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ptharris
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Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:03 am

This may seem like a dumb question, first off because airports aren't set up for such an idea, but let's assume it's an option for argument sake. Why not board from front and back of the aircraft? It would be nice to board an aircraft and not have to wait for that one person with 18 carry-ons they have to find spots for while 40 people wait backed up and they pretend they don't exist.

Just a thought.
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Qantas16
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:05 am

ptharris wrote:
This may seem like a dumb question, first off because airports aren't set up for such an idea, but let's assume it's an option for argument sake. Why not board from front and back of the aircraft? It would be nice to board an aircraft and not have to wait for that one person with 18 carry-ons they have to find spots for while 40 people wait backed up and they pretend they don't exist.

Just a thought.


In Australia it is quite common for domestic flights to board from both doors, either as a airbridge at the front and stairs at back or two sets of stairs. More common with Jetstar and Tigerair, though I have done it with Virgin before.
 
rta
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:15 am

You're thinking of your inconvenience as a passenger. There's plenty of stuff going on in the cockpit and on the ramp while passengers board. Plus, you'd need two jetbridges/staircases instead of one. So on top of extra equipment, you'd more personnel to facilitate boarding. Plus, how many airports could reasonably accommodate the resources for this?


Just not worth it when most of the time it won't make a difference for the airline.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:22 am

There are photos from the 1960's with two bridges, one forward and one aft, but it required the plane to sit sideways, parallel to the terminal. That takes up too much real estate in todays busy airports. But I do like flying AS/QX Q400s, boarding on the ramp through both doors. Saves a lot of time, since I like to sit behind the wing and landing gear box in order to see out.
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tortugamon
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:28 am

A380s and 747s load with multiple jet bridges all the time but I assume you mean narrow body aircraft.

I can think of quite a few airports where they load planes with two doors simultaneously. Its the only way WN boards aircraft in BUR as far as I know.

UA tried multiple jet bridges for TED flights at DEN for a while. One damaged engine and all of the efficiency savings is lost.

Many airports prevent passengers from standing on the tarmac. So no rear stairs allowed there.

I have been on some flights in India where they actually have a ramp with multiple switchbacks that they roll into place both front and back entrances for boarding as well.

I guess the question becomes: why isn't it available in more places?

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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:33 am

There are a few gates at AMS that board front and back, unless that's changed.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:38 am

I boarded through rear door a few times in US:
WN has (had?) some overwing jetways in ALB. Look very plane model specific, I believe unable to accommodate 738.
Boarding from the rear on (severely late) DL 757 in SJC - maybe they wanted to pack a full and late plane ASAP to avoid connection mess?

Looks like weather is significant factor; having everyone walk to RJ is not the same as sending cattle outdoors when first class boards jetway - at least not in rain/cold/snow
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:40 am

All I can see happening is a clustershit of a situation of people trying to get by one another in the aisles because they're standing at row 22 and they need to be in row 6 and took the shorter line thinking it would save themselves time, or vice versa, or trying to by the rest of the plane so they could find overhead bin space.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:41 am

I know in Manila depending on your boarding group and probably in many other airports half of the passengers take a back entrance via staircase and half of the others take the front staircase if on a hard ramp.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:48 am

Only airport I've been to in the US where mainline aircraft board from stairs (or a ramp, ADA and all) is LGB. Was pretty cool, though I can understand why larger airports avoid this practice.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:52 am

Happens in the carribean quite often. They use two sets of stairs on the longer narrow bodies and split the crowd based on a row number.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:00 am

kalvado wrote:
I boarded through rear door a few times in US:
WN has (had?) some overwing jetways in ALB. Look very plane model specific, I believe unable to accommodate 738.
Boarding from the rear on (severely late) DL 757 in SJC - maybe they wanted to pack a full and late plane ASAP to avoid connection mess?

Looks like weather is significant factor; having everyone walk to RJ is not the same as sending cattle outdoors when first class boards jetway - at least not in rain/cold/snow


ALB did, but not sure if they are used any longer. I was on WN several times this year and cannot recall them used. However, they were when I flew WN out of ALB in '07-'08
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:01 am

I would think most places that still board mainline aircraft via stairs would do it that way. Just a few months ago I boarded an Ethiopian 738 through the back door at ZNZ. They had a guy checking boarding passes who would direct people to the front or back door based on row number.

