This thought just occured to me, after observing it in Tampa - An America West jet bound for PHX
closed the doors 10 minutes prior to departure. 4 passengers show up - they went ahead and let them on, then closed the doors again (I know the doors were closed because I heard the agent say "they closed the doors"). 2 more passengers showed up about 5 minutes prior to the flight - and were denied boarding. Not a good thing to have happen over spring break.
At the same time, Southwest was REPEATEDLY paging about 6 passengers for their ISP
flight - about every 2 minutes starting at 10 minutes prior to departure. The final announcement said that the aircraft would be leaving in 2 minutes....the scheduled time. So apparently, SWA was holding the doors open right up until the last minute to accomodate those "stragglers".
Now...if A&E's cameras would have been there, any bets as to the scene the passenger would throw when they showed up right at flight time, only to be denied? And if those cameras were there, what was filmed was...the airline TRIED getting you to the plane. You were late. No matter how big of an ass the passenger makes themselves out to be (for the benefit of the camera), 99.9% of the viewers would be yelling at the TV
"It's your own fault, fool".