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The End of Delta Preboarding?

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A reader recently posted a troubling comment on my post from earlier this year about preboarding with children.  While traveling on Delta yesterday, she was told that families with infants and small children were not allowed to preboard on Delta anymore.  The gate agent told her that, under new Delta policy, preboarding would only be reserved for families needing extra time to install a car seat.

It seems as if her experience was not a one-off situation.  According to this thread on FlyerTalk, at least a few others have been told the same this week.  Delta has not yet posted any information about this policy on its website (including in its special section about travel with kids) that I can locate.

Delta was one of the few legacy airlines that still preboarded kids, so this is a disappointing development if this turns out to be true.  Even without a car seat, it can take time to get your young children settled or carryons stowed when you have an infant in arms.  Yet another reason I’m continuing to prefer the low cost carriers and smaller airlines like Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska.  Preboarding causes me less stress and allows me to get out of the way of others who might be a little faster-moving!

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Karen Anderson

Sunday 3rd of August 2014

Clearly #DELTA is not a family oriented airline!

Best and Worst Domestic Airlines to Fly with Kids | Trips with Tykes

Monday 12th of May 2014

[…] Older and cramped planes on other routes (MSP/SLC), inconsistent pre-boarding of families (technically pre-boarding is not allowed unless you have a car seat), highly criticized frequent […]


Sunday 4th of May 2014

Similar story for us today except that we were told the "DOT" made the rule change and had started fining the airline unless you had a car seat in hand. Regardless it's silly. If families want to preboard to assigned seats why should anyone else care, especially if it facilitates easier boarding for everyone else?


Sunday 4th of May 2014

Funny when gate agents make things up. So ridiculous! DOT rule? That's a good one.

I agree with you though -- pre-boarding seems like such an easy thing to do to make everyone's boarding process more efficient. But I really think it has to do with limited overhead bin space these days.

Pre-Boarding Kids: Which Airlines Still Offer It? | Trips with Tykes

Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

[…] unclear. (Update as of April 2014: Delta seems to have discontinued preboarding for children as of August 2013.  However, I have personally continued to witness Delta agents calling for preboarding of families […]


Friday 20th of September 2013

I recently flew on 4 Delta flights, 3 of which I was allowed to pre board and the 4th in ATL I was turned away. The gate agent stated there had been a policy change as of 8/25/13 (all of my flights were after this date) and I could find it online. I was also unable to find said policy. After contacting Delta to clarify they were very apologetic for my experience and made it clear that in the future if I needed extra time to board they should allow me to. She also stated it would be brought to ATL directly. She sent me 2- $25 gifts (redeemable for Gift Cards to various places- GAP, Amazon, Lands End, etc). I was impressed with their response!