But then again the only other time I've boarded a mainline plane via stairs, at HAV, they only used the front door.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:05 am

I boarded a UA 764 in FRA from the tarmac via rear air stair.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:31 am

I de-planed a BA320 in Heathrow by the rear steps about three weeks ago. The world didn't come to an end.

Like the US, The Chinese also have issues with international flights being hard stand deplaned and this only happens where an airport doesn't have an airbridge, a rarity in China. JHB for example.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:45 am

Back in '78, I boarded a Western 707 redeye at SFO, with us being led down the jetway but then down the stairs and across the ramp under the wing tip to board up rear airstairs. I thought they were highlighting the difference between F and Y, but it turned out it was a Combi, and the front was cargo. The jetway was there for crew access. On the way back from SEA, it was the same story, but I knew what it was about then.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:47 am

Boarding by front ant aft door is common in LCC airlines and it speeds up things significantly compared to conventional jet bridge/front door only. In fact, this was the preferred method in a European ULCC I used to work for. Heck, at some airports we'd have a jet bridge attached to the forward door AND stairs at the aft door. The passengers deplaning from the back would be directed to the jet bridge via a set of stairs, or directly to the arrival hall - depending on the airport layout.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:00 am

Norwegian Air Shuttle board using two doors. Both front and aft. on their Boeing 737's. At least domestically. The way they do it is that the ones in front enter via an air bridge, while the ones entering the aft door, exits the air bridge half way through a door and walks down the stairs onto the aircraft stand and walks around the wing and enters the aircraft at the aft door. Passengers also often leave the aircraft the same way.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:01 am

Standard operations here in Australia. At least with JQ, TT and VA, I've only been on QF A330s and not spent much time around their terminals, but can't recall seeing it. It's split by row number as to which door you board with, 1-15 front door, 16-30 rear door.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:17 am

What you're describing is normal throughout Europe when no jetbridge is available. I've done this at BFS, BHD, MAD, and LEI from what I can remember. At MAD Iberia parks quite a few aircraft away from the terminal and it's common to see passengers boarding planes using the airstairs.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:51 am

a320fan wrote:
Standard operations here in Australia. At least with JQ, TT and VA, I've only been on QF A330s and not spent much time around their terminals, but can't recall seeing it. It's split by row number as to which door you board with, 1-15 front door, 16-30 rear door.


I have seen QF use rear stairs on 737s with a jetbridge to the front door, but only rarely and only at SYD.

They might do it elsewhere too, but I've never seen it.

When I flew DJ into Brisbane I always enjoyed disembarking from the rear and feeling the heat as you stepped out.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:53 am

rta wrote:
You're thinking of your inconvenience as a passenger. There's plenty of stuff going on in the cockpit and on the ramp while passengers board. Plus, you'd need two jetbridges/staircases instead of one. So on top of extra equipment, you'd more personnel to facilitate boarding. Plus, how many airports could reasonably accommodate the resources for this?


Just not worth it when most of the time it won't make a difference for the airline.


It definitely makes a difference if the airline saves 10 minutes boarding/deboarding time. Though usually it takes more time to load the luggage than people, in which case it does not matter, but in some cases a few minutes may matter whether the plane can make another route on the day. The airport could also handle more planes with the given gates if the planes leave it quicker.

A typical layout for boarding via two jetbridges requires the plane to be sideways, but that just gives another advantage that the plane can depart forward with no need to push it back. That saves some minutes, too. I cannot say how many minutes' time-saving would make such more area-consuming layout economic as there are other factors that may make it infeasible.

