Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
T773ER
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:13 am

Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:02 pm

Wonder if this will actually simplify the boarding?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 267416002/
 
User avatar
Spiderguy252
Posts: 1170
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:05 pm

Zone boarding only works if everybody respects said system.

In a planeful of 100-300 pax, often in all shapes, sizes, nationalities and cultures, uniform discipline may not be the first thing that they exude. One casualty being zone boarding.
Vahroone
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1803
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:07 pm

T773ER wrote:
Wonder if this will actually simplify the boarding?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 267416002/

That's not really "ditching" zones; it's merely renaming them and adding some more.
 
User avatar
enilria
Posts: 10274
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:08 pm

The Atlanta based carrier is renaming, and even color coding, its boarding groups, and increasing the number per flight from six to seven or eight depending on the aircraft.

How is this ditching zone boarding?

The new Sky Priority boarding group, made up of travelers with platinum or gold medallion status in Delta's Sky Miles program, will follow Comfort Plus passengers on board.

More de-valuing of the product for Platinum. I expect a new full-scale elite level above Diamond soon to further diminish the overall program value (i.e. "cost") for frequent fliers.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1803
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:09 pm

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Zone boarding only works if everybody respects said system.

In a planeful of 100-300 pax, often in all shapes, sizes, nationalities and cultures, uniform discipline may not be the first thing that they exude. One casualty being zone boarding.

It's then up to the gate agent to enforce it.
I've seen it strongly enforce, and the boarding is smooth; or I've seen it not enforce, and it tends to be chaos.
 
Flaps
Posts: 1654
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 1:11 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:10 pm

I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.
 
avier
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:19 pm

Flaps wrote:
I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.


Back to front makes the most sense. However their zone boarding is the reverse of that basically.
The premium cabin pax should be the last to board too, to avoid the weird stares they will get as other pax of low fare-class pass by , had they been already seated . Also premium pax can be celebs/politicians/public figures, so they can avoid being noticed too.
 
carljanderson
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:29 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:23 pm

Airlines need to have thier loyal customers board first as everyone and their mother now carries everything on board. Can you imagine the uproar if an elite was forced to gate check a bag. The horror...
 
richierich
Moderator
Posts: 3629
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:38 pm

Out with the old boss, in with the new boss...this is still zonal boarding, albeit with some tweaks, adjustments and additional layers. Eight groups is a lot but I'm guessing there are airlines with more than that - soon they'll be boarding everybody by name!

I can't wait to be in Main Cabin 3 on my next CRJ flight!
None shall pass!!!!
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1803
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:39 pm

Flaps wrote:
I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.

Actual tests do not agree with you.
And, from experience (Air France boards back to front on short-haul, compared with Delta's zones), it doesn't appear to save time.

Lastly, zone boarding "rewards" higher fare and loyal customers; this is important in a capitalistic society, and in a sense is not wrong.
 
TW870
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:01 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:39 pm

Flaps wrote:
I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.


I agree completely. But that is never going to happen. Delta is the king of the upsell, and its premium products are selling better than they ever have. Enticing you by letting you get your crap on first is the centerpiece of the pitch. They are never going to give that leverage away to shave 7% off the boarding time, especially when they aren't going to staff well enough below the wing to do faster turns overall. They are selling position in the boarding line and making money doing it. The goal is revenue, not speed. Now at Southwest, that is a different story as utilization is king (although they now monetize line position too).
 
glbltrvlr
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:28 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:53 pm

Flaps wrote:
I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.


This will only work if you have dynamically locking overhead bins that enforces placement of bags near your seat. Which basically means it will never be implemented.
 
ckfred
Posts: 5188
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:04 pm

Flaps wrote:
I hate zone boarding. Load them up by row, back to front. That way all of the idiots that cant get their bags put away and their crap together aren't blocking all of the rest of the passengers from boarding and getting situated. I've done numerous time studies on it over the years and row boarding from back to front is 7-10% faster than zone boarding.


There was an episode of "Mythbusters", where they tried all sorts of boarding methods. Back-to-front by logic would be the fastest, but it wasn't. It's the Southwest method that is the fastest, but passengers hate that style of boarding.

American thinks that, once you have First and the elites on board, your group is assigned by order of check-in. Because that scatters passengers throughout the cabin.

