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Sdmccray1984
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Most obvious way to cut boarding time in half

Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:22 am

For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?
 
anstar
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 am

Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


On the A321 you would probably end up with a tipping event if you filled the back first and didn't have enough weight at the front to balance it out.
 
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c933103
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:35 am

IIRC some airlines have been doimg this now due to the pandemic to reduce infection risk
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n797mx
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:00 am

anstar wrote:
Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


On the A321 you would probably end up with a tipping event if you filled the back first and didn't have enough weight at the front to balance it out.


Not sure if the A321 has it, but the 737-900 has a place to put a stand to prevent this.

https://i.imgur.com/kFp8S35.jpg
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alasizon
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:03 am

Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


After you board the elite passengers and credit card holders on half the flights that 321s fly the plane is more than half full anyhow and there are already plenty of 321/757 turns out there than happen in 50 minutes.

As far as what you are missing - overhead bin space. If you board back to front, those in back end up with all the overhead bin space and they are likely on basic economy/lower bucket Y fares as opposed to those further up who are not. Airlines go out of their way to cater to those who pay higher fares.
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TWA772LR
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:15 am

alasizon wrote:
Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


After you board the elite passengers and credit card holders on half the flights that 321s fly the plane is more than half full anyhow and there are already plenty of 321/757 turns out there than happen in 50 minutes.

As far as what you are missing - overhead bin space. If you board back to front, those in back end up with all the overhead bin space and they are likely on basic economy/lower bucket Y fares as opposed to those further up who are not. Airlines go out of their way to cater to those who pay higher fares.

The main theory supporting the with the back to front method is that people put their bags in the overhead nearest their seat.
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United1
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:24 am

Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


If everyone behaved, knew what they were doing, lined up in order and had a normal sized carry on that would probably work but reality is no one does :) Airlines have been doing studies for decades on the quickest way to turn an aircraft and have discovered boarding from the rear forward is not the fastest way. Actually using that method causes some fairly large bottlenecks and slows things down.

Look at it this way you have 150 people split evenly into three groups of 50 on a full flight. You board the first group (the 50 passengers sitting in the rear of the aircraft) all 50 of those passengers are then trying to squeeze themselves into roughly eight rows. You have passengers in the C and D seats constantly getting up and blocking the aisle to let the middle and window seat passengers in, 50 passengers in those eight rows trying to fit their carry ons into the overheads and all of that is happening simultaneously in the last eight rows of the plane. Then you repeat that bit of chaos in the middle and the front of the plane. The aisle is constantly blocked by passengers in a small section of the plane and that creates a bottleneck that slows things down.

About 20 years ago UA came up with a faster system called WilMA (Window, Middle, Aisle.) In short after elites boarded the first group called was window seat passengers and anyone on their PNR (that keeps families together,) next would be middle seat passengers and anyone traveling with them on their PNR and finally aisle passengers. Basically what UA found was it spread passengers in their groups across the entire length of the aircraft which gave people more room to store bags and settle into their seats. By boarding from the seats furthest away from the aisle to the aisle seat it stopped passengers from having to get up, re-block the aisle in order to let people into the row.

UA of today still uses a modified version of WilMA because it's faster than boarding by rows. In fact just after the merger UA adopted COs boarding system which boarded the plane by row numbers back to front (as you suggested.). The combined airline quickly scrapped that policy and switched back to UAs zone boarding as they realized it was more efficient.
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jetblastdubai
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:26 am

Even boarding back to front you still end up with bunching up in the same locations. Instead of a logjam at rows 7,8 and 9 you end up with a logjam at rows 30,31 and 32 and passengers still need to crawl over eachother or step out into the aisle to allow another pax in the row.

United used to use a boarding system called "WilMA" It stood for "window, middle, aisle". They'd board all the pax with window seat assignments, then middle seats and finally aisle seats. As long as people didn't take too long to shove their bags in the overhead, I thought it worked pretty well as it nearly eliminated the need for pax to climb over each other to get to their seats if the window person boarded last etc.

I remember this system long before the fee for checked bags became common. Present day, it would probably not work out well for the passengers with status that prefer an aisle seat as they would stand a pretty good chance of being separated from their larger carry-on bags in most cases. Then again, if the carrier sells enough Basic Economy seats (pax is not allowed to use the overhead bin space) there actually might be enough space left for the pax that board last.

