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A Few "Why In The USA..." Questions  
User currently offlineBAflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 72 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 15431 times:

In the last 12 months I have started to do a bit of domestic flying with the USA and have noticed a few things that are unique compared the the rest of my wordwide travels.

1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

4. Why do so many people insist on taking everything as carry-on and why don't the airline staff enforce the limits? I travel with just a laptop bag (a normal one, not the sort that can also hold the entire contents of your wardrobe) and I find it ridiculous that I often struggle to find space for it.

5. Why are so many obese people allowed to squeeze themselves into a single seat? I know this issue has been discussed frequently on a.net but in all honesty I can state that no where else in the world have I seen so many obese people - not just overweight but grossly obese. If your body mass oozes over into my seat then it's time to purchase 2 tickets.


Most frustrating part of being an atheist - Never being able to say "Told you so".
121 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 15423 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

Occasionally this is not the case. LGA, for example, sometimes checks claim tickets. But this is the only airport where I've ever seen this done.



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 15362 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

I would think that the alphabetical list is preferable because, when I am connecting, I don't give a crap about any flight other than where I am going... that is, WHAT CITY? I don't memorize the departure time, I know where I'm going.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

Because it would be stupid to expect grandma to grab her own bags and lug them to wherever she is going to meet her family that is picking her up.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

Because it would take a long time to find the people at the check-in counter that are next and get them all the way to the gate. When they decide that they can take stand-by people, they want them NOW.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
4. Why do so many people insist on taking everything as carry-on and why don't the airline staff enforce the limits? I travel with just a laptop bag (a normal one, not the sort that can also hold the entire contents of your wardrobe) and I find it ridiculous that I often struggle to find space for it.

This I agree with. However, for the most part it is a speed issue. Many business travelers want/need to be able to go straight to a car - not wait for 30 minutes for their bags.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
5. Why are so many obese people allowed to squeeze themselves into a single seat? I know this issue has been discussed frequently on a.net but in all honesty I can state that no where else in the world have I seen so many obese people - not just overweight but grossly obese. If your body mass oozes over into my seat then it's time to purchase 2 tickets.

Yep.

There are those who say that they should make the seats bigger to accomidate them - but then that means less seats, which means higher fares, etc. So, in the end, they want the rest of US to pay for the fact that THEY are outside the second standard deviation of body size.



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineBigAppleCoder From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15268 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
5. Why are so many obese people allowed to squeeze themselves into a single seat? I know this issue has been discussed frequently on a.net but in all honesty I can state that no where else in the world have I seen so many obese people - not just overweight but grossly obese. If your body mass oozes over into my seat then it's time to purchase 2 tickets.

Amen to that, brother. Endlessly discussed here and other sites...but WN has the right attitude when it comes to this.


User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15260 times:

1) I also prefer it alphabetical. Don't know why it hasn't caught on elsewhere.
2) Probably just a holdover from back when non-pax were allowed everywhere, even in the gate area. When security was erected, most airport layouts were probably just more conducive to just securing the gate area. Also, if someone steals your bag from the carousel, there is no risk of catastrophe or harm to the airline, only the individual passenger is harmed, so they probably just don't care.
3) Many airline employees also fly standby, not just those who paid for flights that were oversold. In my experience flying standby as an employee, and earlier as an employee's child, you get your boarding pass at check-in if the flight is undersold and it is a "sure thing" that you'll get on, but you get it at the gate if it is not apparent whether you'll get on or not, or if you're at a connection point on your journey and would have to leave the secured area to go to the check-in desk.
4) I will admit I have done this. In my case, it is due to simply not wanting to risk the (ever-increasing) odds of my checked bag being lost. I am more likely to try to carry something a little too large onto my outbound flight, as opposed to a return flight, since I have extra clothes/deodorant/etc at my house so being apart from the particular items I brought on the trip for a few days won't be a big deal when I am at home.
5) Two reasons: more than 50% of Americans are obese, and America is an extremely litigious society. And now, with the advent of digg.com, etc. it is also easy to convict a company who has allegedly violated your rights in the "court of public opinion" in addition to the court of law. As to why many Americans are obese, the reason in many cases is economics. For instance, in terms of $/calorie, Twinkies cost a third what carrots cost, so if money is tight, people end up buying food containing lots and lots of nutritionless calories.


