tommyy
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Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:56 pm

I flew last week with Air France JFK to CDG on the A380 and when I got to the airport a hour and a half before the flight (I flew in business) the lines at check in were about a mile long and the flight ended up being delayed for about 45 minutes to a hour because they just could not check in so many people in the alloted time

I spoke to the FA on board and she told me that its a ongoeing problem when they have full flights, they just cannot process 500 people in the 1 to 2 hours before the flight and she actually requested to be taken off the A380 rotation because of the constant delays

Has anybody elese experienced this in with the A380 ?

Otherwise its a magnificent and quiet plane
 
phxa340
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting tommyy (Thread starter):
Has anybody elese experienced this in with the A380 ?

Otherwise its a magnificent and quiet plane

Sounds like a AF problem. SQ is quick at LAX too. It sounds like growing pains , but they will fix it. QF has a couple flights to SYD from LAX that leave within a 20 min of each other sometimes and the lines are quick and not too noticeable when I have checked in.

But agreed, the A380 is seriously amazing, so quiet for such a big bird.
 
Senchingo
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:07 pm

Maybe it's a selfmade problem where certain processes within the airline are not working well? I can just compare it to the EK A380 at MUC, which mostly does not have any delays and i guess the loads are doing quite well.

Another thing: Some Airlines start a 77W 300+ pax boarding 30 minutes before departure, sometimes even without an additional L1 bridge and still do it in time. So why should a 500+ pax aircraft not be possible within 2 hours?
 
tommyy
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:12 pm

Most people show up about 2 hours to departure and they close the gates 1 hour before so that gives them one hour for 500 passengers
 
brilondon
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:17 pm

Quoting tommyy (Reply 3):

Most people show up about 2 hours to departure and they close the gates 1 hour before so that gives them one hour for 500 passengers

They can always add a couple more surely agents to insult you and your intelligence at JFK. That would help with the processing.
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817Dreamliiner
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:17 pm

Quoting tommyy (Thread starter):
I spoke to the FA on board and she told me that its a ongoeing problem when they have full flights, they just cannot process 500 people in the 1 to 2 hours before the flight and she actually requested to be taken off the A380 rotation because of the constant delays

I guess no one has heard of online check in? Or not enough self check in kiosks? Or the problem lies mostly at Bag drop off I guess?
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ZRH
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:16 am

That's really a problem of the airport and airline. In Zurich they don't have any problems with the SQ 380. Check-in counters are enough and at the gate they enlarged the waiting rooms and built a third bridge for boarding.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:04 am

Shouldn't this be tackled by the airline opening more gates & providing more counters for this type.
What concerns me about an A380 is an emergency evacuation of a full flight......
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:17 am

I think the question has been answered. I have flown probably a couple hundred times in and out of JFK and I've never been impressed. Needs a massive remake in order to compete when it comes to ease of use.

It is an airport/airline issue.



Granted I only have a single data point, but a full SQ 380 at HKG posed no issues. Ok, so HKG is one of the most superbly streamlined airports in the world.  
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chuchoteur
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:22 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
What concerns me about an A380 is an emergency evacuation of a full flight......

853 + 22 crew out in 80 seconds through half the available doors.
It may only be certification, but it's pretty reassuring!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:31 am

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 9):
Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
What concerns me about an A380 is an emergency evacuation of a full flight......

853 + 22 crew out in 80 seconds through half the available doors.
It may only be certification, but it's pretty reassuring!

The rules don't change even if the plane is bigger. More exits, bigger exits, better slides...
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tdscanuck
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:34 am

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 2):
Some Airlines start a 77W 300+ pax boarding 30 minutes before departure, sometimes even without an additional L1 bridge and still do it in time. So why should a 500+ pax aircraft not be possible within 2 hours?

Average queue time is *very* non-linear with respect to utilization of the servers (gate agents in this case). A 66% bump in demand (from 300-500) could easily cause a 4-5x increase in wait time if the servers were already close to capacity with the 77W.

Tom.
 
StarAC17
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):

Shouldn't this be tackled by the airline opening more gates & providing more counters for this type.
What concerns me about an A380 is an emergency evacuation of a full flight......


It's certified for international evacuation standards so there is no worry about that, as said it can get 800+ people off in less than 90 seconds and there is no A380 operator that has an all economy config that would have that many pax.

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
Sounds like a AF problem.
Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
It sounds like growing pains , but they will fix it.

Both true, they just need the staff and the desks to accommodate it. It might not be just AF's fault, not being familiar with JFK I don't know how many desks they have available to them considering that time is likely pretty busy.

