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DL Has Extended Maximum Connection Times

DL Has Extended Maximum Connection Times

Old Jun 16, 20, 10:43 am
  #1  
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Exclamation DL Has Extended Maximum Connection Times

Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere but I only noticed this in the last 24 hours or so and didn't see anything yet in the other COVID threads.

I was looking at itineraries for a domestic trip and I noticed I am now seeing options with connections much greater than 4 hours being returned. This wasn't the case in the last 24-48 hours. Looks like DL has extended maximum connection times to beyond 4 hours better support the limited scheduling.

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Old Jun 16, 20, 10:54 am
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I see nothing in the fare rules about extending max layover times for domestic fares (AA has extended their's to 18 hours and it's in their fare rules). These are most likely simply broken fares. What's displayed in the fare rules (if it's a broken fare, it will have multiple fare components/basis codes)? I suspect they have just liberalized their search function to show more broken fare options. Google Flights/ITA and other OTA's will show these among the non-broken fare results, while the delta.com fare search had only offered them up infrequently.
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Old Jun 16, 20, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
I see nothing in the fare rules about extending max layover times for domestic fares (AA has extended their's to 18 hours and it's in their fare rules). These are most likely simply broken fares. What's displayed in the fare rules (if it's a broken fare, it will have multiple fare components/basis codes)? I suspect they have just liberalized their search function to show more broken fare options. Google Flights/ITA and other OTA's will show these among the non-broken fare results, while delta.com fare search had only offered them up infrequently.
Perhaps, but for the average person searching, a distinction without a major difference? If it's more accurate to say "DL.com now returning itineraries with layovers greater than 4 hours" then so be it, but point being that I'm seeing domestic itineraries returned with greater than 4 hour connection times right now. That wasn't the case, even with broken fares, when searching DL.com just a couple days ago even (as you note, you could still find such itineraries searching through other sites like ITA Matrix and even use the Book with Matrix to generate the code to book it via DL.com, or you could find such itineraries through other OTAs or build such itineraries via Multi-City booking but the standard booking tool wouldn't return such itineraries).
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Old Jun 16, 20, 11:16 am
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Is there an available flight within the 4 hour connection window? I seem to recall that DL, UA, and AS allowed a domestic connection to the next scheduled flight even if it required a connection longer than 4 hours. It might've been called something like "last flight in, first flight out" referring to the connection typically being overnight. I seem to recall a number of such connections being offered from the West Coast through DEN or LAX.

Otherwise, it's likely that the connection is a broken fare.
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Old Jun 16, 20, 11:21 am
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If this is true itís great news. I live in a city where connections are always required and most searches have been returning no results due to the 4 hour limit.
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Old Jun 16, 20, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by Tide_from_PAE View Post
Is there an available flight within the 4 hour connection window? I seem to recall that DL, UA, and AS allowed a domestic connection to the next scheduled flight even if it required a connection longer than 4 hours. It might've been called something like "last flight in, first flight out" referring to the connection typically being overnight. I seem to recall a number of such connections being offered from the West Coast through DEN or LAX.

Otherwise, it's likely that the connection is a broken fare.
They are absolutely broken fares (I just checked). DL does not have any "last flight in, first flight out" rule that I'm aware of. Google Flights/ITA will frequently show overnight layovers with last in, first out itins and they are all priced as broken fares in every instance I have seen. I realize the distinction may be lost on most people, but I wouldn't really call this a good example of DL being magnanimous. In most cases, these broken fare itins will cost more than if they simply allowed the longer connections to price out on a single fare component (as AA does -- up to 18 hours).

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 17, 20 at 1:30 am
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Old Jun 16, 20, 12:05 pm
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I concur, due to cancellations to my previously scheduled flights over the 4th of July weekend, my new connection at ATL to CHS is 7 hours now... Guess its a trip to Waffle House and maybe the Delta Museum if its open by then...
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Old Jun 16, 20, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
Perhaps, but for the average person searching, a distinction without a major difference? If it's more accurate to say "DL.com now returning itineraries with layovers greater than 4 hours" then so be it, but point being that I'm seeing domestic itineraries returned with greater than 4 hour connection times right now. That wasn't the case, even with broken fares, when searching DL.com just a couple days ago even (as you note, you could still find such itineraries searching through other sites like ITA Matrix and even use the Book with Matrix to generate the code to book it via DL.com, or you could find such itineraries through other OTAs or build such itineraries via Multi-City booking but the standard booking tool wouldn't return such itineraries).
What are the chances that they will make you collect your bags and re-check them with such a long layover?
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Old Jun 16, 20, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Hepsaint View Post
What are the chances that they will make you collect your bags and re-check them with such a long layover?
I think by policy the only time you must collect bags is if the connection is over 12 hours. Between 6-12 hours it's your option.

various threads, e.g. Maximum time luggage can be checked through between flights?

There's probably some variability by agent thoughl.
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Old Jun 16, 20, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere but I only noticed this in the last 24 hours or so and didn't see anything yet in the other COVID threads.