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15260 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically

Alphabetical is best, by far.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers?

The baggage drop-off is accessible to non-passengers as well. It's not uncommon for a traveller to need assistance with luggage at both ends. Friends and/or family members need access to assist at the baggage claim.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list?

Because the standby list is often cleared at the very last moments before closing the door. The passengers need to be right there at the gate.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
4. Why do so many people insist on taking everything as carry-on and why don't the airline staff enforce the limits?

Agreed! Airlines should enforce their own rules for a change! thumbsup 

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
5. Why are so many obese people allowed to squeeze themselves into a single seat?

Emphatically agreed! Either make them pay for the space or leave the adjacent seats unsold! bigthumbsup 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineKatekebo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 702 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15191 times:

1) Maybe because they apply common sense in America? By the way, I have seen the alphabetical approach in many countries, not only USA.

2) For the same reason that people leave their cars' doors unlocked and windows rolled down in parking lots, and the back doors to their houses unlocked - in spite of what most Europeans think, small-town America is much safer than most European cities (based on my personal experience after living nearly half of my life in Europe). Car jacking, bag snatching, which are a common thing in most larger European cities, are virtually non-existent in the majority of American cities, except large metropolis such as New York, Los Angeles, etc. Several of my work friends had their cars stolen (at gunpoint) when stopped at a traffic light in Brussels, something that has never happened to anybody I know in America (although of course you can read about it in the news). The big crime issues in America are murder (mainly due to availability of firearms), and drug-related organized crime. But still. America's average murder rate (per million people) is less than suicide rate in some Western European countries, for example (suicide is leading cause of death in several European countries among people between 25 and 40 years of age).

3) Are you sure these are people who got their boarding pass, but have not seats due to overbooking, or are you talking about people listed on the screens as waiting list for an upgrade? Usually there are quite many people who apply for an upgrade to 1st class using their FF miles.

4) Because it saves time when checking in and leaving the airport - and time is money.

5) Yes, obesity is a major epidemic - and unfortunately their is no easy solution in sight.


User currently offlineAtlantaflyboy From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15153 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

It would be my guess that in the US very few passengers are arriving in from foreign locales as an overall percentage of air travellers. In Europe, where countries are in some cases the size of smallish US states, many more people have traditionally travelled cross border to their destination city and I would surmise that the European airport authorities deemed it more prudent and efficient to build one luggage reclaim instead of separate ones for international arrivals and domestic arrivals. Domestic only baggage does not need to be inspected by customs officials, therefore in areas where air travel is highly oriented to domestic only travellers (most US airports) the expense of constructing a secure luggage reclaim is not necessary.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9583 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15122 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

I really like alphabetical too. It lets you know if there are other flights in case you want to get on an earlier one. Also as others have said, it is easier to know what city you are going to then what time your flight is.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

In the United States, most airlines let you get on an earlier flight for free. So if you don't have checked luggage and see an earlier flight, you can go to the gate and get on it. There are exceptions like WN, who don't allow it. So you'll likely see people wanting to get earlier flights. Additionally, with the hub and spoke system which can get very delayed, you have tons of people missing flights, which means they are standby for each flight for the rest of the day.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently onlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3052 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15056 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

In Australia and Norway flying domestic lets non-passengers to the baggage claim (except for OSL) as well as the gate. International is different due to customs after the baggage claim, and passport control before the gate.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineSkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14977 times:

Quoting N844AA (Reply 1):
Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

Occasionally this is not the case. LGA, for example, sometimes checks claim tickets. But this is the only airport where I've ever seen this done.

I've had my claim tickets checked against my bags a couple of times at DAL, but it's never been consistent. It's the only domestic airport I've ever seen this happen.


User currently offlineBAflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14956 times:

Thanks for all the answers.

So it seems the alphabetical listings are very popular - now then, how do we get the rest of the world to change to this system? Is there anyone out there that prefers the chronological listings?

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
By the way, I have seen the alphabetical approach in many countries, not only USA.

Can you give any examples. Not that I don't believe you or anything and I don't claim to have visited every airport in the world (quite a lot but not all!!) but I've never seen alphabetical listing anywhere else.



