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Atlanta international transfer time

Is 1 hour 19 minutes enough time to transfer between flights ....Delta domestic .....Air France international. Thanks, Jenny

Posted by
3713 posts

If your flights run on time, yes, it's plenty of time, especially since Delta typically builds an extra 15-20 minutes into flight times. If your flight is late and you miss your connection, Delta (or Air France if ticket purchased through them) will place you on a later flight, assuming your two flights were purchased as a single ticket.

I fly Delta frequently and through Atlanta frequently. Delta is really good at running time. Thunderstorms in Atlanta can make things fall apart, though. I personally usually go for 3-4 hour connections for international flights at Atlanta, just to give extra time for random things that can happen (like the time a general aviation aircraft had its landing gear collapse on the runway at my local airport, closing the runway for about 90 minutes while it was cleared).

Posted by
78 posts

I really, really appreciate your comment.....I am having to change travel plans and your kindness in taking the time to advise is very much appreciated! I’m thinking I’m may just gamble and try the short layover.......Jenny

Posted by
2117 posts

On a day without hiccups, probably. I have a bit of advice based on my personal experience in ATL (many of them NOT good). Study the ATL airport maps and transport options between terminals - the airport has an easy layout, but it doesn't hurt to know ahead of time. You can check where the flights you're planning to take typically arrive and depart - I use Flightaware to check prior flights (it gives you gate numbers, handy!). If you can, select a seat on your domestic flight close to the front to give you as much time as possible to transfer (if there's a delay on your domestic flight, every minute counts). Ask when you check in domestic if they can validate your passport and check you in for your international flight so you don't have to do anything but walk right on the plane in ATL.

Posted by
1075 posts

Which terminals will you transfer between? ATL is my home airport and I personally think it’s one of the more efficient airports given its size and number of travelers. There is a fast and frequent train between terminals. What time of year are you fly? As a PP said, heavy rain throws Atlanta off frequently in the summer. I would prefer about a 2-hour transfer but I think yours is doable provided both legs are on one ticket and you have trip insurance.

Posted by
2290 posts

My daughter had a similar connection when traveling to Spain. The flight was delayed from our airport and she missed her connection to Spain. Delta put her up in a hotel and she had to wait until the next day to fly.

She was in the back of the plane. If you are going to have this right of a connection, do try to be in the front of the plane. The few minutes can make a difference.

Posted by
7899 posts

I lived in Atlanta many years, and have traveled out of Hartsville-Jackson Airport often. I wouldn't risk such a short connection for an international flight.
We have been flying through New York or Boston recently to Europe. We really prefer to transfer over to flights going out of Orlando or Charlotte.

Posted by
2447 posts

We flew to and from Italy with connections in Atlanta. I had not flown through Atlanta before. I would not book with that tight of connection times. You’ll have to hustle from domestic gates to international. And that’s if your incoming flight is not delayed and you don’t have mobility issues. Our flights were on time but a friend’s return flight was delayed four hours due to weather.

Edit to add: CL, Delta would not validate our passports on the domestic leg of our outbound flight, only at the international gate.

Posted by
6478 posts

If you haven’t purchased your ticket, yet, select a longer layover. If you miss it, you will likely be in the back of the next plane and possibly missing a day of your valuable vacation time. We aim for a 3-hour layover, so if our original flight leaves late, we still have a chance without stressing throughout the first flight.

Posted by
9140 posts

It is fine if all things are normal. Flying out of Tulsa, this is often what I do.

As someone mentioned above, ATL airport is set up very logically, and getting between the domestic and international terminals is a breeze.

If you miss the transfer , Delta has to get you on to Europe anyway.

Posted by
3972 posts

Is 1 hour 19 minutes enough time to transfer between flights ....Delta
domestic .....Air France international....I am having to change travel
plans and your kindness in taking the time to advise is very much
appreciated! I’m thinking I’m may just gamble and try the short


Jenny, Atlanta is huge. Beyond huge. You can't always depend on the train system to take you between Terminals T & E. Too many times there have been breakdowns and I have had to run and this was before my disability. If you're flying on 1 itinerary and you miss your Air France flight, the next flight could be the next day and it may be sold out. If you miss your flight because of weather or pretty much anything except a Delta mechanical issue, YOU have to pay for overnighting.

In addition, Air France will probably close its flight 30 minutes early so your 79 minute layover becomes a 49 minute layover.

If you miss the transfer , Delta has to get you on to Europe anyway.

Be careful when you say that because there is no immediacy on Delta's part. Delta can only do this on the next flight in which there is available seating. Plus, unless the OP misses the international flight because of a mechanical problem with her domestic flight, SHE will pay the expenses for overnighting at the Atlanta airport, not Delta.

Posted by
4374 posts

Atlanta is our home airport and we fly from there frequently. You'll arrive at one of the domestic terminals and depart from the international terminal. You can do that without leaving the secure area (I think -might have to stand corrected) simply by using the "plane train" between terminals. As someone mentioned, the airport is laid out very well but it is a very big place . IF all goes a planned you SHOULD make it. Having said that, however, I would not try it due to the fact that during the warm months the airport is subject to delays due to thunder storms. Better to have a longer connection time and endure some boredom than be stressed out about missing the connection at the beginning of the trip.

