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  • Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Some weekend entertainment for me. I’m a firm believer in a boarding process that follows the below features. Tell me what your must haves would be.

    – Enforced group boarding made clear with announcements at the gate well before boarding commences
    – Clear signage differentiates where boarding groups may queue prior to boarding
    – Signage is supported by narrow, tightly laid out tensabarrier lines (i.e. no ridiculously vague or ambiguous tensabarrier lines, no setting the tensabarriers so far apart that skipping the line is facilitated)
    – Groups begin with premium cabin passengers
    – Frequent flyer status holders board in groups that come AFTER premium cabin passengers
    – Special assistance passengers board according to their cabin class; so a Y special assistance passenger boards AFTER premium cabin passengers at the start of Y boarding
    – Families with infants board according to their cabin class with no differentiation to others in that class
    – Overhead lockers above the premium cabin rows are reserved for passengers in this cabin, and enforced by the crew
    – Y passengers seated in a high numbered row but nonetheless moving achingly slowly through the F and J cabins, staring at the large plush seats and checking their boarding passes against each such row number as if it might be their seat, to be given a gentle push by the cabin crew and told to keep moving towards the distant horizon
    – Late boarding Y passengers do not get automatic assistance from the crew to find a space for their cabin trolley case above the premium cabin seats to the detriment of those already boarded (i.e. crew will never ask a J passenger to put their business backpack under the seat in front of them so the late boarding Y passenger’s cabin case can go up)
    – Upon boarding completion, passengers are reminded that it should be evidently clear to them what cabin they are seated in, and moving forwards to use the facilities of a more premium cabin will result in outcry and admonishment by the crew

    Richie 884 posts

    All passengers don’t listen to announcements.
    Signage is never clear enough.
    Boarding cards will be unreadable for some.
    They’ll always be passengers who will ignore cabin crew.
    Some cabin crew will be demotivated by the lack of appropriate remuneration and planning their next job.

    ClubSmed 167 posts

    Not sure about the boarding position of those needing assistance, I think that it is right that the special assistance passengers board first

    Super Secret Stuff 363 posts

    Back to front: Even windows, odd windows, even middle seats, odd middle seats, even aisle seats, odd aisle seats. No blockages, no climbing over people.

    Anyone with too much baggage gets kicked off the flight. Now that’s a deterrent!

    Would only work in theory, would be stressful to implement and families being split up etc. etc. but very efficient!

    yonasl 930 posts

    If you fly to/from Spain people will be queuing the day before at the gate thinking that will change the order they board. if you fly to/from Romania the concept of queuing doesn’t even reach the vocabulary (actually you can benefit from this if you embrace not queuing and simply pushing yourself in front of people that strangely will let you do so thinking you are allowed to!)

    meta 1,408 posts

    No gate check-in of hand luggage and allowing those passengers priority boarding even if the flight is full. I am in group 1 or 2 and they are group 9. Why board them first just because they checked their bag for free?

    Andrew. 471 posts

    Optimal boarding (and disembarkation) is from the front and back of the plane

    Roberto 270 posts

    This group 1-3 A4 sized sign at the boarding gate gives free licence to a third of the plane (or more) to queue up clogging up the boarding gate.

    A BIG electronic sign saying Group 1 only once boarding commences changing to Groups 1 & 2 and then onto 1,2 & 3 will throttle back the stampede somewhat. Other Groups can be fed into the line as it moves onto the plane.

    Preboarders needing extra time/help and those with kids (under 5) could be tannoyed as usual.

    Travel Strong 231 posts

    Back to front: Even windows, odd windows, even middle seats, odd middle seats, even aisle seats, odd aisle seats. No blockages, no climbing over people.

    Anyone with too much baggage gets kicked off the flight. Now that’s a deterrent!

    Would only work in theory, would be stressful to implement and families being split up etc. etc. but very efficient!

    I support this one!

    And it is workable with a numbered boarding system like southwest have – each passenger has a number and passengers organise themselves in numerical order very effectively! No need for families to be split if they are given sequential numbers that very slightly alter the optimal pattern.

    AND as a business cabin or status passenger, I personally would much rather board *last*. It makes no sense to me to be sat for even longer with everyone brushing past – the boarding privilege should be the a abilty to waltz on last and still have baggage room above your seat.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Not sure about the boarding position of those needing assistance, I think that it is right that the special assistance passengers board first

    They do board first, first among their class. But not before their class.

