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Gnomon
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:29 am

Just flew DL between MLB and ATL, and I must say, I was quite impressed with DL's new automated boarding announcements. For those unfamiliar, it appeared the gate agent pressed a button at the counter at the appropriate times, and a two-tone chime rang and a computerized male voice announced imminent boarding, then boarded the aircraft by zones. The system also invited standby passengers to check the TV monitor in the gate area to find their names on the cleared list.

Although I'm unsure of the substantive relief to gate agents' workload that the automated system provides, I nonetheless found it an interesting throwback to the "good ol' days" when recorded announcements reverberated through the nation's airports.

Delta's ATL gates now seem like a scene out of "Airport:" "Continental flight two oh four, for Los Angeles, now boarding, the yellow concourse."

At long length, my question: How many stations feature the automated announcement system? Is this a system-wide technology?
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:32 am

How'd ya like the dull atmosphere of good ol MLB? Used to live down there, that airport is dead...and I'll bet you didn't get the aural announcements there? They're all over ATL, its decent, but I think it takes away from the personal feel....as far as I know, it's just major hubs...could be also in places with the TV monitors.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
DLX737200
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:32 am

I've only seen this at ATL. Other than that, I've never seen it at IND or MCO (the two other main airport I use with Delta) but things might've changed since January when I was flying somewhere
 
gigneil
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:34 am

ATL is not the only place... CVG, DCA, SLC, have it at least.

N
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:45 am

DeltaGuy --

MLB is dull, you can say that again. It's a real shame we don't have more airline service down here. I live in Vero Beach, about 30 miles south of MLB. Delta is about the only ballgame in town unless you want to drive to MCO or PBI.

Actually, the automated announcements -- at least some of them -- were at MLB. The initial PA, which announced imminent boarding, was automated, but the agent made the rest of the PAs.

I wondered why the rest of the PAs weren't automated...one would think that if one was, all of them could be.

Of course, ATL was abuzz with them. All at ATL that I heard were automated.
 
WidgetBoi
Posts: 1395
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:57 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:06 am

If it'll expedite the boarding process, then I'm all for it  Big grin

jeremy
 
deltaffindfw
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:10 am


DFW has the announcements also.
 
laspilot737
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:11 am

Yeah I flew from LAS-ATL-JAX and JAX-DFW-LAS last month on Delta. Every single boarding announcement was automated. Pretty cool feature.
 
COAB767
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:14 am

Sounds interesting. Would be kewl to see Continental using this feature.
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
WidgetBoi
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:15 am

Are the announcements aircraft-specific or generic?

Thanks for the info  Big grin

jeremy
 
deltaffindfw
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:18 am


Both. Some are generic announcements about 'infant in arms' and 'child seats' and others say "flight xxx has extended bins, ..." and others state the flight number and dest. city in the announcements - esp during the boarding process.
 
B4REAL
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:19 am

The announcements are generic. The only deallio is that if the a/c is large, I think it goes to 9 zones - but most are only 7 zones.

I think it is a good idea - as the customers (us!) have a predictable, consistent airport experience.

Today in ATL I noticed a REALLY good idea for this - having alternating voices male/female as you go from gate to gate - as you can distinguish them as you are sitting where you are to listen for your flight easier.
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds & @RickVanover on Twitter
 
COAB767
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:19 am

Jeremy,

Don't have a clue how Delta works but I know they board by zones so i'm sure they don't board a certain way anymore. I think they start with Zone 1, go on to Zone 2 etc. till they are finnished.
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
FLAIRPORT
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:29 am

anyone know if FLL has it and if song uses these announcements....i don't like the idea...takes away one more personal contact...soone we'll all be talking to robots about how we should be upgraded and all
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:31 am

To my recollection, the announcements I heard were pretty generic. Something like: "We would now like to invite those passengers on board Delta flight 272, to Melbourne, Florida, who are traveling in zone 1, to board at this time. This zone includes our First Class passengers, as well as SkyMiles Gold-level members..."

It's interesting that they alternate between male and female in different gates. I didn't hear that, but I'd imagine it makes the technology more personal.
 
