Check-in cutoff switcheroo in Reno

 
Old Sep 9, 09, 11:42 am
  #1  
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Check-in cutoff switcheroo in Reno

I've flown in and out of Reno/Tahoe airport several times (and am otherwise a seasoned FFer), but I was caught unawares this time. The airport's check in area is undergoing renovation and ticketing is done in an adjacent temporary structure. This has caused Delta/Skywest and some (but not all) other airlines to institute a strict 45 minute cutoff for baggage.

For a variety of reasons (not the least of which were my local friends who, familiar with Reno's easy airport, were in no rush to get me to the airport) I arrived about 41 minutes before my flight and was told I could not board with luggage. I was flying cross country and had picked the latest rational connection, so there were few alternatives. I must say I handled it like a pro (no temper tantrums, no DKYIA, no "the world will be sucked into a black hole if I am not home by 10:30 tonight"), and the agent I dealt with displayed exceptional customer service skills. Despite very full flights for the next few days, she assured me "I'll get you something" and said the fees would be waived without my asking. That went a long way towards defusing the situation.

The best they could offer was a double connect heinous red-eye via SLC and Atlanta, which I declined. I ended up proposing to overnight in SLC and catching a direct flight the next morning to my final destination. It cost me more out of pocket, but I got a good night's sleep in return.

So my question/comment is two-fold:

1) Ultimately check-in times are the traveler's responsibility to verify (hence my lack of protest to the agent), however this information is hopelessly buried on Delta's website.

2) Also, if they're going to change the check in time (particularly if it's a temporary change) shouldn't this be indicated prominently SOMEWHERE? The confirmation email? The check in reminder email? Or how about on the delta.com itinerary page? Deviation from the 30 minute standard has the potential to foul up a lot of travel plans for people like me who rarely get to the airport more than 60 minutes before a flight. (And yes, I realize I should arrive at the airport 3 hours before a domestic flight and the day before an international flight etc. etc.). This information - particularly when it deviates from the norm - couldn't be very difficult technologically to include if things like departing terminal are also included.

This really screwed up my plans and made me miss even more class. I am clearly not owed any compensation from Delta, but I just don't understand why they wouldn't do more to let people know about airports that have different check ins. Maybe the answer is the majority of people who arrive late wouldn't have paid attention anyway? I sure would have...
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Old Sep 9, 09, 12:05 pm
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I know when they started the 45-min cutoff at MCO, the GAs would come onboard an arriving a/c and make an announcement about the 45-min rule. I guess that wouldn't help anyone originating from RNO, but it would have helped in your case. Asking for some kind of notation on a ticket receipt is a little much considering DL's IT situation (it shouldn't be an issue at all, but that is for another thread).
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Old Sep 9, 09, 1:07 pm
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Something similar happened to me last week at JFK. After standing in line and going over the 45 min rule, agent told me I'd have to fly out the following morning.

Then, he apparently changed his mind and sent my luggage thru (which arrived, with me, at SFO).

I wasn't aware of the 45 min rule -- though I sure am now -- and I may have overlooked/over-read it in the past.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 1:11 pm
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The 45 minute rule has been around for a while at ATL, LAS and RNO for a while I believe. I also pretty sure more airports have it as well. As a seasoned traveler when checking luggage, I assume it is 45 minutes for all airports.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 3:05 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by gator21 View Post
The 45 minute rule has been around for a while at ATL, LAS and RNO for a while I believe. I also pretty sure more airports have it as well. As a seasoned traveler when checking luggage, I assume it is 45 minutes for all airports.
Though a few airports have a 45 minute rule, most have a 30 minute rule. Since I've flown through Reno before, I (thought I) knew it was 30. The few exceptions that always have 45 minute (or more) cutoffs are one thing, but a temporary exception really ought to be more prominently announced. I liked jjglaze's idea of at least having the FAs announce the change to arriving PAX. It's not fool proof (nothing is) but it certainly would have worked for me.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 9:40 pm
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http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...ents/index.jsp

While for some reason delta.com isn't loading, I believe the steps are:

1. Delta.com
2. Traveling and Check in
3. Travel Tips
4. Click on Airport Tips
5. Check In Requirements

Altho I am curious as to people who check in with a bag, why they feel the need to show up right at that time (whether its 30 or 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure).

Anywho, that information wasn't "hopelessly buried" took me 10 seconds to find it and that was the first time I've ever had to look for it.

Secondly, the airline doesn't impose the requirement check in change themselves. It is based upon DOT approval.

While I know you were being facetious with the 3 hours, realistically an hour and a half before should suffice for domestic.

So in essence, you actually answered your question yourself when implying when to get to the airport.

"And yes, I realize I should arrive at the airport 3 hours before a domestic flight and the day before an international flight etc. etc."

zz
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Old Sep 9, 09, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by aviatorzz View Post
http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...ents/index.jsp
Secondly, the airline doesn't impose the requirement check in change themselves. It is based upon DOT approval.
The check in change can't possibly be a DOT (or DHS) requirement because not all the airlines imposed it. At any rate, I'm not quarreling with the actual imposition of the change, just that it's the sort of information that really ought to be clearly communicated.

I do try to get to the airport as early as is reasonable (60 minutes max domestically), but I know the rule is 30 minutes and that is virtually always more than sufficient. Obviously the risk is getting burned in a situation like this, or unusual security lines for the specific airport. But that itself is a personal choice and it's just not worth it for me to go the prophylactic route and always show up "3 hours before domestic and the day before int'l" (or even aviatorzz substantially more reasonable 90 minute suggestion ).
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