    AJA 1,028 posts

    I agree with a lot of what BWS says however I disagree with the following:
    – Y special assistance passenger boards AFTER premium cabin passengers – because that would slow down boarding overall and make it difficult for them to reach their seats and you would have to ensure all premium cabin pax remain seated throughout.

    – Late boarding Y passengers do not get automatic assistance from the crew to find a space for their cabin trolley case above the premium cabin seats to the detriment of those already boarded – This would actually delay departure of the flight even more than it already is. I would prefer it if everyone else on board gave the late pax a slow clap welcome

    I try to arrive at the gate as late as is practical before it closes. I don’t like to rush but neither do I dawdle on my way to the gate. I would much rather spend more time in the lounge than sit (or stand) at the gate for another 25 minutes before boarding commences.

    I think it would be a nicer experience as a premium cabin passenger to board last especially on shorthaul. Let the economy cabin board first but have crew absolutely police the no bags in Club Europe if you are in Euro Traveller.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Anyone with too much baggage gets kicked off the flight. Now that’s a deterrent!

    Kicked off when? I’d want them dealt with by the gate agent, not ar5eing around with the crew when on board.

    PeteM 652 posts

    So, @BWS, what’s the rules here? We’re building a brand new airport (at which we are the sole operator) and space and cost are not an issue? We can hire as many staff as we want? We can buy new planes and configure them as we wish?
    Or do we need to turn a profit? 😄😋

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    I agree with a lot of what BWS says however I disagree with the following:
    – Y special assistance passenger boards AFTER premium cabin passengers – because that would slow down boarding overall and make it difficult for them to reach their seats and you would have to ensure all premium cabin pax remain seated throughout.

    – Late boarding Y passengers do not get automatic assistance from the crew to find a space for their cabin trolley case above the premium cabin seats to the detriment of those already boarded – This would actually delay departure of the flight even more than it already is. I would prefer it if everyone else on board gave the late pax a slow clap welcome

    I try to arrive at the gate as late as is practical before it closes. I don’t like to rush but neither do I dawdle on my way to the gate. I would much rather spend more time in the lounge than sit (or stand) at the gate for another 25 minutes before boarding commences.

    I think it would be a nicer experience as a premium cabin passenger to board last especially on shorthaul. Let the economy cabin board first but have crew absolutely police the no bags in Club Europe if you are in Euro Traveller.

    Yes AJA, you are onto a strong seam of sense here. I too would rather board last but feel duty bound to board early so that the overhead space is still there. Whereas if the crew policed its use, I wouldn’t have such worries.

    Aer Lingus Aerspace is sold with reserved overhead space as a feature of the fare type. As such the crew do consistently police it. Makes such a difference.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    So, @BWS, what’s the rules here? We’re building a brand new airport (at which we are the sole operator) and space and cost are not an issue? We can hire as many staff as we want? We can buy new planes and configure them as we wish?
    Or do we need to turn a profit? 😄😋

    Assume a Middle Eastern sheikh is bankrolling operations so profit isn’t primary.

    AJA 1,028 posts

    @BWS How much hand baggage do you have? Or do you not put baggage in the hold? I have a rucksack as my hand baggage and usually find space above my seat. Or use the space under the empty middle seat which is one of the reasons I like BA CE. Also helps that I am usually travelling as a couple so we are likely to have access to that seat. I hardly ever choose row 1 of CE for that reason and also because the crew often keep things in the row 1 overhead lockers. I also occasionally put my bag in the locker on the opposite side of the aisle as it is easier to keep an eye on it.

    Stu_N 113 posts

    I should get to board first, but no-one else should then troop past me on the way to their seat.

    Hand luggage limits should be rigorously enforced but there should be no delays due to gate checking baggage.

    No priority boarding for families/ infants but they shouldn’t hold anyone else up wrestling with bags and babies and toddlers.

    Seems entirely reasonable, no?

