lightmac
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Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:40 pm

Even when apron positions are used, priority boarding is often enforced meaning business class/status passengers beep their boarding passes first and enter the bus first, then economy class passengers get piled in front of them, making sure that business class passengers end up being able to get to the aircraft last. This seems silly, no? Would it not make more sense to have business class passengers enter the buses last, so that they can get out first?
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:58 pm

Sounds as if you're generalizing somewhat, not all airlines do bus boarding the same way.

Emirates and BA have separate buses for premium cabin passengers. I find that if boarding by bus and I'm boarding it first I can at least pick the best spot for a quick exit.
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SQ22
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:07 pm

fbgdavidson wrote:
Sounds as if you're generalizing somewhat, not all airlines do bus boarding the same way.

Emirates and BA have separate buses for premium cabin passengers. I find that if boarding by bus and I'm boarding it first I can at least pick the best spot for a quick exit.


I had the same experience on CA. It was an A321, flying PVG-NRT. So the bus was a Minibus and we had to wait until all other passengers had boarded the normal bus. So when we were at the plane, we were the last on board. Worked well.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:07 pm

Most airlines keep their priority passengers and regular passengers separated.

Even experienced this on Ryanair at Lanzarote, where priority passengers were loaded in the front of the bus. At about 1/3 of the bus there was a divider, like the ones they use in the terminal with magnets that attach to the poles. Everyone in front of the divider had priority, everyone behind it didn't. As the bus got to the aircraft, the driver opened only the front door at first so the priority passengers could board. Once they were on board, the other doors were opened.
 
jb1087xna
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm

It's been about 3 years but IIRC when it was time to board a DL connection flight that was remotely parked at LGA, they used their normal boarding procedure. I was in F and myself and the other F passengers got on the bus first and sat in the first/front seats of the bus so we could be the first ones off.
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blueflyer
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:05 pm

Perhaps more so (but not exclusively) in Europe than other countries, it isn't necessarily clear at the time of boarding that it is a bus, not a plane, passengers are going to walk into. I couldn't count the times I boarded at a gate with a plane attached to the bridge, only to walk all the way down to the apron to get onto a waiting bus. In such circumstances, it is probably easier to apply standard boarding procedures rather than try and explain to gate lice why the boarding order that is so critical to their lifestyle is going to be disturbed.

For every trip where all passengers were boarded into bus without regard to cabin or status, I've had a trip where separate buses were used, including a time where I shared a bus large enough for half an A320 with the one other passenger in the cabin we were going to share for the next few hours, while the other passengers were crammed in two or three buses.

Being first off the bus isn't necessarily all that exciting either. Sometimes being the last off the bus means the crew has had the time to heat/cool a plane that has been sitting on the apron for hours before departure and that was rather uncomfortable for the first passengers onboard...
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aklrno
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:31 pm

I’ve had lots of bus gate experiences on NZ at LAX and it is always a miserable experience. They board premium first, then continue to pack the bus with as many people as they can squeeze in. The bus contractor is of course saving money by having fewer buses and driver; their employees don’t care at all about passenger experience. Neither NZ or LAX will admit any responsibility. The bus loaders make TSA seem like the ultimate in polite and caring people. I can only dream of a separate premium bus at LAX. AKL does a much better job, but now there is rarely a problem at AKL with US bound passengers since security rules seem to require the use of a contact gate. When arriving at AKL they don’t overload buses so the experience is pleasant.
 
debonair
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Re: Priority Boarding for bus gates

Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:01 am

SQ22 wrote:
I had the same experience on CA. It was an A321, flying PVG-NRT. So the bus was a Minibus and we had to wait until all other passengers had boarded the normal bus. So when we were at the plane, we were the last on board. Worked well.


I think, my opinion, this is not professional at all. Boarding last as Priority customer means no space in the overhead bins - I have seen many times crews and passengers placing their trolleys in the still empty BusinessClass section. Priority customer arriving late, from the lounge, had no space to stow their belongings. Also for the crew it's a nightmare - handing out and collecting pre-departure drinks, newspapers and menu cards in a rush; also the galley is most probably not secured during push-back - which is a safety violation in my eyes.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
As the bus got to the aircraft, the driver opened only the front door at first so the priority passengers could board. Once they were on board, the other doors were opened.


Same with easyjet - at least in HAM. Priority passenger board the front of the bus, albeit no divider, and will released first at the a/c.

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