Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

What is Delta's responsibility for missed connection??

What is Delta's responsibility for missed connection??

Feb 25th, 2010, 05:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 469
What is Delta's responsibility for missed connection??

I have reservations booked with Delta from Prague to JFK and then on to Ft. Lauderdale. Originally, there was a 3 1/2 hour layover at JFK....a comfortable time usually for retrieving luggage, customs, passport control, security, and changing terminals for the second flight.

Now, Delta changed the schedule....with a layover of only 1 hour and 50 minutes at JFK. So I am wondering...WHAT IS DELTA'S RESPONSIBLITY TO ME IF I MISS THIS SECOND DELTA FLIGHT BECAUSE OF ALL THESE ISSUES (customs, passport, security, luggage, terminal change, etc.) EVEN IF THE FIRST FLIGHT IS ON TIME????

There is only one later Delta flight to Ft. Lauderdale that day. Delta will let me re-book my flight without charge. But that later flight would mean a 5-hour layover at JFK. ...not something to look forward to.

If it were just a matter of changing terminals, I might not mind this tighter connection. But adding in uncertain luggage retrieval, passport control, customs, and security is what makes me very nervous about this new schedule.

I DO have travel insurance.


2. Is 1 hour and 50 minutes considered a "legal" connection?

3. WHAT IS DELTA REQUIRED to do for me if I am unable to get on the second flight.

4. Is Delta required to find me another flight that night EVEN IF IT'S ON ANOTHER AIRLINE?

5. If I can't get booked on another flight that night, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING FOR A HOTEL ROOM? MEALS? for that night? Is it Delta? Airport? Insurance? Me?

Thanks for any help and information.
suntravler is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Chances of making the connection are better than even. If you miss the connection Delta is responsible for getting you on the the next available flight. If that flight is the next day, Delta will pay for a room, meals, and usually a small cash payment.

Whether they will buy you a ticket on another airline depends on the terms of your current ticket. Specifically, whether your ticket is endorseable or not. Check your ticket's terms to see if it is.

You may be able to mitigate the problems if, when you miss the ticketed flight, you can be flexible enough to fly to Miami or West Palm Beach.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,148
1) Pretty Good
2) Yes
3) It depends upon the cause of the delay
4) Not really
5) It depends upon the cause of the delay

The short of it is that if the delay is caused by something out of DL's control (FAA, weather, etc), then they aren't really required to do much to help you out, other than putting you on the next flight with seats. If it is caused by their fault (such as mechanical issue), then they will help you out.

At the end of the day, though, I think this is a pretty safe connection time. Yes, security and passport control can be a pain, but it isn't usually so bad as to eat up nearly 2 hours. As for the terminal change, it is really one terminal, so that is pretty much a non-issue.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 25th, 2010, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,933
I'd leave it as it is. Chances are, you'll make the connection, and if not will most likely be put on the flight 3 hours later. This is better than locking yourself into a 5 hour layover.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 09:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 469
THANKS to all for these helpful replies. I really appreciate your taking the time to help me out. I don't usually fly through JFK so I am not familiar with the formalities of customs, passport control, etc. there. I know when I go through passport control at FLL, I could be standing in line for 45 minutes. So I especially appreciate the input from those of you who are familiar with these issues at JFK and also the useful information about what flyers are entitled to in these situations.

Thanks again.
suntravler is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
dissenting voice here...if you arrive at JFK with other large planes arriving it can take a while. And as we learned MANY years ago, if your flight from Europe is delayed for something beyond Delta's control, (weather, security issues etc) they don;t have to do ANYTHING except get you on the next flight with open seats.

And "with open seats" is the key. You are treated as a high-priority standby on the next flight. IF the next flight out is full up and oyu can't get a seat, and the next flight is the next day, you will wait till the next day with NO help from the airline.

I would say, more people post here compplaining that they missed their connection and the airline did nothing, than "I had to spend 4 hours in JFK and it killed me."
mztery is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 03:43 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
When is your trip? Starting Monday, JFK's longest runway will be closed for reconstruction. The work is expected to take four months and cause major delays for flights coming in and going out. If you're flying during that four-month period, I would definitely never chance this. Rebook the later flight.

