Matt D
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Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 6:55 am

Any airline timetable, ticket jacket, or e-ticket will have a disclaimer somewhere printed on it saying something to the effect that if you are not at the gate within 10 minutes before departure time, you are subject to losing your reservation and ineligible for denied boarding compensation. You also see signs posted at the gates saying this. If you make your reservation over the phone, the customer service agent will also remind you of that. This, of course, is to be sure that the plane leaves on time.

So my question is this:

Why don't any of the airlines actually have the guts to enforce this rule? Every flight I've ever been on, or watched board had at least a couple of people huffing and puffing to the gate. the doors are closed, and the jetway has been pulled back. Yet every time, they hold the plane and let the not so punctual passenger on. It makes a total mockery of the "10 minute rule" as far as I am concerned. It's a rule that is hardly, or not at all enforced. I mean what's the point of being at the airport on time if you know that the airline will hold your flight? Why should the the other 75-300 pax suffer because of somoeone elses tardiness? True, the delay may only be a minute or two, but given todays on time performances, that minute or two could mean the difference between 125 people making or missing connections. Why run that risk for one flake when everyone else managed to get their on time? Why don;t the airlines have the guts to make the 10 minute announcement-then when departure time comes, slam, and bolt that door through the jetway shut? If you arrive at the gate with 9:59 remaining, oh well, too bad. You missed your flight. And you are not eligible for a meal or hotel room. Next time, show up on time!!!!!!
Some people I've asked this to have defended this practice by saying it's "good customer service".

Huh??????? Then, like I said...what's the point of trumpeting the 10 minute rule? Is it good customer service to blow the connections of 85 people to allow 1 traveller on who didn't have the decency to show up late?

RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 7:13 am

The problem is normally there luggage is on board, and if they close the door they have to unload that passengers lugagge, therefore it is quicker just to wait a bit for them.
Matt D
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am


Wed Feb 07, 2001 7:21 am

That's not the issue.
The issue is why do they talk about this rule but do not enforce it? If the airlines were serious about departing on time, if someome showed up late, they should unload that persons baggage, bring it back to the gate, and LEAVE WITHOUT HIM!

RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 7:34 am

The rule is to enthuse passengers to be there on time, and it works over 99% of the time. However there is always some one who wants a pee. You have to remember that what you suggest is not in the best interest of the company, they loose more time and make a passenger unhappy. Not good business if you ask me.
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 7:35 am

I think Matt has made a very valid point. It has got to the stage where some passengers are deliberately late as they know they will not be punished for it. Time and again a flight I have been on has missed its slot due to some idiot spending too long trying on some shoes in LHR duty free, or something like that.

There is however a glimmer of hope. An emirates flight I took in the summer EK001 Dubai - London Heathrow actually enforced the rule and the bags of 2 pax were swiftly offloaded and we made our slot. So a big well done to Emirates for acting on behalf of the pax who had actually bothered to make the gate on time.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 7:40 am

Yeah, this amazes me too. I was up at LAX last weekend, and I listened as QF made FOUR separate announcments for three passengers to board QF008 to SYD immediately, as they were delaying departure.


If it were my airline, I would have given them one warning, and then shut the doors and pushed back.
My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 8:08 am

I fly non-rev and I've been bumped either out of the plane or out of first class because a paying pax shows up 1 minute prior to departure.

The only time when i think that it is ok to hold up a flight for a tardy passenger is if he/she is making a connection and their arriving flight just landed.
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 8:17 am

How many of these passengers are connecting from other flights? I do agree that if some one just can't be bothered to get there on time they shouldn't fly, but if you are delayed coming in you shouldn't be bumped off for something that isn't your fault.
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 8:21 am

What if there flight before was late? Or how about there 4 crying kids under 10 all had to go to the bathroom? 10 minutes is not that long of a wait. And if you don't like to wait 10 minutes then go buy a bizjet and fly yourself somewhere.
Not to be rude or anything but think of how selfish you sound.

Nuff Said
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 8:23 am

I have to agree with ILUV767 that most of the time these pax are running from a connecting flight it is not the late connecting pax fault, it is the airline. so it is only right for the airline to hold the flight or a jetway return to accommodate these late connecting pax. though I have witnessed accommodation of pax who were in the airport bar drinking away and totally forgot about the time and the airline accommodates these people at that point they are totally drunk and not fit to fly.

RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 8:58 am

But by making the 10 minute rule like this, a traveler gets pissed when they deny him boarding. I have heard FFs say that they have "never heard of this rule", and that they should be allowed to go on since they fly them so much. I say enforce the rule. If you miss it, too bad. There are of course exceptions, like a late connection, or long check-in lines.
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Ummm... You Miss The Point.

Wed Feb 07, 2001 9:04 am

The ten-minute rule is not so much about ensuring on- time departures (although that's a laudable goal); but rather, the warning is that, if you do not check in at least ten minutes prior to departure, you may lose your seat to a stand-by passenger. The airline does not want to send away an airplane with empty revenue seats, and revenue-generating pax in the terminal.

And, that's the reason that, if it can be done without too dramatically harming schedule (eg, losing a departure window w/ ATC), they'll hold-up to accommodate just-late pax.

I've had it both ways; USAir held a connecting flight for us (wifie 'n' me) after an unavoidable delay on the IAH-PIT leg (ATC computers busted, flight separation using broadband radar, chaos).

And, I once was running to make a CO IAH-LAX flight for which I was a little late (but thought I'd make it); a pilot at the security checkpoint took my bags to check them (don't tell me anything bad about CO pilots!), and told me to run to the gate; I ran, and got to the gate just in time to... watch the DC-10 taxi away.

I went on the next flight (maybe an hour or so later), no problem, and guess what? My bags made it to the plane I missed.

What a hoot.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
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RE: Tardy Passengers

Wed Feb 07, 2001 9:12 am

The problem with inforcing this motivational saying is that passengers who might be late to a flight because of a connecting flight would not only get mad at the airline for the delay on the previous flight, but would also get pissed off at not being able to board their next flight. This would be especially bad if the plane then sits there for 10+ mins without pushing. Can you imagine! You get there at 9:59 before and are denied boarding. Then, the plane sits there for 20 minutes loading baggage and while the pilots fill out the paperwork. Man I would hate that! But then again, I'm always early, so . . .  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

v jet
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RE: Scooter

Wed Feb 07, 2001 10:23 am

Given that QF008 is a 744 the pax in question more than likely had bags checked in. The bags could be buried in a can which depending what position the can is in may not be readily accessible. That would be the reason for the pax being paged 4 times. Also at this time of year QF008 is scheduled to arrive in SYD at 2225. Too big a delay will result in the acft not making curfew which is a major pain in the butt for the pax and lots of other people as well.

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