The Better Boarding Method Airlines Won’t Use

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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14 Responses

  1. KenB
    Ignored
    says:

    Oof, the ending was a gut punch..Report

  2. DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    Every one of these “better boarding methods” founders on the shoals of “frequent-flyer special platinum premium reserve cardholder status” that lets half the plane board first…Report

  3. Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    The simplest fastest boarding I’ve ever seen was random, but from both ends of the plane. A non-starter at most major US airports, of course. Jetways are as much about restricting the passengers from wandering around loose on the ground as they are about comfort.Report

  4. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Back when I flew a lot (you know when) we basically had random boarding by group.

    Boarding hasn’t been done dogmatically back-to-front in ages.

    Admittedly, the priority group (after 1st – which doesn’t take long to board at all) is sometimes clustered in some “business class” seats… but even then the boarding was fine. I’m usually in group 2 and often have plain coach seats, so its still whole-plane random (with a slight positional bias).

    Basically the thing the video says at the very beginning is *the* boarding problem… bags. And the bag problem becomes much bigger as the boarding # increases. I and my fellow 1s and 2s usually travel with a bag that fits under our seat (I’ve done 1-wk corporate meetings with an under seat bag)… by the time group 5 is boarding, we’re dealing with Sea Chests disguised as back-packs, furniture, and engine transmissions.

    Speed up boarding? Charge for overhead carry-on… instead it is the opposite. We charge to stow your bags ahead of time, but make it free to try to carry as much as possible into the cabin.

    So… if the goal is really fast seating (it isn’t)… then you pay extra to take your bag with you. Problem solved.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Our regional airport is getting its first scheduled service at the end of the month. I noticed that the fees are $10 for the first checked bag, $20 for the second checked bag, and $35 for an overhead carry-on bag. An underseat bag — maximum 14″ by 9″ by 9.5″ — is free.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Interesting, first I’ve seen that… wonder if it’s too clever by half in that once you have to pay for it anyway, then you pay the extra to avoid the risk/hassle of bag-check. That is, the incentives are too soft. But might help around the margins I wonder?

        But, we all know why they don’t do this… it’s so they can compete on the fare alone… then pile on the fees, plus they are selling the cargo space below, so they don’t *really* want bags there – not for free anyhow.

        So, if you think like an airline, everything is working as intended… how else are you going to get that f*ing transmission you inherited from Uncle Ed across country for $199?Report

    • Damon in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Indeed. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen small stature women lug a bag on a plane they are incapable of 1) moving it (on the wheels) around the ramp and boarding area 2) lifting over their head. I watched the last one struggle for several minutes (i was too far away to help-stuck in the aisle) and the bag was slowing falling down onto her head. And this was on Southwest were you can check a bag with no extra fees. Shesh.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        For fun, just watch the stewards. Each flight they die a little inside until all that is left is a plaster smile and eyes that could slice granite.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not sure which is more frustrating, people with clearly-oversize bags or people who put coats and small bags into the overhead space.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, there used to be times when I really wished that the airlines had a qualifying area at the gate, and you had to show that you could put the bag into the overhead bin before they let you take it on board. Into the bin properly oriented, so it takes up one bag’s worth of space, not two or three.Report

  5. Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Does it matter? The plane’s stuck waiting for a runway slot anyway, isn’t it? And deplaning doesn’t matter much either; I don’t think I’ve ever had my baggage waiting for me when I got to the carousel.

    I always just board at the last minute. Why spend any more time sitting on the plane than I have to?Report

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