This reminds me of an experience I had flying NW
one time. Everything out of DTW
was delayed. There was a line of thunderstorms that basically extended from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and so no flights flying east could get out.
My 5pm departure to DCA
was delayed and it was closer to 9pm before we were boarding. The gate agent made the following announcement.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have good news and bad news. The good news is your plane is here and crewed. The bad news is the pilots are going to time out if we do not close the aircraft door in 10 minutes. We are going to board three rows at a time. We apologize to our first class and elite passengers but we will have no preboarding for this flight. Miss the call for your row and you're not going to make it on the plane. We'll start by boarding rows 22, 23 and 24..."
I got myself settled in row 12 when it was called. The last few people were still standing in the aisle taking their sweet time stowing things in the overhead when the gate agent came over the PA again... "Ladies and Gentlemen, you have 60 seconds to get in your seat with your seatbelt fastened and your carryons stowed or else this plane is not going to get off the ground."
I swear it was like cockroaches scurrying when you turn on a light. The next thing you know, the aisle was clear and the entire 319 was seated.
"Thank you for your cooperation tonight, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good night and have a safe flight."
Sometimes, I wish every flight would board that way...