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rida79
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:32 pm

I understand why a remote stand is used when all airbridges are occupied. But I have flown out of DXB and DOH a zillion times, and I can clearly see that many airbridges were sitting empty (especially in DOH), yet we were taken to a remote stand and deplaned by stairs. Why use remote stands when there are empty airbridges available???
 
Begues
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:38 pm

rida79 wrote:
I understand why a remote stand is used when all airbridges are occupied. But I have flown out of DXB and DOH a zillion times, and I can clearly see that many airbridges were sitting empty (especially in DOH), yet we were taken to a remote stand and deplaned by stairs. Why use remote stands when there are empty airbridges available???


Lack of jetway operators. To be able to operate a jetway, you need to do some training, that cost money, this is outsourced to cheapest bidder packaged together with a bunch of other airport services. The bidder only train the minimum amount required so when people are sick, there is no one to replace them. This is a problem with a lot of airport services that require some form of training.
 
ScottB
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:52 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
I do think there is cultural expectations in the US of higher standard of "comfort" (ie, always being in climate controlled environments) then is widely accepted in Europe (as a comparable).
I was recently at a tiny airport in Texas where I and 10 other people waited in a ground level gate to board a small ERJ, and I could not help to laugh at the time and effort taken to extend a jetway to the door. We walked *up the jetway*, then *down the jetway* to board the low aircraft all of 20 feet away. obviously, we could have easily walked out and more quickly boarded with a step stool. I get there are standards and protocols in place, but it was funny.


I think there's also some influence from the desire to minimize connecting times at the hubs. When it can take 15 or 20 minutes to get all the passengers loaded on the bus and transported to the terminal, and the bus for a departing flight has to leave the terminal "gate" 15, 20, or 30 minutes before scheduled departure, minimum connecting times at a hub have to go up to anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour. In the past, when the reservations systems listed available itineraries in order by elapsed time, long connecting times meant the travel agent wouldn't see those options on the first screen so they just wouldn't be booked.

Bus gate waiting areas also feel less "premium" because they are! The amount of terminal/concourse space necessary for aircraft to park at passenger loading bridges requires the gates to be farther apart, so there's more room, by necessity, for seating, restaurants, restrooms, shops, and other amenities. A waiting area for a bus gate(s) only requires enough exterior frontage for one or a few buses to pull up, so it typically has crowded or inadequate seating. To save money, the bus gate is often on the ground level under the gates with loading bridges so there's little natural lighting and often no way to look outside, either.

Smaller airports have moved away from ramp/bus boarding due to perception, as you point out. It's a matter of making themselves look more comparable to the "big" airports by offering similar amenities.
 
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Jouhou
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:02 pm

Connecting flights. You're more likely to make it to your next flight if you disembark directly into the terminal.
 
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NYPECO
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:04 pm

I've been on a bus at JFK after deplaning from an international JetBlue flight. I actually like being in airport busses since you get to be close up next to aircraft on the ramp.
 
NolaMD88fan
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:06 pm

Have had to take a bus a few times, and it has never bothered me. The latest experience was at PVR. Other times have been at FRA and PTY (twice). As an airplane geek, I quite enjoy riding on the ramp and seeing the various planes and liveries. Also enjoy getting a much closer look at the aircraft I will be flying or have flown in.
 
airbazar
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:07 pm

My theory is that it's simply more cost effective to bus a certain percentage of flights.
Go into any major U.S. airport at any time other than morning and evening rush and you'll see loads and loads of empty gates. That is valuable real-estate that goes unused for most of the day. Maybe that is more acceptable here in the U.S. because the gates are generally "owned" by the airlines rather than the airport and they can more easily pass those costs on to the consumer.
 
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ODwyerPW
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:07 pm

Last time I bussed it in the US was 25 years ago in Roanoke Virginia.
learning never stops.
 
cschleic
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:09 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Because many Americans (rightly) recognize it as a sub-standard experience (weather!) and won't put up with it. Just how quickly did AS order E75s and start jet-bridge loading (and parking Q400s) as soon as DL brought competition to SEA-regional routes?


Although they use the "Horizon" ground boarding gates for the E75s in Portland.