Most frustrating part of being an atheist - Never being able to say "Told you so".
User currently onlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3052 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14915 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Reply 12):
Is there anyone out there that prefers the chronological listings?

I do, the reason for this is that when I'm at the airport, I like seeing the gate numbers of planes leaving soon, so I can go see them depart and so on. And, as the list moves up, and as I look for other interesting planes and airlines I will soon notice my flight and so on. Never had a problem with chronological flight listing.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14874 times:

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 10):
In Australia and Norway flying domestic lets non-passengers to the baggage claim (except for OSL) as well as the gate. International is different due to customs after the baggage claim, and passport control before the gate.

And that's really the root answer to two of your questions - the vast majority of flying in the US is domestic, which means no passport and customs control, and up until very recently very different security considerations. As someone above noted, our airports, with the exception of the international terminals, for the most part were wide open up until 9/11/2001. LGA, BOS and MIA are the only three I can think of that had sterile concourses throughout the airport. So if you don't secure the gates, why would you secure bag claim, especially as there was no need for customs? And its much more efficient to have standbys available at the gate than it is to have them up to 1/4 mile away at check in.

As for Alpha vs. Chronological - preference I guess. Same with bags, if we can get away with avoiding bag claim, why not? Unfortunately it got out of hand, but the new rules have made it tolerable again.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14865 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

Isn't the big board in the Intl terminal at LAX chronological? Or do I not remember correctly? In any case, alphabetical is much more user friendly. Come to think of it though, I'm pretty sure the displays at my home airport in BHM are chronological. Of course it's not too bad of a burden with only two screens each for arrivals and departures.

Quoting N844AA (Reply 1):
Occasionally this is not the case. LGA, for example, sometimes checks claim tickets. But this is the only airport where I've ever seen this done.

I've had them checked in PHL several times. It's been a while, but seems like they check them pretty regularly at MID as well.

Quoting InnocuousFox (Reply 3):
This I agree with. However, for the most part it is a speed issue. Many business travelers want/need to be able to go straight to a car - not wait for 30 minutes for their bags.

Also, many have been burned before when the airline lost their luggage. It's pretty hard to lose what you carry on. Personally, I don't like lugging a bunch of stuff around and will normally check as much as possible. I think the lower limits on checked bags lately have also aggravated this problem although it's probably balanced out by the restrictions on liquids forcing many people to check a bag anyway.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14846 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

I don't really have an answer for this one, partially because I don't really understand how chronological would work, especially with regard to delays. Actually, I have seen chronological a few places in the US (don't ask me where, though) and it confused the hell out of me -- "Ok, there's one LA flight...wait that one's not mine...where the hell is my flight? Did it get canceled?"

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

I suspect at some level this goes back to the days where there was no security period, and then after that when there was security but only for people going on to a concourse (i.e. to protect the aircraft). The majority of airports are configured such that restricting access to baggage claim to passengers only would leave practically nowhere for passengers to meet whomever is picking them up.

Occassionally airports will check claim tags -- for example, CO at CLE tends to do it around the holidays. I had a couple CO agents tell me, though, that the rest of the year the cost of doing that is far greater than the payout for the occassional bag that may be stolen, plus there are security cameras in most baggage claims so if a trend develops suspicious behavior can be identified. (Not that anyone is actively watching them)

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

With I've noticed very few (revenue) standbys at the gate. If the flight is oversold and you don't have a seat assignment (or if the flight has gone to "Gate Controlled") then the only people who can issue seat assignments/boarding passes are ususally the gate agents -- this allows them to mantain control over their flight. (You do get a 'gate pass' though that allows you through security).

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineLogos From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 793 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14750 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

I guess because by that time, the only threat is to people's personal property, not the flight itself. Ironically, back in the day, a lot more airports had someone there checking for matching claim tickets. I remember this specifically at IAH when I was a college student. Those employees probably went away in some round of budget cuts.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

Just to add to what's been said, they get a boarding pass without a seat assignment and that's what gets them to the gate. Airlines generally do a pretty good job with yield management, but there are exceptions.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
5. Why are so many obese people allowed to squeeze themselves into a single seat? I know this issue has been discussed frequently on a.net but in all honesty I can state that no where else in the world have I seen so many obese people - not just overweight but grossly obese. If your body mass oozes over into my seat then it's time to purchase 2 tickets.