B4REAL
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:40 am

I'm pretty sure I heard gender alternation. I think it makes sense it the gates are close (ATL) and simultaneously boarding (ATL)...
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds & @RickVanover on Twitter
 
DeltaMIA
Posts: 1622
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:53 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:47 am

At all gate audio equipped stations that have side by side gates they alternate voices (male to female) and for the reason to minimize confusion (even at MLB with gates 2 and 4). All cities with automated announcements have the same generic announcements. ATL has one additional announcement regarding photo ID. At last count there were 16 cities with Automated Gate Audio, however I am sure others have been added as the page hasn't been updated in a month or so.
Gate Audio automatically begins 1 hour prior to departure and is aware of the aircraft type. It is up to the gate agent to program which additional announcements they wish to utilize (ie Flight oversold, standbys cleared, solicit upgrades).
Regarding zones, all Delta mainline aircraft have 9 zones.
Note- Zone boarding is not used on DCI flights, so gate audio uses row numbers.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
WidgetBoi
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:57 am

DeltaMIA,

Thanks for all the info  Big grin

jeremy
 
Brido
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2000 5:32 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:01 pm

Gnomon:

Between your comments on gate boarding procedures and the "Airport" announcements I have to say: I think I'm in love.

"Continental Flight two-oh-four"...Please...Absolutely darling.

I think whatever can make the process smoother. Otherwise welcome aboard and all that jazz....

Brido
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:05 pm

Brido --

Thanks...glad to have a fan somewhere.

I guess, at the very least, I make mental notes of strange things. Maybe that's why I became a journalist...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
LFutia
Posts: 3159
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:17 pm

Jet Airways in India has it ... in Mumbai... they have their announcements in Hindi and English... Its exactly like it is w/ DL although I dont live in ATL.... One of the Jet Airways workers push a few buttons and there ya go.. with a little chime you hear,

The english is something like this: May I have your Attention Please... May I have your Attention Please.... Jet Airways flight 202 to Kolkata, Now boarding through Gate 7.
Leo/ORD
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:36 pm

Yep, SLC has them over the main PA, but while at the gate, the agents themselves announce which rows will be boarding next. It's a mixed system. At least it was when i last flew in 2003.


We have a uh...joke...a local joke about the airport. Most folks familiar with the airport can perfectly mimick the ever-present computerized voice at SLC. I'd give you my impression, but you can't hear me, so here's the running joke:


You know you're at Salt Lake Airport when the computerized female voice declares:

"The..Utah...Clean-Air-Act, prohibits smoking in the passenger-terminals..."

Aw, you have to be a local to get it. We're all amused by that computerized voice. Big grin
 
quickmover
Posts: 2201
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:36 pm

I was very impressed with this system. The best part is that 30-40% of people waiting in line are asking about standby, upgrades, or boarding status, they can now get an answer to their question by looking at the monitor. One gate agent boarded a full 757 sunday night in less than 25 minutes by my watch.
 
7e72004
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:15 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:52 pm

"...and the white zone is for the loading and unloading of passengers only..."
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
Jumpseat70
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:52 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:40 pm

We don't have it in MCI yet, although it is scheduled. I am looking forward to it since it will free me to do other things...like answer the myriad of questions that passengers have before boarding a flight.
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
 
ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:45 pm

LGA has it too. I don't know about JFK but I'de amagine there too.
-S.R.
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
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litz
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:47 pm

Heh ...

This reminds me of the original Atlanta tram voice (the one that sounded like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica) ....

The good ol' days.

Regarding the Delta announcements (to stay on topic) not only do they alternate male/female for adjacent gates, but they do so in an alternating pattern for opposite sides of the concourse too.

As the announcements are in the immediate gate areas only, it makes it VERY easy to distinguish your flight from the adjacent ones.

General scheme of things is this ...

T-1:00 an announcement that boarding will begin 30 mins prior to departure.

alternating, are announcements concerning photo-id, the "cleared list" on the Plasma displays, how the boarding process goes (by zones), and if the plane has extended bins (almost everything but the 732's) the fact that the plane does and bags should be inserted wheels or handles first.

T-0:30 to boarding Zones 1 through 9, and who is invited in each zone for zones 1-3.

alternating while boarding goes on are announcements concerning Upgrades (when first class is full, the announcement is made and aspiring upgrade-ees are instructed to board w/their original seat and zone) in addition to the above alternating list.

When the flight is closed, there is one last announcement that final boarding, then flight is closed. You'll also see on the LED displays behind the agent counter "Flight Closed".

