With the goal of minimizing travelers' time and effort needed to get from the airplane to curbside, United Shuttle plans to introduce two-end deplaning operations in several of the markets it serves throughout the West. In tests conducted in Los Angeles and San Francisco earlier this month, the operation succeeded in getting passengers off the plane quicker and more conveniently, and also helped improve on-time performance.
Two-end deplaning speeds passengers' exit from the aircraft by allowing those in the front to exit as usual through the front door, while passengers in the rear of the plane exit via the back door. From the back door, passengers go down a flight of stairs, enter the Commute-a-Walk (a covered, portable walkway that extends to the rear of the aircraft) and proceed to the terminal. Passengers onboard the aircraft have the option of deplaning from the front of the plane if they wish.
"Shuttle flights have heavy passenger loads and our business travelers-who often are time-pressed-have told us that they better things to do than wait in another line. They want to get off the plane and to the curb as quickly and hassle-free as possible," said Amos Kazzaz, president of United Shuttle. "The short-haul battle is won on the ground, and two-end deplaning is just one of the solutions we're working on to minimize business travelers' time and effort when flying United Shuttle."
Passengers responded enthusiastically to the test and as a result, United Shuttle plans to make two-end deplaning operations status-quo on Shuttle flights in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will introduce the procedure and Commute-a-Walk equipment at several other western market airports by summer 1999.
"Passengers said they liked two-end deplaning because it got them off the plane fast. Those passengers waiting to board also benefit, because the new system helps us make quicker turns, ensuring the flights take off on time," said Kazzaz.
Developed by the employees of United Airlines, United Shuttle is preferred by business travelers for its seat assignments, superior frequent flier program and access to the West's leading economic centers. United Shuttle offers 462 daily departures from 21 cities in the Western United States. Shuttle passengers benefit from the resources of United Airlines, with Mileage Plus credit good for flights around the world, seamless flight and baggage connections, and technological advances such as E-Ticket service and Self-Service Boarding Pass Machines.