CO777DAL
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United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:18 pm

United Airlines Auto-Boarding in Houston


Video shows exactly how it works.

http://youtu.be/2RvMBD7Nkpk

Here is something you don’t see every day at the gate. A couple years ago Continental installed this at E4 at Houston Hub. Since then they have expanded it to Terminals A, B, and C. This set up in the C gates at Houston Intercontinental uses 2 Auto-Boarding (Self Boarding UA calls them) and one manual boarding lane. In this set up there is a gate agent in the by the blue globe podium. While the boarding groups get call the gate agent is still there to let elites in. Then other set up in A, B, E have three or four auto boarding gates and one of them will always be open for elites. These gates don’t have the group corral.
Have anyone seen this anywhere else in the USA?
I have only seen them at UA IAH hub in USA.
First time I seen these was LH in Frankfurt.
Do you all think this would be the way of the future?
Anyone had any problems with these gates?
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
dlramp4life
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:21 pm

DL also tried these systems out in ATL and LAS I believe. They did not last long.
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CO777DAL
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:32 pm

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 1):
DL also tried these systems out in ATL and LAS I believe. They did not last long.

CO started this a couple years ago and UA have expanded it. It was one gate E4. Terminal B South just opened and UA added the auto-boarding to it and Terminal A.
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
BA0197
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:41 pm

I feel bad for the one agent that works at these gates that has a MANX delay on an aircraft or a cancellation. Terrible customer service standards.
 
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dabpit
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:45 pm

I believe it is being used in LAS newest terminal. Below is an article that relates to this.

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AADC10
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:56 pm

LH has something like that at FRA. I think it might help when boarding a two aisle aircraft to reduce the number of gate agents but boarding pass scanning is not much of a bottleneck for most narrowbody flights and the airline still needs at least one person near the scanner. It would only work if it allowed more gates to be operated solo (only one gate agent).
 
INFINITI329
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:10 pm

This system would make it that much harder to enforce the carry on policy. Not sure if the TSA audits and fines for the 1 carry on and 1 personal item regulation. Well it is the law.
 
HNL
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:24 pm

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 6):
...Not sure if the TSA audits and fines for the 1 carry on and 1 personal item regulation. Well it is the law.

It is the FAA not the TSA that concerns itself with compliance to an airlines cabin baggage policies.
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TWA902fly
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:29 pm

I used a system like this at HND for a JL HND-KIX flight. It actually seemed to work really efficiently... then again, most things do in Japan...

'902
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glbltrvlr
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:18 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 6):
Well it is the law.

No, it isn't and it annoys the heck out of me to see airports post signs stating it is. Where it exists, it's airline policy and despite their desire to expand their role, TSA isn't in the business of enforcing airline policy. Furthermore, it's enforced by the airlines sporadically at best and rarely if at all for those holding F or J tickets. Fortunately, most airports seem to have gotten the message as I rarely see the signs near security anymore.

I agree that automated gate lanes will make it harder to enforce those policies though.
 
usflyguy
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:38 am

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 9):
No, it isn't and it annoys the heck out of me to see airports post signs stating it is. Where it exists, it's airline policy and despite their desire to expand their role, TSA isn't in the business of enforcing airline policy.

The FAA can and does fine airlines and it's employees (company and personal fines) for not enforcing the carry on rules that the FAA has approved for that airline. Just about all airlines have a 1 carry on and 1 personal item policy that must be enforced per the FAA.
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TWA772LR
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:44 am

The agents in IAH absolutely hate them. It works in Europe because they are more exposed to this kind of system with their metros. The closest thing here in the States we have to this is a turnstyle, which people hop everyday. The instructional video that goes along with the self-gates is silent and people always blow it off.

It just doesn't work here.   
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dfwagt
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:33 am

Is this for domestic flights only? I couldn't imagine a deep south flight boarding here. I know how boarding our EZE flight is.....
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:55 am

Quoting dfwagt (Reply 12):

The A3 gates have them, I believe B south does, and C-25 and 26 as in the OP's picture. Also, E-4 has them, and the Lagos flight always goes out of E-4, as do other widebody flights.
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coair737
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:58 am

They still have these over at E4 and if you're familiar with IAH this is a heavy gate and often used for long int. flights. When LOS flies out of that gate they usually have to start boarding 2 hr's ahead of time to even have a chance of leaving on time. These things suck and will never work here in the US. Waste of money.
 
CO777DAL
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:39 am

Quoting dfwagt (Reply 12):

Is this for domestic flights only? I couldn't imagine a deep south flight boarding here. I know how boarding our EZE flight is.....
http://youtu.be/2RvMBD7Nkpk

I don't know why the link was not working earlier, but in the video is shows E4 and a London Flight using the auto boarding.
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
twa@fra
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:52 am

Sorry, but I don't get it, what is so difficult to use them?
Know them from Germany and it works just fine and instead of handing my BP to a gate agent I hold it a bit lower to the scanner.
Advantage is that e.g. with LH you still have somebody at the boarding gate desk during boarding and not "all" / the one ground agent is bussy scanning the BP and if you are in J or *G you go direct to them to bypass the line.
 
