What Delta did to us in Calgary to USA

Mar 10th, 2010, 08:01 AM
  #1  
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What Delta did to us in Calgary to USA

Ridiculous. The rule is, you cannot check in for your Int'l flight until 2 hours before the flight. Next, gates close one hour prior to a flight. That gives you an hour window to check in, check your luggage through, pick it up then run it back through, go through customs, then security. I'm sure Delta was fully aware that they had a full flight that day going to Minneapolis. However, when they opened the checkin, there was one agent for all those people and all that luggage. The line barely moved for 45 min. Within 20 min they had another agent, but it wasn't until we were about to turn away 1/3 of the passengers that a third and fourth agent were added. Meanwhile, 5 West Jet agents sat quietly at their counters swiftly checking in their passengers and shaking their heads at the atrocity. Most all of us already had our boarding passes from the kiosks as well. It left us with barely enough time to grab a sandwich and drink.

A fellow behind me said this happens frequently in Canada . So, heads up!
LLindaC is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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The same nearly happened to us in Ft Lauderdale. There is a way around this rule, of course! And this is all about money.

There is a curbside check-in that is "free" but they collect tips. We could've checked our luggage in 4 hours prior to the flight! I think we did 3 hrs prior.
Dayenu is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Is this a Canada rule? Never heard of being unable to check in no more than 2 hours before an international flight.
boom_boom is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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I haven't waited in line to checkin in years. Doesn't DL have on-line checkin or kiosk checkin with a quick bag drop, like every other airline? Maybe it's a Canada thing.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Flying from Canada to the US, you do US immigration and customs before boarding the plane, instead of upon arrival in the States, so curbside bag-check isn't available. Bags stay with you through US entry formalities, then are dropped off with the airline.
kayd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Exactly. You cannot curb check. You can check in online and get boarding passes, but you still must stand in line to put luggage through. What a mess!
LLindaC is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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So to review: You made your flight, you had enough time to grab a sandwich and a drink. I'm not sure I understand what the big problem was. Is Delta's policy any different from the other airlines? I'm guessing WestJet has a bigger operation in Calgary, which explains why it would have more agents.
andrews98682 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 06:44 PM
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You are joking, right?
LLindaC is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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andrew is not joking. DL's goal is to process all the passengers and get the flight out in time, with the fewest possible agents (i.e. lowest cost). Sounds like mission accomplished.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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I can't speak to anything specific to Canada here, but this seems standard procedure at any airport where an airline has a small presence. For example, Delta at Calgary. I'm sure Delta has determined that this level of staffing at check-in will accommodate all the passengers. It sounds like it did.

As they say, no harm, no foul.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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I've encountered the two-hour situation in many foreign airports where the US carrier operates few flights. They only staff the check-in counter for a limited window. I don't know how many flights DL operates out of Calgary, but if it's only very few and they're not spaced over time, that's what you encountered. And it might not have been DL agents at the check-in counter. Carriers often contract with other airlines to staff their check-in counters and gates. Those West Jet agents may have been the slackers.
EricH is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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EricH is correct when he says that contract agents are used in smaller cities or cities that only have a few flights particularly in foreign countries.I have run into this with my own airline.
I think that your problem was a combination of the new Canadian flight laws and contract agents or lack of.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Forgot to add , the agents that my airline uses overseas in places like Africa are that the agents who check you in while also being the ones that bring the flights in and out so there is a reason for the one hour rule. Security and no one at the front desks!Smaller operation.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Even at my hometown airport in the Midwest, the agent I see at the check-in counter will be the same agent working the flight at the gate. These are just small operations at some airports. I don't hear any tales of people missing their flights because the check-in lines are so long, so the staffing must adequate.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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As others pointed out, I'm not joking. I'm not necessarily saying the situation is ideal, but the bottom line is: You made your flight and had enough time to grab a bite. In other words, mission accomplished.
andrews98682 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2010, 08:39 PM
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Bull s***

We left Banff early (21/2 hours) to get our rental car back and make the 2 hour window. We did not have breakfast. They made us wait on concrete a hell of a long time. The sandwich we "grabbed" was at a cheap kiosk. I have dietary restrictions and ate 1 item on that sandwich. 2 hour flight with peanuts, some diabetics could have died.

I have flown all over the world, and this was an abortion.
LLindaC is offline  
Mar 13th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Did you contact Delta and express your dissatisfaction? What was their response?
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Mar 13th, 2010, 10:57 PM
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Good thing that you didn't fly some other airlines or you wouldn't have gotten even peanuts.Most airlines do not have meal services under so many miles or hours-always check ahead of time. Was it a real mainline plane or a commuter?
I tell passengers constantly that you should always have some type of snack in your purse,carryon or whatever-things like CLiFF bars have major protein and are perfect for when you are needing a pick me up.
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Mar 14th, 2010, 04:10 AM
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I'm sorry to hear that Delta did all these things to you.

They checked you in, and the flight left on time, with you and your luggage on board. So you had to wait in line. Welcome to travel to the US 2010. BFD.

Let's see how you helped yourself in this situation. You have dietary restrictions. You didn't eat breakfast. You didn't bring any food with you. You expected the airline to provide food on a 2hr flight.

Your rant goes nowhere with me, especially this new rant about food, when you clearly neglected to do even the bare minimum to take care of yourself. Welcome to common sense traveling 2010.
ipod_robbie is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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LlindaC - I understand your frustration with the airlines' general lack of concern for their paying customers - write to your congressman or woman and see if they can get the customers' rights bill passed in Congress.

I also see your point that, yes, you made it but you could just have easily not made it with that hour window and that sort of stress can make a trip more unpleasant than it has to be.

Asian airlines actually treat their customers well - being nice costs nothing. Sometimes,a similr situation, handled with a smile, makes things so much more pleasant.
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