Posted by
372 posts

I fly once or twice a year from Nashville to Atlanta to Europe - - - most recently a month ago. You definitely do not need to go through security in Atlanta. Most international flights depart from Terminal E or the International Terminal, which are connected to the other terminals by the "Plane train" underground tram. The airport is very logically laid out. hour 19 minutes is a very tight connection from Delta domestic to Air France international, which I would not risk for these reasons:
1. It could easily take you 15 minutes to get from your domestic gate to your international gate.
2. International flights board earlier than do domestic flights.
3. Your incoming domestic flight might be delayed due to thunderstorms while your international flights departs on time.

Posted by
279 posts

Jenny, I note that you live in Pea Ridge, which to me implies that you will be flying out of Springfield, MO are Fayetteville, AR. The are small airports and summer time weather can easily affect your flights. Have flown through Atlanta from Springfield a numbers of times I would give myself at least three hours for the layover. Or more. On an outbound flight I want to be sure of my connections. On a home bound flight It less of an issue.

Posted by
996 posts

As others have said, if you booked all of this on one ticket, Delta (or it's partner Air France) will put you on the next available flight if you miss your connection. If your second flight is international, though, it may be the only flight of the day leaving for that destination. (Depends on where you're going, of course.) If that is the case, then you may have to wait until the next day for the next available flight.

If your first flight is on time, you should be fine. Atlanta is a great airport and easy to navigate.

I generally try to give myself a minimum of three hours for connecting flights, but sometimes that's not always possible. If you are worried about reaching your international destination by a specific time/date, you could always look at flying a day earlier OR booking travel insurance. Both will cost extra since arriving early means an extra night in the hotel. Trip insurance doesn't always cover 100% of all delays, but it may give you some options.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!!

Posted by
8204 posts

even if your flight is on time, it can take 15 minutes or more just to get off the plane if your not in the front rows. For Atlanta and a few other big, complicated airports, I like to print out a terminal map before I get there, so I can see more clearly which gate we're arriving at, and where we need to get to.

Posted by
9140 posts

Just to note that even if there are no more flights to say, Paris, that afternoon or evening, they could put you on a flight to somewhere else in Europe (e.g. Amsterdam) that evening that will connect to Paris. I.e. even if you miss the flight, you're not necessarily going to miss a whole day.

(I had this happen to me once in Chicago; United put me on a later flight that went through Frankfurt. Was it ideal? No. Did i get to Paris just a few hours later than I was originally supposed to? Yes.)

Posted by
2679 posts

I travel through this airport all the time. Honestly cannot recall the last time the plane train was down.

It’s easy to transfer and you should have enough time.

It’s just up to your comfort level but the “sky is falling” posts don’t reflect what I routinely experience

Posted by
1221 posts

I do about 5-6 round trips a year that involve connecting through the ATL. I've come to appreciate its generally easy and straightforward layout and how Delta tends to pad schedules in order to deal with a couple daily periods of ATC high congestion- yes it's normal to hold at origin for 15-20 minutes for southeastern short haul flights so that some traffic can clear and still have an on-time arrival.

But I've also had misconnects there due to summer thunderstorms causing ground stops and have come to give myself longer connections that time of year, which is pretty much the whole of May through the whole of September. If you're talking summer, I'd be reluctant to take a connection that short because I've been burned on a D to I connection that should have been safe since it was 2+ hours but stupid tornado warning lead to us losing one of our Scotland days because of misconnect.

Posted by
10526 posts

I’m thinking I’m may just gamble and try the short layover...

Be sure to research what flights leave after your scheduled flight, in case you miss it, so you know what the options are.

Posted by
3713 posts

I'm with Carol. I would guess close to 90 percent of my 30-40 connections per year at ATL are flawless (with transfer times as short as 45 minutes for domestic flights). It's really a matter of how much of a risk-taker you are and how detrimental to your trip a delay would be. Things in your favor:

  • If the guess on airports above is correct, you are almost certain to arrive in Atlanta on a regional jet, which should go into Concourse D. International flights go out of Concourses E and F.
  • It's rare that my inbound aircraft does not arrive at the gate 10-15 minutes early at Atlanta.
  • There are 4 daily flights to Paris from Atlanta. Flight #3 is an A380 which in my experience always has a good number of open seats to accommodate travelers who missed connections. I've also taken flight #4, which is on a 777 and departs at 10:40 pm; my experience with this flight is that there are generally open seats on it, too. Then there are the 4 daily flights to Amsterdam...
  • I've never experienced the plane train being down.
  • Finally, if it wasn't very likely that you would make the connection, Delta wouldn't sell it.

I'm generally not much of a gambler on connection times, but I once chanced a 60-minute international-to-Schengen transfer at CDG (Paris) due to the ticket being much cheaper than other options. As Delta is prone to do, it changed the times on flights, shrinking my scheduled transfer time to 45 minutes. I had already claimed a seat close to the exit, and the flight was an early morning arrival, so (with the encouragement of a Delta phone agent), I decided to chance it. My plane arrived 10 minutes late, but, shockingly-enough, I made the connection because the flight to Budapest was delayed 10 minutes. Atlanta is nothing to navigate (especially outbound) compared to CDG.