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Minimum Connection Transfer Time at Atlanta (ATL): The Definitive Thread

Minimum Connection Transfer Time at Atlanta (ATL): The Definitive Thread

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Old Mar 25, 19, 1:45 am   -   Wikipost
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Navigating the ATL: Despite its size, ATL has a very functional layout that makes transfers quite straightforward. The airside complex is shaped like a rib cage, with the ribs (the concourses) branching off from the spine (the underground plane train)
  • There is one common airside area for all carriers and all departures both domestic and international
  • You do NOT need to re-clear security when making a domestic to domestic or domestic to international connection (international-domestic and international-international are the usual ICE fuss)
  • The concourses are names T (for terminal) A B C D E F. TABCD are usually short and medium haul gates; E and F are usually long haul/international. The plane train connects all concourses.
  • If your flight documents say 'North Terminal' or South Terminal', ignore that while connecting. That refers to land side check-in desks, and you won't see any references to those while on the air side of the airport.
  • If you wish to stretch your legs, a pedestrian tunnel runs parallel to the plane train from the T to E terminals. There is an additional pedestrian tunnel between E and F unconnected to the other tunnel that requires going aboveground at E and poking around to find it.
  • If you do not have club access, the E and F concourse areas tend to be quieter and less crowded places to wait

Minimum Connect Time in ATL if connecting from a Delta flight to a Delta flight, per ExpertFlyer:

Domestic flight - domestic flight: 35 minutes
Exceptions:
If your inbound flight is on a 330, 747, 777, or an internationally-configured 767, then the minimum connection time is 50 minutes for a domestic-domestic connection.

Domestic flight - international flight: 40 minutes
Exceptions:
  • If your inbound flight is on a 330, 747, 777, or an internationally-configured 767, then the minimum connection time is 50 minutes for a domestic-international connection.
  • The minimum domestic-YYC connection time is 45 minutes.
  • The minimum domestic-HAV connection time is 55 minutes.

International flight - domestic flight: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Exceptions:
  • If you are coming from a Canadian airport with preclearance other than YYC, then the minimum connection time is 35 minutes for an international-domestic connection.
  • If you are coming from AUA, BDA, FPO, NAS, or YYC, then the minimum connection time is 45 minutes for an international-domestic connection.
  • If you are coming from Ireland, then the minimum connection time is 1 hour for an international-domestic connection.
  • If you are coming from LOS, then the minimum connection time is 1 hour, 30 minutes for an international-domestic connection.
  • If you are coming from HAV, then the minimum connection time is 1 hour, 55 minutes for an international-domestic connection.
Note: as of Labor Day 2018 (possibly earlier) there is a Precheck lane at the I-D reclearing security checkpoint.

International flight - international flight: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Exceptions:
  • If you are coming from a Canadian airport with preclearance other than YYC, then the minimum connection time is 40 minutes for an international-international connection.
  • If you are coming from YYC, then the minimum connection time is 45 minutes for an international-international connection.
  • If you are coming from AUA, BDA, FPO, or NAS, then the minimum connection time is 50 minutes for an international-international connection.
  • If you are coming from Ireland, then the minimum connection time is 1 hour for an international-international connection.
  • If you are coming from LOS, then the minimum connection time is 1 hour, 30 minutes for an international-international connection.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 6:32 am
  #2551  
 
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I have no direct experience, but my educated guess is that you'll be fine. I'd take a screenshot of the BP's or even print them out just in case the app does something weird where it refuses to show you the second one later on. I would also do everything possible to keep any human from looking at the itinerary (i.e. don't call DL about it unless you absolutely have to.)
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Old Jan 26, 19, 6:13 am
  #2552  
 
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
I have no direct experience, but my educated guess is that you'll be fine.
Indeed it was, and even with a 30+ minute delay out of MUC due to deicing and late clearance to push back. So my 1:25 layover turned into a ~50 minute layover. The app informed me of my new flight option, but I've learned in the past that I was only protected on the later flight and likely still on my original. Thanks to virtually no security line (yay for TSA Pre on international arrivals), I made it from E9 to B5 about 30 minutes after touchdown (yes, I was hustling) when Zone 1 was boarding. Oh, and I was upgraded to F, which was nice.

Waiting another 3 hours for the next flight when I was already on Germany time would have been rough!

Keith
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:24 pm
  #2553  
 
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Time between international and domestic

I noticed our departure time from Delta has been changed from when we booked. We are coming from Paris-Degaulle to Atlanta and get in at 3:35. We now fly out at 4:27 to Omaha. Is this realistically enough time from international to domestic?
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:30 pm
  #2554  
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Welcome to FlyerTalk.

No, it is not realistic, nor does it meet the published Minimum Connect Time for international to domestic at ATL. Call Delta (or whoever ticketed you) and ask to be rebooked.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:36 pm
  #2555  
 
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Welcome to FT!

This thread may be useful for you: Minimum Connection Transfer Time at Atlanta (ATL): The Definitive Thread

The 52 minute connection you describe is very tight and below the minimum connection time (MCT) specified for international-to-domestic transfers in ATL. The MCT for international>domestic at ATL is 85 minutes. Thus, if you call DL they are obligated to rebook you at no charge on to flights with a better/longer connection time.

