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Delta says to arrive three hours before a domestic flight

Delta says to arrive three hours before a domestic flight

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Old Jun 12, 19, 9:27 am
  #1  
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Delta says to arrive three hours before a domestic flight

Just received an email for a Delta domestic flight and told to arrive three hours early for TSA screening. This is absurd for domestic travel. Delta controls ATL with an iron fist -- and Delta needs to get the domestic TSA issues sorted at ATL. It's totally unreasonable to ask passengers to arrive three hours before a 1.5 hour flight.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by ajl1239 View Post
Just received an email for a Delta domestic flight and told to arrive three hours early for TSA screening. This is absurd for domestic travel. Delta controls ATL with an iron fist -- and Delta needs to get the domestic TSA issues sorted at ATL. It's totally unreasonable to ask passengers to arrive three hours before a 1.5 hour flight.
Unfortunately, the one thing the airlines have no control over is the incompetent TSA.

I was in SJC yesterday and watched people miss their flight because they were stuck in a long TSA line. I've never seen a line that long on a Tuesday. It was only the regular line that was backed up, Pre-Check was really short.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
Unfortunately, the one thing the airlines have no control over is the incompetent TSA.

I was in SJC yesterday and watched people miss their flight because they were stuck in a long TSA line. I've never seen a line that long on a Tuesday. It was only the regular line that was backed up, Pre-Check was really short.
I disagree. If the airlines wanted to raise heck about the TSA, they could. They just choose not to spend that political capital. And, in the case of ATL, Delta refuses to honestly deal with the operational inefficiency across their hub.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 10:14 am
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Check in at Terminal F (International). Lines always shorter. And most of the time PreCheck has more staff than customers in line there.
Precheck in F only open 0630-0930 and 1230-1730, however. The only time for me it was slower than Main was a Saturday AM of the beginning of Spring Break.

The operational inefficiency at ATL Main is evident. Lines for Sky Priority bag check are increasing at an alarming rate. DL does have control over that, but you walk 30 steps outside and be in a line of 2-3 people for a SkyCap curbside. You can deal with ATL main check-in or get dropped off or take shuttle to F security as mentioned. You can get PreCheck and add Clear if you wish. There are things you can do to normalize airport security lines or react when lines are long on a given day and you choose to arrive at the airport consistently later than 3 hours prior to departure.

The email you received is a suggestion, not a requirement. The only requirements are the deadlines listed for last bag check and when you need to be at the gate.
https://www.delta.com/us/en/check-in...estic-check-in
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Old Jun 12, 19, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by FlyBitcoin View Post
The email you received is a suggestion, not a requirement. The only requirements are the deadlines listed for last bag check and when you need to be at the gate.
https://www.delta.com/us/en/check-in...estic-check-in

That's all fine and good until you miss your flight. It is summer travel season and on top of that I understand that some TSA airport staff have been sent to the border to help with the "crisis." Travelers who want to make their flights, especially those without access to any type of expedited security line, are well advised to show up early.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 10:50 am
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You will be less likely to miss your flight arriving 4 hours early instead of 3 hours early. By a fraction of a percent. It is an individual choice vs perceived risk.

And with more infrequent travelers flying in summer and on holidays, these warnings are periodically released for their benefit.
However, this specific email warning does not seem to reflect that anything has changed wtih TSA on a permanent basis at ATL or system-wide since DL's main website is still recommending arriving 2 hours prior. The TSA/Border story is a month old and have not seen any follow-up that it has actually happened. Last article from late May discussed sending 400 TSA workers system-wide. That is under 1% of the workforce.

Everyone has their own comfort level with airport arrival times, and a lot of that has to do with traffic uncertainly on the way to the airport and familiarity with the airport as much as TSA. Moreover, do you have a favorite planeside destination at the airport (restaurant, SkyClub) or do you just sit at the gate? All of that factors into the decision.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyBitcoin View Post
Moreover, do you have a favorite planeside destination at the airport (restaurant,
I suspect the ATL Vendors Assn. noticed sales were slow and asked DL to make every pax arrive early and shop an extra hour each time.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 4:44 pm
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If you travel out of ATL frequently invest in CLEAR.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 5:54 pm
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You can arrive any time you wish so long as you check in by the check in deadline, check bags by the bag check deadline, and are at the gate by the gate time. The rest is a matter of your own risk tolerance.

If DL thinks 3 hours is correct, but you want to take a shot at 90 minutes, that is your choice. Bear in mind that whether you are checking bags, have Pre-Check and can move at a fair speed are all factors for you to consider. DL recommendations are based on the most time-consuming factors.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 7:17 pm
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I've always thought TSA in Atlanta did a pretty good job keeping things moving quickly on the domestic side. People love to hate on all TSA but I've never waited more than 30 minutes all throughout the day. After so many years of sprinting to the gate, I'd rather have extra time at the airport than worrying I'm going to miss my flight.

Also if you're flying Delta in the morning, go to the international terminal. They can check your bags and I've cleared security in 5 minutes MAX. 3 hrs is absurd, but, just assume that you're special and that "rule" (it's not a rule) doesn't apply to you. I know I don't plan on arriving that early any time soon.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Flaflyer View Post
I suspect the ATL Vendors Assn. noticed sales were slow and asked DL to make every pax arrive early and shop an extra hour each time.
That's a good idea, since the food is so terrible, unhealthy, and overpriced there.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 12:23 am
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Maybe they saw your other thread about how much you love the ATL terminals and want you to have extra time to spend there.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 12:58 am
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The only places these recommended early arrival times have merit is at European airports. In San Diego I can leave my house one hour before departure time and not have to worry about missing a flight. Even at DL's hubs I've not found waits in the security line to be worthy of any kind of fear mongering.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 4:55 am
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Originally Posted by DCAproducer View Post
If you travel out of ATL frequently invest in CLEAR.
it does help quite a bit.. last week clear was 45 minutes.. mid morning
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Old Jun 13, 19, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
it does help quite a bit.. last week clear was 45 minutes.. mid morning

CLEAR was even worse yesterday. I spent a solid hour in line. I could have driven home quicker to BHM.
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