What really gums things up is when you have a plane full of elites. I've been on AA flights with MD-80s. By the time the Golds have been called, there might be only 15 people left in the gate. In other words, between First, Ex Plat, Plat, and Gold (this was before Plat Pro), 125 passengers were either on the plane, in the jet bridge, or waiting to have their boarding passes scanned.
 
buzzard302
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:06 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:04 pm

If airlines were able to split boarding to separate doors (fwd/aft or fwd/center), then they could speed the process and isolate the premium customers from the lower fare customers. The single fwd door presents no solution for expeditious boarding with priority to the premium passengers. As others mentioned, couple that with the fact that everyone carries on their baggage, and the efficiency basically sucks.
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 2545
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:09 pm

enilria wrote:

More de-valuing of the product for Platinum. I expect a new full-scale elite level above Diamond soon to further diminish the overall program value (i.e. "cost") for frequent fliers.

Given how well they've de-valued their miles and using them over the years, this was the next logical step...

...coming from a Platinum Medallion
 
himarhernandez
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:03 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:10 pm

I could not read the graphic well in the USAToday article. This one works better.
https://news.delta.com/boarding-simplif ... tie-it-all
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8148
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:16 pm

With how absurd the whole boarding process has gotten these day, unless I'm in F, if its a nonstop flight I just board at the very end and gate-check my bag. In most places, by the time I deboard and hit the head, my bags beat me to the baggage claim. Then again about 50% of my flights are on CRJ/CR7/CR9 with pink-tags so it doesn't matter either.

The Monday morning / Thursday afternoon full 737/757/A320 flights are just a whole lot of stupid these days with the boarding process, gate lice, and that 75% of the plane boards in SKY.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:37 pm

True story: The fastest I have seen a plane boarded was in fact a Delta 757 flying MSP to SAN. First Class boarded before everyone else, of course, and then the elites...

And then "those who will NOT be using the overhead bins may go first".

Half the plane boarded, none of them with big carry-on cases. Just luggage under the seats in front of us.

Then the zone boarding for people with bags began. And it was quick and painless.

I've seen the answer, but nobody wants it. So, for the rest of humanity's existence flying, someone will metaphorically be saying, "okay, people, we need to re-invent the wheel in anything but round. I know we've tried every other shape, but maybe we missed something - let's keep trying and trying until we find something that doesn't exist!"
 
nws2002
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:58 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
True story: The fastest I have seen a plane boarded was in fact a Delta 757 flying MSP to SAN. First Class boarded before everyone else, of course, and then the elites...

And then "those who will NOT be using the overhead bins may go first".

Half the plane boarded, none of them with big carry-on cases. Just luggage under the seats in front of us.

Then the zone boarding for people with bags began. And it was quick and painless.

I've seen the answer, but nobody wants it. So, for the rest of humanity's existence flying, someone will metaphorically be saying, "okay, people, we need to re-invent the wheel in anything but round. I know we've tried every other shape, but maybe we missed something - let's keep trying and trying until we find something that doesn't exist!"


This is basically how G4 boards flights.
Preboard
Priority (Allegiant Mastercard holders, military, and those who paid for Priority)
Exit Rows/Bulkheads (helps the GA and FA evaluate exit row passengers and ensures overhead space for bulkhead passengers)
Zone 2 (no carry-on back of aircraft)
Zone 3 (no carry-on front of aircraft)
Zone 4 (carry-on back of aircraft)
Zone 5 (carry-on middle of aircraft)
Zone 6 (carry-on front of aircraft)
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:38 pm

It looks like the same boarding process as today except people who have paid a premium for their tickets get priority over people with cheap tickets but higher FF status. And they’re introducing some colors. While FF’s who fly a lot with cheap tickets and/or play mile collecting games with credit cards and other points will feel oppressed, Delta is changing things to provide more perks for customers who pay more. Since boarding priority is not a zero-sum game, that means fewer perks for customers who pay less. It’s hard to blame a business for prioritizing customers who give them more money over ones who give them less.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:25 am

When I flew SYD-PER on the 743 QF just opened the doors and let everyone board when they chose. It took little time and didn’t seem rushed or cattle car.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
jayunited
Posts: 2961
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:30 am

It doesn't matter what DL, AA or UA calls their new boarding process they are all still using zones. They all claim they want to board aircraft faster to reduce delays changing the boarding "process" isn't the answer because all passengers still have to pass through one door on a narrow body aircraft. These airlines have all crammed more seats on to these airplanes and they have all reduced turn times to the bare minimum. So when you have a tight turn and there is a delay off loading the passengers it prevents C.S. from boarding passengers. If airlines want to reduce delays they need to increase their turn times because 45 minutes to turn a 738 with 166 passengers on and off is extremely difficult on a good day. As far as preventing passenger from lining up early that behavior will never change no matte how many or how few zones airlines use people will still line up even though their row hasn't been called.
 
