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UK Boarding Gates  
User currently offlineAmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2976 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2407 times:

Why do some (most?) UK airports not display the boarding gates for flights until very close to the departure time? I find it highly annoying having to wait in a sometimes highly crowded "departure lounge" with all the seats occupied (i.e. Bristol on a recent trip) while waiting for the gate to be displayed on the screen before scrambling to get there the rush when it does appear. Why does this happen and why does it seem to be confined to UK airports only?


Shannon-Chicago
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

I suspect to keep passengers in the shopping area rather than camped out at the gate not spending their money  

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4211 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 1):
I suspect to keep passengers in the shopping area rather than camped out at the gate not spending their money

signol

You are probably right. I always have to laugh at the FIDS screens at certain UK airports telling me to "Relax and Shop".

Of course, at bigger airports it may be a case of retaining maximum gate flexibility by not commiting to certain gate areas too early, thus allowing late changes to be made without inconveniencing passengers.

But it's probably more the first reason....  



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User currently offlineNQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 2):
Of course, at bigger airports it may be a case of retaining maximum gate flexibility by not commiting to certain gate areas too early, thus allowing late changes to be made without inconveniencing passengers.

Totally- and the people that want to know their gate straight away are the first ones to moan when the gate changes and they have to move.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5712 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
Why do some (most?) UK airports not display the boarding gates for flights until very close to the departure time?

You kind of answered your own question with the wording of it. Most people would ask "Why do most UK airports not assign gates until just before departure?"

The gate is assigned... they just won't tell anyone about it until the plane has arrived and has deplaned. This allows for gate changes without people getting lost and thinking it's at the same gate, and to keep the boarding area clear while deplaning. (Yes, keeping them in the shops too. But that's the airport authority, not the ops people thinking about that).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineglbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2319 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 4):
and to keep the boarding area clear while deplaning.

At Heathrow and IIRC Gatwick at least, arriving passengers are split leveled from departing, so gate crowding isn't a concern. As there are security screening and doc checks at the gate, it doesn't make sense to have people milling about in the hall waiting for staff to arrive.


User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3966 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2309 times:

Out of interest, are there any UK airports that give you the gate information early on (and maybe even print it on the boarding pass, as I have seen at many other airports worldwide) ?

User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Quoting Vasu (Reply 6):
Out of interest, are there any UK airports that give you the gate information early on (and maybe even print it on the boarding pass, as I have seen at many other airports worldwide) ?

NWI does, but then it is one room with 4 doors leading to the apron!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently onlinebananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1586 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 5):
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 4):
and to keep the boarding area clear while deplaning.

At Heathrow and IIRC Gatwick at least, arriving passengers are split leveled from departing, so gate crowding isn't a concern.

That wasn't always the case, though. Only in the last decade (AFAIR) has Dept. of Transport required arriving and departing passengers be segregated. I have memories, particularly at Gatwick, of the small gate areas where 300 or more people are being kept waiting in an area that is not designed for that amount of people. I think that gate crowding may indeed have been a concern, though perhaps not the prime one.

Prior to the passenger segregation, had there been a gate change, you may have had to head back towards the departure lounge, could end up following the crowd for arrivals and end up lost. To re-enter the departure lounge, you would need to be re-screened by security. It would be a waste of resources to have to staff the area to such an extent to allow passengers to walk back and forth, or have people move en-masse after the announcement of a gate change.

I'd rather be kept in the departure lounge area. I don't want to wait in an area with no refreshments, no toilets and no real distractions. As far as I'm concerned, I'll go to the aircraft when I'm asked to - I don't need to be there especially early.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
I find it highly annoying having to wait in a sometimes highly crowded "departure lounge" with all the seats occupied

I tend to find the gate areas are equally, if not more crowded, plus with fewer distractions.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
before scrambling to get there the rush when it does appear.

I don't ever recall a rush to get to the gate when the number is announced. I recall boarding rushes, particularly on airlines without seat assignments. Of course, others may have different recollections.

Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5905 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2264 times:

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 5):
At Heathrow and IIRC Gatwick at least, arriving passengers are split leveled from departing, so gate crowding isn't a concern.
Quoting bananaboy (Reply 8):
Only in the last decade (AFAIR) has Dept. of Transport required arriving and departing passengers be segregated.

post-911. The only exception is UK domestic.

Quoting bananaboy (Reply 8):
I don't ever recall a rush to get to the gate when the number is announced. I recall boarding rushes, particularly on airlines without seat assignments.

I understand what the OP is referring to. Last time at LHR (T3) gates weren't announced until the flight *started boarding*. i.e. "EYXXX to Abu Dhabi is now boarding through Gate 43" (first mention of number), at which point everyone had a 5 minute trek. You simply walked from the "departure lounge" (crowded and stuffy room with tatty shops) straight into one line for boarding: there was no priority at all.

For a premium airline like Etihad the set up was nothing less than disgraceful. I realise BAA is primarily to blame, but even so...



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineglbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

Quoting bananaboy (Reply 8):
Prior to the passenger segregation, had there been a gate change, you may have had to head back towards the departure lounge, could end up following the crowd for arrivals and end up lost.

I do remember that! In the South terminal at the end of the gate hall the hallway split. There was a curved ramp that brought you up to the main terminal floor and the other hall that led to transfers and immigration.


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