I have measured that a full A321 can be deboarded in less than 5 minutes using two staircases, from the engine stop of the airbus to the engine start of the groundbus. In gate arrival setting the jetbridges may take another minute.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:40 pm

WN does utilize a dual boarding bridge in ALB although not for the -800. Flights to BUR get a ramp to the fwd entry door and stairs to the aft entry door. We are also apparently testing dual boarding in SMF and SJC using a standard jetway to the front and stairs aft, although I haven't actually seen this in practice.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:19 pm

As many others have pointed out, it's common in Europe. On smaller airports without jetways, there are stairs at both the front and aft. And at larger airports the passengers sitting in the front half of the aircraft board via the jetway, those sitting further back walk downstairs to the apron and board via a stair through the aft door. And it usually works well, I haven't experienced any problems with the system.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:31 pm

A visit to the TWA terminal in the 60s would have produced more variations on doors than you can imagine. I've seen pics of Convair 880s jetway boarding through front and rear, front only, and rear only. This was made possible due to the fact that Terminal 3 had a central area with various piers jutting out, the jetways attached to the piers, but also a few attached directly to the central portion.

On anecdotal evidence, AA at JFK sometimes used door 1R to board/deplane. Not sure if both 1R and 1L (the usual forward door) were used in tandem.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:31 pm

At MAN we usually board from L1 as our ground handlers don't have a Pig (piece of tape) to put under the wing to stop people walking under it although if there is another member of staff then they can marshal people around the wing, however down route whenever we are not on an air bridge we always board at the front and at the rear.
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ptharris
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:33 pm

rta wrote:
You're thinking of your inconvenience as a passenger.


Not necessarily. My sarcastic example was. But a parked aircraft doesn't generate revenue for an airline. So, I'm thinking from both sides of the coin. I agree, what airport can handle this idea in today's world, but seems this is practiced pretty regularly throughout the world, much to my surprise.

stlgph wrote:
All I can see happening is a clustershit of a situation of people trying to get by one another in the aisles because they're standing at row 22 and they need to be in row 6 and took the shorter line thinking it would save themselves time, or vice versa, or trying to by the rest of the plane so they could find overhead bin space.


I would think something like this would be most common on carriers without assigned seats such as Southwest. But I see your point, the general public can be animals who think they're smarter than everyone else. lol

BestWestern wrote:
I de-planed a BA320 in Heathrow by the rear steps about three weeks ago. The world didn't come to an end.


It didn't?!? GASP!! ;)

swafa wrote:
WN does utilize a dual boarding bridge in ALB although not for the -800. Flights to BUR get a ramp to the fwd entry door and stairs to the aft entry door. We are also apparently testing dual boarding in SMF and SJC using a standard jetway to the front and stairs aft, although I haven't actually seen this in practice.


See, this is the only way I think (and I'll admit, I have a small and simple mind) this could just go all wrong. Having assigned seats makes it easy to divide passengers front and rear. But for carriers like Southwest with cattle-call style boarding... I envision the part in the movie Airplane! where they tell the passengers they ran out of coffee. Okay, maybe not that bad.. but pretty close to mass disorganization.
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fsuga
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:31 pm

My 2 cents, and maybe I'm crazy, but I have always thought airlines should board from the rear door only. Number the boarding passes in order from the outsides of row 1 to the aisle, followed by row 2, etc, ect, and fill the plane from the rear door, but from front to back. Everyone has to line up in order, Southwest style, but with assigned seating.

In my mind, everyone just pops the bag in the bin over their seat, and there is obviously NO log jams in the aisle. I, for the life of me, can't figure out why this isn't policy on any plane with a rear door.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:01 am

fsuga wrote:
My 2 cents, and maybe I'm crazy, but I have always thought airlines should board from the rear door only. Number the boarding passes in order from the outsides of row 1 to the aisle, followed by row 2, etc, ect, and fill the plane from the rear door, but from front to back. Everyone has to line up in order, Southwest style, but with assigned seating.

In my mind, everyone just pops the bag in the bin over their seat, and there is obviously NO log jams in the aisle. I, for the life of me, can't figure out why this isn't policy on any plane with a rear door.


It's not policy because the boarding process would take about an hour and a half. It's hard enough getting the self-loading freight to the gate on time in the first place, never mind getting them to line up in a specific order *prior* to boarding. It'd be like herding cats.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:09 am

As OzzyPirate says. Lining the pax up perfectly before boarding would use up more time than it saves during the boarding itself. They're not military and they don't behave like it.

The other issue with boarding from the back is this means planes would have to back up to the terminal unless you build unwieldy and much more expensive airbridges compared with today's. While certainly feasible you'd then have the plane departing while blasting jetwash onto the terminal. Unless you towed it again, which would double the number of tows.

