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ATL connection time with small children

ATL connection time with small children

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Old Feb 17, 19, 2:53 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
They will.
They did not. I was originally scheduled for the last flight of the day from ATL-MCO. Called them this afternoon to see if they would offer anything. I would have been happy with an earlier flight from MSP-ATL and a longer layover. When I explained that I was a little concerned it would be tight with the two kids and car seat, she offered me pretty much any flight I wanted. So now I leave at 0900 and get to MCO at 1320, a much better time frame than my original time of leaving MSP at 1730 and getting into MCO at 0030 the next day. I'm extremely pleased with the service I've gotten from Delta.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 3:16 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
They did not. I was originally scheduled for the last flight of the day from ATL-MCO. Called them this afternoon to see if they would offer anything. I would have been happy with an earlier flight from MSP-ATL and a longer layover. When I explained that I was a little concerned it would be tight with the two kids and car seat, she offered me pretty much any flight I wanted. So now I leave at 0900 and get to MCO at 1320, a much better time frame than my original time of leaving MSP at 1730 and getting into MCO at 0030 the next day. I'm extremely pleased with the service I've gotten from Delta.
Color me surprised. I really don't think they should have done anything in that you had adequate time the way it was. But good for you and them.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
Color me surprised. I really don't think they should have done anything in that you had adequate time the way it was. But good for you and them.
I've found DL to be very good about schedule changes most of the time when it involves a shortening of a connection (though DL rarely will rebook you from a connection to a nonstop as a favor, at least IME). But I do understand OP's concern about the time. 1 hr 20 min sounds like enough time and it is for most of us and OP would likely make the connection (which is why I said "it should be fine" above), but even 1:20 leaves little time do much else when small kids and car seats and such are involved. Could easily take 10-20 minutes to get off the plane, and another 10-20 minutes to get from one gate to the next. At up to 40 minutes to do those things, that means OP is getting to the gate as the pre-boards (which OP would be) would be boarding for the next leg. Doesn't leave a lot of time to go get food, go to the bathroom, etc. which are all things that take even longer with kids, which if OP has to stop to do, would mean getting there and boarding with the masses, which would be far more of a headache for OP and others. While DL didn't have to do anything per the CoC and its policies, DL saw it as the right thing to do to make OP's life a little easier.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 4:33 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
You can cite the reduced connecting time and call Delta to ask for a MSP-MCO non-stop. That's way better than a connection of any duration. Don't be surprised if they decline, however.
I would have hoped that DL would decline to rebook the OP's family onto the nonstop since there surely was an option to buy the nonstop flights when OP booked the tickets.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I would have hoped that DL would decline to rebook the OP's family onto the nonstop since there surely was an option to buy the nonstop flights when OP booked the tickets.
But OP presumably chose the (likely cheaper) connection because they felt it was adequate time to make the connection through ATL. Had the connection time been this short from the get-go, OP could have chosen a different pair of flights or a different airline entirely. Given that DL shortened the connection time, the correct CS gesture is to reaccomodate, even though the schedule still fits MCT., we (and DL CS agents) likely understand this change could now be a tough connection travelling with kids. It's also easier to make this type of change now, when there is a lot of flexibility in flights instead of closer in should another schedule change occur, or flights have filled up, or day of when now you're trying to reaccomodate a family of 4 who misconnected. Yes, they may have lost some short-term incremental revenue over the non-stop premium they charge, but these types of moves yield future revenue, both from the passenger's remembering the airline providing a good experience so choosing to book them again, even if they are slightly more expensive, as well as word-of-mouth.

DL had 1.3 billion in profit sharing last year, so whatever they're doing, it seems to be working, and I'm not going to get upset at a CS agent moving someone to the non-stop in a situation like this.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 4:51 pm
  #21  
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I don't really understand why there is any concern for that layover even with kids in tow. Atlanta is very easy to navigate and Delta tends to pad their schedule so your layover will be longer. It's not like your going to be let on early to put the car seat in and I honestly don't think it'll take that long to do. It is slightly irritating to me that they would put you on a nonstop flight when you could have purchased that from the beginning.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:01 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
I don't really understand why there is any concern for that layover even with kids in tow.
It's not your kids or your family or traveling party to understand. And not every traveler is an FFer who has a routine down pat or has traveled frequently enough with kids to have their own routine down, meaning it could take someone who doesn't travel as often longer to do things that for you are more "automatic" in nature.

Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
Atlanta is very easy to navigate and Delta tends to pad their schedule so your layover will be longer.
1) ATL may be "easy to navigate" but it's still a large airport. Walking from A1 to the tram to then the end of another concourse can take a long time to do, especially with smaller kids in tow
2) No way to know that day of that OP's layover will be longer and OP was initially traveling in the evening, when ATC delays are more common at ATL, at least IME.

Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
It's not like your going to be let on early to put the car seat in and I honestly don't think it'll take that long to do.
Actually, that's the whole point of "pre-boarding" - to allow families and those who have to do things when boarding that take longer to do (like put in a car seat) time to do those things. And with 1:20, OP may miss pre-boarding depending on how long it takes OP and the family to get off the inbound plane and to the next gate.

Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
It is slightly irritating to me that they would put you on a nonstop flight when you could have purchased that from the beginning.
You're irritated by your own jealousy, that maybe DL did it for OP but not for you. Though I haven't had to do it when traveling with kids, I've been in OP's situation where a layover was shortened to something I was less than comfortable with. Sometimes DL has changed me to a nonstop. Sometimes they haven't. I'm internally frustrated during the times they don't change but that irritation is at the lack of consistency in DL's schedule change policy, not at those who do get the "favor" after a schedule change. This is hardly different than any FTer buying a less desirable itinerary far in advance, knowing there will be schedule changes, then using said schedule changes to get a better routing, better departure time, better aircraft type for a better seat, etc. when FTers could have purchased that from the beginning. In fact, FTers doing that may be worse because FTers do that knowingly to use the system. OP booked the itinerary and was fine with it as booked until DL made the schedule change.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:43 pm
  #23  
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As I said in post 16, I would have been perfectly content to take an earlier MSP-ATL leg, have a longer layover and continue on my originally planned final leg. But when they offered me a non-stop at a much better time of day it was a no brainer for me. Now my kids and I get to have a couple hours at the park on our arrival day, and we don't have to deal with our luggage.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:49 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
Just did PNS-ATL-LHR and back with a 4 year old and a 20 month old.

I wouldnít worry one bit about that connection time.

1. Delta pads their arrival times so thereís a very, very good chance youíll arrive and deplane early.

2. Thereís no better airport in the world for efficiently moving 100k people a day than ATL. An 80 minute connection is more than enough time to deplane, transit, potty break, and grab a snack at a comfortable pace.

3. Installing a car seat is easy. Just run the planeís seat belt through the existing front-facing belt path. Takes all of 2 minutes to get secured.

4. There are at least a dozen ATL-MCO flights each day. In the very unlikely event you miss yours, thereís plenty of opportunities to get on the next one.

5. ATL-MCO is a 6 hour drive. Worst case scenario, drive it.

With kids that age, Iíd leave the car seat at home and rent one with the rental car. If thatís not an option, check the car seat. Itís not a necessity on such short flights.

As as others have said, your flight schedule may change a half dozen times before now and your day of departure. It happens. If it gets to be too short, call in and ask for a different connection. Canít hurt to ask.
i have traveled extensively by myself on DL with 3 young children. The best thing I ever did was buy a ďsit-n-strollĒ which is a car seat and stroller all in one. Saves so much time and hassle having to rent car seats and it is FAA approved.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 3:00 pm
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While itís certainly easier (and less stressful) to install the car seat when the plane is fairly empty, itís not impossible to do last minute. As others have said itís quick to install particularly if you have practice and 2 adults. Have your person with the car seat board first, with as little other luggage as possible. The other person wrangles the kids and the luggage. This works better if you donít have too much stuff that needs to go in the overhead.

i have a 3 and 7 year old myself and it is doable. Iíd just try to minimize whatever luggage youíre carting around and consider putting the 3 year old in a pull up if needed.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
Actually, that's the whole point of "pre-boarding" - to allow families and those who have to do things when boarding that take longer to do (like put in a car seat) time to do those things. And with 1:20, OP may miss pre-boarding depending on how long it takes OP and the family to get off the inbound plane and to the next gate
Iím surprised that no one has pointed out that under the new boarding rules, families with car seats and strollers donít preboard anymore. They board after Delta One/first class now.

Some agents enforce it. Other agents donít feel like arguing and let them go. No telling which kind of agent OP will get, but on an MCO flight with lots of kids, it might be more likely to be enforced.
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