Back to the OP question. Could some of it have to do with space constraints and / or infrastructure spending? As noted, FRA has a lot of bus stands but also is ramp space constrained. Or maybe it's just an operational philosophy. I've noticed that many U.S. airports have the ramp roadway out on the ramp, away from the jet bridges, while many airports outside the U.S. have longer jet bridges and the vehicles drive around between the plane and the terminal building.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:35 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
I've often flown Ryanair and never once boarded them through a jetway. One time the aircraft was parked at a gate with a jetway available, but they didn't use it. Instead we were led down the stairs and onto the platform to board the aircraft through stairs. This method of boarding works faster because both doors can be used, it even says in your boarding card if you have to use the front or rear door for boarding.


That sounds nicely efficient. Just this last weekend I had to board an AS 739ER for SLC-SEA. The length of the 739ER reminds me of DL 752s I've been on - and how agonizingly long it takes to board/unboard super long narrowbodies. During boarding I was thinking about claims of boarding efficiency and wondering who actually does it to decrease turn times. Ryanair, apparently.

Being an aircraft nerd, I never turn down a bus on the ramp. I remember being at AMS, getting a nice and close look at the KLM F-100s. Also, I never did use a jet way when in the air force - not on C-130s nor on C-17s. :duck: Buses at deployed locations were even better so I could easily see the menagerie of aircraft there.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:36 pm

Jouhou wrote:
Connecting flights. You're more likely to make it to your next flight if you disembark directly into the terminal.


But then you would think it would be the other way around.

The USA does not allow international arrivals to stay and connect airside, you have to clear immigration no matter what. Then you'd think the bus would drop you off straight at the immigration. Europe on the other hand does allow for international arrivals to stay airside and connect to other flights without having to clear immigration first. Only when connecting to a Schengen flight you clear immigration, but this clearance mostly happens airside.

I once arrived on a non-Schengen flight in Barcelona. We were parked in a remote stand and had to take a bus to the terminal. The bus dropped us off at immigration after which we immediately ended up at the baggage reclaim and then the exit to landside. This was very inconvenient for me as I had a connecting flight so I preferred to stay airside after clearing immigration. Now I had to proceed through security again. Of course I had plenty of time, but it was inconvenient.
 
Heinkel
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:41 pm

IWMBH wrote:
I am from Europe and I can't remember the last time I used a bus to get to the airplane.


Happens quite often. Even with LH from FRA (FRA-HAJ) last year. Very nice bus ride along the flighline to a very remote stand.

Even better, if you have to walk from the terminal to the a/c:

Hainan Airlines TGL-PEK.
Scandinavian Airlines HAJ-CPH.

You never come closer to the aircraft as pax. So the best thing, what can happen to you as an aviation geek, is a long bus ride to/from a remote stand.
Jet bridges are boring.
Last edited by Heinkel on Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
xxcr
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:43 pm

I've been bused to my plane more in Asia than i have anywhere else. Mostly at NRT or BKK. I do like the bus experience, it allows me to see the organized chaos of airports lol. I dont mind walking from the terminal to the plane either, that always adds to the adventure!

but to answer your question, i think space and slots are the reason you see more people get bused in Europe. HK has a lot as well.
 
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:57 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
Also, it can't be ignored that the US has harsher environmental extremes than Europe, particularly at the major cities/airports. from the scorch of Phoenix, Houston, Miami to the ice and wind of Chicago, Minneapolis, the wet of Seattle. These are factors.


Ahh yes, how could we all forget that Europe has neither hot summer, nor ice, wind, or rain? Many thanks for pointing that out lol! :-)



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incitatus
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:04 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Because many Americans (rightly) recognize it as a sub-standard experience (weather!) and won't put up with it. Just how quickly did AS order E75s and start jet-bridge loading (and parking Q400s) as soon as DL brought competition to SEA-regional routes?


I agree with that. While I enjoy the experience of being down at the apron, the experience is always substandard, and sometimes terrible. Nothing worse than arriving on a long-haul flight in, say, FRA, walk downstairs with a carry-on, wait in the bus for what it seems like forever, then be hauled halfway across Hesse to be dumped in a crowded terminal.