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
QF has a couple flights to SYD from LAX that leave within a 20 min of each other sometimes and the lines are quick and not too noticeable when I have checked in.
QF has the staff at LAX to handle it because they have flights to MEL and BNE as well (assuming they can move staff from T4 to the TBIT quite easily.

[Edited 2012-06-26 05:58:10]
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zeke
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:48 pm

Quoting tommyy (Thread starter):
the lines at check in were about a mile long

ASSUMING your aircraft was 100% full (which I doubt) for the line to be "a mile long" it would bean a spacing of of around 10'7" between people in the line (5290 ft/ 500 pax).

I do not not believe this over exaggeration, nor do I believe the rest of the statements. They do not pass the reasonable test.
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comorin
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:04 pm

I have flown twice on a 380 ex-JFK; once on SQ (KFK-FRA) and once on EK (JFK-DXB). I have also flown 2x DXB-JFK on EK's 380s.

Some facts are worth noting. At JFK, I think there is only one double level gate needed to load a 380 and I think both EK and SQ use the same gate. Also since EK is the de facto flag carrier of India, you are seeing a lot of families and immigrants with a lot of luggage, and the usual repacking at the counter. There are also severe limitations, unlike on other widebodies, on the stuff you can stow onboard (7kg) so that causes even more pax confusion.

So all said, boarding is absolutely a mess for this aircarft at JFK, and plain tedious at DXB. As tdscanuck points out, stochastic processes also come into play so its not solved with a linear scaling of resources - as anyone who has waited in a single elevator building knows.

In the end, however, the comfort factor on board more than makes up for for the pain of boarding this majestic beast. I just wish the seats on Long Haul weren't as hard.
 
SPQR
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 13):

Methinks the mile long comment was hyperbole...

As for the actual topic, like 817Dreamliner said, online check in makes life so much easier, especially with no bags to check.
 
jayeshrulz
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting spqr (Reply 15):
Quoting zeke (Reply 13):

Methinks the mile long comment was hyperbole...


Lol, I had a good laugh on Zeke's comment Big grin

Anyways, back to the topic, Some airports like JFK are used to their maximum capacity.
Many people, especially we Indians and Asians, always tend to carry alot of luggage without weighing and always end up re packing at the airport which wastes the time of people standing behind them.

Quoting tommyy (Thread starter):
I spoke to the FA on board and she told me that its a ongoeing problem when they have full flights, they just cannot process 500 people in the 1 to 2 hours before the flight and she actually requested to be taken off the A380 rotation because of the constant delays

I totally sympathize with you.
An aircraft like A330 would like less pax hence less time boarding and turning around the aircraft takes less time
But A380 being twice as its size, I guess AF still uses the same checkin counters for 777 flights.
Ive always noticed that young people like me and you know what online check in is, and save the line.
But majority of the people might not know about it.
In India,a majority still buy from a travel agent, and dont want to know/be known about the new tech procedures such as online check in.





[Edited 2012-06-27 09:37:17]
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:56 pm

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 16):
Ive always noticed that young people like me and you know what online check in is, and save the line.
But majority of the people might not know about it.

Quite. Or they "don't trust" online check-in. It's a generational thing.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:11 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 9):

853 + 22 crew out in 80 seconds through half the available doors.
It may only be certification, but it's pretty reassuring!

True under test conditions.....we all know the real things gets tougher & the Pax not prepared......
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BE77
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:14 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 11):
Average queue time is *very* non-linear with respect to utilization of the servers
Quoting comorin (Reply 14):
stochastic processes also come into play

Queing thoery is actually really interesting - I enjoyed the concepts and issues and practicalities involved, but the math still gives me headaches (and I work with statistical data every day).

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 16):
Lol, I had a good laugh on Zeke's comment

Me too. Although I did see mile long lineups at ariports (LHR T5 day 1 and 2), there was more than one plane invovled!
Having said that, I've been in several lines that certainly felt like they were a mile long (although they were shorter they were certainly not moving so well). Oddly enough in the past couple of years AF has figured prominently in those situations, leading me to support the viewpoint below....

Quoting ZRH (Reply 6):
That's really a problem of the airport and airline

...although I tend to put most of it into the airline's responsibility. It's their steff, system and clients, so they need to do whatever it takes to make sure the three are compatible to the desired outcomes...if not, then change at least one of the three - staff, systems, or customers. Doesn't have to mean getting rid of one of the 3, training and education can go a long way to fixing staff or customer issues, and a good review of the systems never hurts (what works, what doesn't work, what works but does not actually make a difference, and what is missing are 4 good questions).
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chuchoteur
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:59 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):
Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 9):
853 + 22 crew out in 80 seconds through half the available doors.
It may only be certification, but it's pretty reassuring!
True under test conditions.....we all know the real things gets tougher & the Pax not prepared......

