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If my Delta SEA-PAR is cancelled, which city should I choose for my connecting flight?

I'm starting to think my nonstop SEA to CDG on Delta for September is going to get the axe by Delta. They raised ticket prices to a crazy level - $9000 for Delta One and $3000 for coach.

I feel like it's a precursor to a cancellation.

If I need to re-route, can you plane schedule gurus tell me if I should connect in Minneapolis, Atlanta or New York?

Which city has the strongest schedule for Paris flights with the least likelihood of cancellations?

I don't want to change planes in Europe due to COVID stuff but I would consider switching to Seattle/London if that's a more likely go and then just taking the Eurostar down to Paris.

Thanks for any insight!

Posted by
4522 posts

I don’t think past record means anything these days. The crazy price increase could also mean the flight is filling up.

Air France (partner of Delta) has flights to CDG out of Atlanta and JFK, but none out of Minneapolis. If you want the best chance of getting to Paris, I’d look at what connecting cities have alternative flights to Paris.

Posted by
1850 posts

There are 225 empty seats in coach on the outbound, I believe, so there are a lot of empty seats. Thank you for the tip on airports! I will take Minneapolis off my list and focus on Atlanta and JFK.

Posted by
7252 posts

Presumably you meant CDG, not PAR

When we flew Delta to Rome, we changed in Detroit. It went well.

Changed planes in Minneapolis ( domestic travel) and liked that better than dealing with Atlanta.

Not sure taking Eurostar from London to Paris would simplify border crossings vs a flight change somewhere in Europe.

Do not lift the safety cover off the panic button just yet.

Good luck

Posted by
2589 posts

I’ve flown from MIA to CDG through Detroit twice on Delta. I would rather have that as a stopover than JFK or ATL. It’s a user friendly airport.

Posted by
1260 posts

Delta’s site has been nuts so I would not conclude anything. We now have tickets to Italy on Delta. But prior to purchasing them, the price jumped from $725 to $2500 and then back to $750. Then later that day when I went to buy, it said everything was sold out. The next day prices were up to $825 but when I went to buy, it would not take either of two credit cards. I even tried another browser.

Next day it worked and I bought tickets.

Posted by
2577 posts

When we flew from SeaTac to Rome on Delta (2014) we changed planes in Detroit. It went very well. We had tickets for Comfort Plus and got upgraded to Delta One. Apparently our seats were needed to accommodate a wheelchair. Most of our Delta flights are through Amsterdam. We avoid JFK & Atlanta. Hope it all works out.

Posted by
396 posts

In pre-COVID times, Air France operated a very robust JFK-CDG schedule (I'm almost certain it was the highest number of flights of all their North American destinations).

However, it's worth noting that Delta and Air France do not operate out of the same terminal at JFK -- Delta is at T4 (and also T2, but that's currently closed) and Air France is at T1. Changing terminals involves taking the AirTrain, which is outside security and obviously not ideal.

Posted by
1743 posts

Actually this pricing scheme that the original poster is seeing is something that frequent fliers are noticing on flights just before Delta pulls the plug. So the flight may be at risk.

Iwould say your best bet is JFK followed by Atlanta. Those are probably less likely to be canceled Atlanta because it’s Delta’s hub and JFK because well it’s New York. Personally I’d do Atlanta but I just really dislike JFK

Posted by
3107 posts

The Air France Minneapolis >> Paris flights have been going for years— they are restarting most days of the week at the end of August,

Delta has daily flights Minneapolis >> Paris in September.

I suspect connecting in Minneapolis is a shorter trip since it’s fewer miles total to travel, and there are more flights between Minneapolis and Seattle than the other cites so likely a shorter layover as well.

The Minneapolis Terminal 1 (Delta, Air France, KLM) immigration is very fast.

Posted by
6115 posts

Not sure taking Eurostar from London to Paris would simplify border crossings vs a flight change somewhere in Europe.

This is exactly right. As far as I can think, traveling between France and the UK has been one of the single most difficult things to do since the pandemic started.

A friend who works on Eurostar noted yesterday that they plan to finally start offering three Paris-London (and vice versa) trips a day as of June 28. It’s been only one voyage per day for months and months.

So definitely do NOT consider this as a good option !

Posted by
1850 posts

All right, scratching the Eurostar idea. Thanks for the warning - you saved me some research! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for my Seattle flight. I’ve read that the re-start date for that flight is early September but I just have an ominous feeling that it’s going to be cancelled.

I’m leaning towards JFK even though I see that transfers can be harder. There are two Delta nonstops and four Air France nonstops showing for my travel date in late Sept. Atlanta has two on Delta and two on Air France.