This, I believe, is a direct result of our litigation-crazed, politically correct society. These people aren't obese, they're "dimensionally and gravitationally challenged". Airlines (at least the ones not named Southwest) are generally unwilling to offend someone by suggesting that they're too fat to fit into a single seat because they're afraid of the lawsuit that might ensue. Personally, I'd be more likely to fly with an airline that enforced this policy strictly and consistently.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando



Too many types flown to list
User currently offlineBAflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14745 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 16):
I don't really understand how chronological would work, especially with regard to delays

Delayed flights tend to stay at the top of the list or they get a re-scheduled time and then go back down the list.

Quoting InnocuousFox (Reply 3):
Many business travelers want/need to be able to go straight to a car - not wait for 30 minutes for their bags.

Fair enough but the allowance is 1 piece plus a personal item such as a handbag or laptop case. Many times I have seen people with the largest possibe carry-on and one of those large "wheelie" laptop bags that is almost as large as their main carry-on item. These people should be booking first class tickets and stop being so selfish and taking up all the overhead space. If their time is so precious that they can't wait a few minutes at baggage claim then the price of a first class ticket should be no problem.



Most frustrating part of being an atheist - Never being able to say "Told you so".
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14688 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

A lot of domestic terminals overseas use the same system as the US. SYD and PER come to mind. Isolating baggage pickup is more oriented to international flights where a smiling Customs Officer can have a chat with you.


User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14629 times:

I have seen more than a few people who were told no way no how were they bringing those huge roller bags on board. But then they just gate check it for you and you get it back when you get off the plane. I routinely gate check bags because I don't want to have to deal with waiting 30 to 45 minutes at bag claim. Most US carriers will allow you to gate check bags and I take advantage of that. The system is great as long as you use it within reason. I have a medium size roller bag and a laptop. The roller bag will fit but it takes up a lot of the bin space so I elect not to be a bin hog and gate check it. I wish more people would do the same.

User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14493 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

Aussies the same, domestically you can walk in and bingo you can have youre self a nice new suitcase, im sure there was a guy a few years who use to do that and he got caught.......it was years ago.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
4. Why do so many people insist on taking everything as carry-on and why don't the airline staff enforce the limits? I travel with just a laptop bag (a normal one, not the sort that can also hold the entire contents of your wardrobe) and I find it ridiculous that I often struggle to find space for it.

LOL i couldnt believe the size of the rollons people were wheeling around LAX, then again everything and everyone is big in America  Wink  Wink



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14452 times:

1. Alpha is much better, I believe the USA has gone more Alpha and with master lists of all flights, the chrono boards I recall seeing were for a single airline like UA, now with all of the codeshares it is hard to know anything more than the destination city when looking at the boards.

2. Most US airports started with no screening, then screening was added like 25 years ago. Non-pax were allowed at many places to the gate up until 911. Without customs it was easiest to be open at baggage. Many airports used to check baggage tags to claim checks on leaving baggage claim. Those are the ones with the glass or similar railing around baggage claim. It cost too much to check so the stopped it.

3. There are upgrades, standbys, flying early, missed flights, overbooking and the like and they need the passenger there to board them in minutes. At checkin you would get a boarding pass noted as standby or unassigned seating, then to fight it out at the gate. The upgrades, early flights, and missed flights originate inside the secure area.

4. Most US airlines require for bags being checked to be in by 1 hour before the flight, but carryon with a premade boarding pass only requires you to be at the gate like 20 minutes before. Some airports like SEA, PHL, HNL you are really lucky to get your bag within 45 minutes of the flight, sometimes an hour. So checking a bag adds 1 to 1.5 hours at the airport. Doing a single day or 2 day trip, checking adds 3 hours of travel, really cutting into the time to get your work done.


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6741 posts, RR: 32
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 14379 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 15):
Come to think of it though, I'm pretty sure the displays at my home airport in BHM are chronological. Of course it's not too bad of a burden with only two screens each for arrivals and departures.