Thanks to United1 who explained it a few minutes before me.
Last edited by jetblastdubai on Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
HVN2HEL2LAX
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:26 am

Most obvious way is fly cargo or go out empty.
 
alasizon
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:27 am

TWA772LR wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?


After you board the elite passengers and credit card holders on half the flights that 321s fly the plane is more than half full anyhow and there are already plenty of 321/757 turns out there than happen in 50 minutes.

As far as what you are missing - overhead bin space. If you board back to front, those in back end up with all the overhead bin space and they are likely on basic economy/lower bucket Y fares as opposed to those further up who are not. Airlines go out of their way to cater to those who pay higher fares.

The main theory supporting the with the back to front method is that people put their bags in the overhead nearest their seat.


And anyone who has ever watched the people in back toss their bag in the first available open bin knows that isn't true in reality. In theory it very much is but humans are lazy.
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Howardt
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:28 am

I’ve seen many times passengers that are seated in the rear of the airplane put their bags in the front overhead bins and there are plenty of bin space available where their seating. This results in passengers who are seated near the front has to go pass their seat sometimes 5 to 10 rows to put their bags in the first available overhead bin.
 
seat1a
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:32 am

Wasn't the WILMA system at UA supposed to fix all of that?
 
planecane
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:32 am

Mythbusters did experiments on an episode once and found that for fastest boarding window to aisle with back to front was the absolute fastest. That's not practical because it requires parties to board separate.

The second fastest was WN style open seating.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Most obvious way to cut boarding time in half

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:09 am

You could do it that way, but good luck telling all the gold members and first/business class travellers they can't go on whenever they like. ;)

Alternate row boarding groups is probably the most efficient method that is practical to implement.

CGPgrey made an excellent video about boarding methods. https://youtu.be/oAHbLRjF0vo

BTW I'm pretty sure you can already turn an A321 in less than 50 minutes.
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United1
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:23 am

seat1a wrote:
Wasn't the WILMA system at UA supposed to fix all of that?


WilMA fixed a lot of stuff for non status passengers...the biggest downfall with WilMA is it doesn’t do anything for preboards, or elites. On super heavy elite routes..take SFO-ORD on UA...I have been on 777s where half the plane is in group one as we are all elites or in F. That is an amazing bit of chaos getting on board that plane.
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United1
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:26 am

jetblastdubai wrote:
Even boarding back to front you still end up with bunching up in the same locations. Instead of a logjam at rows 7,8 and 9 you end up with a logjam at rows 30,31 and 32 and passengers still need to crawl over eachother or step out into the aisle to allow another pax in the row.

United used to use a boarding system called "WilMA" It stood for "window, middle, aisle". They'd board all the pax with window seat assignments, then middle seats and finally aisle seats. As long as people didn't take too long to shove their bags in the overhead, I thought it worked pretty well as it nearly eliminated the need for pax to climb over each other to get to their seats if the window person boarded last etc.

I remember this system long before the fee for checked bags became common. Present day, it would probably not work out well for the passengers with status that prefer an aisle seat as they would stand a pretty good chance of being separated from their larger carry-on bags in most cases. Then again, if the carrier sells enough Basic Economy seats (pax is not allowed to use the overhead bin space) there actually might be enough space left for the pax that board last.

Thanks to United1 who explained it a few minutes before me.


Mehhh you were typing while I was typing :)

I’m going to date myself slightly but WilMA was created originally for Shuttle by United before being rolled out to mainline. UA developed it as they were looking for a way to speed up boarding on their 737’s and shave a few minutes off their turn times.
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fessor
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:16 am

Sdmccray1984 wrote:
For the big 3 airlines(AA, DL, UA) it seems a no brainer: after boarding priority/first class passengers, reverse the boarding order. “Group 1” should be the rear third of the aircraft. Group 2 the mid section, and Group 3 the area of the fuselage behind first class(or behind the comfort/2nd class) section. The big 3 can charge extra for priority boarding (some already do). You could easily turn any A321 or B757 in 50 minutes. What am I missing?!?



