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Is 35 minutes enough time to connect flights at ATL on a Monday afternoon?

prozac4312 6,879 2,119 February 2, 2012 at 09:43 AM
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I'm looking at flights, and these are my two connection options:

IAH for 3 hours
ATL for 35 minutes

Obviously, if I can avoid a 3 hour layover, that's preferable, however I'm not sure 35 minutes is going to be enough time to connect flights at the busiest airport in the country on a Monday afternoon...especially if my arriving flight is running behind schedule. Anyone got firsthand experience with ATL?

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#2
That would mostly depend on whether your connection was out of the same terminal or not. Although transferring terminals at ATL doesn't take more than 2 minutes wait on the train.

However, so long as your flights are on the same ticket/PNR, if your arrival is late, your carrier will put you on the next avail flight for your destination (theoretically, tickets are un-issuable if the connection time isn't accepted as permissible).

Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
I'm looking at flights, and these are my two connection options:

IAH for 3 hours
ATL for 35 minutes

Obviously, if I can avoid a 3 hour layover, that's preferable, however I'm not sure 35 minutes is going to be enough time to connect flights at the busiest airport in the country on a Monday afternoon...especially if my arriving flight is running behind schedule. Anyone got firsthand experience with ATL?
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#3
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
I'm looking at flights, and these are my two connection options:

IAH for 3 hours
ATL for 35 minutes

Obviously, if I can avoid a 3 hour layover, that's preferable, however I'm not sure 35 minutes is going to be enough time to connect flights at the busiest airport in the country on a Monday afternoon...especially if my arriving flight is running behind schedule. Anyone got firsthand experience with ATL?
Clearly the only correct answer is "it depends".
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#4
Quote from KarlynS View Post :
That would mostly depend on whether your connection was out of the same terminal or not. Although transferring terminals at ATL doesn't take more than 2 minutes wait on the train.

However, so long as your flights are on the same ticket/PNR, if your arrival is late, your carrier will put you on the next avail flight for your destination (theoretically, tickets are un-issuable if the connection time isn't accepted as permissible).
The whole flight with connection at ATL is via Delta and the whole flight with connection at IAH is via Continental--so either way I go, I'm not going to change airlines (and thusly not terminals, right?).
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#5
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
The whole flight with connection at ATL is via Delta and the whole flight with connection at IAH is via Continental--so either way I go, I'm not going to change airlines (and thusly not terminals, right?).
If its Delta, even if your arrival is late, you prob won't have to wait longer than an hr or 2 for new flight (so long as your final destination isn't a small airport). ATL is Delta's home, and they have several hundred flights departing daily (so re-routing you through another city even, if necessary, won't be difficult).

Because ATL is their main hub though, they have more than one terminal (each terminal takes about 10-15 minutes walking end-to-end, with trains located at center of terminal). At worst, if your flight is running late & your gates are at the far ends of the terminals, just ask your flight attendant if they can arrange a golf caddy to zip you to opposing ends.
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#6
Quote from KarlynS View Post :
If its Delta, even if your arrival is late, you prob won't have to wait longer than an hr or 2 for new flight (so long as your final destination isn't a small airport). ATL is Delta's home, and they have several hundred flights departing daily (so re-routing you through another city even, if necessary, won't be difficult).

Because ATL is their main hub though, they have more than one terminal (each terminal takes about 10-15 minutes walking end-to-end, with trains located at center of terminal). At worst, if your flight is running late & your gates are at the far ends of the terminals, just ask your flight attendant if they can arrange a golf caddy to zip you to opposing ends.
Alright...thanks. I went ahead and booked the flight that connects at ATL...my final destination is Cleveland...so not too small of an airport.
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#7
is it 35 mins to departure or boardin?
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#8
Quote from Count_Chocula View Post :
is it 35 mins to departure or boardin?
Departure...I land at 9a and the flight leaves at 9:35a.
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#9
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
Departure...I land at 9a and the flight leaves at 9:35a.
was thinkin if it was just boardin time, that would buy you some extra time. i'd go for it, would suggest you try to get row 1 seat on iah flight so you can get off asap
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#10
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
I'm looking at flights, and these are my two connection options:

IAH for 3 hours
ATL for 35 minutes

Obviously, if I can avoid a 3 hour layover, that's preferable, however I'm not sure 35 minutes is going to be enough time to connect flights at the busiest airport in the country on a Monday afternoon...especially if my arriving flight is running behind schedule. Anyone got firsthand experience with ATL?
When you board the plane, tell a stewardess you have a very tight connection and see if she'll arrange for a motor escort to take you from your arriving gate to your departing gate.

