What is Delta’s legal connection time domestic to international flight through ATL?

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Sep 19, 2015
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That is great news MButler, I am glad Gate 1 worked on your behalf to get an exception from Delta.

I would have been very uncomfortable with a connection of less than an hour at ATL— honestly I would have been nervous about the original 75 minute connection.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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Now that's much better. But, still curious as to who is collecting $30 and for what?

I realize that Delta has to approve the charges, but gate1 is supposed to be the OP's advocate in situations like this.
 
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Sep 27, 2018
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One thing I would mention that you could have used is if your 80 year old mother required wheelchair assistance that can be an asset in justifying your case that you need a longer connection time. Glad Gate 1 was able to help you.
 
Dec 27, 2018
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Yeah, delta’s response was that you could ask for a tram, but it is on 1st come, 1st serve basis and not guaranteed- also don’t think checked luggage would have made it
 

Neil Maley

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Yeah, delta’s response was that you could ask for a tram, but it is on 1st come, 1st serve basis and not guaranteed- also don’t think checked luggage would have made it
If your Mom has difficulty walking you need to have that information added to your airline reservation. When it is on your reservation you get first crack at wheelchairs.
 
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Yeah, delta’s response was that you could ask for a tram, but it is on 1st come, 1st serve basis and not guaranteed- also don’t think checked luggage would have made it
Note that in ATL, connections are done via a subway. Thus, they use wheel chairs which are slow, and they have to wait for the elevator. It probably adds about 15 to 20 min to a connection time compared to an able bodied passenger.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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UPDATE #2- Gate 1 just informed me that Delta waived the fare change ($1100) and only charged a nominal change fee of $30pp.!!! So happy yea Delta!
Ol' Delta's shaping up to be Airline of the Century. Delta is treating their travellers ... GASP! .... like valued customers. It's a wonderful thing. Gate 1 is disgusting to charge you that fee to fix a problem you didn't cause. Why did they charge it? Because they CAN. Grubby.
 
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We recently booked 3 flights (multi-city) on Delta, all with changes in Atlanta. All flights were domestic. Several of the proposed connection times ranged from 38 minutes to 54 minutes. We know the Atlanta airport fairly well, but we're no longer fast enough to deboard one plane, find an elevator (I don't do escalators very well), get on the subway train, get to the next terminal (we've never had connecting flights in the same terminal), find an elevator, find the next gate, and stand in line to board the next flight. Usually, we spring for Delta Comfort, but it was not offered on the flights we chose when we booked. All have connection times of 2+ hours.
 
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Oct 10, 2015
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I would question the introduction of MCT (minimum connection time) into the argument of whether the airline should allow the passenger a free re-change after a schedule change not to the passenger's liking. If we have to introduce the COC (contract of carriage) into the argument, the customer should argue that the "airline is not using its best efforts" when it refuses to re-accommodate a passenger at no extra charge following a schedule change. Here it would be because the customer contended that the chances of missing the connection were greatly increased by the schedule change and that alternate flights the customer hand picked would alleviate that. Would that argument hold up in a courtroom if not in the airline's headquarter's board room or in front of an agent in the room where passengers wait to board a plane?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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I would question the introduction of MCT (minimum connection time) into the argument of whether the airline should allow the passenger a free re-change after a schedule change not to the passenger's liking. If we have to introduce the COC (contract of carriage) into the argument, the customer should argue that the "airline is not using its best efforts" when it refuses to re-accommodate a passenger at no extra charge following a schedule change. Here it would be because the customer contended that the chances of missing the connection were greatly increased by the schedule change and that alternate flights the customer hand picked would alleviate that. Would that argument hold up in a courtroom if not in the airline's headquarter's board room or in front of an agent in the room where passengers wait to board a plane?
The Contract of Carriage for most airlines specifically mentions that the airline does not guarantee the schedule — and most airlines have a published policy of how significant a time change warrants a free change.

Saying the chances are increased before hand will not hold much, neither will arguing that the airline has to use its best efforts. So I do not think this argument would be successful anywhere — court room or board room.

The MCT is the minimum — when the airline assumes responsibility to rebook. There are people that like short connections — usually business flyers— that sit at front of cabin (economy or business/first) with only carry on and know the airport well— that do not want mandatory long connections.

I have been offered short connections at major airports such as ORD O’Hare — and there are times I could have made it in the 40 mins offered but I do not want to chance it.

The OP did the right thing here — as soon as the schedule change was noticed the OP tried to get the tickets changed. Many of the airlines are reasonable with this and I thought the OP had a good outcome— but then the airline may not budge if a 90 minute connection becomes an 85 minute connection.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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The Contract of Carriage for most airlines specifically mentions that the airline does not guarantee the schedule — and most airlines have a published policy of how significant a time change warrants a free change.