As I recall, many years ago (i.e. 25+, before the big growth in hubs in the U.S.), most of the arrivals and departures screens were chronological. Actually, BHMBAGLOCK's post touches on a key reason for this -- most airports only had one or two screens for arrivals and departures in a given terminal, so it would have been quite difficult to show all the origin and destination points. Once the larger hubs started to see several dozen departures in a single bank, it became necessary to arrange the flight information in a more user-friendly way. And when you've got ten or twenty screens coupled with modern computer technology, alphabetical seems the way to go, since most people know where they're going, though they may not know the exact departure time or flight number. At many airports in the U.S., the airlines run their own flight information displays.

I think one difference in "the rest of the world" is the fact that the airports run the FIDS systems, and they tend to handle many different airlines to many destinations. In that case, it can become very difficult to have a slot on the screen for every possible destination (or simply more expensive to deploy enough display screens to show everything alphabetically). I'd add that the mechanical displays which are more common in the rest of the world don't handle re-sorting destinations alphabetically in a terribly efficient manner -- whereas with CRT's, plasma, or LCD panels, it's basically just a screen update.

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
Why do so many people insist on taking everything as carry-on and why don't the airline staff enforce the limits?

It is essentially an issue of time. If you fly twice a week (or more), spending 30 minutes waiting for bags after every flight starts to add up. I think the airline employees are loath to be strict about the limits simply because they don't want to get into confrontations with passengers. And, to be honest, the airlines may save money if they can get the passengers to be their own baggage handlers.


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8284 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 14373 times:

Quoting BAflyer (Thread starter):
1. Why are the arrivals and departures boards listed alphabetically whereas the rest of the world uses chronological listings? I actually prefer this alphabetical system so maybe my question should be "Why doesn't the rest of the world use the alphabetical system?"

In some like LHR it's a security issue. They don't advertize what gate the flight will be leaving from until about 20 minutes before boarding. It also depends on where the monitors are. I've seen both here in the US. I'm pretty sure the big board at BOS international arrivals hall has it chronologicaly while most other places where you'd look for connecting information like the banks of monitors throughout the airport are alphabetical.

Quote:
2. Why are the baggage claim areas accessible to non-passengers? Every where else I have travelled baggage claim is only available to passengers but in the USA anyone can walk in off the street and grab a few bags.

It's the bus station effect. I don't agree with it myself. I've always wondered how many of the reportedly lost luggage is actually stolen luggage at the destination.

Quote:
3. Why do so many people end up at the gate on a standby list? I understand the concept of overselling flights but I thought that you get your boarding card at the check-in area if you are on standby - not at the gate.

Most of those people are likely transfering and trying to get on an earlier or more direct connection, or are non-revs. AFAIK, a normal passenger can't get past security without a boarding pass.

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
in spite of what most Europeans think, small-town America is much safer than most European cities (based on my personal experience after living nearly half of my life in Europe). Car jacking, bag snatching, which are a common thing in most larger European cities

I don't agree, unless we're talking specifically about Easter Europe where most countries have a per-capita murder rate that is greater than even the US. But as far as Western Europe, I can't agree with you. Those crimes you listed are petty crimes, not violent crimes against your physical well-being.Yes, Europe has a lot more annoying petty crime but as far as violent crime which to me is what really matters, small town America is a lot worse than even some of the largest urban centers in Western Europe. If Virginia Tech doesn't prove that I don't know what does.


User currently offlineMidEx216 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 14317 times:

1) Departure / Arrival times may change, and therefore your flight would be moved somewhere, and you wouldn't know where it went. With alphabetical order, you just find your destination (which hopefully wouldn't change) and you'll see it in short time.

2) Mystery to me. I didn't even realize that, but it's true.

3) Because often, it is unknown for sure how many seats will definitely be available on the plane. So the passengers go to the gate, rather than finding out someone didn't show up just at departure time, and having to go through security, etc.

4) Because travellers are getting more and more stubborn and impatient (when I fly, I always let everyone, or nearly, get off the plane before I even bother to get up. I'm not in any rush) and the carriers don't want to tell them they can't, because they're afraid the customers will get unhappy, even though it's a perfectly reasonable request, and not fly them anymore (I actually asked that at work once).

5) See above?