I was looking at itineraries for a domestic trip and I noticed I am now seeing options with connections much greater than 4 hours being returned. This wasn't the case in the last 24-48 hours. Looks like DL has extended maximum connection times to beyond 4 hours better support the limited scheduling.
Oh good, only took them three months to realize this was necessary.
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Old Jun 16, 20, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
I think by policy the only time you must collect bags is if the connection is over 12 hours. Between 6-12 hours it's your option.

various threads, e.g. Maximum time luggage can be checked through between flights?

There's probably some variability by agent thoughl.

My experience with this (pre-Covid) for both domestic and international connections, is that the system will automagically kick the bags out in the city with more than a 6 hour layover.
However, if you tell them to do an over-ride, and they know what they are doing, you can push to 12 (domestic) and 24 hours for international. I've done this over the past 8-9 years with long layovers in LAX and/or SYD.


Had to clear a carnet in LAX last Oct, on the way to BNE with a 11:52 layover in SYD. So I collected bags in LAX, went to customs, then back to check in at the D1 counter.
Needed to check bags through SYD to BNE with long layover (Mrs and I usually go down to the Quay for the day)

D1 counter said it can't be done - knows for a fact.
I assured her that it can be done, she could even call the RedCoat in my lil CHA who knows how to do it.
She calls her friend in Delta IT - who confirms her ruling. Tells me to call DM desk to hear the same.
Call DM desk, as I'm on hold, another lead walks by, says it can't be done.
Still on hold, her manager walks by - says he's never seen it be able to happen.
DM desk finally speaks and backs me up - tells her directly, but she is still arguing.
Then, by chance, her manager's manager walks by and says: "No problem, should be able to do it for up to 24 hours"
He types for about 30 seconds and it's done.

Problem is that Delta took out the wording of actual hours in their Contract of Carriage - International (I'm assuming Domestic also, but not sure)
I have an open (lost) ticket with Delta as to what defines a layover.
According to the either the DOT or IATA, an international layover is less than 24 hours, a stopover is over 24 - that's all that I have to go on for now.
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Old Jun 17, 20, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by BHammy View Post
According to the either the DOT or IATA, an international layover is less than 24 hours, a stopover is over 24 - that's all that I have to go on for now.
Don't think it has anything to do with DOT or IATA. WN fares do not allow for layovers of over 4 hours on any of it's international routes. Also, the US3 carriers impose the 4 hour layover rule for both domestic and US-Canada fares. AA has temporarily relaxed it's layover allowance for US domestic and Canada fares to 18 hours.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 17, 20 at 1:31 am
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Old Jun 17, 20, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Don't think it has anything to do with DOT or IATA. WN fares do not allow for layovers of over 4 hours on any of it's international routes. Also, the US3 carriers impose the 4 hour layover rule for both domestic and US-Canada fares. AA has temporarily relaxed it's layover allowance for US domestic and Canada fares to 18 hours.
No experience with WN or Canada or AA - don't fly them or go to Canada, but I'll venture to guess that WN has no connection routing at it's international destinations as they use direct routing methods.

Do a simple Google search: "layover vs stopover" and you'll find plenty of (recent) sites that indeed define international layover allotment of up to 24 hours: past that, it's a stopover. Most also confirm that domestic layovers are 4 hours, but possibly airline specific.

What stands out specifically is this one:
"Stopover: An intermediate ticketed point within the fare component at which the calculated elapsed time (the period between the scheduled local times of arrival and departure) is greater than the time period defined in a carrier's tariff as a stopover (4 hours for US/CA Domestic Fares and 24 hours for International Fares). A stopover is always a transfer."

And Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layover

So, yes, it appears that Canada is enveloped into the "domestic" schema.

But when it comes to Delta baggage, I know I've pushed beyond the 4 hour window (at a domestic airport, on international itinerary) and have the capacity to push to 24 hours at international connection points (sans Canada)
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Old Jun 17, 20, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BHammy View Post
No experience with WN or Canada or AA - don't fly them or go to Canada, but I'll venture to guess that WN has no connection routing at it's international destinations as they use direct routing methods.

Do a simple Google search: "layover vs stopover" and you'll find plenty of (recent) sites that indeed define international layover allotment of up to 24 hours: past that, it's a stopover. Most also confirm that domestic layovers are 4 hours, but possibly airline specific.

What stands out specifically is this one:
"Stopover: An intermediate ticketed point within the fare component at which the calculated elapsed time (the period between the scheduled local times of arrival and departure) is greater than the time period defined in a carrier's tariff as a stopover (4 hours for US/CA Domestic Fares and 24 hours for International Fares). A stopover is always a transfer."

And Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layover

So, yes, it appears that Canada is enveloped into the "domestic" schema.

But when it comes to Delta baggage, I know I've pushed beyond the 4 hour window (at a domestic airport, on international itinerary) and have the capacity to push to 24 hours at international connection points (sans Canada)
Not disagreeing that it exists broadly among carriers, I just don't think it's due to government regulation or IATA rules as WN does not allow for them. I suspect their systems may just be too primitive to handle different layover times for domestic vs. international. If you follow the WN forum, there's lot's of complaints about not being able to find fares to/from various international destinations from certain cities because many are only served by one flight a day and their fares don't allow for layovers of longer than 4 hours.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 18, 20 at 8:00 am
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