Sure, boarding faster is an admirable goal, but apart from cases like Ryanair and Southwest where the turnarounds are super-quick, passenger loading isn't necessarily the bottleneck. Fueling, catering and even sometimes cockpit setup may be the limiting factors as well.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:31 am

I flew KL TXL-AMS on a 737-800 a few months ago. It parked at a D gate which was added as a temporary stopgap some years ago. The flight boarded using stairs at both front and rear doors. It reminded me of the old days. It was the first time I'd walked up stairs to the rear door of a large jet for many years.

As already mentioned, it's very common at many airports in Europe for LCCs to use both front and rear doors, and sometimes other carriers. For example, at GVA where the old widebody gates were closed and demolished a few months ago to permit construction of a new widebody pier, I think almost all widebody flights now have to be boarded using stairs, often at remote stands requiring buses to/from the terminal.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:32 am

** Comment deleted. I realized it was redundant after the fact. **
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swafa
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:39 am

See, this is the only way I think (and I'll admit, I have a small and simple mind) this could just go all wrong. Having assigned seats makes it easy to divide passengers front and rear. But for carriers like Southwest with cattle-call style boarding... I envision the part in the movie Airplane! where they tell the passengers they ran out of coffee. Okay, maybe not that bad.. but pretty close to mass disorganization.[/quote][quote]

Forgive the horrible quoting skills...

Dual boarding at SWA works well for deplaning. In my experience it can be a challenge when boarding, although not an insurmountable one. At some point, on full flights, almost inevitably you end up with a line of people from the front trying to go to the back and a line from the back trying to go forward with the two people leading each line standing mid cabin staring at each other. People also seem to prefer boarding from the front when given the option so most people do. If SWA says dual boarding turns planes faster, Sounds good to me.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:34 am

swafa wrote:
See, this is the only way I think (and I'll admit, I have a small and simple mind) this could just go all wrong. Having assigned seats makes it easy to divide passengers front and rear. But for carriers like Southwest with cattle-call style boarding... I envision the part in the movie Airplane! where they tell the passengers they ran out of coffee. Okay, maybe not that bad.. but pretty close to mass disorganization.

Forgive the horrible quoting skills...

Dual boarding at SWA works well for deplaning. In my experience it can be a challenge when boarding, although not an insurmountable one. At some point, on full flights, almost inevitably you end up with a line of people from the front trying to go to the back and a line from the back trying to go forward with the two people leading each line standing mid cabin staring at each other. People also seem to prefer boarding from the front when given the option so most people do. If SWA says dual boarding turns planes faster, Sounds good to me.


I agree with you swafa,It is so beneficial to deplane using both doors especially on quick turnarounds, and the only problem I have boarding with both rear and forward doors is that even if a pax was sat in row 24 they'd still use the front steps if there was no queue there and push their way to the back :lol:
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:06 am

WN does exactly this at BUR as others have said. And you say it's "cattle call", I say it's much more orderly than the Big 3 with hordes of boarders hanging around the gate. I fly out of BUR almost every week. I once timed a WN arrival unload and our flight load and pushback (only a few seats shy of full) and it was 23 minutes total time from arrival at gate to pushback in a 737-700. And yes you do line up a bunch of people in a specific order, use both front and rear doors, and it goes very smoothly.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:36 pm

EasyJet and Ryanair are only 20 years ahead of you on this one!
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:17 pm

EasyJet and Ryanair are only 20 years ahead of you on this one!


Agreed :D

We used to struggle turning EZY A320s around in 25 minutes as the crew often took a while to tidy aircraft and perform security checks...but it was doable. We had an Aviramp on the front and stairs on the rear.

RYR 738s have integral front steps and we put an Aviramp on the rear. As soon as last PAX is off, we line embarking PAX up at the bottom of the steps/ramp. Usually about 4 mins for crew to tidy and check under seats/lockers for security check and then you're on your way!

Without PRMs, it's all doable in 20 minutes I'd say.