Minneapolis shows just one flight.

I guess they are both pretty good options. The key to JFK is finding that jitney and staying airside, according to my research. That’s just the kind of thing I’m likely to mess up in an airport:)

Posted by
79 posts

Both are strong options. For me the deciding factor would be flight times--JFK to Paris is much shorter than Atlanta to Paris! However, I find the Atlanta airport better. But at the end of the day I think I would opt for JFK.

Posted by
1913 posts

All right, scratching the Eurostar idea.

Good! If you are considering a direct flight to some other European airport, Frankfurt or Amsterdam would be much better options.

Posted by
2398 posts

The key to JFK is finding that jitney and staying airside, according
to my research.

The good news is that Delta flights to/from JFK that involve its hubs generally arrive at/depart from T4 (the international terminal) instead of T2 (the domestic terminal). Looking at today's schedule, for example, all the Seattle flights are scheduled to arrive/depart T4. The jitney therefore usually is not needed, but it's good to know where it is, just in case a flight gets moved to T2.

Posted by
3107 posts

Checking several dates in September, Detroit offers the shortest connecting itinerary on Delta, over an hour shorter than JFK or Atlanta, and an easy airport.

From a logistical standpoint, if Delta is going to be canceling Paris flights it’s going to be from west to east: first cancel Seattle then shuttle those people east to other hubs, then Minneapolis, then Detroit.

What makes Delta such a major player in flights to Europe and Asia is that it has a line of northern hubs and mini-hubs (Seattle, Portland, SLC, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston) that take advantage of the shorter polar routes to Europe and Asia. For many people connecting at JFK or O'Hare or Dallas or Atlanta means 1-3 hours flying the wrong way.

Posted by
396 posts

I’m leaning towards JFK even though I see that transfers can be harder. There are two Delta nonstops and four Air France nonstops showing for my travel date in late Sept.

[...]

The key to JFK is finding that jitney and staying airside, according to my research.

To make it explicit, there are 3 scenarios for a SEA-JFK-CDG connecting flight (for you) at JFK:

  1. Both flights operated by Delta and arrive/depart from the same terminal (likely T4 but also a small chance it's T2, at least pre-COVID Delta operated outbound international flights out of T2 from time to time) -- no security, no terminal transfer, obviously the easiest
  2. Both flights operated by Delta but arrive and depart from different terminals, so T2>T4 or T4>T2 -- take the Delta JFK jitney shuttle bus, no security check needed. If for some reason the shuttle bus is not operating, the alternative is to take the AirTrain between terminals, which will require you to re-clear security at the second terminal
  3. First flight operated by Delta, second flight operated by Air France -- you must change terminals via the AirTrain, from your arrival terminal (either T4/T2) to your departure terminal (T1), and you have to re-clear security at T1. It is not possible to go from T2/T4 to T1 airside.
Posted by
3107 posts

Reference to above:

I have 8 flights (most are connections) booked in the next 4 months, and every one has undergone some form of chaos: planes downsized, different flight numbers consolidated into one larger aircraft departing at a new time, times changed, nonstops canceled, stopovers changed. My wife had a 7 hour delay yesterday on Delta and a friend had another 7 hour delay recently on American. Just try to call or massage an airline and get a response. Planes are completely jammed. THE AIRLINES ARE IN NO CONDITION TO HANDLE THE CURRENT DEMAND FOR AIR TRAVEL!! And I don't think it is going to get better soon. So you can think you are on top of it, and can try to be on top of it, but it may all be for nothing. There's no way to know what will be best in September and plan for it.

Posted by
2398 posts

If for some reason the shuttle bus is not operating, the alternative
is to take the AirTrain between terminals, which will require you to
re-clear security at the second terminal

The JFK T2 check-in area is temporarily closed right now. So, the Jitney has to run; otherwise, there is no way to get to T2.

As an aside, a friend and I arrived at T4 from Paris pre-pandemic and had a connecting flight to Atlanta that departed from T2. We decided that one of us would stay airside and take the Jitney while the other would exit airside and take the train to see which one took longer. I took the latter option. I caught the train to T2, passed through security (TSA Precheck) and arrived at the gate 15 minutes before my friend. Apparently there were a lot of passengers and not a lot of busses.

Just for the record, I think Atlanta is great for departures to Europe. The airport is set up amazingly well, and the mid-concourse "Plane Train" makes for quick transfers between concourses/gates. Return flights to Atlanta from Europe are a little more dicey (but still quite manageable).