"Cue the Circus Music!"
25 Chuchoteur : I'm wondering... several people pointed out that tehy had difficulty remembering the time of their flight, whereas (obviously) they knew where they w
26 Post contains links Spacecadet : I'm not sure how many "small towns" have large airports regardless. It seems to me that this dispute is pretty irrelevant (as was the original answer
27 ANother : Security? No, I don't think so and in any case at LHR the posting of the gate an hour or so before departure has been in effect since at least the 70
28 YOWza : Given the high density of flights in the US the nature of the flights is such that delays and the like (small and large) are more commonplace. With t
29 Mham001 : According to the head of SFO, it is indeed a crime issue- or lack of it. He said it rarely happens and is not worth staffing people to check ticket s
30 Post contains links Chase : According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States, "American obesity rates lead the world with 64% of adults being overweight an
31 Ikramerica : In the past, they were restricted more. We sort of gave up on that because theft is not really happening much and because it was MORE of a hassle to
32 YYZYYT : Many Canadian cites permit this either outright (I am thinging of smaller airports like YTS) or have a separation but no real attempt to enforce it (
33 ER757 : Was just in HNL recently and the screens on the Ewa concourse listed the flights chronologically. While it was a pain to find my flight, I did enjoy
34 Mjgallacher : Glasgow and Edinburgh Domestic arrivals are both areas where you can walk in off the street and choose a couple of bags should you wish! It has been
35 DavidT : I prefer chronological!! I like being able to weigh up how long there is to my flight, and watch its progress up the board, when its near the top I k
36 Kuna : I work for Pinnacle Airlines (Northwest Airlink) you tell a Platinum/SkyTeam Elite that they can't take their questionable bag on board. You will hav
37 Post contains images Analog : Because the rest of the world is backwards and has computers that are incapable of doing alphabetical sorting operations. Perhaps this is the reason;
38 Post contains links KingCavalier : Doesn't it seem most of the world uses military time? Most passengers in the US have no idea what 1530 means. Of course, we reject the metric system a
39 Goodbye : Here's another one...why do some tiny little regional airports call themselves ".................. International"? Wishful thinking?
40 Max777geek : With regards of memorizing the city you're going, this comes handy if there is one daily flight or none in close hours. If you get 4 flights with dif
41 Burnsie28 : Because that makes sense, ask a lot of people about their connecting flight, and without looking at the flight time on the ticket they wouldn't know
42 Post contains images Airbazar : Either I was informed incorrectly or you're special What I was told just a few months ago in LHR when I was transfering between flights and the depar
43 Post contains images BMIFlyer : Because what the average american citizen wants, he/she gets No offence to my american friends
44 N2DCaves : International simply means that customs is available...IIRC.
45 DeltAirlines : Simple - I don't want to deal with wasting my time getting to the airport early and then having to wait for my bag to come out. For example, a few we
46 Motopolitico : 1. Frequent Cancellations and delays. The bane of US Air Travel. As much as the English complain about their weather, it just doesn't get nearly as se
47 Ikramerica : Hey, that's a good thing. The majority of travelers prefer to have an open baggage check area, so that's what we have. And theft is not really high.
48 Post contains images Newark777 : We once made it all the way home with someone else's bag in the trunk. Thankfully, they had our bag as well, and a quick phone call and a visit to th
49 Post contains links KingCavalier : It looks like some baggage handlers (CO maybe) in IAH were doing some Christmas shopping last year. http://consumerist.com/consumer/airp...ggage-foun
50 IPFreely : 2 - Because it is much easier for people to meet passengers there, especially if they need assistance with baggage. It is also easier for passengers
51 Post contains images Bwohlgemuth : I am a fat guy. And I know that most of the people on this board would immediately roll their eyes and bitch under their breath about being stuck next
52 CXfirst : In large airports such as LHR, there are hundreds of flights each hour (maybe I'm exaggerating a bit). That means that if they had the departures in a
53 SkyexRamper : Ever seen a 400lb woman squeeze into a beech 1900D..I have..and my god is it a horrifying sight! She only could be seated in 1C because 1A would have
54 MasseyBrown : Our railroad stations use chronological listings.
55 ThirtyEcho : Another reason to fly WN, exclusively. They make the BUFFs either buy another seat, sit in an unoccupied row or stay off the plane. Good move, WN.
