Very shot connection time

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 11, 2018
2
1
1
71
#1
We got a great deal using frequent flyer miles to fly first class on Delta from SFO to Paris. After I made the reservation I realized that there are only 40 minutes between our projected arrival time in Seattle where we make our connection and the departure time for out flight to CDG. Even if our flight is on time it will be a close call to make it to our departing flight in Seattle. If our departure from SFO is delayed at all as a consequence of fog or other factors we will miss our flight. What obligation does Delta have to get us on another flight to Paris in First Class? Also we have a reservation for a flight that we paid for that departs CDG in the afternoon of our arrival. If we miss our flight to Paris we will probably miss that flight as well.
I called Delta agents and they were totally unsympathetic and told me there was no way to make any changes without canceling the entire reservation. I sent an e-mail to customer service and never got a response. It doesn't seem right to offer an itinerary with such a short connection time, but one Delta agent told me it was legal.
Thank you for any advice.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
887
1,449
93
45
#2
@Larry Levin ... Short answer is that based on everything I can find the MCT (minimum connection time) as SEA is 40 min which makes your itinerary barely legal. Its probably why you got such a great deal. No one else wanted that connection.

Couple of options now
1. Depending on the amount of time until the flight, you can take the "hope for a schedule change" method. I've done this before and even a small schedule change on either flight can make this connection tolerable or illegal. If it becomes illegal, its a free change (although they might hit you for a higher fare). Either way, problem solved.
2. Bite the bullet and rebook now.

Your flight out of CDG is too close regardless. I'd either try to reschedule it or make sure you have a back up in your pocket if things go south.

If you miss your flight, DL has a obligation to put you one their next itinerary to CDG in your fare class. That could be a connection through ATL, or somewhere else, that day or a week away.
 
Dec 26, 2014
107
176
43
66
#3
Most of the Delta flights are in the "South" terminal, so you are most likely to deplane a very short walk to your next flight which would even give you time for a restroom break or a chance to grab a snack/water if your flight is on time. If by some chance you need to switch terminals there are little trains that circle between the S terminal and the A & B gates, the trains run every two minutes and are short, so that does not take up as much time as walking to the gate once you get to the gates area. Getting from the last gate in the A gates to gates that are located at the end of C (about the farthest apart as you can get, and happens every once in a while on an Alaska flight) can be done if you are able to walk at a decent clip. I think that is why the 40 minute connection time is "legal".
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,767
13,213
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
I would never leave this to chance. Change it now. If a travel agent had booked that- they never would have left you with that short of a connection. Legal and practical are two totally different things. I suggest nothing less then 2 hours for a connection.

When you book air, it’s not always about price or the amount of miles - you need to carefully check everything.
 
Jul 13, 2016
143
261
63
56
#5
With an international flight, that flight will already be boarding in SEA when the SFO flight lands. The only good thing about this scenario, is that the passengers are in first class and they will be first off the SFO plane. Also, they won't have to fight for overhead bin space!
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,704
3,919
113
48
#7
As others have noted Delta uses concourses A B and S in Seattle. Transatlantic flights tend to leave from S and SFO SEA arrives at A B and S depending on the flight.

Please note that Delta closes boarding around 15 minutes prior to departure which means there is really about 25 minutes of a window.

SEA does not have too bad ATC problems unless bad rain and fog — SFO is a concern.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,767
13,213
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
With an international flight, that flight will already be boarding in SEA when the SFO flight lands. The only good thing about this scenario, is that the passengers are in first class and they will be first off the SFO plane. Also, they won't have to fight for overhead bin space!
But the issue is their seats might be given away by the time they get to the gate.

And if their originating flight is late by 15 minutes they can kiss that connection goodbye.

What if there are no more seats left on flights after that one?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,971
6,839
113
San Francisco
#10
I would just cancel and rebook. If your connection is missed, you'll probably be flying in coach from SEA. To me, that would be worse than death! The redeposit fee for miles can't be too bad. Problem is finding another "good deal" for SkyMiles. I just went through this with Virgin Atlantic direct SFO to Manchester. It cost me "a fortune" to rebook, even tho it was theoretically "free" because Virgin cancelled the new direct Manchester route. There's really no way to win here without spending more miles/cash. I would call SkyMiles again (and maybe yet again) to get an agent on the phone who wants to help you. It's so easy to get excited about a really good deal on miles, but the reality is that you have to be just as careful booking with miles as with cash. I am contemplating switching my loyalty from United to Delta, so please come back and let us know the outcome, I'm very interested.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,767
13,213
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
We’ve seen many cases of people with short connections getting to the gate after the boarding time printed on their passes (5 and 10 minutes before the flight is to leave) and their seats were already given away to standby.

I just wouldn’t chance it- but that’s me. And I wouldn’t chance it for a client either.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
881
793
93
#13
Even if you make it on the plane, your luggage won't. I would change your flight.
If you booked it all in one reservation then the airline is responsible for getting you and your luggage there. Did you make this as one reservation or as two?
 
Apr 11, 2018
2
1
1
71
#15
Thank you for all your comments. I booked it all as one reservation including the return flight from Europe (Amsterdam) to SFO. I have been checking the cost of flights either using miles or paying and it is now fairly expensive even for coach. I can try calling SkyMiles again and see if I can get a sympathetic agent. Will definitely give a follow up report.
 
Likes: jsn55
Oct 10, 2015
25
17
3
67
#16
You booked it that way so you should be prepared to live with it that way.

Meanwhile (for those eavesdropping) if the airline changed your flights leaving you with an uncomfortably short connection time my stance is that the airline should give you a free reselection of flights even if their change still met minimum connection time standards. By my stance, I say it is worth writing to higher up and to higher up if you do not get satisfaction on the first customer service phone call.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,767
13,213
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
You booked it that way so you should be prepared to live with it that way.

Meanwhile (for those eavesdropping) if the airline changed your flights leaving you with an uncomfortably short connection time my stance is that the airline should give you a free reselection of flights even if their change still met minimum connection time standards. By my stance, I say it is worth writing to higher up and to higher up if you do not get satisfaction on the first customer service phone call.
The airline normally would but in this case there is no other flight leaving the connecting airport tjT day so the option is chance it orvsee if there is an alternate airport they can use, which is what the writer has stated.