I have tried that Lind of boarding many times with A321 both with SK and DK so it's not uncommon
 
gaystudpilot
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:20 am

1. Airlines learned that the boarding process can be a revenue stream and this overrode a desire for efficiency

2. Each system/method assumes a) all passengers are at the gate and ready to board; and b) passengers will follow their assigned boarding order. These are faulty assumptions so most airlines went with the creation of a revenue stream

WN does a fairly good job of maintaining efficiency while creating a revenue stream.
 
seat1a
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:25 am

United1 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Wasn't the WILMA system at UA supposed to fix all of that?


WilMA fixed a lot of stuff for non status passengers...the biggest downfall with WilMA is it doesn’t do anything for preboards, or elites. On super heavy elite routes..take SFO-ORD on UA...I have been on 777s where half the plane is in group one as we are all elites or in F. That is an amazing bit of chaos getting on board that plane.


Thank you! Was it Window-Middle-Aisle? Trying to figure out why the L is in there. Seems like there are more elite fliers now than back when WilMA was around.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:43 am

I suspect the fastest world actually be to select seats with a random number generator.
 
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hawaiian717
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:59 am

NameOmitted wrote:
I suspect the fastest world actually be to select seats with a random number generator.


You’re pretty close. A study by American Airlines published in 2011 showed that random boarding group assignment was fastest. https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-boar ... tudy-says/
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:25 am

Use both front and rear doors, pax past halfway go through the back, pax prior to halfway go through the front. Even better is door L2 and rear.

Fred


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spacecadet
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Re: Most obvious way to cut boarding time in half

Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:34 am

The reason aircraft are boarded the way they are now has nothing to do with efficiency or boarding time; it has to do with money. So good luck. This is kind of like saying you know how to make Disneyland's queues more efficient.
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Andy33
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:44 am

flipdewaf wrote:
Use both front and rear doors, pax past halfway go through the back, pax prior to halfway go through the front. Even better is door L2 and rear.

Fred

I wondered when this was going to be suggested. It does work of course, Ryanair (preCovid) would turn a 189 seat 738 in 25 minutes, that's disembarking,tidy up seat belts, and boarding a complete new set of passengers, and do it several hundred times a day, day in, day out. But I doubt it would go down well in the USA since it requires boarding from ground level using airstairs at the rear (front could be airstairs or airbridge), rigorous enforcement of hand baggage rules, with penalty charges for rule breakers, and passengers arriving at the gate less than 30 minutes before departure lose their flight, with no refund or rebooking.
 
FlyingHonu001
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:18 am

Andy33 wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
Use both front and rear doors, pax past halfway go through the back, pax prior to halfway go through the front. Even better is door L2 and rear.

Fred

I wondered when this was going to be suggested. It does work of course, Ryanair (preCovid) would turn a 189 seat 738 in 25 minutes, that's disembarking,tidy up seat belts, and boarding a complete new set of passengers, and do it several hundred times a day, day in, day out. But I doubt it would go down well in the USA since it requires boarding from ground level using airstairs at the rear (front could be airstairs or airbridge), rigorous enforcement of hand baggage rules, with penalty charges for rule breakers, and passengers arriving at the gate less than 30 minutes before departure lose their flight, with no refund or rebooking.


KL is also doing this for a while, turnaround times are proven to be efficient
https://news.klm.com/klm-introduceert-i ... ethode-en/

KLM Newsroom wrote:
Passengers get a boarding number at the gate. This number is based on their seat in the aircraft. When boarding begins, the numbers are displayed in a sequence on screens at the gate. The order in which the numbers are displayed ensures that passengers with a window seat board first, starting at the rear of the aircraft. They are followed by passengers seated in the midsection of the aircraft, after which the passengers with aisle seats are allowed to board. This ensures that passengers can wait their turn in the comfort of the lounge, instead of waiting in line and having to step over other passengers. As always, disabled passengers and parents with babies will be allowed to board first. SkyPriority passengers are given the lowest numbers and will go on board next.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:33 am

gaystudpilot wrote:
WN does a fairly good job of maintaining efficiency while creating a revenue stream.


Then again, the model wasn't the most efficient in Europe. While most European low cost airlines started out with that model in the 90s, they all went away from it again. I recall that they cited longer turn around times as the reason.
The SW model assumes you just take the first available seat. In practice in Europe, passengers milled about trying to get seated next to each other, avoided middle seats, relocated to better seats, all while having to make space for their carry on luggage in the overheads.
When Ryanair introduced assigned seating, wasn't it random? It quickly changed as they realised they could monetize it, even to the grotesque levels where they actively split families.
 
