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Assigning The Furthest Away Gate At A Terminal  
User currently offlineTropical From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 97 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Hello everybody. After lurking for many years this is my very first post on a.net (so be gentle  Wink ). I did do a search on the subject but didn't notice anything that answered my question.

I fly to MAD a few times a year- sometimes with BA. Since T4 was opened, I've noticed that very often we were assigned the very last gate at the terminal. This despite the fact that there were countless empty and unused gates next to it.

As those who've used T4 might have noticed, the terminal (the satellite building in this case, but no different from the main one) is a very long one. And every time I've found myself walking for nearly 10 minutes from the gate at the very end of the terminal to the middle part, where passport control and the transfer train to the main building is found. The walk is not aided by the sight of dozens upon dozens of empty gates, many of them a lot closer to the exit.

So who is responsible for assigning the gate in such situations? If it is BA itself, is it to do with saving fuel? If so, I wonder if the money they save is lost elsewhere as lost revenue. Practically every time this happens I've heard murmurs of complaint from fellow passengers about the distances required to walk when the terminal is empty.

Or if it is the airport assigning that gate, what would their reasons be for doing so?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2837 times:

Gate assignments at hub airports are usually assigned WELL in advance, although the logic in their system is like the logic of a computer: nobody except their creator truly understands it - and even then I'm not sure!!

Years ago when AA had only two terminals at DFW - and LONG before the SkyLink was available - the joke for connecting pax was that gate assignments were made to require people to walk/job/run the longest possible distance. Connecting to American Eagle at gate one A-Z in the northern terminal (1E?)? You'll be arriving at gate 47 at terminal 2E. Oh, and the TrAAm will be closed for repairs. RUN!!!!!



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4317 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2751 times:



Quoting Tropical (Thread starter):
As those who've used T4 might have noticed, the terminal (the satellite building in this case, but no different from the main one) is a very long one. And every time I've found myself walking for nearly 10 minutes from the gate at the very end of the terminal to the middle part, where passport control and the transfer train to the main building is found. The walk is not aided by the sight of dozens upon dozens of empty gates, many of them a lot closer to the exit.

Since when does T4 have a satellite terminal? I thought it was just the one terminal with very short walks to all the gates? And I thought BA was out of there now, and that it was used by SkyTeam?



Gate assignments are dynamic by nature too. For example. lets say that you are flying into ORD from FAR on a United Express flight. The next flight the plane is supposed to make up is an ATW flight. The flight is scheduled to depart from F11. Now lets say that Skywest has a plane go tech in LNK, that was supposed to do a flight to MKE that leaves from gate B22. Since it is scheduled to leave eariler, SkyWest may elect to use the plane from FAR to do the MKE flight instead of ATW. Because of that, instead of arriving at gate F11, they will have the flight pull into B22, to avoid moving all the passengers. (And believe me, B22 to F11 is a long distance to move passengers)


User currently onlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4723 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2737 times:



Quoting Apodino (Reply 2):
Since when does T4 have a satellite terminal?

Since the T4 we're talking about is in MAD and not LHR  Wink



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineEMB170 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2715 times:

Also it has to do with the type of aircraft on which you're flying and the way the jetbridges at the airport are hung. Keep in mind in many airports not every jetbridge can hook up to every kind of aircraft...and it may just be there are only a couple of gates that can fit your plane.


Can passenger jets fly as fast as my feet do? Let's find out...
User currently offlineTropical From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 days ago) and read 2566 times:



Quoting EMB170 (Reply 4):


In this case that would not apply. The planes had either been A320s or 737s, and those gates can take heavies. I can only imagine it's at BA's request and it is to do with saving fuel during taxiing, as the gate in question is the nearest one to the taxiways (if approached from a certain end).

I couldn't find a representative picture, but it is quite puzzling to see a seemly endless row of mostly empty gates along the terminal, with the BA plane docked at the very last one, leaving passengers to take a leasury stroll to the exit (though to be fair it is a very impossing building and there are conveyor belts throughout). That's why I'd be inclined to believe the gate is assigned at BA's request for fuel saving reasons...


User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 747 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

We flew BD from LHR T1 this year. Only because I wanted to spot aircraft (much to partner's dismay Big grin) did we start walking. I couldn't believe how far it was and we were just about the last gate walking through what looked like a newer built extension. Some elderly pax and a woman with two small children arrived huffing and puffing as we were boarding. They didn't mention to us at checkin that it was a hike.


B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineLAXPAX From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2432 times:

You fancy airline experts can weigh-in with all the facts & information you want, but in my personal experience, the phenomenon described by the topic creator is a simple fact of nature:

No matter what airport I'm in, no matter what my origin or destination may be... My flight always ends up being at the farthest possible gate!



"Remember, no matter where you go... there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6826 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2393 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Connecting to American Eagle at gate one A-Z in the northern terminal (1E?)? You'll be arriving at gate 47 at terminal 2E. Oh, and the TrAAm will be closed for repairs. RUN!!!!!

2E and 3E, actually. The Eagle satellite terminal that was used for a few years north of Terminal A/2E was built in part of the space allocated for Terminal 1E


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4179 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2375 times:
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In addition to every other reason mentioned above, the gate a particular airline ends up at is also function of where that particular airline stores its air-side and gate equipment/fixtures. At many of the busiest airports, ramp-level and gate-level storage space is limited, and a particular carrier may not be able to do any better than to store their equipment at the end of a pier. In such cases, it makes sense to assign a gate at the end of the pier, close to the carrier's designated storage area, rather than move all that equipment around to wherever the plane might otherwise go.


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3976 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2337 times:



Quoting LAXPAX (Reply 7):
No matter what airport I'm in, no matter what my origin or destination may be... My flight always ends up being at the farthest possible gate!

Me too! Can't ever remember getting "gate 1" or something remotely close to the dept lounge!  Yeah sure


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2318 times:



Quoting Vasu (Reply 10):
Quoting LAXPAX (Reply 7):
No matter what airport I'm in, no matter what my origin or destination may be... My flight always ends up being at the farthest possible gate!

Me too! Can't ever remember getting "gate 1" or something remotely close to the dept lounge!

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 


Brings back memories of gate C-26 at the old NW (Davey) Terminal at DTW. Never failed that I had to get there in a mad dash!


User currently offlinePlanesailing From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 816 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2318 times:

BA shares terminal space with Iberia at MAD seeing as they code share on flights to LHR and are both in Oneworld.

It may therefore be the case that Iberia take up the majority of the Terminal 4 spaces, probably locating the long haul large capacity aircraft at the closest locations in order to aviod large numbers of people walking distances around the terminal.

The A320 or whatever BA sends down therefore probably just parks in one of the spare slots for the 26 other airlines that use the Terminal alongside Iberia.


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4317 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2078 times:



Quoting JRadier (Reply 3):

Since the T4 we're talking about is in MAD and not LHR

Doh. I saw BA, and instantly assumed LHR without reading the full post.


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