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Delta Zone Boarding  
User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5182 times:

I've now taken several flights on Delta in which they've used their new zone boarding system. (e.g. MIA - ATL x 3 ; ORF - ATL x 2)

For those of you unfamiliar zone boarding means, every boarding pass is assigned a Zone 1 - 7 (First class and elite Skymiles members get Zone 1 - 3). The gate agent calls for boarding by zone number a la SouthWest.

I've got to say I don't like it and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Everyone's zone # seems to be calculated by a mix of their FF status / the fare they paid / and their seat assignment. But since FF status and fare factor into the equation, you get a lot of people in window and middle seats climbing over people seated in the aisles.

Anyone else have any comments on this or can anyone from Delta provide some logic for the system?

-76M



24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5122 times:

We have been doing this at AA for few years now. We board by groups. We board first class, then group 1,which is FF status and first row in coach. Then group 2 etc.. starting from back to front. It took some time to catch on, but seems to work now..

User currently offlineEZYcrew From Spain, joined Oct 2001, 460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5116 times:

I think it makes sense when it comes to finding overhead space for handluggage.
Priority to Elite status and high yield pax is a good idea. I am a f/a with LX and find it hard to explain to someone who paid alot more than most, or a Circle member, that I have to put his bag in the hold because there's no more space in the bins, while backpackers travelling on heavily discounted fares stow all they have up there!


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5117 times:

Lufthansa uses a zone boarding system, but there's no preference to people with higher FF status on that: on a narrowbody they'll have zones 1-6 with 1 and 6 being the window seats, 2 and 5 the middle and 3 and 4 the aisle seats: during the boarding process they call up the zones for boarding...

... and it might even work if they'd look at the zone numbers printed on the boarding cards and really only let in the pax with the respective zones - but in all my LH flights, I've never once seen a person sent back because his/her zone wasn't up for boarding yet. Result: often enough total chaos while boarding...



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5043 times:

As long as my seat is assigned I really don't care. As long as I get my seat, I'm Happy Happy Happy.

User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5028 times:

I've always thought that airlines should board window seats first, then middles, then aisles. I think that Shuttle by United tried this a few years ago, but it didn't really work that well. The main problem was probably couples and families flying together -- if they were seated next to each other, they wouldn't board together.

Guess my opinion is just wrong in this case.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineAASilverbird From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4961 times:

Which other US airlines use this group number boarding (in addition to ones mentioned in this topic)? In the past couple of yrs I've only flown AA, UA, and NW. NW still boards by row numbers. Invariably, I'm always group 3 on both UA and AA.

I was actually wondering about this process as well. Was never certain if it was a random assignment at check-in or if it was based on mileage status, fare/class, etc. I know that overhead space is never a guarantee, esp nowadays when it seems most people try to avoid checking in baggage if possibe, but it seems I always have better luck with getting space,esp closer to my seat, when the aircraft is boarded by row number rather than group number. If I don't have a carry on, I don't mind which one is used really, as long as I have an assigned seat...as BR715 said.


User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4921 times:

HP just started a group boarding process. At first the groups were assigned by starting from the back and then moving forward, kind of like condensing certain rows into groups. We then switched it to where the groups are assigned by zones, ie...back windows, then middles, then aisles...etc. It works VERY well and really does speed up the boarding process. We don't have the congestion at the bottom of the jetway anymore. When I board, especially if we are in a hurry, I am very strict with the boarding process and don't let anyone on until I call their group! It was a great idea.

User currently offlineGoAround From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4905 times:

Being on board a long time is a punishment - not a good thing! I love flying, sure, but I hate sitting on the ground - I prefer to look out the big window airports or explore sooner than spending more time in a 1x1 square metre patch that I get to call home for the next long while - more than enough time to explore the tray-table  Big grin

GoAround



GoAround
User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4905 times:

SSides:
I believe Shuttle did try that, but I don't think boarding like that would work in hub cities. A lot of times you start boarding and you have people connecting or eating in the food court, and i think it would kind of add to the craziness. Anyone former Shuttle flyers have comments on it??


User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6144 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4864 times:

Flyboyaz:

You'll be pleased to know that Popular Science layed out HP's boarding system in the "Future of Aviation" edition. It really is a good edition and recommend it to everyone.




Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineFrequentFlyKid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4806 times:

I'm a SM with DL and I didn't like the zone boarding. I don't understand what's wrong with first class, elites, special assistance, and then back to front. In that system than overhead space isn't a problem. I take issue with the notion that because the guy next to me bought his ticket one day before the flight as opposed to buying it two weeks before that he is entitled to overhead space and I am not. I sense another socioeconomic/class warfare conversation brewing...

User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4701 times:

One of my favorite movie scenes is in "Meet the Parents" when Ben Stiller is waiting to board his plane at the end. No one is left around, yet the gate agent won't let him board until his row number is called -- I've never seen anyone that strict about it, but it's hilarious.


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4633 times:

Hopefully, anyone assigned to the bulkhead row in coach gets to board before the rest of the cabin. If they have a carry on, they have to have space in the overhead. It is bad for them when they have to board last.

User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4599 times:

At AA, the bulkhead seats board in the first group, due to restricted overhead space, and they are usually have some sort handicap, or are parents with children.

User currently offlineDeltaBoy777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 411 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4559 times:

Being a mainly Delta flyer, I have prefered the regular boarding process Delta use's throughout most of it's system. I have flown on AA, where they use group numbers, and I have found that they can be confusing and somewhat inefficient. However, whichever method is used I don't really think there is that big of a difference. As far as bulkhead room goes, I don't think that is really an issue. Whether you use a group or zone number, or by priority there is usually plenty of room. That's just my opinion.

~DeltaBoy777~



Thanks and Gig Em!
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

i like the regular system.... this way you don't have to climb over a ton of people to get through.

I remember one time when there were a lot of medillian members on a flight (my dad was one) and we got on... put our stuff away... sat down (really quickly), and this obvious first time DL flyer gave us so much crap! It was what would now be classified as air (Really ground) rage!

it's hard enough when they do this process... and its a lot harder when you have to climb over twice, 3X, 4X, 5X as many people


User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4451 times:

I'll have to check that out Planemaker! It is a great system so far  Smile

User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2637 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4384 times:

I don't like zones, by DL, AA, or WN as I have experienced them. Premium cabin, Premium Flyers + Handicaps, back to front.

Fantasy World No carry-ons - then we can all do open boarding.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineCOAB767 From Guam, joined Nov 2003, 1377 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4360 times:

CO still boards by row numbers, which I find much more efficient than zone/group boardings.



Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
User currently offlineJetRanger2000 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

I think it works fine on WN because you don't have assigned seats.

User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3190 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4230 times:

Shuttle by United's zone system was to divide the plane into window, middle, aisle, and also front and back, for a total of six zones. They didn't split up groups; everyone on the same record got the lowest zone applied to a person in that party.

People don't have to think as hard with zone boarding, you just wait until the agent says the number printed nice and big on your boarding pass, rather than figure out if seat 34D is row 35 and higher or not. From watching planes board, harder than you think.

It can be taken to an absurd level. I noticed that United Express/SkyWest has started putting zone numbers on their boarding passes. The only flight that used them was a Brasilia flight: "Zone 1 may now board" -- nobody gets on. "Zone 2 may now board" -- nobody gets on. "Zone 3 may now board" -- everybody gets on. The other flights (Brasilia and CRJ-200) we just boarded all at once.

David / MRY


User currently offlineAIR757200 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1579 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4235 times:

Yeah, group boarding in general is obviously nothing new. I prefer it than row numbers.

As for AA... I think for a while, at least when I was working as an agent, exit row was also group one, and that may still be the case.

Group one also appears when the WCHR edit code is added (AA).

But on a side note; families do not get group one unless, one of the family members has status or a special service edit code- in that case anyway, only one person has "Group 1" printed on the boarding card and the others may board with that passenger.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4204 times:

I can also confirm AA used rhe group boarding I was group number 6.

It was weird because I am nbot used to boarding this way as I usually fly Southwest alot!! I kept forgetting my seat is reserved no one will take it...my seat is reserved no one will take it lol and it wa smy fav seat 25F on the S80!!!!

Alex.



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

You mean Delta allows handicap/children/elderly preboards now? They haven't the past several times I've flown them, unless the handicapped/child/elderly was a "medallion" passenger.

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