DLASFlyer
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:42 am

This problem has been solved. Board back to front and cap at 60 percent and any narrowbody can be boarded in 20 minutes or less.
 
SueD
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:45 am

Over the years there have been many experiments and mathematical models to address this . You know what is he most effective Random and NO seat allocation !

Soon as you add an non-variable such as priority for XYZ ticket holders frankly give up trying
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Most obvious way to cut boarding time in half

Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:24 pm

spacecadet wrote:
The reason aircraft are boarded the way they are now has nothing to do with efficiency or boarding time; it has to do with money. So good luck. This is kind of like saying you know how to make Disneyland's queues more efficient.


Open seating has appeal. One doesn't waste time looking for the seat # on the boarding card - just take any satisfactory seat. The satisficing criteria are usually pretty short compared to a.netter OCD: simple aisle or window, or 'not next to the big guy.'

There are people who did 3rd year calculus in high school who presently have MIT PhDs working on this stuff. There is no 'obvious' solution depending on multiple variables to be optimized. Yeh, money is one: FF elite status, credit card holders, boarding surcharges...
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Twice in my life I have had a 3½ layover turn into a run-like-OJ-Simpson-in-a-Hertz commercial barely-made-it connection due to arriving five minutes late at DFW and having had our gate given away, hence sitting on the tarmac within spitting distance of our connecting flight.

Twice in my life I have been the last passenger on the plane, being glared at by passengers and flight crew alike for "not being on time".

Twice in my life I have paid extra for the "economy extra" or whatever it is called by the dominant AAirline at DFW and seen the overhead bins full to capacity around my row, necessitating the placement of my bags further back in the plane.

Fine. So be it to all. That was the modern world of travel pre-Covid19.

Twice in my life I have watched as my fellow travelers seated near at the front of the plane take almost nothing from the overhead bins, indicating all this crap belongs to people in the back of the plane.

Twice in my life I have had to wait for passengers further back in the plane to go ahead of me - and retrieve their bags from above my row - and go on their merry way.

Twice in my life I have had to hold up the whole plane, walk back to the row where my suitcase was, retrieve it, and get off the plane while passengers in the back had to wait for me, glaring at me the entire time.

Twice in my life I have done my darnedest to put a curse on every single person involved in the fiasco of a late-evening connection at DFW, hoping that they would get stuck in traffic while coming down with a case of explosive diarrhea and feel a sneeze coming on.

I cannot fathom for what possible reason someone would voluntarily leave their possessions unattended near other people, robbing those passengers of potential space for their belongings, delaying the departure further, and making the disembarking of the aircraft equally as chaotic.

Hoping that people will do the right thing is an exercise in futility. Unless flight attendants police the cabin from start to finish - which may not be logistically possible - people will be awful for sport.

On the other hand, the FASTEST boarding procedure I have ever seen in my life - less than ten minutes to board and depart a fully-loaded 757 - was at MSP on a non-stop to SAN. First Class went first, then passengers with hand baggage only, then and only then could those using overhead bin space board the plane. And guess what - they ALL went to their seats, had plenty of room at their seats, with no one having to "hmmm...where can I put my bag?" for twenty minutes. Bing, bang, boom, done, and on our way.

That's the way it should be done!
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:18 pm

Allow checking baggage for no fee. This stops the Baggage-Bin Ballet, and keeps people from boarding with steamer trunk-size “carry-ons” that don’t fit in the bins no matter how hard they push.
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United1
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:28 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
Allow checking baggage for no fee. This stops the Baggage-Bin Ballet, and keeps people from boarding with steamer trunk-size “carry-ons” that don’t fit in the bins no matter how hard they push.


The baggage bin ballet was going on long before baggage charges were a thing. Back then the fear was "the airlines will lose my luggage." About the only way to stop people from boarding with the kitchen sink is to make bag checkin mandatory.
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LH707330
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:32 pm

I wonder how long it'll take for an airline to subdivide the overheads and make them bookable. Chop them into chunks with dividers, and sell them. Your seat assignment is 22A, and your bag assignment is 22X. That way, disputes are easily resolved and the rush to board early goes away. Now you can implement the Steffen method and speed things up.
 
