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ATL connection time with small children

ATL connection time with small children

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Old Feb 17, 19, 5:45 am
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Question ATL connection time with small children

Delta just changed the flight schedule again on me for my Disney World Trip in Nov. Instead of 1h 50m layover in ATL I have 1h 20m. If it were just me, or just me and my wife I wouldn't be concerned about it. But I'm going to have a 7 year old and a 3 year old with a car seat. Do I have any chance at this? Should I call DL to see what they will rebook me on? Any other suggestions? Biggest concern is that we will be the last ones off the plane in ATL because of the car seat and need to be one of the first ones on the connection. We will have the car seat, two carryons and the kids.

Last edited by EAJuggalo; Feb 17, 19 at 7:33 pm
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Old Feb 17, 19, 5:50 am
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Do you have a domestic incoming flight? If so you're 40 minutes above the minimum connect time. Not to worry.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:16 am
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Yes, we are MSP-ATL and then ATL-MCO
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
Delta just changed the flight schedule again on me for my Disney World Trip in Nov. Instead of 1h 50m layover in ATL I have 1h 20m. If it were just me, or just me and my wife I wouldn't be concerned about it. But I'm going to have a 7 year old and a 3 year old with a car seat. Do I have any chance at this? Should I call DL to see what they will rebook me on? Any other suggestions? Biggest concern is that we will be the last ones off the plane in ATL because of the car seat and need to be one of the first ones on the connection. We will have the car seat, two carryons and the car seat.
Why would you need to be the first one on the connection? If it is for needing the overhead space, as long as you are ok with gate checking some of the items, then that shouldn't be a problem.

On my side, the additional time I have experienced needing has been more around the children needing to make a pit-stop on the connecting city. Not an issue when traveling alone since one tends to be able to plan better but with small children, I used to plan for additional time in the layover city instead.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:34 am
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Because we have to install a car seat. Installing one in the car is difficult enough, making one work on a coach airline seat will require some extra time.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
Yes, we are MSP-ATL and then ATL-MCO
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.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Don't be surprised if they decline, however.
They will.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:41 am
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Plus it is now just February. There will likely be at least 5 or 6 more schedule changes between now and November.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:47 am
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I donít want to get into the car seat debate...but you could try out the CARES harness. This works well for my almost 3 year old son and it would eliminate the problem of waiting for everyone to deplane.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:19 am
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ATL is big but easy to navigate and that's plenty of time to get to your next gate before pre-boarding starts, even with bathroom and snack stops. (Just note that it can be a bit far between restrooms, so if you see one, take advantage of it at that point) For an Orlando flight, the small kids boarding group is probably going to be pretty large, so you're going to be one family out of many putting the car seat in.

It's a time of year when ATL doesn't have many weather delays, and while you do want to go on the shortest path to the next gate, I wouldn't worry about making the next flight.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by Schuhfly View Post
I donít want to get into the car seat debate...but you could try out the CARES harness. This works well for my almost 3 year old son and it would eliminate the problem of waiting for everyone to deplane.
good point. I usually bring the seat, it itís bc I need it on the other end, not the plane. OP could check the seat and use the harness if they are worried about time.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:38 am
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Just did PNS-ATL-LHR and back with a 4 year old and a 20 month old.

I wouldn’t worry one bit about that connection time.

1. Delta pads their arrival times so there’s a very, very good chance you’ll arrive and deplane early.

2. There’s 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 plane’s 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, there’s 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, I’d leave the car seat at home and rent one with the rental car. If that’s not an option, check the car seat. It’s 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. Can’t hurt to ask.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:43 am
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The connection should give you plenty of time.
If your originating flight is running late (20-30 minutes) and the connecting flight is on-time, I suggest using the bathroom on the plane for your kids toward the end of the first flight, instead of planning to make that stop in the airport terminal.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 11:29 am
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That is more than enough time. I wouldn't even bat an eye. I made an international-domestic transfer at ATL (with baggage recheck) in 45 minutes on Friday night.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
Delta just changed the flight schedule again on me for my Disney World Trip in Nov. Instead of 1h 50m layover in ATL I have 1h 20m. If it were just me, or just me and my wife I wouldn't be concerned about it. But I'm going to have a 7 year old and a 3 year old with a car seat. Do I have any chance at this? Should I call DL to see what they will rebook me on? Any other suggestions? Biggest concern is that we will be the last ones off the plane in ATL because of the car seat and need to be one of the first ones on the connection. We will have the car seat, two carryons and the car seat.
1 hour 20 min should be fine, even with kids. Though as noted above, there are likely to be many more schedule changes between now and November. That said, if you misconnect, I think ATL-MCO is literally Delta's most frequent route in terms of number of daily flights, so unless you're on the last flight of the night, there will be later options. TPA is also an alternate option with plenty of daily flights from ATL and is about 1.5 hours from Orlando - DAB and MLB are about 1 hour away though with less daily frequencies, so if the ATL-MCO flights are full you still have options to get Disney through numerous airports in the area.
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