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Old 09-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
wendyoconnor
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Delta and early boarding with infant

I've been reading rumors on the internet that Delta has recently stopped allowing families traveling with infants to board early.

Does anyone know if this is across the board on all Delta flights or dependent on who is working the counter at the gate?

I'm looking for anyone with experiences from this summer to now.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
tankin
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At CVG, DL has not had pre-boarding for flights to MCO for years. The issue was they were basically preboarding the entire flight.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #3
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I would ask your question on the Transportation board. SWA does not board infants first anymore, families with small kids load between boarding groups A and B.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #4
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At out local airport (Minneapolis/stpaul) they haven't boarded early for families with kids to Orlando for awhile for the same reason as noted before...everyone would be boarding! On our way home in April they were still doing it out of Orlando with delta though!
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
jennylyn_b
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I've also noticed at Newark that United doesn't board families with young children or infants early either. Stopped about 2-3 yrs ago.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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They may have a specific rule for Orlando flights, due to the fact that nearly half the plane preboards on many of them.

Or, maybe to do with the fact that when the gate agent calls for "families with small children" they get people with tweens boarding. Led some airlines to start having an age limit like 4 or 5 for preboarding. Some airlines say children under age 2.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDC Nala View Post
They may have a specific rule for Orlando flights, due to the fact that nearly half the plane preboards on many of them. Or, maybe to do with the fact that when the gate agent calls for "families with small children" they get people with tweens boarding. Led some airlines to start having an age limit like 4 or 5 for preboarding. Some airlines say children under age 2.
Def not just Orlando. I fly a lot and most airlines don't seem to allow any preloading for families. SWA does it between A & B which is better than nothing. I wish they'd still do this. Traveling with my husband would be a help but it's usually just my little guy and I. It's HARD doing it alone and carrying everything and closing up a stroller by the plane while keeping the kid from running away with a mess of people around you. Ugh.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:49 AM   #8
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Can't speak to this summer, but in April we were able to pre-board on Delta with 1 & 3 y.o. at both LaGuardia and Miami
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #9
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We flew into and out of Orlando last week. We have a small toddler and took her car seat. On the way down there from Detroit were no accommodations from the Delta staff. Honestly though we were probably in the middle of the line and still were able to install the car seat and get into our seats long before everyone else was finished.

On the way back we we're allowed to board during first class and the fIrst zone. We ended up with too much time sitting before moving and the toddler was restless. The staff was interacting with her and even gave her wings.

My husband really wanted to board early but in the end I didn't see any benefit to it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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Def not just Orlando. I fly a lot and most airlines don't seem to allow any preloading for families. SWA does it between A & B which is better than nothing. I wish they'd still do this. Traveling with my husband would be a help but it's usually just my little guy and I. It's HARD doing it alone and carrying everything and closing up a stroller by the plane while keeping the kid from running away with a mess of people around you. Ugh.
You could always board last and then no one would be pushing you. Not that good of an option on SW with open seating, but on an airline with assigned seats you could do it.

People with small children on SW who get A boarding passes don't wait for the family boarding, so I guess they don't really need the extra time if they can get better seats going on with the masses?

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Old 09-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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You could always board last and then no one would be pushing you. Not that good of an option on SW with open seating, but on an airline with assigned seats you could do it.

People with small children on SW who get A boarding passes don't wait for the family boarding, so I guess they don't really need the extra time if they can get better seats going on with the masses?

Nancy
It is also not a good option if you need overhead space.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #12
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We're in the Atlanta area so almost always fly Delta, and we have had the AmEx Gold Delta Skymiles card for several years now.

As a cardholder, you and your party get priority boarding, and (more importantly, for us), everyone in your traveling party gets one free checked bag. And of course you earn Skymiles for purchases.

I'm not going to pay $25 to check a bag if I can help it, but especially now, when everyone's carrying-on the biggest possible bag they can get away with and the overhead space is at a premium, I love being able to check a bag. It makes the boarding process much less stressful for us.

For our family of three, if we check a bag each, that would be $50 per bag for a round-trip flight. So if we take even one flight/year, we've already saved money over the $95/year card fee (if you're a new cardholder, the first year is almost always free).

I know getting a credit card isn't an option for some folks, but it's worth a look if it's a possibility!
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
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With Delta, you have assigned seats, correct? If so, I would definitely wait and roll on down last. Less time where you are sitting in seat waiting for takeoff is best IMO. Children make you rethink travel completely. The only carryon should be the nutrition and entertainment for the kiddos and valuables. And, of course, the infant in your arms. Backpacks are good, forget carrying a purse because you need your hands free. Really, I think the worst part is getting through security on your own with kids. TSA has become a little more helpful now, but early on was anything but helpful to those with children. Thank goodness they have gotten rid of the shoe rule for kids!
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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Delta offers pre-boarding to "families traveling with infants under the age of 3 traveling with strollers or car seats that need extra time boarding". On multiple flights this summer I heard this announced during the boarding process. It is usually after First Class boards but before the Medallion level flyers. I did see families attempt to board with 4/5/6 year olds and be turned away until their boarding zone was called. (One flight, we were boarding with Medallion level and the gate agent attempted to turn us away with our 5 & 7 DSs but then realized that DH is Platinum level and it was actually our turn to board!)

That being said, as PP's mentioned, this is often not the case for MCO flights as it would be so much of the flight. So you may have different experiences based on individual flight destinations.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
n8tivecaligirl
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It's up to delta. Sometimes they do let people traveling with infants board first and sometimes not, depending on how many there are. I have had sometimes especially traveling to and from Orlando (due to the large amounts of children) where they didn't.
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