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Aircraft Boarding From Left Doors. Why?  
User currently offlineJEKY From Italy, joined Mar 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 13221 times:

Hi all,

Excuse me if it has been discussed before. I have noticed that airlines allways board passengers from the left side doors of the airplanes.

Should you board via stairs or fingers, you allways get in the aircraft from the left. Has it something to do with security issues? Is that the international rule or what else?

Just wondering. Thx a lot for reply!

Jeky


Fell in love with a 747
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinehappyhaydn From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2007, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 13050 times:

Hi

I'm pretty sure that most if not all airports have pax boarding from the left and aircraft servicing performed on the right, ie baggage, fuel, catering etc. The most logical reason is that airlines/airports don't want pax in this area because the space is required for the above tasks to be carried out. Some pax may even end up in the hold (they get everywhere  ) Hence all service related tasks are kept to the right and pax are boarded/disembarked from the left.

That said, I have seen pics of airports in the past where the right has been used for pax boarding but this is very unusual.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Happyhaydn


User currently offlineba9216c From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2010, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 13006 times:

At a guess I would say it goes back to shipping days. Ships dock on the left (port-side) which is where we also get "port" from. There's no real reason why planes cannot be docked on the right however some aircraft manufactures keep to the rule so tend to have smaller "service" doors on the right e.g 757, 737 etc. most large aircraft eg 747 and 777s have normal sized doors on the starboard (right) so the only thing stopping boarding there is the airport infrastructure.

Caterers use the starboard side of the aircraft and generally cargo doors are placed there.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1384 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12975 times:

Tradition, nothing more really: Skipper sits at port side, passenger embark at port side. Once the tradition has been established it gains it's own inertia.

It is worth noticing that quite a lot of freighter operators prefer having the stairs at the starboard side, so as not to interfere with the High Loader (K-loader) on the port side. One example of practical implications overruling tradition, but it's not always easy to convince an airline it's a better idea; tradition is a powerful addiction.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6722 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12955 times:

Yeah I don't know the original reason but the result is that doors on the right are often smaller so it's a self perpetuating "rule".


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 865 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12928 times:

Generally speaking, its become an accepted industry convention, so procedures are similar at all destinations. It allows uniformity in parking positions, for one thing. Said convention is the reason doors are different on the right side, as manufacturers fell into line and saw common sense. One doesn't want people boarding while fuel, catering and baggage vehicles are moving around on the same side, and segregating activities is essential from the safety standpoint.

Wasn't always the case though. I believe American had its DC-3s configurerd with boarding door on the right for some reason, and there are various images on the database of piston airliners boarding at the front right.

the other anomaly is that occasionally (and I can't think of any examples today) there were instances of airbridges built to reach the front right door.

regards - musang


User currently offlineJEKY From Italy, joined Mar 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12750 times:

I found this interesting story from an Italian aviation forum:
The early models of aircraft engines were helical whose sense of rotation was toward the left; for this reason, the "moment of force" (or "rotational force") of the engine going in the same direction and made ​​it easier for pilots to perform turns to the left, while those to the right, being in the opposite direction to the "rotational force" engine, required a greater movement of the rudder to compensate for such a force.
For this reason, when taxiing, pilots preferred to make curves to the left of the runway and, as a result, that side also became the main one for the commander's station on the flight deck as it offered better visibility when cornering to the left that were the most frequent .
Historically, then, the left side of the aircraft has become the principal for operations "on demand" as the boarding of passengers while the opposite side was used, by convention, the loading / unloading of baggage, refueling, refueling food, etc..
This is now a standard in airport operations around the world and allows you to physically separate the operations of "handling" of the aircraft by the movements of passengers during boarding or disembarking for added security.
Therefore, even when an aircraft is stationary on a pitch away from the "finger" (which is always located on the left side of the plane) and is embarked or disembarked via the stairs, passengers are made ​​to always use the left side, in order to avoid interference with the vehicles carrying the luggage, fuel and food supplies.



Fell in love with a 747
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12572 times:

Personally I've always wondered why airports never install double-pronged jetways for widebodies so that boarding could be done at both the right and left doors. Has that ever been tried?

User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3856 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12527 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 7):
Personally I've always wondered why airports never install double-pronged jetways for widebodies so that boarding could be done at both the right and left doors. Has that ever been tried?

Yes.


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Photo © Allan Rossmore



LoneStarMike


User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3116 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12192 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 7):
Personally I've always wondered why airports never install double-pronged jetways for widebodies so that boarding could be done at both the right and left doors. Has that ever been tried?

Has been done at a few airports as the pic above proves, but would result in inefficient use of terminal and gate space.....makes more sense to have multiple jetways on the same side....


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12186 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 7):
Personally I've always wondered why airports never install double-pronged jetways for widebodies so that boarding could be done at both the right and left doors. Has that ever been tried?

I remember boarding an aircraft, probably a L-1011, on the right side once. It was in the mid-70s, probably at Miami.

Frankly it was more congested and slower to board than two jet bridges on the left side. The airline didn't do a very good job of separating out the passengers for boarding into logical groups.

Also, the flight attendants were complaining because they would have to get the passengers seated and load some last minute supplies from the aft door and bring the stuff to the front. (This was back when airlines actually fed everyone meals on transcon flights).


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3016 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12114 times:
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Its just a convention and is related to maritime port load side.

However there have been a few exceptions .

The DH106 Comet had no forward port doorway


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Photo © Udo K. Haafke



But did have a starboard forward doorway


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Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages



Sal deep in the Atlantic Ocean used to employ starboard loading on transiting SAA flights


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Photo © Julian Whitelaw



User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1679 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12015 times:

As has been mentioned, the right side of the aircraft is crowded with luggage belts, water service trucks, fueling lines, catering trucks and maintenance vehicles. Plus all of the jet bridges are built to board from the left. It would be chaotic for passengers to climb over caterers and flight attendants loading and checking galleys. The only two exceptions I know of the "galley on the right side" were most aft galleys on the 727-200's (Braniff was an exception) and some DL 757's have a galley at 2L which can be problematic. Braniff's aft galleys on the right were a nuisance because the caterers had to wait for the baggage loaders to finish loading the aft bins and move the belt loaders. LOTS of delays. Finally they started catering from the aft left door which meant you had to move the passengers seated in row 26 out of their seats to stand in the aisle while the caterers dragged heavy modules (no carts back then!) across the carpet and into the galley. This made for some VERY unhappy peeps and disgusting carpeting.

JFK used to board 747's through door 4L as well as 1L with a very long jet bridge hanging over the wing. After numerous instances of wing damage, the practice was stopped.

Back in the early 80's at the old (now demolished) international terminal at ORD there was one gate where passengers boarded at door 1R on the 747.



Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4296 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11994 times:

This is not only tradition, but also practical. Most airport infrastructure is designed for port loading of passengers. This is standard in the world. What is shown in the pictures above is singular examples. TWA use to board their first class passengers from the starboard door to segregate them form the "riff-raff" of economy passengers. Now it is too expensive to have that kind of infrastructure at airports.

Standardization is the name of the game. If they used the starboard side of the ships from the beginning then we would be boarding from the right side.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11941 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
Back in the early 80's at the old (now demolished) international terminal at ORD there was one gate where passengers boarded at door 1R on the 747.

I seem to recall in the late 80's I boarded an L-1011 from the right at JFK TWA domestic terminal (old National Sundrome). It was the only time I'd ever seen that.


User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11913 times:

Boarding on the port side is not universal.

In 1982 I boarded a CAAC Ilyushin Il-14 through its rear door on the starboard side.


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3016 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11912 times:
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Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):

This is not only tradition, but also practical. Most airport infrastructure is designed for port loading of passengers

But thats chicken and egg !

Its just a convention - practical yes but certainly NOT a documented standard as far as i know (Accepted if wrong and someone can point and reference to the appropriate document)

In many/probably most of the world airports remote or pavement parking certainly does not preclude starboard boarding as an option.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10511 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11792 times:

Most gate areas, particularly for narrow body a/c are crowded enough on the starboard side without having a jetway or passenger stairs (and passengers) on that side, too, not to mention just a little dangerous, too. Even with widebodies, it's not all that convenient. Whether or not it's based on tradition or not, nowadays, it's based on convenience and safety, I would think.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11585 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 3):
Tradition, nothing more really: Skipper sits at port side, passenger embark at port side. Once the tradition has been established it gains it's own inertia.
Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
This is not only tradition, but also practical. Most airport infrastructure is designed for port loading of passengers. This is standard in the world.
Quoting rutankrd (Reply 16):
Its just a convention - practical yes but certainly NOT a documented standard as far as i know (Accepted if wrong and someone can point and reference to the appropriate document)

It carried over from ships...that was the tradition. Today it's not just tradition or convention though, it's how aircraft are designed. This passed "chicken and egg" territory a long time ago. Today, both airports and aircraft as designed to be boarded on the port side. As a result, all new aircraft are designed to board on the port side so they fit the airports, and "all" airports are designed to load aircraft on the port side so they can handle the new aircraft. It's a classic example of lock-in.

Note that, although not a formal standard in the sense that there's a governing body, all the OEM's provide documentation in their ACAPs for the intended servicing arrangement and they show boarding on the port side, so it is documented.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 16):
In many/probably most of the world airports remote or pavement parking certainly does not preclude starboard boarding as an option.

Nothing prevents you accessing the starboard side...but that door may not be a passenger boarding door. You're not going to load a 737 through 1R.

Tom.


User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1579 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11470 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 18):

Nothing prevents you accessing the starboard side...but that door may not be a passenger boarding door. You're not going to load a 737 through 1R.

You could load a 737 through 1R without too much difficulty, actually... it's the MD-80s, E145s, and the like that you have to worry about.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10511 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11430 times:

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 19):
You could load a 737 through 1R without too much difficulty, actually...