FlyBitcoin
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:38 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:42 am

Delta's SVP: "This latest enhancement further refines how Delta’s process works and is designed to better link the Delta product they purchased to differentiated experiences throughout their journey.” Say what?
All this does is add a tiny bit of value and incentive for folks to buy C+ seats and reduces the value of basic economy.
I am sure they will then aggressively promote paid upgrades to those middle C+ seats (since it will give the main cabin pax a "2 zone upgrade" in boarding). Right now the Platinum's and Gold's don't even want those C+ middle seats for free, but that might also change.
Still with C+ limited to a few rows and not scattered all over the plane, it really does not take away overhead space from a Sky Priority who is sitting in main cabin.
It won't be enforced unless they choose to use the "subway style" automated boarding lanes that lock out pax who try to board too early. The gate agents are not going to pull people aside after a passenger hides his phone face down until dropping it on the scanner and she finds out pax is boarding too early as he continues walking forward.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:23 am

FlyBitcoin wrote:
Delta's SVP: "This latest enhancement further refines how Delta’s process works and is designed to better link the Delta product they purchased to differentiated experiences throughout their journey.” Say what?


To paraphrase: "If you want to move to the front of the boarding process, pay us more money. We don't care about your skymiles and junk credit card bonus points. We just want your money."
 
EBiafore99
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:54 am

IPFreely wrote:
FlyBitcoin wrote:
Delta's SVP: "This latest enhancement further refines how Delta’s process works and is designed to better link the Delta product they purchased to differentiated experiences throughout their journey.” Say what?


To paraphrase: "If you want to move to the front of the boarding process, pay us more money. We don't care about your skymiles and junk credit card bonus points. We just want your money."


Another paraphrase: "We want to make sure you can show the ordinary folks that you are special by letting you walk down the catwalk before them"
 
User avatar
CarbonFibre
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:59 am

I hope the US layout is better than the BA shambles at LHR with arrows pointing in opposite directions.
 
User avatar
rangercarp
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:54 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:11 pm

FlyBitcoin wrote:
Delta's SVP:
It won't be enforced unless they choose to use the "subway style" automated boarding lanes that lock out pax who try to board too early. The gate agents are not going to pull people aside after a passenger hides his phone face down until dropping it on the scanner and she finds out pax is boarding too early as he continues walking forward.


It could easily be enforced if the scanner would reject boarding passes whose zone had not been called yet. And people would stop trying after they had been sent to the back of the line once or twice.
iwgbtp!
 
evank516
Posts: 2152
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:31 pm

IPFreely wrote:
It looks like the same boarding process as today except people who have paid a premium for their tickets get priority over people with cheap tickets but higher FF status. And they’re introducing some colors. While FF’s who fly a lot with cheap tickets and/or play mile collecting games with credit cards and other points will feel oppressed, Delta is changing things to provide more perks for customers who pay more. Since boarding priority is not a zero-sum game, that means fewer perks for customers who pay less. It’s hard to blame a business for prioritizing customers who give them more money over ones who give them less.


The FFs who fly a lot with cheaper tickets (not always) may fly 10-20 times the amount of that person paying a higher fare on that one flight. That person paying the higher fare could be on the only trip he or she is taking for the whole year while that FF with Elite Status is on his fifteenth. Platinum and Gold Medallions should be boarding with Delta Comfort+ like they have been, but then again since I've been Gold Medallion I'm upgraded to Delta Comfort+ 99% of the time anyway while I've been upgraded to First Class on 3 out of the 8 segments I've flown since achieving it also.
 
