarely check a bag, especially on the outbound, even for a trip of 3-4 weeks and even for long-distance hiking trips, which require some extra gear and clothing (I’ve been able to take folding hiking poles in my carryon suitcase; no problem with TSA). It’s easier to do it in summer or to tropical destinations. Some points, mostly applicable to women:

1. It helps to be a small woman. I’m not sure I could do it if I were a 6’2” 220 pound man, requiring larger clothes and shoes.
2. Lots of black clothes; any colors should be interchangeable, i.e., any top will go with any bottom. A few lightweight scarves.
3. For women, washable silk shirts take up little room, roll up small, are easy to hand wash and dry, and can go in mesh bag in washing machine. Eileen Fisher silk tees are ideal.
4. No hair dryer or curling iron.
5. It’s hard, but you really can travel with just two pairs of shoes.
6. A Kindle is essential.
7. Allow extra packing time. It takes more time and thought to pack lightly. Roll up everything possible.

A laundromat is a bore at home but a cultural and linguistic adventure in another country.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 12:32 pm
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also, willingness to do laundry on the road is pretty essential.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 1:53 pm
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Thats why I have loose change for the laundromats(:/
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