Saying the chances are increased before hand will not hold much, neither will arguing that the airline has to use its best efforts. So I do not think this argument would be successful anywhere — court room or board room.

The MCT is the minimum — when the airline assumes responsibility to rebook. There are people that like short connections — usually business flyers— that sit at front of cabin (economy or business/first) with only carry on and know the airport well— that do not want mandatory long connections.

I have been offered short connections at major airports such as ORD O’Hare — and there are times I could have made it in the 40 mins offered but I do not want to chance it.

The OP did the right thing here — as soon as the schedule change was noticed the OP tried to get the tickets changed. Many of the airlines are reasonable with this and I thought the OP had a good outcome— but then the airline may not budge if a 90 minute connection becomes an 85 minute connection.
The circumstances of the itinerary are also important. In the OP's case a connection to a once a day flight demands being conservative because the consequences can have a impact on the trip. However, arriving on an infrequent international flight to connect to a domestic route that has several options per day I will chance a close connection, since if I miss it I have options to get home.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I agree with FrankL183 about circumstances — one should also look at time of year— is it winter and may snow — or holiday times when flights are often full—is it a large airport where distances can be significant from gate to gate?

I tend to be more conservative as I would rather take a stroll through a terminal instead of a panicked dash.
 
Oct 10, 2015
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What good is selecting flights based on the circumstances of the itinerary, or time of year when it may snow, or because you can't run for the next plane that fast, or being more conservative, if the airline can change the schedule and say that the new flights meet MCT and call it a day and pick a fight with you unless you are willing to pay more?

What good is it when the new assigned flights are within 90 minutes of dada dada so as not to earn you a free re-change but you accept those flights and miss the connection due to no fault of your own (although possibly due to some incapability of your own) and end up at your destination late by much more than that 90 minute amount?
 
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CTP

Dec 26, 2014
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What good is selecting flights based on the circumstances of the itinerary, or time of year when it may snow, or because you can't run for the next plane that fast, or being more conservative, if the airline can change the schedule and say that the new flights meet MCT and call it a day and pick a fight with you unless you are willing to pay more?

What good is it when the new assigned flights are within 90 minutes of dada dada so as not to earn you a free re-change but you accept those flights and miss the connection due to no fault of your own (although possibly due to some incapability of your own) and end up at your destination late by much more than that 90 minute amount?
Those are legitimate concerns, which is why it is important to understand exactly what risk you are taking when you book a flight. The risks might lead you to do things such as purchase refundable tickets, purchase trip insurance, or book on airlines that have the best change/cancellation policy. Reading on sites like this one might get the impression that changes in flight times, missed flights, etc happen much more often than they really do, and that is another risk to consider. When things go wrong, sites such as this provide good advice on how to interact with the airline/hotel/car rental agency/travel agency or booking site, to get the optimum results from the disaster being experienced. What cannot be stressed enough in all of this is doing the full research. Reading all the conditions and terms, and when they are confusing ask about them. Ensure you understand exactly what the airline/hotel/car rental agency/travel agency or booking site responsibilities are as well as your own as the traveller.

If you are not a frequent flyer/stay/renter, you have a bigger risk than those that are, so do what you can to mitigate your risks. When the worst case happens, keep positive. Remind yourself, this will be a great story to tell once you have survived it, so look at what will make the story more fun to relate.
 
Oct 10, 2015
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Christina H said, "Saying the chances are increased before hand will not hold much, neither will arguing that the airline has to use its best efforts. So I do not think this argument would be successful anywhere — court room or board room."

I heartily disagree with the preceding.

FrankL183 said, "The circumstances of the itinerary are also important. "

I heartily agree with this.

CTP said, "The risks might lead you to do things such as purchase refundable tickets, purchase trip insurance, or book on airlines that have the best change/cancellation policy. "

I still contend that the contract of carriage is open to interpretation which may better define for which risks suggested preceding it would behoove the passenger to select which actions stated preceding. Interpretation includes what weight "use its best efforts" has relative to other provisions. My interpretation is that minimum connection time is a parameter that the traveler can use to plan a trip but is not a parameter that an airline can use to define or constrain what the passenger is entitled to following an airline initiated schedule change. (I suppose that the connection time the passenger originally had (conceding to Christina H: give or take a small number of minutes) would be a suitable governing parameter.) Granted, the passenger should work with the airline but in case of irreconcilable differences, an impartial third party for example a court should not be ruled out to figure out the right thing to do.
 
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