We always endeavor at my airport disembark and embark through front and rear door to save time and meet minimum ground times. If we don't....well there's always delay codes :)
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:45 am

rta wrote:
You're thinking of your inconvenience as a passenger. There's plenty of stuff going on in the cockpit and on the ramp while passengers board. Plus, you'd need two jetbridges/staircases instead of one. So on top of extra equipment, you'd more personnel to facilitate boarding. Plus, how many airports could reasonably accommodate the resources for this?


Just not worth it when most of the time it won't make a difference for the airline.


With traffic growing pretty much everywhere in the world, aircraft capacity growing too (we're heading towards 200 pax on short-medium haul), inadequate gate space, reduced turnaround times, boarding from two doors is not that bad of an idea. Delayed boarding can lead to missing your take-off window at congested airports and thus a domino effect of subsequent sectors.
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ro1960
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:03 am

Like it has been mentioned in the thread above, boarding though both left doors is common with LCCs in Europe.

Here at NCE (jetbridge + stairs):
Image

Here at SXF (stairs):
Image
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:29 pm

what would happen if the jet engine is switched on when people boarding from the back....?
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:05 pm

c933103 wrote:
what would happen if the jet engine is switched on when people boarding from the back....?


We really really to avoid starting the engines while the doors are still open. ;)
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:44 pm

I've seen SWA in FLL board through both the Jetbridge and a stairway at the rear of the cabin.
 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:11 pm

Out here....if its a narrow body...boarding vide Aerobridge is always thru one door.
In case of staircase boarding then both door access is provided.
Multiple boarding door option is existing on wide body aircraft due large number of pax and more better utilisation of the 2nd aerobridge connection.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:10 pm

As has been made quite clear, the basic assumption of 'boarding using only 1 door' is false in large parts of the world.

c933103 wrote:
what would happen if the jet engine is switched on when people boarding from the back....?


'Switching' an aircraft engine on is a bit more complex than starting your car. It involves manipulating a number of knobs, dials and levers and must be done in a specific sequence, in order to light the fire. The risk of it happening accidentally is so small it's non-existent.
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:24 pm

Of course, there also is AMS with the over-wing boarding of 747s. Does anyone have knowledge as to why this is not done more often?

 
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:44 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Of course, there also is AMS with the over-wing boarding of 747s. Does anyone have knowledge as to why this is not done more often?


The over the wing jetbridges are gone:

See areal view

Complicated mechanism and risk of collision with aircraft I guess.
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20092
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Why board from just one door?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:36 pm

B777LRF wrote:
As has been made quite clear, the basic assumption of 'boarding using only 1 door' is false in large parts of the world.

c933103 wrote:
what would happen if the jet engine is switched on when people boarding from the back....?


'Switching' an aircraft engine on is a bit more complex than starting your car. It involves manipulating a number of knobs, dials and levers and must be done in a specific sequence, in order to light the fire. The risk of it happening accidentally is so small it's non-existent.


A bit more complex than starting a car but really not that involved on modern airliners. With the caveat that different types are slightly different, in general as long as you have electrical power and high pressure air (from APU bleed or external source), all you need to do is switch on the fuel pumps, set the ignition to on and then move the engine master to on.

What keeps us from starting an engine while passengers are boarding? Standard operating procedures. We don't get to the starting the engines bit in our flow until the doors are closed, we have clearance from ground control, we have clearance from ground crew and we've completed the before start checklist.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
benbeny
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Why board from just one door?

Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:03 am

In here even with the bridge connected airlines uses rear ramps too... scheduled turnaround time is tight, approx 45 minutes so every bit of doors count... and yes that's very efficient, though I believe that can be somewhat more dangerous with people wandering around the ramps taking selfies...
 
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LamboAston
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Re: Why board from just one door?

Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:50 am

In NZ, especially AKL, it is almost certain that this will happen on a domestic flight.
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Emel
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:51 pm

Re: Why board from just one door?

Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:58 am

ro1960 wrote:
NameOmitted wrote:
Of course, there also is AMS with the over-wing boarding of 747s. Does anyone have knowledge as to why this is not done more often?


The over the wing jetbridges are gone:

See areal view

Complicated mechanism and risk of collision with aircraft I guess.


Using your Google satellite view, if you move either left or right, you will find that some other gates on other concourses still have over-the-wing air-bridges.

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