A few months I arrived in Seattle late at night and got bussed. Awful experience. It was cold and it was all very slow.
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Andy33
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:45 pm

ro1960 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
Other LCCs like Easyjet may park at a bridge-equipped stand but still use stairs instead.


Actually easyJet uses bridges at the front and stairs at the back.

Andy33 wrote:
The other thing is that compared to the USA there is an extreme reluctance to use tugs for moving planes around airports.


Can you elaborate? I have never heard of this reluctance.

Certainly very evident at airports like LHR, FRA, AMS that are congested for much of the day. An aircraft moving along a taxiway is significantly faster under its own power than being towed, so the taxiway becomes available for use by another plane sooner. They get more planes through the same infrastructure.
Then there's LCC-heavy airports where there is a massive "first wave" of planes leaving between 5:30 and 7.30am. All the planes board where they are parked, there's no delay induced by moving them onto a gate before boarding. Some may well be on gates, many/most will not
Planes going to or from maintenance may absolutely require to be towed, but otherwise wherever possible tugs are used only for pushback. Indeed if you look at 21st century airports such as ATH (admittedly only just 21st century) the stands used for most domestic flights are laid out so that planes park between two taxiways - they need no pushback at all, just set off under power.

Oh, and I've certainly boarded Easyjet flights at LGW North Terminal from gates equipped with bridges, but all passengers descended to apron level and boarded by stairs at front and rear And North Terminal has quite a set of ground level gates too, all well used by Easyjet who have the vast majority of flights at the terminal.
Last edited by Andy33 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:48 pm

The jetbridges are awful here in the US, because if your flight is early or even on time there is a good chance at a hub your gate is taken, and you either need to wait for that plane to be push-backed or wait for another suitable gate to open up. In those cases I wish remote stands were an option.
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TWA772LR
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:07 pm

As an American, I enjoy the novelty of boarding from stairs for the fact that its not widespread here. Ive done it a few times in the US for RJs and prop jobs, once in FRA to a 764 through the rear door, and once in TXL after a 50 yard bus ride through the back of an A319.

Coming back from MUC a month ago I purposefully went put of my way to ride the mobile lounge to be up close and personal to the aircraft in IAD when connecting from UA to WN.
Last edited by TWA772LR on Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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teachpdx
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:13 pm

So many AirAsia and Nok flights boarded via buses in SE Asia, but boarding groups aren’t as meaningful or well-enforced as in the US. Similar with Europe from my experience. It’s nothing like the 11-zone boarding in the USA. Yeah, boarding by zone is pretty pointless when you all just cram on a bus and everybody alights the bus in a different order.

Imagine if WN used hard stands, all of a sudden somebody at the end of Group B is first onto the plane with their pick of seats, and the Group A folks are still stuck on the bus. If the doors open on the same side of the bus (which seems to happen more than 50% of the time), it’s generally last-on, first-off.

SEA does have a few bus gates now... took the bus to/from my Norwegian flight last summer.

My Level flight into BCN last year arrived at a jet bridge but left from a hard stand SO FAR away. We were on the bus for a solid 15 minutes driving around the whole airport perimeter to the plane. But I don’t mind it, it feels like a behind-the-scenes tour.
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SmokinL1011
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:17 pm

RobertS975 wrote:
There is nothing that I detest more upon arriving after an overnight flight in Europe and finding out that the plane has parked at a pad and we will bus to the terminal.


I find it a welcome thing to have to use stairs and walk more after a long flight. I also find it a good thing to stay in a hotel in Paris, for example, and walk up 3, 4, 5 floors of stairs to get to my room.
 
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:18 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Jouhou wrote:
Connecting flights. You're more likely to make it to your next flight if you disembark directly into the terminal.


But then you would think it would be the other way around.

The USA does not allow international arrivals to stay and connect airside, you have to clear immigration no matter what.


:shakehead: The difference between the number of domestic passengers connecting within the US versus international ones is vast. Why would you design for the much smaller number?
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:19 pm

Begues wrote:
rida79 wrote:
I understand why a remote stand is used when all airbridges are occupied. But I have flown out of DXB and DOH a zillion times, and I can clearly see that many airbridges were sitting empty (especially in DOH), yet we were taken to a remote stand and deplaned by stairs. Why use remote stands when there are empty airbridges available???


Lack of jetway operators. To be able to operate a jetway, you need to do some training, that cost money, this is outsourced to cheapest bidder packaged together with a bunch of other airport services. The bidder only train the minimum amount required so when people are sick, there is no one to replace them. This is a problem with a lot of airport services that require some form of training.

When I got trained to drive a jetbridge it was just my boss saying "watch me, now you do it". And it's more or less the same for all jetbridge driving training all over the US.
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OOSFS
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:32 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Which Spanish ones? I think ALC is one. MAD too. PMI I think so. But I recall using Ryanair recently in SCQ (the only airline that do not uses jet bridges), SVQ or VLC and we did not use jet bridges. I think it is more dependant on the airport than on anything else.


From the top of my head:
AGP (on the B and the C gates, sometimes on the D gates)
ALC
IBZ
PMI
BCN
TFS
ACE
MAD
Ryanair has also a 35 min turnaround time in those places in stead of their standard 25 min turnaround.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:35 pm

danj555 wrote:
It could also be a security thing. The US is a leader (save for Israel) in airport security. It can be annoying I know.

[sarcasm]absolutely. The TSA always get such great reviews. [/sarcasm] :duck:
 
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rida79
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:36 pm

Begues wrote:
rida79 wrote:
I understand why a remote stand is used when all airbridges are occupied. But I have flown out of DXB and DOH a zillion times, and I can clearly see that many airbridges were sitting empty (especially in DOH), yet we were taken to a remote stand and deplaned by stairs. Why use remote stands when there are empty airbridges available???


Lack of jetway operators. To be able to operate a jetway, you need to do some training, that cost money, this is outsourced to cheapest bidder packaged together with a bunch of other airport services. The bidder only train the minimum amount required so when people are sick, there is no one to replace them. This is a problem with a lot of airport services that require some form of training.


that's unfortunate!
 
Freshside3
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:41 pm

SEA now has increased the use of "remote" operations, due to increased traffic, combined with a bunch of gates under construction, and out of commission.
 
aklrno
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:43 pm

In the last 12 months I've used a bus at LAX (at least twice) AKL (at least twice) MUC and MXP. There may have been more, but that's what I can remember. I don't really mind too much. Not only do I get to see the airport up close, but on arrival the bus often takes me closer to the center of the terminal so I don't have to walk past 10 or 12 gates. The only really bad part is that the airport authorities like to pack those busses full. Very full. If they could just rustle up a couple more of them and let the passengers have some room to breathe I could be happy.
 
Duartelmatos
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:44 pm

If you’re travelling by an EU country to the USA through another EU country, it is probable that your first plane parks in a remote stand beacause of Schengen Agreement.
A flight from FRA to MAD does not need to pass immigration but the plane which is taking you to MAD may go to a non-Schengen country (LHR) so passengers need to pass through immigration at the airport.
 
QXAS
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:56 pm

It’s mostly a liability issue for the airlines in the United States. An airline is required to transport passengers between safe areas within the terminal of the two airports between which they’re flying. The jet bridge is considered a safe area within a terminal. The instant a passenger steps off the plane onto the jet bridge, the airline is no longer liable. A bus is not considered a safe area within the terminal. Nor is an open air ramp. So if a passenger slips on a wet ramp in SEA and is injured, the airline is liable. If someone claims their hearing was permanently impaired by engine noise the airline is liable. If the bus crashes and people are injured the airline is liable. If someone trips boarding the bus and is injured, you get the point. The airline is liable until the passenger has left the bus and entered the building. Jetbridges have far less of a liability issue and therefore are far more common.
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OA940
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:59 pm

Andy33 wrote:
Ryanair, the largest airline in Europe by number of passengers carried, will not use jetbridges because they say they increase turnround times. Their fleet of over 400 738s all have factory fitted integral front airstairs. To be fair, they can and do routinely turn a 189 seat 738 in 25 minutes. I am aware that at some airports, especially Spanish ones, the airport authority insists on Ryanair using jetbridges, but this is very much the exception.
Other LCCs like Easyjet may park at a bridge-equipped stand but still use stairs instead.
The other thing is that compared to the USA there is an extreme reluctance to use tugs for moving planes around airports. Apart from pushback or moves to and from mx hangars, planes taxi under their own power to their parking spot and depart again from the same location. There are exceptions, particularly planes arriving off intercontinental flights in the morning and not due to depart again until the evening may use jetbridge stands for disembarkation and be towed to remote ones at LHR.
I can also think of lots and lots of European airports that don't have bridges at all, or only one or two. But most of these have no significant longhaul traffic.


Doesn't U2 use bridges? I always see them parked at the satellite terminal in ATH and considering in MXP, CDG, LGW etc they use gates instead of remote stands I thought they used them.
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k89
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:59 pm

The basic answer is that many airports aren't ready to handle extra flights with the amount of gates that they already have. That's why they have to use remote stands. Airports don't have the expansions ready for when they need the extra gate capacity at the time that's its actually needed.

The reality is that most airports are not ready to handle future traffic comfortably with congestion and gate space problems. That's why many of them will continue to have problems in the long term.
 
BojamDelta
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:03 pm

Terminal 5 at LHR has about 10 off pier stands and if your lucky a coach may turn up!
 
Texan101
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:09 pm

Duartelmatos wrote:
If you’re travelling by an EU country to the USA through another EU country, it is probable that your first plane parks in a remote stand beacause of Schengen Agreement.
A flight from FRA to MAD does not need to pass immigration but the plane which is taking you to MAD may go to a non-Schengen country (LHR) so passengers need to pass through immigration at the airport.


This, being based in London a non Schengen member majority of the time when flying into mainland Europe the remote stands are where we end up. Makes sense with the limited international gates. I don't mind the bus at all, its rather enjoyable. The only time it turns into a major negative is tight connections. Your flight leaves LHR late which happens rather often, you finally land hoping to get an actual gate to make your connection in time. Next thing you know you pass the gates and head for a stand, where you will then have to wait for buses and everyone from the aircraft to board said buses. It does tack on quite a bit of time and stress.
 
dampfnudel
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:10 pm

I arrived a few times in FRA with LH after a nonstop flight from JFK/EWR during the 1990s and we had to take a bus to the terminal. I actually enjoyed the ride a couple of times, but one time was a few days before Christmas to visit my grandmother who used to live a half hour from FRA. It was lightly snowing and the ground was slippery. The stairs were covered and well-lit (we arrived an hour before sunrise). An older person a few passengers in front of me nearly fell near the stairs and the person (an American) behind me said what a welcome. I said to him yeah, a jet bridge would’ve been nice on a day like today. The last time I had to take a bus to a remote stand at FRA was in 2014 when taking a SAS flight to CPH.
Last edited by dampfnudel on Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mxaxai
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:10 pm

Andy33 wrote:
ro1960 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
Other LCCs like Easyjet may park at a bridge-equipped stand but still use stairs instead.


Actually easyJet uses bridges at the front and stairs at the back.

Andy33 wrote:
The other thing is that compared to the USA there is an extreme reluctance to use tugs for moving planes around airports.


Can you elaborate? I have never heard of this reluctance.

Certainly very evident at airports like LHR, FRA, AMS that are congested for much of the day. An aircraft moving along a taxiway is significantly faster under its own power than being towed, so the taxiway becomes available for use by another plane sooner. They get more planes through the same infrastructure.
Then there's LCC-heavy airports where there is a massive "first wave" of planes leaving between 5:30 and 7.30am. All the planes board where they are parked, there's no delay induced by moving them onto a gate before boarding. Some may well be on gates, many/most will not
Planes going to or from maintenance may absolutely require to be towed, but otherwise wherever possible tugs are used only for pushback. Indeed if you look at 21st century airports such as ATH (admittedly only just 21st century) the stands used for most domestic flights are laid out so that planes park between two taxiways - they need no pushback at all, just set off under power.

FRA does loads of towing. Many long haul jets get towed to the cargo/maintenance apron or to the southern apron (where T3 is being built). Just before departure, they get towed back to the jetbridge. FRA just can't afford those jets to hog gates all day long.
At other airports, hardstand operations are used to avoid tows since the aircraft can move (forward) on its own power.

I've even seen plans to tow planes to the departure runway to save fuel and reduce noise.

The largest jet I've been bused to was an A380 at FRA (delayed, so no free gate at the time). Very impressive close-up. Also got a free tour of *all* of FRA and got to actually use the front staircase of the A380.
 
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DominikR83
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:13 pm

IWMBH wrote:
GCT64 wrote:
IWMBH wrote:
I am from Europe and I can't remember the last time I used a bus to get to the airplane.


That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though :-) I used bus / stairs combo for both departure and arrival yesterday (in Europe).


Yeah but is it that common?


Approx. 60% of the parking positions at FRA are apron positions. ;) So in FRA it is more likely to use the bus then to use a jetbridge.
 
dampfnudel
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:16 pm

T3 can’t open soon enough at FRA. :D
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rbavfan
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:18 pm

asuflyer wrote:
Outside the US, gate space is mostly CUTE, and thus the airport authority can designate which airline uses which gate at a certain time. Whereas in the US, mostly flights have gates already allocated for specific airlines. Ex, AA would not add an additional flight to MSP, for example if they had no gate space. LAX, DCA and JFK are examples of airports in the US that have gates which use buses for boarding so it occurs, just not as common as elsewhere.


I think you mean IAD, not DCA.
 
berari
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:36 pm

From what I recall in the EU low fare airlines tend to use it for it is cheaper than having to dock at a bridge. I recall flying EasyJet in the last 4 years and we were at a gate, and then went down the stairs despite there being a bridge that the aircraft hadn't docked to. They use dual stair boarding which is what they have built in as an efficient way of operating.

ubeema wrote:
I typically transit at CDG between North America and Africa flights. Stairs boarding and deplaning are almost always guaranteed for the African leg. Never for American flights.
I could be wrong but I bet US based airlines pay extra to guarantee gate space. Very annoying when you have babies. Had to carry car seats and kids before at sametime . Very sweaty experience.


My connections at FRA to/from Africa have more often than not involved being bussed. I recall flying in on ET first thing in the AM and being parked remotely, despite being the first aircraft flying in. And then flying out on LH to ADD (multiple times,) the remote stand is also used. In some cases, and there are articles out there, airlines are accused of using sub par services and aircraft on flights to Africa and non first world destinations.

NolaMD88fan wrote:
Have had to take a bus a few times, and it has never bothered me. The latest experience was at PVR. Other times have been at FRA and PTY (twice). As an airplane geek, I quite enjoy riding on the ramp and seeing the various planes and liveries. Also enjoy getting a much closer look at the aircraft I will be flying or have flown in.


It's great as long as there's no downpour. The smell of jet fuel that comes with it! I saw WN using stairs at PVR the other day.
 
BTV290
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:42 pm

I agree that it seems a lot to do with perceived standards of "comfort" in the US. We've started bus boarding for a couple flights per day in Seattle whilst the airport grapples with passenger traffic exceeding terminal space. I've many times stood just inside the terminal where the busses drop off, and gotten berated by passengers, demanding to know why they'd been "treated like cattle" and loaded onto a bus. One gentleman stated he'd rather be delayed in the plane and wait for a "real gate" than get bussed to the terminal. I advise them all not to fly to Europe.
 
golfingboy
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:43 pm

I detest bus gates for several reasons...

1. Boarding and deplaning process takes significantly longer.
2. Buses are not always well equipped with many poles or handrails to hold on to while the bus is moving.
3. Boarding by stairs possess accessibility problem. I don't think individuals who have mobility limitations enjoys being carried up and down the stairs in front of everyone.
4. Gate area for bus boarding is chaotic (i.e. CMB and DCA) at many airports and the space is very cramped.
5. Stairs boarding fail to provide appropriate coverage for wide range of weather conditions.
6. Boarding by stairs can be strenuous for some even the healthy individuals (i.e. parent traveling with a toddler).