FlyBitcoin
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:38 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:22 pm

evank516 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
It looks like the same boarding process as today except people who have paid a premium for their tickets get priority over people with cheap tickets but higher FF status. And they’re introducing some colors. While FF’s who fly a lot with cheap tickets and/or play mile collecting games with credit cards and other points will feel oppressed, Delta is changing things to provide more perks for customers who pay more. Since boarding priority is not a zero-sum game, that means fewer perks for customers who pay less. It’s hard to blame a business for prioritizing customers who give them more money over ones who give them less.


The FFs who fly a lot with cheaper tickets (not always) may fly 10-20 times the amount of that person paying a higher fare on that one flight. That person paying the higher fare could be on the only trip he or she is taking for the whole year while that FF with Elite Status is on his fifteenth. Platinum and Gold Medallions should be boarding with Delta Comfort+ like they have been, but then again since I've been Gold Medallion I'm upgraded to Delta Comfort+ 99% of the time anyway while I've been upgraded to First Class on 3 out of the 8 segments I've flown since achieving it also.


I made DM for the first time in 2018 after being PM for years prior. But if I was still PM, I would no longer be rejecting that free C+ middle seat upgrade anymore.
This is just the next phase in valuing revenue over all, including frequency of travel or loyalty. Next step: eliminating miles altogether and simply assessing FF status only on dollars spent.
 
evank516
Posts: 2152
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:45 pm

FlyBitcoin wrote:
evank516 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
It looks like the same boarding process as today except people who have paid a premium for their tickets get priority over people with cheap tickets but higher FF status. And they’re introducing some colors. While FF’s who fly a lot with cheap tickets and/or play mile collecting games with credit cards and other points will feel oppressed, Delta is changing things to provide more perks for customers who pay more. Since boarding priority is not a zero-sum game, that means fewer perks for customers who pay less. It’s hard to blame a business for prioritizing customers who give them more money over ones who give them less.


The FFs who fly a lot with cheaper tickets (not always) may fly 10-20 times the amount of that person paying a higher fare on that one flight. That person paying the higher fare could be on the only trip he or she is taking for the whole year while that FF with Elite Status is on his fifteenth. Platinum and Gold Medallions should be boarding with Delta Comfort+ like they have been, but then again since I've been Gold Medallion I'm upgraded to Delta Comfort+ 99% of the time anyway while I've been upgraded to First Class on 3 out of the 8 segments I've flown since achieving it also.


I made DM for the first time in 2018 after being PM for years prior. But if I was still PM, I would no longer be rejecting that free C+ middle seat upgrade anymore.
This is just the next phase in valuing revenue over all, including frequency of travel or loyalty. Next step: eliminating miles altogether and simply assessing FF status only on dollars spent.


Wait, you only get middle C+ seats? I've been pretty lucky getting windows for the most part and I'm only Gold.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:56 pm

FlyBitcoin wrote:
Next step: eliminating miles altogether and simply assessing FF status only on dollars spent.


Every airline, or at least almost every airline, is moving in this direction. Delta is likely getting there faster.
 
FlyBitcoin
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:38 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:09 pm

If you book later often middle seats are all that is left in C+ on the longer flights for the "instant upgrade". I would take a window in row 18 over a middle seat in C+ any day. And a PM now might give that a second thought.
 
zuckie13
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:29 pm

The only actual way to speed up boarding is to cut down on cabin luggage. Since none of these airlines are willing to drop their bag fees to encourage this, its not going to change.
Since for some reason we also are stuck with the concept that getting on early and sitting around for extra time on the plain is a "perk" (Which I will never understand. If I've got a cross country flight, I'd rather not sit on my rear end for the extra time.), the mess won't change.
 
FlyBitcoin
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:38 am

Re: Delta Air Lines to ditch zone boarding in 2019

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:58 pm

If I don't have overhead carry-on's, or am booked in First, I will spend as much time upright in the terminal as I can before boarding. I might board early if I have a window seat in main cabin and want to avoid climbing over folks.
It is a perk when you need the overhead space because you have to travel with sensitive equipment like projectors and computers in a larger carry-on. Not everyone carries on bags to avoid checked bag fees.
I have been very impressed with DL's checked bag handling and personally hate to fly with any overhead bags unless I travel with fragile electronics for business.
And I don't think charging for carry-on's is out of the realm of possibility for legacy carriers like Delta as well. They can then give that "free" to the GM's and above if there is too much backlash over the boarding zone demotion.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Williambaker08 and 27 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos