Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Boarding On European Carrier Is More Rushed?  
User currently offlineHAMAD From United Arab Emirates, joined Apr 2000, 1159 posts, RR: 7
Posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7819 times:

I have noticed this many times. so i always wonder. whenever i connect in europe and fly a european carrier, i notice that boarding doesnt takethat long, everyone is rushed to the airplane, the doors are shut and they are out of their way as soon as that is done. no matter if some passengers are still standing, or some of them are seated. i just flew back to dubai today on UA/LH, it was a great trip. UA boarding was the usual, business first, then the group, and it took for ever to get every one on board. and then after every one boarded the door was open for a while before it was closed. and after that, it took a while to push. then later i arrive in europe and lufthana was boarding. i was seated in business and every one was congested at the gate. in less than 10 min i see the jetway pull away, some passengers were still standing, and not even a minuite, the plane is being pushed back. is there a reason for this?


PHX - i miss spotting
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21475 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7818 times:

Interesting. I know that in the USA for international flights we really like to board early and get everyone settled, check bags against passengers on board, etc. They start boarding 45 minutes before. The airlines like to take more time to board everyone too so it's less rushed. I've also noticed that for flights too/from LAX that boarding starts earlier (35 minutes) than many other places where it's 20-25 minutes before departure. And yet for the LAX flights it's still a fight to get off the gate in time (are my city mates that slow?).

I've noticed the same thing with QF international where they can start boarding an hour before departure on the 744s. But domestically they boarded the 743 rather quickly with no row by row groups and we were in and ready to go in short order.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineFlyingcat From United States of America, joined May 2007, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7739 times:

Could the fact that in Europe they are more strict on carryon policies. Fewer carryons dramatically reduces boarding time. Couple that with the possiblity of dual jet bridges and boarding goes a lot faster.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24891 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7710 times:

Personally I have never seen a flight in Europe push back with people standing in the aisle, at least on the major carriers I use that comply with safety regulations.

However it is much less common to board by row number on flights within Europe. I think they've determined that it's much faster not to do that. And many airport gate areas are fairly small and congested when there's a full load, and with everyone crowded together it's not feasible to board by row. And many flights at major airports in Europe require a bus to the aircraft parked at a remote stand.

With many people not speaking English (and often none of the languages used in the boarding announcements), regardless what they may say about boarding by row, many people just rush up as soon as they hear the first announcement.

Airlines also want to avoid missing their ATC slot times which on many routes in Europe can sometimes mean a long delay waiting for a new slot. They thus do whatever they can to expedite boarding.


User currently offline44k From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7659 times:

In my opinion US carrier (most, not all of them!) do it right. The group boarding at AA provides us with the flexibility of taking our tame and boarding properly, or you can rush it too with literally no time between the groups. In Europe its a free for all most of the time, although I have noticed that pax in Europe 'tend' to take their seats quicker than here in the USA.

The one unknown always remains the passenger...: I have had full MD80's board literally within 8 minutes, or half full ones take forever! You just never know.


User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7588 times:



Quoting 44k (Reply 4):
The one unknown always remains the passenger...: I have had full MD80's board literally within 8 minutes, or half full ones take forever! You just never know.

That is absolutely right, and why is it? I've started boarding a 73G 30 minutes prior when we're full, and be done boarding in 10 minutes. The next day we'll start boarding a 717 with 80 people on it 30 minutes prior, and we push back 5 minutes late. Being a flight attendant would be so much easier if it weren't for the passengers....  Wink


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7572 times:

In my experience, American operators have always been sharper at boarding than any European carrier.

The American crews want to get their pax on board as soon as possible. The Euro crews want to have a chat and a cuppa before boarding starts and hence the delays in departure.

BA are currently the worst at boarding flgihts on time. My bi-monthly flight constantly boards 10-20 mins past the sheduled departure time! Reasons are various and disappointing.


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7529 times:

Will change at T5 as the boarding process is going to be controlled a different way than at the moment.

When its a busy flight at the moment they will board by row number though.


User currently offlineRunway23 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Jan 2005, 2182 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7476 times:

One major difference is turn-around times:

European flag-carriers tend to have an average turnaround in the area of 40 mins to 1 hour. About 25-40 minutes for low cost carriers.
In the States your average turnaround time is around 1hr15-1hr35.

That difference means your typical American flight boards 30 or 40 minutes before departure time whilst a European flight will start around 20-25 minutes before.

Obviously, American flights tend to have people traveling with more carry-on baggage which will slow down the boarding process. There are also other considerations which are more North American than European (gate agents have a lot more work in terms of processing upgrades, stand-bys which are not present or very rare in Europe).


User currently offlineGoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1832 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7470 times:



Quoting HAMAD (Thread starter):
some passengers were still standing, and not even a minuite, the plane is being pushed back. is there a reason for this?



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Personally I have never seen a flight in Europe push back with people standing in the aisle, at least on the major carriers I use that comply with safety regulations

me too. I've never seen this in Europe
Hamad, your flight was probably an exception


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3936 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7454 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I may be mistaken, but I do believe that European carriers start paying their flight attendants well before boarding has begun, unlike US carriers where flight attendants basically work for free until the first passenger sets foot on board. That alone gives US crews an incentive to start boarding early, whereas European F/As, if they're being paid no matter what, might as well take their time before dealing with their charge...


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineJouy31 From France, joined May 2003, 447 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7447 times:



Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 10):
may be mistaken, but I do believe that European carriers start paying their flight attendants well before boarding has begun,

Unless I am mistaken, AF flight attendants (currently) get paid once the doors are closed ...


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21475 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7366 times:



Quoting Travatl (Reply 5):
That is absolutely right, and why is it?

On my flight the other day, there was a woman who was having trouble with the complex pattern the seat rows are ordered in.

As she entered the Y cabin, she read, the 7, then the 8, then stopped at 9 and read that. She looked confused. Read 10. Stopped. Read 11. Stopped, almost sat down, looked at her boarding pass in utter confusion and turned to the F/A for help. Asked for help in English. She was in row 24. She didn't know which direction that was. She obviously never learned to count?

This can hold up boarding. Some flights you get people like this. Other flights you don't...  Wink

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 9):
Hamad, your flight was probably an exception

I am pretty sure he was saying that the door is closed and the jetway pushed back while pax are still standing, not that the plane is pushed back. He is right that in the USA they generally will not close the door unless everyone is seated, though I don't know that's any sort of rule.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1871 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7342 times:

I might believe it might have something to do with the departure slots assigned by Eurocontrol in Brussels. The boarding is rather quick to allow on-time departure for the flight. If the departure slot is missed, especially at the busy airport, oftentimes the plane has to wait for a while until another free departure slot becomes available. Another reason is the EU compensation law for carrier-related delays and cancellations.


STOP TERRORRUSSIA!!!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21475 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7278 times:

That doesn't explain why they wouldn't start boarding 10 minutes earlier just to make it easier to get off the gate in time...


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineThunder9 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7210 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 12):
in the USA they generally will not close the door unless everyone is seated, though I don't know that's any sort of rule.

FAA regs require that the A/C door is closed only after all carry-on bags are properly stowed, overhead bins are closed, and F/A's have completed the emergency exit row briefing. The A/C isn't allowed to push if pax don't have their butts fastened to the seat.

Some airlines combine the two regs and won't close the door until everyone is seated.

-J



"Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner
User currently offlineRunway23 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Jan 2005, 2182 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7146 times:



Quoting Thunder9 (Reply 15):
FAA regs require that the A/C door is closed only after all carry-on bags are properly stowed, overhead bins are closed, and F/A's have completed the emergency exit row briefing. The A/C isn't allowed to push if pax don't have their butts fastened to the seat.

Some airlines combine the two regs and won't close the door until everyone is seated.

That's the theory. In practice often not followed with the door closed when people are still walking to their seats.

That points to a number of different safety aspects between airlines:

-Checking ID no matter where the flight is going (done by all airlines in Europe. Not on US domestic)
-Checking boarding pass at the door (done by AF, BA, U2 amongst others)
-Counting the number of passengers on board (AF does this more rigorously than any other airline I know)
-Asking for window shades to be kept open during take off and landing (easyJet, Aer Lingus, Ryanair)
-Announcing cross check of doors, beginning to descend, final turn to the arrival gate (Air France).

All in all, it seems that European airlines are a lot more to the book. In North America, it isn't rare to see items in the exit rows or at people's feet at bulkheads. Similarly, there seems to be no real respect for the seat belt sign in the US (perhaps because it isn't turned off at transition attitude like in Europe).


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3164 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7076 times:



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 16):
Counting the number of passengers on board (AF does this more rigorously than any other airline I know)

On every easyJet flight I've been on, they've also been counting passengers with these small counting devices.


User currently offlineAPYu From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 834 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6939 times:



Quoting Trekster (Reply 7):
Will change at T5 as the boarding process is going to be controlled a different way than at the moment.

Do you think that will last? Boarding by Seat row number has been tried loads and it often ends in confusion and congestion at the gate as people dont listen to the announcements. How much more likely are they to read screens with the same instruction.

