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Gate agent paged me and warned me I should board with my Zone

Gate agent paged me and warned me I should board with my Zone

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Old Apr 15, 19, 9:04 am
  #1  
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Gate agent paged me and warned me I should board with my Zone

Flying out of GSP, my sleepy little home airport. Was upgraded to FC 5 days out and was planning to board last (aisle seat on CRJ900 and didnít want to be hit by 50 bags.)

Was relaxing in the gate area when I was paged around the time Zone 1 was called. I checked in and the agent asked why I hadnít boarded. I explained myself. He told me he almost gave away my seat. I asked if he would do that 25 minutes from push and he informed me I should always board first when upgraded in order not to lose my seat.

Ive been boarding last for years when I donít have a roller. Iím not saying heís wrong I was just surprised. Should I change my habits?
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Old Apr 15, 19, 9:12 am
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I've been noticing that Delta changes the time of departure of flights at its whim and caprice (for example, I was on a connecting flight at JFK with a scheduled departure time of 0800. When I landed at JFK, I looked at my phone to get the gate assignment for the connection, and it now had a departure time of 0750).

The GAs are under pressure from Delta management to get flights out on time. It is not surprising for them to make up their own rules, even though it would seem to be at odds with their announced practice (in your case, boarding until 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure).
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Old Apr 15, 19, 9:22 am
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HA I fly out of GSP and I could for sure see this happening, they run a tight ship. If you are checked in you can board whenever you want as long as you do not go under the 15 minute window. I would have asked for a red coat and had he/she explain to me the policy. GA making up rules has consequences. Also I always screen shot my upgraded seat number/boarding pass. I have had GAs tell me that I did not have the seat that I was upgraded to. Always have back up with Delta!

From the Delta website...

When youíre traveling within the United States, we make the suggestion to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure. For most airports, you must be checked in at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time (airports requiring additional time are listed here) Additionally, youíre required to be at the gate and ready to board 15 minutes before scheduled departure.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:12 am
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Unless I have a rollerboard that I need space for, I usually board near the end despite being a DM. I don't need to sit on the plane any longer than I have to. Interesting "policy". Wow
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
I've been noticing that Delta changes the time of departure of flights at its whim and caprice (for example, I was on a connecting flight at JFK with a scheduled departure time of 0800. When I landed at JFK, I looked at my phone to get the gate assignment for the connection, and it now had a departure time of 0750).

The GAs are under pressure from Delta management to get flights out on time. It is not surprising for them to make up their own rules, even though it would seem to be at odds with their announced practice (in your case, boarding until 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure).
Gate agents don't control the departure time
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:31 am
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I always board in my designated group unless I'm connecting and cannot get there in time! I want my PDB!
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:41 am
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Yep. I was checked in and Iíd checked a bag. There were 20+ minutes remaining. I was well outside of 15 mins.

He he was a tad snarky and said people who board FC late make his life difficult. Iíve dealt with him before. Maybe he was just having a bad day.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Chanticleer View Post
I asked if he would do that 25 minutes from push and he informed me I should always board first when upgraded in order not to lose my seat.


Originally Posted by SSF556 View Post
From the Delta website...
...Additionally, you’re required to be at the gate and ready to board 15 minutes before scheduled departure.
I read this as, you must be ready to board 15 minutes prior to get a seat on this aircraft, not necessarily to get your upgraded seat.
You say that the agent said "should", not "must".
P.S.: I'm not well versed in Delta's procedures. I have no opinion on whether any of this is fair; I'm just looking at whether or not you're guaranteed to keep your seat.

Last edited by jerry305; Apr 15, 19 at 10:53 am
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Qwkynuf View Post
Gate agents don't control the departure time
Not directly but indirectly they certainly do.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:53 am
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I have found at smaller stations where you are likely to deal with the same agents over and over again, it is best to try/attempt to follow their "wishes". Chance are that, at some p0oint, you will need them to do a "favor" for you. That said, you could write in to DL and they will follow up with the agents on the exact rules. In general, the GA's job can be stressful during the last 20 minutes before the flight departs. Anything to reduce that stress is greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Chanticleer View Post
Flying out of GSP, my sleepy little home airport. Was upgraded to FC 5 days out and was planning to board last (aisle seat on CRJ900 and didn’t want to be hit by 50 bags.)

Was relaxing in the gate area when I was paged around the time Zone 1 was called. I checked in and the agent asked why I hadn’t boarded. I explained myself. He told me he almost gave away my seat. I asked if he would do that 25 minutes from push and he informed me I should always board first when upgraded in order not to lose my seat.

Ive been boarding last for years when I don’t have a roller. I’m not saying he’s wrong I was just surprised. Should I change my habits?
The gate agent is making stuff up. This is obvious based on the fact that in ATL and other hubs, Minimum Connection Time is less than the time at which DL starts boarding flights.. MCT is as short as 35 min in ATL; flights start boarding 40 min before departure. The gate agent can downgrade or offload you if they've done a "Last Call" inside of T-15 and you haven't boarded because you weren't at the gate. But they can't downgrade you just because you didn't board with your zone.

Originally Posted by Chanticleer View Post
He he was a tad snarky and said people who board FC late make his life difficult. I’ve dealt with him before. Maybe he was just having a bad day.
Yea, he may be hoping to know FC is boarding full as early as possible for upgrade purposes - if a FC seat is going to be a no-show, he can UG the next Medallion on the UG list. But that's the GA's "problem". It's not yours.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:04 am
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"Should I change my habits?"

No. Board whenever you want.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:09 am
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The flip side of the coin is the number of upgrade-eligible pax who will complain if the flight leaves with an empty F seat (or employee shoved in at the last minute) because there's not enough time left to upgrade someone who's already seated in Y. Just saying.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
Not directly but indirectly they certainly do.
They don't change the scheduled departure from 0800 to 0750, which is what was suggested by the post that I quoted. A decision like that would likely be made by dispatch, and likely influenced by input from ATC, possibly related to weather at the departing or arriving airport, and would at least consider the likelihood of any connecting passengers missing the flight due to the change.

A change like that would certainly not be made because "Steve", down at gate A47 would like to go on break a few minutes early.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:52 am
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In my experience - out of my 5 gate terminal CHA, it doesn't do yourself any favors to upset/bother the gate agents.
Several times a general announcement has been made that ALL rollerbags will be checked.
My camera pelican is CabinOK sized and fits under the seat of CRJ-200's and overhead in all other birds.
It's value isn't insurable by Delta, and the number of spare lithium batteries would be an issue.

By approaching the desk before boarding, I let them know that it will fit under the seat, no problem, works every week.
I've never been denied the allowance to take it on board and never forced to check it.

This works in ATL to...on the return. And has worked internationally when dealing with the 7kg limit of carry-ons.

Over the years in CHA, several agents know us by name and our rollerboard is a known non-issue with them.

Otherwise, yes, GA's can make up their own rules because they are "in charge" of boarding the flight.
Wrong as it may be, they do it...and getting a super involved may put you in a situation of missing your flight.
Delta has rules, but people are people, and it's best to be on their good side.
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