Sure, it's under test conditions.

However current A380 configurations are at about 600 something seats, and with any luck you'll have more than half the doors available.

The big factor is that the wider doors and dual-lane slides really make a difference - the slides do not twist and are inherently much more stable compared to single lane slides. So personally I'd be more comfortable evacuating out of an A380 compared to another a/c.
 
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moo
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:49 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):
True under test conditions.....we all know the real things gets tougher & the Pax not prepared......

How does that change for any aircraft ever certified? Why is that specific to the A380? The ratios of passengers to doors and attendants to passengers are always under a given figure due to certification requirements, so you could have 500,000 on the longest quadruple decked aircraft in the world and it would not make the slightest bit of difference.
 
comorin
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:40 am

Quoting moo (Reply 21):

Moo, I think what HAWK21 is saying is that under real conditions, will frightened and disoriented pax evacuate in all of 80 seconds? I don't think he is doubting the results or the design.

OTOH, If the queue suddenly became single server - only one exit available - then I would prefer to be in the smallest aircraft! (assumes that all aircraft exits process one pax at a time at the same rate).
 
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moo
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:06 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 22):
Moo, I think what HAWK21 is saying is that under real conditions, will frightened and disoriented pax evacuate in all of 80 seconds? I don't think he is doubting the results or the design.

The point is, the ratio of pax to doors and pax to attendants is roughly the same (within a very small range) whatever the size of the aircraft - an A380 in those circumstances would have no greater issue than an A320.

Thats the certification requirements at work.

Nothing special about the A380 in this regard - and Im sorry but HAWK21 is just regurgitating the same things he said back when the A380 was up for its evacuation trials (I was active back then and this was a very very hot topic - some people going as far as to say the trials were worthless because there was no lightning, the A380 wasnt floating in the sea in the pitch black), and received the same answers then.
 
comorin
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 23):

Fair enough, I wasn't aware of the background!

On the topic of long boarding, I think the solution is to have more than two stations at the gate, given that there are two entry points on the aircraft.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
It is an airport/airline issue.

Back close to 20 years ago I flew out of Haneda on a Japanese B747 with over 500 passengers aboard.

They checked in all the passengers at the gates in less than one hour. No on-line check-in or automated check-in back then. Every passenger required an agent for check-in. I seem to remember six or eight check-in stations.

When they started boarding, they did it through two jetways and we were pulling away from the gate less then 45 minutes after boarding started.

Air France will figure it out - if they want to keep selling enough tickets to make route profitable.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:00 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 24):
On the topic of long boarding, I think the solution is to have more than two stations at the gate, given that there are two entry points on the aircraft.

The gate stations are rarely the bottleneck; that's why you usually shoot down the jetway and then run into the queue at the aircraft door (which is actually bottlenecked inside the door). Multiple boarding doors is important, like the Japanese 747 example, but multiple gate stations doesn't help much.

Tom.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:30 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 22):

Moo, I think what HAWK21 is saying is that under real conditions, will frightened and disoriented pax evacuate in all of 80 seconds? I don't think he is doubting the results or the design.

Exactly....

Quoting moo (Reply 23):
and Im sorry but HAWK21 is just regurgitating the same things he said back when the A380 was up for its evacuation trials (I was active back then and this was a very very hot topic -

Now Im sure you got me mixed up with someone.....

My point is when there is an emergency evacuation on a larger jet,there would be a high casualty ratio compared to the smaller one irrespective of the number of exits in proportion to the size.....This is NOT about the A380 alone.....But any type.....The height of the Airframe will matter during an emergency evacuation.
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flyingturtle
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 27):
My point is when there is an emergency evacuation on a larger jet,there would be a high casualty ratio compared to the smaller one irrespective of the number of exits in proportion to the size.....This is NOT about the A380 alone.....But any type.....The height of the Airframe will matter during an emergency evacuation.

People will get hurt either way. The casualty ratio won't differ significantly. I'm willing to place bets.


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KELPkid
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):

Granted I only have a single data point, but a full SQ 380 at HKG posed no issues. Ok, so HKG is one of the most superbly streamlined airports in the world.

Then why do you have step outside security when SQ lets you off the plane at HKG for a stopover?    Just wish that they'd assume you already cleared security when you first boarded, and then just kept you in the sterile area when you deplane, instead of forcing you back through security...  
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The A380 Too Big For Airport Ops?

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:15 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 29):
Then why do you have step outside security when SQ lets you off the plane at HKG for a stopover?

Heh. That's dumb.

Ok so in most cases superbly streamlined.   Also, it might depend more on Immigration regs than the airport itself.
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