Someone mentioned above that Delta would pay for your hotel if you end up having to stay overnight. No, they won't. Only if the delay is for a mechanical reason. If it's weather or long lines in immigration and customs that cause you to miss your second flight, all Delta is obligated to do is get you on a later flight. Mztery hit it on the head above. They'll put you on the next flight out WITH AVAILABLE SEATS.

Even if you're flying outside the four-month construction period, I'd book the later flight.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
When are you going? There is a nonstop flight from Atlanta to Prague that usually starts up at the end of April or early May.
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi dutyfree, the OP is asking about his Delta flight from Prague to JFK and than onto to Fort Lauderdale.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Exactly-the return flight would be Prague to Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale which would allow him to bypass the hassle of JFK.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 08:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 469
Hi, Jeff-Costa-Rica... THANK YOU for clarifying those details for me....especially about Delta paying for a hotel room.

My trip is later in the month. And all those details you mention are important points. I had decided to keep things the way they are now scheduled. But then I read this morning in the paper about the runway problem. And now I'm undecided again.

If I do miss my connection, I DO have the travel insurance to fall back on. But now I have to decide if I want to gamble with that aggravation. I'll have to wrestle with this decision a bit more.

Thanks again for all the replies.
suntravler is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,140
A couple of weeks ago our Delta flight out of Logan was cancelled due to 'expected' bad weather in Atlanta where we were connecting to St. Lucia.

We were initially rebooked to fly out the following morning BUT we would still miss our connection in Atlanta and have to overnight there (missing yet another day of our vacation!).

The desk clerk worked with us and we went standby on the next flight out (it was full but we got on and didn't have to gate check our bags, phew).

On arrival in Atlanta we'd missed our original connection by just 30 mins. We talked to a guy at an information desk where we were confirmed on the flight to St. Lucia the next day.

We asked about accommodation and were offered the Delta rate ($50 per room ) at 3 airport hotels. We chose one and were given a coupon for the hotel which turned out to cover the cost ... I don't think they were widely advertising that they were paying for hotels as they state it's not their policy due to weather cancellations but I guess out of goodwill they did so it's worth asking...

Good luck! I'd stick to your guns with the earlier flight but I quite like an airport adrenaline rush!!
sassy_cat is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2010, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 58
I would go with the earlier flight. Last time we flew Delta into JFK, there were weather delays and a bunch of planes came in around the same time. Immigation was still pretty fast but baggage collection was a nightmare and every single person had to pass through the customs officers (only two of them!) on the way out. If one more family with three kids and three overloaded baggage carts had tried to run over my foot, I would have gone postal!
kfoster2047 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
I'm not sure what good travel INS is if you are standing in jfk having missed your flight. - they nay einburse you but you still have to find a flight with room
mztery is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421

I'd rather "look forward" to a few extra hours at an airport (which is not as long as you'd presume) than the stress of worrying about making a too short connection, or rushing all about only to miss the flight anyway.

For one thing, just because there is a later flight does not mean that you will be able to get on it.

And, it is essential to check the fine print in your travel insurance policy for covered reasons and their definitions (which vary from one insurer to the next) and the daily limit (for things like a hotel, transportation, etc.), and, most especially: exclusions. For example, $100/day, even $200/day, is not going to go very far at JFK. And, if there are a lot of delays/cancellations due to weather, all the airport hotels may be completely full by the time you get there. It all depends on the coverage in your particular policy.

A 5 hour layover is not as convenient as a 3-1/2 hour layover would have been, but it's far better than an under 2 hours connection. I'd rather have lots of time to spare than be going crazy over every detail along the way.
djkbooks is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,062
I've come into JFK from overseas many times and have never waited very long at immigration.

We did get stranded there during the St Patrick's day ice storm 3 years ago and slept on the floor of the Delta baggage claim area--carpet and warmest place we could find. Travel insurance was useless--no rooms to be had in NY. It really sucked.

You shouldn't run into a problem like that, though, so you just have to decide whether you'd rather wait longer for a pretty sure thing or chance being inconvenienced by a delay.
mowmow is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:19 PM.