BA boarding policy is quite funny. BA Golds and Silvers can board at their leisure, according to ba.com, and according to the literature they send out with the cards. I carry that literature with me as 9 times out of 10 im told my seat row number has not been called when i try and get through the gate. The gate agents have been very surprised to read the promise which comes with the Gold card which states 'You will always be invited to board first' At Gatwick they have got better recently. They have a green / red traffic light signal at the gate, but unless its changed recently it takes no notice of the Gold or Silver card details on the booking so Ive been refused boarding until I point out the anomaly. Another cock up with the policy is how does it affect people travelling with the cardholder, some gate agents let my partner through with me and others try not to. A clear policy with that would help people keep the gate area clear. On the T5 trial I found boarding to be the biggest area of concern. I can see the escalators down to the gate being switched off as people get backed up on the jetway as they wait to board the aircraft. So many people put their boarding passes away once they are through the gate, or imagine the pass has been taken off them so they have nothing to show to the cabin crew.



We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6910 times:



Quoting Jouy31 (Reply 11):
Unless I am mistaken, AF flight attendants (currently) get paid once the doors are closed ...

so what do they do when the passengers are boarding, sit in the galley eating Crepes and quaffing Champagne. Of course not, they are working directing passengers to their seats etc, so thay surely have to begetting paid before hand otherwise they would be asking for overtime before the passegers have even seated.

IMHO, US carriers get it right....board earier and settle down!


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21475 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6756 times:



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 16):
-Counting the number of passengers on board

CO does this on every flight I've ever been on.

Quoting Runway23 (Reply 16):
All in all, it seems that European airlines are a lot more to the book.

All in all, that statement is silliness.

They use a slightly different book, that's all. USA airlines are "to the book" or they would be fined or lose their cert. It is not required that ID is checked at the gate in the USA on domestic flights. For better or worse, your boarding pass becomes your ID. Post 9/11 for a time the feds required this check, then relaxed it. As for "checking boarding pass at the door" I have no idea what you mean. USA carriers scan or tear off your BP, or in some cases cross your seat number off a list (if the computer is not working). They know which seats are taken and which pax are onboard. Announcing cross check and such is purely an internal airline procedure. If they can inform the F/As to do their job another way, they can/would. Every large jet flight I've been on with multiple doors in the USA makes that kind of announcement. On RJs, the captain simply asks the F/A to prepare the cabin for landing.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6737 times:



Quoting HAMAD (Thread starter):
I have noticed this many times. so i always wonder. whenever i connect in europe and fly a european carrier, i notice that boarding doesnt takethat long, everyone is rushed to the airplane, the doors are shut and they are out of their way as soon as that is done. no matter if some passengers are still standing, or some of them are seated. i just flew back to dubai today on UA/LH, it was a great trip. UA boarding was the usual, business first, then the group, and it took for ever to get every one on board. and then after every one boarded the door was open for a while before it was closed. and after that, it took a while to push. then later i arrive in europe and lufthana was boarding. i was seated in business and every one was congested at the gate. in less than 10 min i see the jetway pull away, some passengers were still standing, and not even a minuite, the plane is being pushed back. is there a reason for this?

I recently flew Delta from TXL to JFK and we boarded a nearly full B767-300 in twenty minutes. The quick boarding had nothing to do with the the turn time, because the aircraft had been at the gate at least 2 hours before boarding and I saw the flight crew enter the airplane by the back stairs an hour before departure.

Many airports in Europe have a handling company which works the flight. This means that the flight attendants stay on the aircraft during boarding and the employees who board the aircraft do not work for the airline, but for the airport authority. I know when I worked for Continental Airlines, all ground operations were handled by Gatwick Handling and the airline had many complaints with what they did, but Continental had no choice but to use their service.

I noticed in Berlin that the employees working the flight were not Delta, but affiliated with TXL.

As for pulling the jetway, I have been on many flights in the US and the rest of the world were the jetway was pulled before everybody was seated. When I worked gates for Continental I did this hundreds of times. The rule on delays at Continental was that if you close the door and pull the jetway before "go time", you could not be held responsible for a delay. On tight turns, we always marked the "jetway off' time on our trip report. In addition, it was usual for the passenger service agent in the zone to radio the ops desk in the terminal that jetway was off on flight so and so. All this was done so the delay could not be coded "passenger service". On my Delta connecting flight from JFK to SAN a month ago, the jetway was pulled before everyone was seated due to late connecting passengers.

If a flight is boarded on time, it is not the responsibility of the ground crew to see that everyone is seated before closing the door and pulling the jetway. That is the responsibility of the flight crew. Some of the flight crews I have seen don't have their act together and are clustered in the back of the aircraft playing with the food and drink carts. It is not the responsibility of the gate crew to do the flight crew's job and if there are standing passengers when the jetway is pulled, that is not their fault.


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8227 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

This issue has been debated here endlessly. You can probably find other threads on this topic if you do a search.
Most often than not it comes down to carry-on luggage. Europeans just don't carry on board nearly as much stuff. In the US you can't even close the door until everyone is seated and all carry-on is properly stored. More carryon luggage means more people standing in the aisles looking for a place to put their stauff and slowing down the boarding process.