56 Chgoflyer : I used to take DL on L1011 LAX ANC HKG then when they took delivery of MD-11's it was LAX non stop to HKG. Both were excellent flights.
57 XJRamper : LHR is a busy airport, however, its less busy than our top 10 airports in the US. And keep in mind...they usually only post flights that are schedule
58 Cubsrule : And in the US, it's not unusual to be able to look up your gate 3 hours before your flight... if there's any reason you really need that information.
59 Post contains images SkyexRamper : You've got a 70% chance of it changing before you get there anyhow...
60 SW733 : I fly MCI-MDW very often, and while I rarely check any luggage, most everytime I have, someone has checked my tag at MDW. So, while people can get TO
61 Cubsrule : ...which is why I'm not sure there's any point in giving out the information. I think it's a WN thing at MDW. TZ and NW don't do it, but the folks wh
62 SJC4Me : We could take the amusement park approach to this. Instead of height restrictions, we could have signs that read... "You must be this thin to ride th
63 InnocuousFox : I would hope that people would also know what bloody airline you are flying. And maybe the flight number as well? All of which is available on the sc
64 Bond007 : Yes, actually pre-9/11 there were much more enforcement. I think most major airports in the US, I can think specifically of O'Hare, had a seperate ar
65 Motopolitico : My remark was insulting to fat people. I am well on my way to 300lbs, almost none of it muscle, myself. It was intended as a self-deprecating remark,
66 Post contains images Lightsaber : One used to greet arriving passangers at the gate. At LAX it is the custom to pick up friends and family at the airport. Since it takes a bloody 45 m
67 Coal : Hmmm, I'm impartial to either system. I know where I'm going and when I'm going. But I do prefer the huuuge departure boards found in CDG or SIN Not
68 ANother : Not saying that you are wrong, but this 'habit' at Heathrow has bugged me for decades. 20 min before boarding is likely to be close to 45min to an ho
69 Rafabozzolla : Not allways the case. What about the refusal to adopt the metric system?
70 Airbazar : Again, just posting what I was told when I inquired. My guess is if you were a bad guy you could buy a ticket to any non-suspicious destination just
71 B747-437B : It has nothing to do with security. I have a copy of the complete-waste-of-time 108 page "Guide to BAA FIDS Display Standards - Draft 3 (2007)" which
72 Rkmcswain : 2. They used to check your luggage tags at HOU back in the late 80's/early 90's. I can't remember the last time or last place that I have seen that th
73 Chris133 : Please don't get me started on the BAA FIDS display standards
74 Cubsrule : Which carriers did? I can't ever remember them being checked on UA. DL may have once or twice.
75 Bond007 : Well, I think I'm wrong - It was ATL I'm sure. I lived in both places! Jimbo
76 Cubsrule : I'm not sure you are, and it's so darn long ago that I'm trying to remember too. I know they had (have?) barriers up in T-3 so that it can be done, b
77 LMP737 : Actually it's 30%, still to high however.
78 Post contains images Ikramerica : What does that have to do with the topic? That's a different issue, and further, you don't even know what the story is. They weren't "shopping" at al
79 GlobalATL : This is still AMERICA! F R E E D O M.....
80 MPDPilot : I have a question relating to this. So I assume that part of the problem is that the gate agent is the one that does the seat assignments and is inch
81 Jetdeltamsy : Americans like thing to be easy. Expecting someone to remember an actual departure time would be to much for the average American. Because most US ai
82 Bond007 : No, they're slow to enforce it because they can't be bothered, and think there are better things to spend their time on. If all airlines enforced the
83 Post contains links ExFATboy : What airline (or airlines) are you booking on? Some carriers have started setting aside so many "premium" coach seats, like Northwest, that the few n
84 USADreamliner : Maybe airlines should create a new class, "Large Class" or "Xtra class", instead of 3X3 configuration on a A320, 737, 757, etc. Maybe a 2X2 , bigger
85 InnocuousFox : If you hit the 6AM flight to get where you are going at 815 to get to the meeting by 9AM, yeah it makes a difference. "Better planning" would have in
86 Post contains images ExFATboy : No, "better planning" would mean not scheduling the meeting for 9 AM, but for, say, 10. A lot of business travelers try to smash too much into a give
87 Dalavia : Although I personally prefer the alphabetical system, it does not well in many international settings. For example, does a person search for Wien or
88 Antoniemey : Where most casual vacationers want to take their entire house adn the kitchen sink along, I can fit everything I need for a 1 week trip in a single r