Also, ask her what gate you'll be arriving at and what gate you'll be departing at. This will give you an idea of if you'll have to run or use a jet-pack.

You're taking a pretty big gamble (as you probably already know) because if your flight is even the slightest bit late (or other things I'll get to later), you very well may not make it. I'm not trying to be negative, I'm simply trying to be realistic with you. 35 minutes is not a lot of time because they don't define "arrival" as when the gate door opens. That can be 10, 15, or 20 minutes or more after they have "arrived".

Yes, Hartsfield is the busiest airport in the country, but that won't affect you too much. It's when you have to go through Security Theater there and deal with all the TSA goons that slows you waaaaaaaaay down. Since you won't have to deal with those, um, people, you won't have much between your arriving gate and your departing gate except distance.

I've flown in and out of Atlanta hundreds and hundreds of times. I know the airport like the back of my hand. What you hope is your arriving flight and departing flight are in the same concourse. Since your not flying Delta, more than likely they will be on the same concourse (although this is not a hard and fast rule). You have that going for you. Your three biggest things that may hold you up are: 1. Your flight arriving late, 2. Having to wait for a gate to open up so the plane can taxi up to the jetway, and 3. Slow gate attendants.

Just keep in mind that the gate door to your departing flight will close 20 minutes before the flight is scheduled to leave. So, you'll essentially have 15 minutes from the scheduled arrival to the time you need to be walking down the jetway of your departing flight.

Ideally, you should keep your bag under your seat and try for an aisle seat as close to the doors (if it's a big plane ask the flight attendants which door you'll be exiting out of before you take off) as possible. Then, the second the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign goes off, grab your bag, jump out of your seat, and walk as fast as you can for the door. This may seem like overkill, but seconds do count in the airport, and being first or last out of the door can mean several minutes. It's much better to arrive at your departing gate early than getting there only to realize they just shut the doors to the jetway.
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Last edited by Brian1 February 2, 2012 at 11:10 PM
#11
It seems like there are a ton of risk takers here. I'm surprised that 35 minutes is even a legal connection. Either way you've already booked your ticket, so good luck. Come back and let us know how it worked out.
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#12
This has gotten me worried about a flight I've got booked... I only have 25 minutes to switch.. Would an airline offer me connecting flights if it wasn't possible to make it the next plane?? I'm flying into St. Louis on Southwest.
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#13
Quote from DavidD458 View Post :
This has gotten me worried about a flight I've got booked... I only have 25 minutes to switch.. Would an airline offer me connecting flights if it wasn't possible to make it the next plane?? I'm flying into St. Louis on Southwest.
Wow, 25 minutes? No way. That will give you about five minutes from the time the pilot sets the parking brake (not from the time the door opens) to the time you need to be inside the jetway of your next flight. I don't see that happening - I'm sorry. I'd rebook to another flight for free since you're on Southwest.
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#14
Wish I would have seen this soooner. NO 35 min is NOT enough for a Delta connection in Atlanta. If you are mid way or towards back of plane it will take you a min of 10 min to get OFF plane. IF you are lucky and you are in the same terminal you MAY catch your flight.

I had a 45 min layover in Atlanta. Plane was 15 min late and the new flight was from one terminal to the next. RAN my ass off and took the terminal transportation. Got to gate, plane was there but Delta shut the door and told me I was SOL. Along with the other 12 people that just came from the SAME flight. DELTA sucks ass and will not wait even if they have 15 passengers.

Good Luck! Hope you get lucky
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#15
Quote from DavidD458 View Post :
This has gotten me worried about a flight I've got booked... I only have 25 minutes to switch.. Would an airline offer me connecting flights if it wasn't possible to make it the next plane?? I'm flying into St. Louis on Southwest.

YOU will be fine though. I usually fly Southwest which is why I thought my Delta atlanta connection would be fine with 45 min layover. #1 Southwest is usually early and #2 they WILL hold a flight a bit if they have many passengers coming from another flight (which likely they do) and #3 in St. Louis you will be within a couple gates to your connecting flight.
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