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What’s Up With That: Boarding Airplanes Takes Forever

I was at the airport last week, and all I wanted to do was sit down, strap in, and lift off. Of course I couldn’t, because there were a bunch of people standing in my way. As the line crept along, I scanned ahead for malingerers, but everyone seemed sufficiently ready to board. I couldn’t help but wonder, is there a more efficient way for airlines to put get our butts into our seats, and into the air? ( More...

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Jeff K 8
If the airlines would end the ridiculous baggage fees, people would be more inclined to check bags at the gate and not spending 5 minutes looking for open overhead bin space.
wx1996 8
After flying Asiana, I undertand the boarding order is not the big problem. It is the passenger that just stands there and blocks everyone else.

Asiana flight attendants are stationed throughout the plane and they get passengers to step into the seat area to store items in the overheads. They also help get items into the overheads and enure they are packed tight. Yes these are generally little ladies standing on arm rests to help. When a person in the back of the plane throws their item in the overhead bin upfront, they have them take it out and store it in the area of their seat. If an item is of odd size and difficult to get in the overheads, they escort the passenger with their item to the back of the plan to wait until everyone else is out of the isle.

I timed two 747 boardings. The planes were full. From the start of first class boarding until they were closing the doors was less than 15 minutes. Impressive team work by the cabin crew.

I enjoyed a flight attendant comment to as US bound passenger, the passengers problem was with having a small bag placed on top of their bag in the overhead bin. There was space above their bag for the small bag. The flight attendant replied along the line: Please take you bag back to the gate agent and they can work at accommodating you and your bag on a different flight. Person sat down and stopped complaining about having a small bag on top of their suite case.
preacher1 6
I was on DAL one day in ATL coming west on an RJ. Boarding was at the usual standstill. Pilot got an early block from ATC, and told FA to get cabin ready, that we were fixing to close door and shove. FA made announcement for everyone to hit their seats and buckle up or they would be taken off flight. Simply amazing how aisle cleared. Door closed we shoved and were outa there.
Charles Smith 2
Why do they no longer board from the rear? Surely 2 door boarding would be more efficient?
preacher1 2
Straight from the rear boarding is discussed in the article, but other than the jumbos, I don't think there has been any double door boarding in a good while. All has been single door via jet bridge. Probably a gate/$ thing, but you are correct in that it would make better sense.
wx1996 1
United tried two jet bridges on narrow body aircraft at DEN in 2006. It was an automated system that went over the wing to get to the rear door. After damaging two aircraft UNITED stopped the test and they were removed.
preacher1 4
"Some dual-end bridges are in use but United says its is the first to be completely automated." This is out of that link. I wonder if the automated was the problem. That said, if they would strictly enforce carry on regulations already in place and force bags to go over seats assigned, it would speed up the process significantly. BUT, as I said earlier, we aren't as civil now as we used to be. There used to be a thing called common courtesy.
Charles Smith 1
I thought it maybe due to a safety aspect but I suppose it would not be an issue as to no start up at gate
preacher1 2
Well, it would take a 2nd jet bridge and possibly a 2nd gate. It could probably be done rather easily but gates are an airport cost thing and I am sure it would be passed to the carriers. Doubt if any are get hitting hard enough on departure to stand the $.
Charles Smith 1
True, I suppose the saving on stand time wouldn't out way the extra jetty cost?
preacher1 2
I doubt it. To boot, most airframe designs back in the day were prior to the Jet bridge and have just remained so rather than having to make a major design change and re-certification. You hit the tarmac and both ends were open and you just scampered up the stairs. We were a lot more civilized back then. Then somebody decided we didn't need to get wet boarding or deplaning and along came the jet bridge and no more civilians on the tarmac at a busy hub.. Now they are just used as Emergency doors. The other jetbridge is probably just too expensive and in terminal design, it may not have even been given a thought anyway. idk
On my last flight into Munich there were renovations at the normal gate so we had to deplane via stairs. Munich sure wasn't going to mess their perfect statistics for transit passengers, so front and rear doors were used, with an ample supply of buses of the "slinky" variety, and in about 15 minutes everybody was inside the terminal. A sufficient number of exits is a good thing.
preacher1 1
Maybe in some cases, the old way is better. Never made no difference to us as we loaded inside a hangar, regardless of the AC, and always had all doors open. We did open all to the ground at an FBO, depending on the number of people
Carry on baggage is the biggest culprit.
Years ago on a WN flight one red-faced gentleman in suit and tie yelled out at the top of his lungs to everyone standing in line inside the plane. "Sit down GD'it, they all look alike anyway"
Tim Duggan 1
"Deer-in-the-headlights" Syndrome, and a simple lack of common sense and politeness. Yeah, this has long been a "pet peeve" of mine.....and THIS simply from trying to get ONTO the airplane to hit seat 0A (LOL)....and struggling to move past the "logjam" in the JetWay (or, sometimes "JetBridge" in other countries).
Neil49 1
As often as any other cause are the cell phone zombies who are standing in place, staring at their screens, oblivious to the fact that there's no one in front of them anymore.
biddle clyde 1
How about being held captive on an Allegiant flight for 30 minutes after gate arrival while the captain and all aboard were required to look for a flight attendants lost cell phone. Yes, this summer on a flight from gsp to sfb, the captain had the sanford police board the plane to possibly capture the perpetrator of the lost or stolen cell phone. All passengers were flabergasted.
paul trubits 1
Frontier is charging more money to carry on a bag than to check it. The two flights that I was on seemed to board quickly. I have been on flights when you boarded, first class was to the left and steerage was to the right. Might have been an Airbus.
preacher1 1
I haven't heard that term "Steerage" in a long time. LOL


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