User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4393 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6525 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 21):
I have been on many flights in the US and the rest of the world were the jetway was pulled before everybody was seated.

In over 20 years of flying in the US not even once I have seen the door close before everyone is seated. Then again I only fly about 20-30 legs a year.
In my opinion, two reasons why US flights tend to take longer to board:
-Carry-ons. It is getting ridiculous; it used to be laptops, garment bags, carryon rolling bags, now it is tons of food, big gulp drinks, starbucks...
-Overweight pax. This is getting ridiculous also. Couple nights ago on a full redeye PHX-JFK on US, I had to sit sideways in my middle seat most of the trip because both guys next to me were spilling over.
Flying for business I don't get to choose when, what class I fly, and most of the time I end up with a middle seat because of last minute changes to my schedules.


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6396 times:



Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 10):
I may be mistaken, but I do believe that European carriers start paying their flight attendants well before boarding has begun, unlike US carriers where flight attendants basically work for free until the first passenger sets foot on board. That alone gives US crews an incentive to start boarding early,

You are mistaken. At all but one US carrier (USA3000) do not pay flight pay until well AFTER the boarding process is completed. Depending on the contract flight pay starts when a) the door is closed b) brakes are released for push back c) push back begins or d) when the engines start. That would be incentive to board quickly so that you could get the door shut and the A/c underway ASAP.


25 Uzimmermann : If that is FAA regulation, then several of the US Airways and Southwest flights I have been on in recent months do not follow that regulation. They w
26 44k : While I can't comment on other airline, I know this is not true for AA! AA mainline turnaround times: 40-45mins MQ (American Eagle): 30mins Not to sa
27 BabyblueBHX : Ive never pushed back with passengers still standing and never seen it, I normally like to make sure everyone is seated before I even get a crew memb
28 AF Cabin Crew : Ia Orana all ! AF Cabin crew don't get paid anything until the first engine is started ! So if there is a 4 hours delay we work for free for 4 hours !
29 HAMAD : exactly! thanks
30 BrianDromey : A lot of airlines will announce "doors armed and crosschecked" eg EI, FR, WW, BD. Others will say something like "crew, (prepare)doors for departure/
31 Manu : I experienced this on LH as well recently. Surprised me that they didn't allow first or *A Gold to board before everyone else. As well, they just sai
32 Braybuddy : Neither have I, either on the full-service or low-cost carriers. Ever.
33 Post contains images Ikramerica : UK, Germany are both getting very fat. I highly doubt there is anything to what you say... Again, this is not a rule in the USA, thus it's just a dif
34 Steelyman : I think that there are some important reasons, at least one of them has already been mentioned here which is that delays in the schedules may lead to
35 Bond007 : I have yet to really see any 'important reasons' to convince me that the requirements are any different from the USA ... some slot times excepted. In
36 OTOPS : In my opinion europeans don't seem to be capable of waiting their turn. So why try to regulate boarding they wont follow the rules anyway. I have trav
37 Sevenair : I think we have it fine in the UK - the open seating policy works well there - as we know how to queue. In fast food joints, theme parks etc etc. Unfo
38 Post contains images Airbazar : That is so true Try explaing to an American that's never been to Europe that in Europe there are no lines (queues), and they'll look at you like you'
39 Post contains images Bond007 : Well, hate to say it ... but you do have a point. UK is excepted here ... the queue Kings and Queens. Having queued at many a bus stop in the UK, we
40 AznMadSci : As Ikramerica said, CO does do the counting of pax on board, including lap children, and this seems to be done usually by the FAs that sit at the bac
41 Travatl : I think this was discussed earlier. It's simply a "door arming" announcement to the cabin crew from the "lead/pursor/senior/whateveryoucallitatyourai
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Smoking On European Carrier? posted Sat Apr 28 2007 08:24:02 by Trent1000
Why Boarding Is On Trhu The Left Doors Of Plane? posted Mon Sep 11 2006 19:08:37 by Eastern023
Is 'More Room' On American Ending? posted Sat Feb 19 2005 23:05:54 by NCLairport
Why Does JAT Use The DC-10 On European Routes? posted Tue Mar 23 2004 21:24:45 by Vio
Landing Or Take-off Is More Important? posted Mon Feb 11 2008 03:46:28 by UAEflyer
Upgrading On European Carriers posted Fri Nov 16 2007 19:24:44 by KLM11
Why No B On Planes Seat Plan posted Sat Oct 27 2007 23:05:41 by YYZACGUY
Tunisair - Why A319 On Medium/long-haul? posted Sat May 26 2007 19:46:42 by FlyTUITravel
Can You? Domestic Flight On Intl Carrier? posted Mon Apr 30 2007 17:18:57 by Gregarious119
Why Won't BAA Update Their Website More Reguarly? posted Mon Apr 16 2007 13:48:37 by 8herveg