HOWEVER, some people may argue that this connection is actually doable despite being below MCT. To better determine that, it would be helpful if we had some more details. Are you in coach or business class? Do you have Global Entry? Will you be checking any bags? Are you familiar with the ATL airport? How mobile/able-bodied are you and your companions? Is it critical that you get to Omaha at that particular time?

I believe there are a couple flights to OMA after the 4:27pm departure so the safest bet would be to move your connection back to a later time. If instead you choose to risk the short connection, that means you also have some backup flights available should you miss the flight, but then you're at the mercy of space being available.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:07 pm
  #2556  
 
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Originally Posted by Jenlipe View Post
I noticed our departure time from Delta has been changed from when we booked. We are coming from Paris-Degaulle to Atlanta and get in at 3:35. We now fly out at 4:27 to Omaha. Is this realistically enough time from international to domestic?
As noted above, this is BELOW the minimum connection time and you need to be/should be rebooked. If you booked your ticket directly with Delta, call Delta and have them rebook you for a new itinerary on this date - this will be done at no cost (no change and no fare difference), even if the new itinerary you desire was more expensive when you booked. You do not even have to go via ATL. You can ask to be rerouted via another hub that has service to OMA (DTW, MSP, SLC) if these routings are more desirable. If you booked this ticket via a travel agent (including a third party website such as Expedia), you will need to work with the travel agent or booking agency you booked your flight through.

Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
HOWEVER, some people may argue that this connection is actually doable despite being below MCT. To better determine that, it would be helpful if we had some more details. Are you in coach or business class? Do you have Global Entry? Will you be checking any bags? Are you familiar with the ATL airport? How mobile/able-bodied are you and your companions? Is it critical that you get to Omaha at that particular time?

I believe there are a couple flights to OMA after the 4:27pm departure so the safest bet would be to move your connection back to a later time. If instead you choose to risk the short connection, that means you also have some backup flights available should you miss the flight, but then you're at the mercy of space being available.
Will the airline allow check-in or bag checking for an itinerary that does not meet minimum connection time? I realize OP would have to reclaim bags in the US anyway but these two things may be an issue.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:32 pm
  #2557  
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post

Will the airline allow check-in or bag checking for an itinerary that does not meet minimum connection time? I realize OP would have to reclaim bags in the US anyway but these two things may be an issue.
Generally, yes.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:36 pm
  #2558  
 
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I have had this happen. I used twitter and suggested a later flight number. They were able to make the change on Twitter pretty quickly.

I just DM'd them the reference number and the new suggested flight. They made it happen pretty quickly.

Whether you call or use twitter, it helps to have a flight number to suggest they move the flight to.

That way you aren't stressed out trying to dash through customs, etc.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 5:40 pm
  #2559  
 
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All good info ... also if your onward flight is the last of the day you may need to move the originating flight. Here again, it always pays to research the flights that work best for you before calling the airline.

FWIW The one time we had less than the MCT but still enough to for us personally to transit we left the ticket alone. In the end the flight was late so we did not make the flight. So when we rechecked bags the agent just rebooked us - but for the next day as that was the last flight of the night. Delta reimbursed us for the hotel after submitting a claim.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:19 pm
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:29 pm
  #2561  
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DL will almost certainly catch the MCT "violation" at some point and will, at that point, require rebooking. Far better to have that done now than later. There should be one later flight to OMA, so this should not be a major issue. But, as others note, look up the new flight number and call DL (or your TA if you booked through a TA), point out the MCT issue and then provide the specific new flight.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:59 pm
  #2562  
 
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As others have alluded to, if you have global entry and are not checking bags, you would have plenty of time barring your first leg being delayed. You could certainly do nothing and try to make the connection (if you ended up missing your connection, Delta would still have to rebook you for free).

The risk/downside of not rebooking proactively is:
  • The possibility that you do miss your connection and then have to wait a while for the next available connecting flight (for example, because flights are sold out or because you were scheduled on the last flight of the day)
  • The possibility of getting a poor seat assignment if you're rebooked on short notice (either because Delta catches the MCT violation or because you misconnect)
  • Forgoing the opportunity to switch to a preferred routing for free (i.e. faster, better plane, higher likelihood of upgrades clearing, etc.)
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Old Feb 19, 19, 8:12 pm
  #2563  
 
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If you donít proactively call DL soon then DL might very well catch the MCT issue and call you to reschedule shortly before your departure date in which case the number of flight alternatives and seating might be much more limited than they are now.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 7:49 pm
  #2564  
 
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Originally Posted by atlocal View Post
I just read that a Bobby Flayís Burger Palace just opened in Concourse B. Might be worth checking out?
I enjoy his show, but the burger was nothing special. Edible, not even as good as Five Guy's. The meat is fine but there was no flavour otherwise.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 7:32 am
  #2565  
 
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I thought BBP was a pretty decent burger TBH. They have a "full" bar but couldn't make a negroni (no campari). Service was pretty quick.

That said, I like five guys better. Honestly I have been really pleased with the ATL five guys locations, both in C and D. Every burger I've gotten from them has not only tasted great but when you unwrap them they look just absolutely perfect, like the burgers you see in a TV commercial. Manicured. I've never seen such perfect looking burgers in a real world environment, much less from a fast food joint, much less in an airport!
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