Wouldn't that be thru the front galley (if so equipped)? Not too convenient, IMHO.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1579 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11430 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 20):
Wouldn't that be thru the front galley (if so equipped)? Not too convenient, IMHO.

Inconvenient, yes. Difficult, not so much. It would also be really inconvenient for the ramp crew loading the front bin, but it could be done.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineAV8AJET From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11355 times:

We deplaned from the right side door in GLA on a BA L-1011 from JFK many years ago. I have a picture of it somewhere, I hope to find it and scan it.


"To fly or not to fly there is no question!"
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1613 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11249 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
Standardization is the name of the game. If they used the starboard side of the ships from the beginning then we would be boarding from the right side.

I wish the auto manufacturers had standardized the location of the fuel tank access in cars!


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9665 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11166 times:

The way airplane cabins are laid out, the passengers would be forced to go through a galley. On airbus all the doors are the same size but on many Boeing and mcd models the doors aren't the same size.

Also a jet bridge would be positioned blocking the rams access to the cargo bay.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
25 trent772 : To go back even further, any ideas on how the ships got this from?
26 Post contains links luganopirate : This may explain it: http://tinyurl.com/6rwljxh When I took the Queen Mary to New York recently, I'm sure we disembarked from the port side!
27 N1120A : Don't/didn't some airports do this with narrowbodies? I think YEG does/did it for WestJet.
28 Post contains images lemonkitty : Here is a TWA Tri-Star in PHX boarding from the right side... LK
29 mayor : As I recall, when DL had 747s at ORD, they boarded thru two jetways, one of which was over the wing....this was at gate H11A/B in the 70s.
30 rfields5421 : The link above describes the 'standardization' very well. Back a long time ago - ships had a steering oar off the back right side of the ship. So to
31 tdscanuck : I believe it goes back to before rudders were invented. The steering oar was mounted on the right side so, to avoid crushing it, you put the left sid
32 jrosa : Embraer jets have smaller doors on the right side, those doors are used for catering loading only (and as emergency exits).
33 alm1 : I have seen several times Ryanair board disabled passengers through door 1R on their 737. While normal boarding is proceeding on the port site, a spec
34 rutankrd : That's standard practise where a scissor lifter is required. The vehicles are much the same as catering trucks
35 EIDL : Its probably rarer to see the lift unit use 1L than 1R I'd have guessed. I've seen it only once recently - because a catering truck was attached to 1
36 LH707330 : That would make a lot of sense, no more playing chicken at the pump.... As others have said, it dates back to the pre-rudder days, when they used ste
37 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : AA's Curtiss Condors, which the DC-3s replaced, also had a right-side door. View Large View MediumPhoto © Terry Wall In addition to AA being the lau
38 kanban : they don't because oil companies like two sided pumps with a single directional flow through the pumping area. So they plan certain models to be left
39 Starlionblue : This is certainly not limited to early models. The engine and prop still turn to the right (not left) in most Western pistons, thus there is a left t
40 Darksnowynight : KLM still does this at Term F in AMS. I always thought it was neat to get out the back and walk over the wing... Yeah! Right behind the aft tag, wher
41 Post contains links KL5147 : see also: Why Do All Aircraft Doors Open On Left Hand Side (by Airline2000 May 21 2000 in Civil Aviation)
42 Post contains images KL5147 : A bit off topic, but Schiphol still uses a similar systeem. But only on the port side.
43 Post contains images Darksnowynight : Yup. That's why I mentioned it 7 hours ago. Scroll up.
44 HAWK21M : The Right side can get cramped with servicing vehicles for Cargo loading/refuelling/Toilet service/GPU etc......The space on the Left is more freely a
45 musang : But it did sometimes use the aft port door for passengers, as several pics on the database show, sometimes with steps at 1R also. Regards - musang
46 Post contains images Viscount724 : Left rear door was the most common. I expect the Comet was designed without a left front passenger door since longhaul propeller aircraft of that era
47 cornutt : I wrote on another thread about boarding an MD-80 via the tail stairs. That was different!
48 rfields5421 : Back 40 years ago, I made several flights on the Air Micronesia (Continental) B727 Combi. Which had cargo forward of the wing, and a passenger compar
49 Geezer : Any "vintage" air travelers here ? Doesn't anyone on this thread remember how you boarded a Martin 404 back in the early 60s ? Hint: it wasn't on EITH
50 Post contains links and images Starlionblue : I've done that on plenty of 727s. View Large View MediumPhoto © Stefan Martin[Edited 2013-02-01 22:17:50]
51 Geezer : LMAO ! Yeah, but I bet you never had to walk out in the damned rain to climb into a DC-3 ! Charley
52 aklrno : It depends on how the ship approaches the dock. In Auckland, most cruise ships dock near my apartment. Some are docked with the bow facing land, some
53 rfields5421 : Clark Air Base - August 1974 - though it was really a USN R4D
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