89 InnocuousFox : Ooh... very good point. And a good example, as well. Wild guess... you're not a woman.
90 Post contains images Antoniemey : No, I'm not, but my girlfriend can fit most everything she needs in the same size bag as well.
91 Post contains images Analog : I feel sorry for you; you must have bad luck with women. My wife rarely checks bags. We took our honeymoon (12 days or so) with carryon bags only. Th
92 Bond007 : Well, OK, my wife travels every week for 4 days and has no problem with carry-ons, but for most people, 12 days worth of outfits don't fit in a stand
93 ExFATboy : Where did you go? Unless you went to a beach resort and your wife wore nothing but bikins and beach wraps and that sort of thing, I'm amazed...I can'
94 Bond007 : Yes, flew domestic NWA from BOS international terminal yesterday and noticed that the boards are chronological to cater to our international travelle
95 TranStar : Its very interesting to see what non-US travelers complain or criticize or find different from their own experiences elsewhere. One strength that I th
96 BN727flyr : Thank you, Massey. I beliieve you are the closest to having the correct answer for #1. The European way of listing flights in chronological order is
97 Jsnww81 : Good point. I love European airports (and Europe in general) and think there's a lot we Americans can learn from them, but check-in is one area I thi
98 Gilesdavies : In the UK when I have flown domestic flights to PIK and EDI, both airports baggage reclaims were not behind closed doors and were in the arrivals hal
99 YYZYYT : do flight numbers really stay constant? these days, when I go to look for AC 601 on the screeen at YYZ, I see a progression of flights listed for the
100 Analog : A more sensible way to handle this is to list each "flight" in its own line. Of course that can significantly increase the display size at places lik
101 DUSdude : I don't mind either system. But what bothers the heck out of me are the screens that are too small to list all the flights and therefore have to cycl
102 ExFATboy : I saw screens at IAD last Saturday that had a good comprimise for this - the primary airline is always shown on the display, and a second airline/fli
103 BosWashSprStar : Don't have time to read through the whole thread to see if this has already been said, but I think the reason for chronological departure listings in
104 TristarSteve : At LHR the reason for this is lack of space to store bags. T1 is so small that they just cannot accept bags more than two hours before departure, as
105 ANother : This would reduce 'dwell time' in the main terminal - hate to be cynical, but that simply isn't going to happen.
106 Analog : Wouldn't it be more efficient to store bags packed closely together than next to people hanging around before security? Checking people in earlier wo
107 Brilondon : I think it is stupid that any body could walk in and grab your bag. I like the baggage to be in a secure area where I know that only people would hav
108 ExFATboy : It used to be common at LAS, back before Terminal D was opened. If you came in through Terminals A or B, you had to go to the ground level and then t
109 Post contains images Rivet42 : Ha, ha, yes, BAA aren't going to encourage anyone to move away from the shopping zones until they absolutely HAVE to!!! I'm surprised that they didn'
110 Coa747 : No one else gate checks bags?
111 YULWinterSkies : About luggage, it also has to do with the fact that any domestic flight in the US has had all its international luggage cleared in customs at the airp
112 Bond007 : Well, partly true .... but as mentioned a few times, there always was security personnel checking bag tags at some of the major US airports .... they
113 Rivet42 : Not quite correct - the green luggage tag is for any flights within the EU, including non-Schengen countries. If I fly London (non-Schengen) - Paris
114 BHD : This is also the case in BFS Woody
115 InnocuousFox : Yeah... just what the airlines need right now. More labor.
116 Bond007 : Well, Grandma would need assistance if she was flying anywhere except the USA. AFAIK the carousel security wasn't provided by the airlines anyway, bu
117 A380US : Well first, this is only true for domestic flights. and second people can tell if you just got off a flight or if you walked in through the front doo
118 Bond007 : LOL .... who are these 'people' and how the heck can anyone tell?? If I stood at the beginning of the carousel and took the first black, non-descript
119 A380US : people include security airport officials and passengers but in most cases the people that were on the flight beat the bags to the carosoul
120 Bond007 : ....and they could tell I wasn't a passenger because?? Like I said, stand at the beginning of the carousel and take a black unmarked wheeled bag, and
121 ImperialEagle : And here at ATL they do it all the time. Big surprise. I have hear time and time again "I always carry-on because the airlines take way too long to g
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