    PeteM 652 posts

    Some thoughts:

    – Huge seating area at every gate as well as a perching area
    – Actually no Tensa barriers at all, but strictly controlling that people boarding are from the group being called (one at a time) – this would require easily 6-9 staff (vice BA’s usual 3 at LHR)
    – Permanent side entrance for elites and groups previously called
    – Staff at the gate from the moment a gate is announced to control the above and stop people bunching up
    – Short haul planes with overhead bins that fit cases vertically (Airspace XL style)
    – Fully crewed services with proactive cabin staff stationed throughout the cabin actively monitoring bag placement
    – Fully staffed ground crews with a 20min bag guarantee, including at outstations
    – Sensible checked luggage fees
    – In extreme cases where you have to gate-check or door-check bags provide a valet service to get your bag immediately on leaving the aircraft on arrival (American Eagle-style on their little jets)

    I am less excited about the order of boarding, trials are fairly ambivalent about the benefits (e.g. https://viewfromthewing.com/the-ceo-of-american-airlines-explains-why-back-to-front-boarding-doesnt-work/).

    So it all really comes to cost, space and staffing. And obviously customer behaviours, reasons for travelling, length of stay…

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    Oddly, the whole boarding thing doesn’t bother me. I usually have my head in a book or iPad while queuing to board and waiting to take off – which can’t happen till everyone’s on board anyway, regardless of who gets on first or last. I’m also just happy that I’m not working or doing domestic stuff and about to have an adventure – or at the very least a change of scenery! The miserable bits for me are queuing for security/immigration and waiting for luggage to appear at the end of a long flight!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    No gate check-in of hand luggage and allowing those passengers priority boarding even if the flight is full. I am in group 1 or 2 and they are group 9. Why board them first just because they checked their bag for free?

    Yes, my pet hate. Why do they NEED priority boarding now they are unburdened

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    @BWS How much hand baggage do you have? Or do you not put baggage in the hold? I have a rucksack as my hand baggage and usually find space above my seat. Or use the space under the empty middle seat which is one of the reasons I like BA CE. Also helps that I am usually travelling as a couple so we are likely to have access to that seat. I hardly ever choose row 1 of CE for that reason and also because the crew often keep things in the row 1 overhead lockers. I also occasionally put my bag in the locker on the opposite side of the aisle as it is easier to keep an eye on it.

    A rucksack you say? Not a backpack?

    I agree with all your tips and also long ago abandoned row 1 for such reasons. I generally have a backpack that sits on top of a Tumi rolling briefcase underseater. Backpack is quite rigidly built and goes overhead; the underseater wheeled case goes under the empty middle seat. Sometimes i take a full size cabin case in which case the backpack and case go overhead and I sit with earphones in and eyes closed to avoid answering “Whose bag is this? Can this not go under a seat?” Answer: No it can’t. It was very expensive and I’m not mashing it!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    I should get to board first, but no-one else should then troop past me on the way to their seat.

    Hand luggage limits should be rigorously enforced but there should be no delays due to gate checking baggage.

    No priority boarding for families/ infants but they shouldn’t hold anyone else up wrestling with bags and babies and toddlers.

    Seems entirely reasonable, no?

    Deliciously aspirational Stu! I live in hope

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Some thoughts:

    – Huge seating area at every gate as well as a perching area
    – Actually no Tensa barriers at all, but strictly controlling that people boarding are from the group being called (one at a time) – this would require easily 6-9 staff (vice BA’s usual 3 at LHR)
    – Permanent side entrance for elites and groups previously called
    – Staff at the gate from the moment a gate is announced to control the above and stop people bunching up
    – Short haul planes with overhead bins that fit cases vertically (Airspace XL style)
    – Fully crewed services with proactive cabin staff stationed throughout the cabin actively monitoring bag placement
    – Fully staffed ground crews with a 20min bag guarantee, including at outstations
    – Sensible checked luggage fees
    – In extreme cases where you have to gate-check or door-check bags provide a valet service to get your bag immediately on leaving the aircraft on arrival (American Eagle-style on their little jets)

    I am less excited about the order of boarding, trials are fairly ambivalent about the benefits (e.g. https://viewfromthewing.com/the-ceo-of-american-airlines-explains-why-back-to-front-boarding-doesnt-work/).

    So it all really comes to cost, space and staffing. And obviously customer behaviours, reasons for travelling, length of stay…

    Some really strong gate handling suggestions here Pete. I feel I’ve seen this kind of thing in South East Asia but maybe it was a fever dream during jetlag. The gate checked bags being returned by the side of the aircraft seems an unknown concept in this part of the world.

    e14 216 posts

    CATTLE PRODS

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    CATTLE PRODS

    Hmm that might unhelpfully excite some! Especially those on flights to AMS who thought the disciplining would only commence upon arrival.

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