PanHAM
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:19 am

Reading this is quite amusing. We have these auto gates since years, not only at FRA but many other stations as well. it speeds up boarding saves costs and works quite well.

I don't see any rational reason why this should not work in the US.

It is actually so that from booking the flight, printing the boarding pass at home or the office or checking in on smart phone, up to boarding the firts employee you meet is the FA at the aircraft door.

Why this should not be possible in otherwise technically advanced USA is difficult to understand.

(BTW, we have no turnstiles at public transit entrances)
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nethkt
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:53 am

Also noticed in CPH for narrow body aircraft flights, auto boarding and just one gate agent was there in case of irr.
Everything worked just fine.
These auto boarding at MUC, FRA are just super easy as well.

Delays and cancellations? Please proceed to transfer center/help desks.
No need to stand around this gate where this aircraft won't go anywhere.
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
brilondon
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:33 pm

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 3):

I feel bad for the one agent that works at these gates that has a MANX delay on an aircraft or a cancellation. Terrible customer service standards.

IMO these are the worst customer service operations in the airline industry. Congratulations UA, way to dig further to try to be the worst in customer service.
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Av8torG3
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:51 pm

People in America are far too stupid to use this technology. People still can't figure out how to use a self check-in kiosk. Not to mention those boarding lanes are not nearly wide enough for half of the obese people trying to get on an airplane that should be paying for 2 seats not 1.

[Edited 2013-07-02 05:52:40]
 
PanHAM
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:16 pm

That's the best argument so far against the auto gates.


 

Common sense dictates the use of the conventional gates in that case, but who has common sense these days?
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kgaiflyer
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):
The agents in IAH absolutely hate them. It works in Europe because they are more exposed to this kind of system with their metros. The closest thing here in the States we have to this is a turnstyle, which people hop everyday. The instructional video that goes along with the self-gates is silent and people always blow it off.

It just doesn't work here.

That's funny.

The last time I boarded from one of those gates in C concourse for an IAH-IAD flight, we walked around them and an agent boarded the flight. We had a congressman and a bunch of congressional staffers on the flight who would have probably walked right around them anyway, and gotten on the plane.

[Edited 2013-07-02 06:43:48]
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 10):
The FAA can and does fine airlines and it's employees (company and personal fines) for not enforcing the carry on rules that the FAA has approved for that airline. Just about all airlines have a 1 carry on and 1 personal item policy that must be enforced per the FAA.

Don't disagree with that at all, but that's an airline policy and enforced by the airline as a condition of carriage. Where I would argue is stating that bringing more than 2 bags through security is against the law and airports (not airlines) putting up signs in front of security screening points stating so. As I recall, there was an issues at Newark a few years ago where they attempted to enforce bag sizing at the screening points. That was also discontinued for the same reason.
 
ytib
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:01 pm

How many more seats could they have at this gate in lieu of these machines?
 
ozark1
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:27 pm

Quoting Av8torG3 (Reply 20):
People in America are far too stupid to use this technology. People still can't figure out how to use a self check-in kiosk.

To me it's kinda a like self service check outs at stores. Nine times out of ten, I get some kind of error message when I haven't done anything wrong. My grocery store finally did away with them--they are enormously frustrating.
I do think that this kind of technology is very impersonal, and yes, I think we here in the states are needier and more prone to complain. Even though people seem to hate the industry in this country, I think doing away with gate agents is just asking for trouble. I would not want their job for all the tea in China, but we just need a physical person to verbally abuse!
 
Cubsrule
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:32 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 25):
I do think that this kind of technology is very impersonal, and yes, I think we here in the states are needier and more prone to complain.

Of course, paperless boarding is gaining converts nearly every day, and little or no gate agent interaction is required for that (even though the agent is standing right there). How do we explain why paperless boarding works if Americans are "too needy?"
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Rdh3e
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:52 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 25):
To me it's kinda a like self service check outs at stores. Nine times out of ten, I get some kind of error message when I haven't done anything wrong. My grocery store finally did away with them--they are enormously frustrating.

My grocery store has now replaced about half of their traditional lines with the self-serve ones. I use them every single time. I love it. I'm surprised at the different experiences, maybe they had a less advanced older model.

As for the self-boarding, at least for international flight it'd be nice if they didn't eliminate gate agent roles and just repurpose the agent toward more proactive customer service.
 
brilondon
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:06 pm

Quoting ytib (Reply 24):

How many more seats could they have at this gate in lieu of these machines?

There are no more seats as the gates don't take up room. A secret I use so as not to have to have a seat is to arrive at the boarding gates right at the time our flights are called and I usually only have to wait maybe 5 minutes.
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displane
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RE: United Auto Boarding Gates At Houston IAH

Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:06 pm

At first glance, I thought it was a secondary security check that is also manned by the TSA.

I agree with most of the other posts. Very impersonal and I don't think it will speed up the boarding process. Plus the agent or agents, will still have to deal with the numerous questions despite all the signs.