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BestWestern
Topic Author
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Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:50 am

Hi, I took a KLM flight last week and am wondering why they dont board using a zone system like other SkyTeam partners. On this flight they started boarding Business class first and as nobody was at the actual boarding door, everyone just piled onto the aircraft.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Viscount724
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:09 am

Quoting bestwestern (Thread starter):
Hi, I took a KLM flight last week and am wondering why they dont board using a zone system like other SkyTeam partners. On this flight they started boarding Business class first and as nobody was at the actual boarding door, everyone just piled onto the aircraft.

Personally, I don't think it makes any difference in boarding time. I fly KL frequently and they have good on time performance, regardless how they board. The main thing is to start boarding as early as possible and I've noticed that most carriers I fly regularly seem better at doing that now than in the past.

Another issue I've found in Europe is that when they try to board by row, due to language issues many passengers don't understand the announcements. And if the agent tries to tell a passenger seated in row 10 that they can't board yet because the announcement was only for rows 30 to 40, that just wastes more time and blocks everyone behind.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:14 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Another issue I've found in Europe is that when they try to board by row, due to language issues many passengers don't understand the announcements

Total BS. Everyone understands the announcements very well (and they're repeated in several languages just to make sure). It's just that there are so many egotistical maniacs that ignore them apparently KLM in this case didn't even try to get an orderly boarding process going.

See it all the time at Schiphol. As soon as the gate agent starts setting up people rush to the door and just push and shove to be the first on board.
They don't even wait for the announcement...

Don't see it that bad at many other places, but to a degree it happens in every European airport I've been in over the last decade or so.

Saw similar situations in central Asia recently, where there was no boarding by seat row. Everyone rushed to the door, but there they did queue up reasonably orderly once they got there rather than hang around in a massive mob. As a result the boarding process was quicker, more pleasant, and the aircraft got off the ground without the usual Schiphol boarding delay.
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Viscount724
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:20 am

Quoting jwenting (Reply 2):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Another issue I've found in Europe is that when they try to board by row, due to language issues many passengers don't understand the announcements

Total BS. Everyone understands the announcements very well (and they're repeated in several languages just to make sure).

I disagree. Just using GVA, my home airport, as an example since I use it so often, boarding announcements are made in French and English and sometimes German, and the quality of English is often very poor. If you think that the average Japanese or Chinese tourist understands any of those languages, you're very optimistic.

And on flights to places like PRG/BUD/MOW, many passengers will only speak Czech/Hungarian/Russian but the boarding announcements are never in those languages. Maybe you haven't encountered that problem but I see it on almost every flight to a greater or lesser extent depending on the destination.
 
initious
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RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:32 am

Quoting jwenting (Reply 2):
Saw similar situations in central Asia recently, where there was no boarding by seat row. Everyone rushed to the door, but there they did queue up reasonably orderly once they got there rather than hang around in a massive mob.

It was my situation in China too. Having flown several flights out of China and domestically, the Chinese actually bothered to queue up when boarding (which I never see anywhere else in China) and board the plane in an orderly manner. However, when flying TG PVG-BKK no priority boarding was given to F or J pax, we just lined up together with everyone else. The process was fast enough, thankfully.
One day I will fly around the world!
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:37 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
And on flights to places like PRG/BUD/MOW, many passengers will only speak Czech/Hungarian/Russian but the boarding announcements are never in those languages

Changed planes at Moscow twice. Boarding announcements for my flights were in English, Russian, and for the flight to Tashkent, Uzbek as well.
Several flights leaving to China from gates nearby had announcements in English, Russian, and Chinese.

Of course I don't speak Russian, Chinese, or Uzbek so can't judge the quality of the announcements, but they try.

Similarly, in Amsterdam announcements will be in Dutch, English and either the language of the carrier and/or the destination country.

That should cover the vast majority of passengers, and the rest will usually fall in line when they see eveyrone else queueing up. To have 95 out of say 120 passengers for a 737 rush to the door the moment a uniformed person in airline uniform appears behind the counter is inexcusable (yes, they rush before any announcement is made).
I wish I were flying
 
NorthstarBoy
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Unusual KLM Boarding Procedure

Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:17 pm

From my experience the Asian carriers have the best way of boarding, just a simple "Flight XXX is now open for boarding, First and business class Door A, Coach class Door B." People can board at their leisure. Some people board right away and others will wait until the last minute. I always find it too bad the US carriers don't adopt this method of boarding but, if they did some mileage snob would probably throw a fit because his triple-double-gold-platinum-quadruple-mega-my shit dont stink-elite status wasn't honored allowing him to board before everyone else.
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!

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