I don't associate stair boarding with "sub-par" or third world, but rather I associate it with airport operators or airlines being cheap to invest in building the appropriate infrastructure that properly aligns with operational demand. I think remote stands are more pronounced in the EU than the US because more airports in the EU are space constrained and different ULCC mentality (i.e. Spirit and Allegiant uses gates when available in the US but Ryanair and EasyJet in the EU doesn't).
Last edited by golfingboy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:43 pm

There’s a stigma to buses in the US, plus most pax prefer the comfort of a jetway vs. walking outside to get from the bus to the aircraft.
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FSDan
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:49 pm

AeroLogical wrote:
I don't transfer through ATL as much as I used to, but they used to board quite a few of their regional flights via walking out on the tarmac and up the onboard stairs. Is this still the case?


Nope. A few years back all the Delta Connection gates at ATL were equipped with jet bridges. Actually, the only DL hub I can think of off the top of my head where RJs still board directly from the ramp is SLC (and maybe a few hardstands at LGA while construction is taking place?). RJs at MSP, DTW, and JFK pretty much all use jet bridges, and I think that will be the future state at SLC and LGA as well when the new terminals are complete.

UA still does some ramp boarding of RJs at SFO, DEN, IAH, and I believe IAD (although I've never flown through IAD - that's just what it looks like to me on Google Maps). ORD is all jet bridges at this point.

AA does ramp boarding of RJs at LAX, PHX (limited), CLT, and PHL, if I remember correctly.

AS does ramp boarding of RJs and Q400s at SEA and PDX.

In most of the cases where I've boarded an RJ directly from the ramp in the U.S., the aircraft stairs aren't used. Rather, most of the hub airports have semi-permanent ramp structures set up (e.g. the Eagle's Nest at LAX).
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StTim
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:03 pm

Been bussed to remote stands numerous times at Heathrow. Never for long haul though.

I have never seen empty planes being taxied under their own power to remote/maintenance locations. This would be a costly process. I have seen many tugs used to do such repositioning - again at Heathrow.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:15 pm

FSDan wrote:
RobertS975 wrote:
Rather than ask why the use of pads is so common in Europe, why isn't it more commonly used in the USA?


One thought is that the U.S. has more extreme weather than much of Europe in general. Want to be out in the elements at MSP or ORD in February? How about PHX or IAH in July?

I agree with others that it can be a cool experience to be bused around the apron, but bad weather can make the experience of remote boarding a pain. A few years back my wife and I had to board in pouring rain at NWI, which is an airport with no jet bridges. It took half the flight to dry off.

I've seen women get off our Hawaii flights in SFO with Halter tops and short skirts with Tans Galore to look like an Ice-cycle in under 10 seconds walking up the jetway.
And the Jetway was covered!! Stairs?? No way in Blazes!!
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:22 pm

I've done bus gates at LGA a few times on DLX. Of course with the construction going on there....it was what it was.
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Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
vfw614
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:33 pm

Another reason I guess is that many European airports are space constrained and simply do not have the space to add the terminal space that would be required to accommodate all planes parked remotely at jetbridges. Just think of FRA and the massive additional terminal required to park all aircraft at jetbridges.
 
konkret
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:36 pm

Additional factor why bus boarding is more common in Europe and Asia might be the wider use of turboprops.

(Are there any airports where you can board an ATR or Q400 via a jetbridge?)

Btw. What I don’t understand is why the stairs don’t always offer protection from the rain. It is super frustrating when you are getting wet while standing in line to board the aircraft.
 
COSPN
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:57 pm

USA ADA law says “reasonable accommodation “ must be made for people with disabilities of you can be sued easily . Other countries don’t seem to have the same protections the USA has

USA fire code is also more strict the Jetway provides 20 min egress in case the plane catches fire wile fueling..
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Why Are Bus Boardings so Common in Europe and so Rare in the USA?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:03 pm

I really enjoy Burbank (I know that you are not bussed but rather walk into the terminal) for this very reason. It is awesome going through the back end of a 737 or A320 and seeing how big these aircraft are.

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