It's a very, very slick system. And when combined with the Plasma displays makes for very efficient information for the passenger.

I've stood next to the agent counters and watched their computers as people board ... the airplane diagram on their screens INSTANTLY updates every seat when it is scanned. It also shows which seats are checked in, not checked in, etc. all by color codes. In addition, every seat is also marked by its Fare Code letter.

Just another example how Delta Tech Ops is second to none.

(IMHO)

- litz
 
JGPH1A
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:58 pm

I just flew DEN-JFK-NCE on DL - DEN had no plasma screens or automated announcements, but everything at JFK was automated - it was pretty good, but it did confuse the many French speaking pax who didn't catch the announcements right away and were unfamiliar with zone boarding. Perhaps at JFK the announcements could be doubled up in the language of the flights destination where possible - especially as most DL flights out of JFK are to foreign destinations.

P.S. T3 at JFK is still a pigsty - I thought they were going to renovate it. I arrived from DEN at T2, and it seemed pretty nice compared to T3.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
mikeymike
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 6:52 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:39 pm

Hey DeltaGuy, I agree it takes away from the personal feel of the aiport however I balance that next to all the times when gate agents get on those phones and just yell into the mic, or worse I can't understand what they say.
Mike
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:12 pm

Just flew LGA-DFW and it had the automated announcements. It was pretty cool!!!

PJ
 
2cn
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:54 am

When I flew about a month ago to Paris on Delta, LAX, CVG, and JFK domestically had it. It was funny while sitting in LAX as I went into the airport when my dad went in for his shift. Sitting listening to the system, I think they need to work out some bugs. Either that, or just the setup for the speakers at the gate area is messed up as they were airing the announcements for the center end gate over at I wanna say 54b but that isnt right. I should know that terminal alot better then I do from flying out of it so much. I'll blame it on a stupid moment. The thing would also start announcing the wrong flight, then they would stop it and restart it and got the right flight for the gate going. Maybe it was just set up- this was March 28th... but in CVG and JFK it worked alot better.
 
JMV
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 4:29 am

Why not include electronic message boards above the jetway doors that display what rows are currently boarding? With the message board, you could glance up to see if your row is boarding. There would be no need for alternating male / female voices, and loud concourses wouldn't be an issue.

I would also hope that it would greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the inevitable stampede to the boarding door by people who don't grasp the concept of boarding ONLY when their row is announced.
Google begins where my brain ends! ©
 
707guy
Posts: 203
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RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 5:59 am

CLE has the automated anouncements also...
 
jrlander
Posts: 1026
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:47 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:00 am

JMV:

The Delta gate display information screens show which zone number is being boarded, and it is tied to the automated announcements. The Zones are also printed on boarding cards. That way, anyone can simply look up and check to see if they missed the overhead announcement.
 
JMV
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 4:22 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:44 am

Glad to hear someone is thinking. NW has this beautiful, relatively new, midfield terminal here at DTW, and yet no one thought about screens to aid in boarding. It is frustrating to see people bolt for the jetway well before they are supposed to board the aircraft. It simply slows down the boarding process.

Thanks Jrlander. BTW, is DL putting that system in all their stations or just their hubs?
Google begins where my brain ends! ©
 
jrlander
Posts: 1026
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:47 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 8:23 am

DL is putting the GIDS's in its major airports, not just the hubs. LGA, JFK, LAX, FLL, DCA are just a few non-hub operations with the system.
 
jmhLUV2fly
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 1999 4:15 pm

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:22 am

I think Delta's new automated announcements are professionally done, concise and to the point for on average the boarding annoucements you make at the gate remain the same and do not change...
However, I do think the new format does tend to take a little longer then needed....the system is going to repeat the entire speal every time, even if you are just missing one passenger in a zone for example.....I mean I think its easier to just pick up the mic and say..."Were boarding all rows, all sections and all "zones" for Delta's flt. 123 to wherever...you can spit that out quicker then the 90 second recording...just my thoughts
JMH
 
jrlander
Posts: 1026
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:47 am

RE: DL's Automated Boarding Announcements

Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:29 am

Actually, the system does not repeat previous zones. I cannot recall what the announcement actually said, but I think it just says "We're now boarding zone 4" and so on. The GIDS will say "Boarding Zones 1-4"

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