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Using Concourses E/F in ATL for International Departures

Using Concourses E/F in ATL for International Departures

Old Aug 20, 18, 6:19 pm
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Using Concourses E/F in ATL for International Departures

Aside from the obvious factor of gates with sufficient apron space for widebodies, I've always wondered why DL bothers to segregate its international flights at ATL into Concourses E & F (the vast majority of the time, at least).

For flights on narrowbodies to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Canada, where the inbound aircraft is just as or more likely to a domestic inbound as an international one, I can't see any explicit benefit to DL to adding another layer of operational complexity by actively segregating those flights into the E/F concourses. Why does it matter if the gate next to a flight to MCO in A is to a flight headed to CUN vs. to ORD, for example?

Anyone have any thoughts as to what their rationale might be? I could see the nicer SkyClub argument for D1 flights out of F, but I can't think of much else. International inbound arrivals is a different story, of course.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 6:35 pm
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I checked the Flight Status and all of the ATL-CUN departed from E/F but the first ATL-YYZ flight I checked today showed a departure from D, as did one other flight (the others left from E/F). One ATL-NAS flight left from D. So DL does send international flights out of other concourses though it does appear most tend to go out of E/F.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:01 pm
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For arrivals, E and F are equipped to handle Immigration and Customs.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Cory6188 View Post
Aside from the obvious factor of gates with sufficient apron space for widebodies, I've always wondered why DL bothers to segregate its international flights at ATL into Concourses E & F (the vast majority of the time, at least).

For flights on narrowbodies to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Canada, where the inbound aircraft is just as or more likely to a domestic inbound as an international one, I can't see any explicit benefit to DL to adding another layer of operational complexity by actively segregating those flights into the E/F concourses. Why does it matter if the gate next to a flight to MCO in A is to a flight headed to CUN vs. to ORD, for example?

Anyone have any thoughts as to what their rationale might be? I could see the nicer SkyClub argument for D1 flights out of F, but I can't think of much else. International inbound arrivals is a different story, of course.
Originally Posted by boeingATL View Post
For arrivals, E and F are equipped to handle Immigration and Customs.
This.

They explicit benefit is they don't have to go build international arrival facilities in the other terminals and because the planes are already positioned at those gates, it makes sense to go ahead to use the narrowbody planes for departures whether international or domestic so they don't have to move the planes unnecessarily.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
This.

They explicit benefit is they don't have to go build international arrival facilities in the other terminals and because the planes are already positioned at those gates, it makes sense to go ahead to use the narrowbody planes for departures whether international or domestic so they don't have to move the planes unnecessarily.
Totally get it if it's an international inbound - of course, in that case, no reason to bother moving it, and just keep the departure in E or F. However, if the inbound is coming from anywhere domestic (which a good chunk of international outbounds on narrowbodies are at ATL), why deliberately schedule the departure from E/F? For example, picking ATL-MBJ at random for today, the inbounds came from STL, MCO, and DEN.

I realize it makes virtually no difference in the grand scheme of things, but it clearly takes deliberate planning to coordinate those gate assignments, then DL clearly has to have a reason why. I figured someone among the FT hivemind might have a clue.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Cory6188 View Post
[W]hy deliberately schedule the departure from E/F?
I have no inside information, but I'm guessing it's because the international check-in area is part of terminal F. Keeping the international flights out of E & F makes people's trek shorter from the check in area to their gate, and checked bags have a shorter distance to travel as well. (Yes, I'm aware you can check in at the domestic side for an international flight, but I'm guessing fewer people do that.)
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I checked the Flight Status and all of the ATL-CUN departed from E/F but the first ATL-YYZ flight I checked today showed a departure from D, as did one other flight (the others left from E/F). One ATL-NAS flight left from D. So DL does send international flights out of other concourses though it does appear most tend to go out of E/F.
YYZ and NAS have pre-clearance. CUN does not. They can arrive and turn the YYZ and NAS flights from any old domestic gate. Can't do the same from CUN.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
YYZ and NAS have pre-clearance. CUN does not. They can arrive and turn the YYZ and NAS flights from any old domestic gate. Can't do the same from CUN.
I was looking at flights TO those places (ATL-XXX), not from those places (XXX-ATL).
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Old Aug 20, 18, 8:26 pm
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YYZ>ATL and ATL>YYZ flights always land/depart out of D, E or F depending on the size of the aircraft.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
I have no inside information, but I'm guessing it's because the international check-in area is part of terminal F. Keeping the international flights out of E & F makes people's trek shorter from the check in area to their gate, and checked bags have a shorter distance to travel as well. (Yes, I'm aware you can check in at the domestic side for an international flight, but I'm guessing fewer people do that.)
Could very well be as simple as that. Occam's Razor likely at work.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 8:37 pm
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My guess it has to do partially with duty free concessions, perhaps Delta has an agreement with the airport to depart international flights exclusively out of E and F, that way, the airport can lease duty free concessions in these concourses.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 9:19 pm
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I think it also simplifies the whole process for the average(kettle) flyer considering ATL has an 'international' terminal and a 'domestic' terminal. It's less confusing to tell people to just go to one terminal or the other instead of splitting hairs between the NAS/CUN/MBJ etc... international narrowbodies vs TATL/TPACs.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I checked the Flight Status and all of the ATL-CUN departed from E/F but the first ATL-YYZ flight I checked today showed a departure from D, as did one other flight (the others left from E/F). One ATL-NAS flight left from D. So DL does send international flights out of other concourses though it does appear most tend to go out of E/F.
Within the last 2 yrs I had ATL departure to YYZ from E, D and A.

Originally Posted by WesTraveller View Post
My guess it has to do partially with duty free concessions, perhaps Delta has an agreement with the airport to depart international flights exclusively out of E and F, that way, the airport can lease duty free concessions in these concourses.
I had dutyfree purchases delivered to my YYZ departure gates, whether A, D and E.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 10:10 pm
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It is probably a little of all the theories in the thread. Obviously arrival customs and immigration is a big deal and a lot of those planes are probably returning to the same international location they just arrived from so it would make sense that the departures would subsequently be from E/F. I also think it is just simpler that way and the simple answer is always the best one.

I've had some really weird domestic flights leave from F in the last few years. Last year I had a ATL-LNK regional jet depart from F and I was just baffled, this year I had ATL-AUS leave from F. I'm all for that too, as I prefer the F SC and that terminal is just more peaceful as a whole.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by boeingATL View Post
For arrivals, E and F are equipped to handle Immigration and Customs.
Originally Posted by Cory6188 View Post
Could very well be as simple as that. Occam's Razor likely at work.
Both of these. Arrivals is obvious. Departure is obvious if one doesn't over think it.

Still, I've seen plenty of Intl flights depart from A and even T before, and I'd assume others anytime it makes logistical sense. And of course back in the day, everything Intl use to go through the T gates.
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