United1
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:36 pm

seat1a wrote:
United1 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Wasn't the WILMA system at UA supposed to fix all of that?


WilMA fixed a lot of stuff for non status passengers...the biggest downfall with WilMA is it doesn’t do anything for preboards, or elites. On super heavy elite routes..take SFO-ORD on UA...I have been on 777s where half the plane is in group one as we are all elites or in F. That is an amazing bit of chaos getting on board that plane.


Thank you! Was it Window-Middle-Aisle? Trying to figure out why the L is in there. Seems like there are more elite fliers now than back when WilMA was around.


Yup it's Window-Middle-Aisle. The I and L don't represent anything but adding them in makes Wilma which was easier to remember than WMA.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
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zeke
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:09 am

COVID has drastically reduced boarding times.
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WA707atMSP
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:44 pm

United1 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
United1 wrote:

WilMA fixed a lot of stuff for non status passengers...the biggest downfall with WilMA is it doesn’t do anything for preboards, or elites. On super heavy elite routes..take SFO-ORD on UA...I have been on 777s where half the plane is in group one as we are all elites or in F. That is an amazing bit of chaos getting on board that plane.


Thank you! Was it Window-Middle-Aisle? Trying to figure out why the L is in there. Seems like there are more elite fliers now than back when WilMA was around.


Yup it's Window-Middle-Aisle. The I and L don't represent anything but adding them in makes Wilma which was easier to remember than WMA.


Like most ANetters, I'm always in a window seat, and I almost always only carry on something small enough to fit under the seat in front of me.

I always try to board as quickly as possible, even sneaking on a group or two before my group is called, so I can get settled in my window seat before the middle and aisle seat passengers in my row arrive - that way, I don't have to ask them to get up and make way for me. This makes the boarding process faster for those around me.
 
Chemist
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:02 pm

WN at some airports uses front and rear boarding. Add unassigned seating and free bags, and there is relatively little baggage bin ballet.
 
USAirALB
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:24 pm

I quite like the way SQ seems to board their long-haul flights. It may be a particular thing with US flights, but on all of my flights with them (I've done SFO-HKG-SFO, SFO-SIN-SFO, JFK-FRA) they seem to just allow a free for all in terms of Cabin Class boarding once they pre-boarded those needing assistance/frequent flyers. On my SQ flights leaving SFO, they simply announced that all J class passengers could board, followed by all Y class passengers. I noticed that they had signs in the gate area separating folks by rows, but they weren't followed nor were they announced. I found it was very efficient, with no gate lice. Everyone seemed just to get in line at the same time and board orderly.

Leaving SIN, I noticed that they had Zone numbers on boarding passes but they weren't announced either. Everyone just seemed to get on.

It's quite sad that my AA 738 (I clocked it at over 45 mins) flight the other day took longer to board than the SQ 77W flight, although there are a number of cultural factors likely involved, and I have noticed that non-US cabin crews seem to be more helpful in helping pax during boarding and find their seats.

Slow boarding times don't usually bother me due to the way US carriers overly-pad their schedules, but I cannot stand gate lice. I honestly don't get it, truly I don't. I flew AA LAX-DCA the other day (A321NX) and the boarding lanes were clogged with loads of people Zone 8 (Basic Economy pax) that were blocking access to the jet bridge. I'd rather that get solved more than anything.
Chemist wrote:
WN at some airports uses front and rear boarding. Add unassigned seating and free bags, and there is relatively little baggage bin ballet.

WN also installed a number of rear jet bridges at AUS/DAL to trial if they improved boarding. ALB also installed their own using their own funds. The WN installed ones were quickly removed, but ALB just recently deactivated them this year because they outlived their useful life.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:39 am

USAirALB wrote:
I quite like the way SQ seems to board their long-haul flights. It may be a particular thing with US flights, but on all of my flights with them (I've done SFO-HKG-SFO, SFO-SIN-SFO, JFK-FRA) they seem to just allow a free for all in terms of Cabin Class boarding once they pre-boarded those needing assistance/frequent flyers. On my SQ flights leaving SFO, they simply announced that all J class passengers could board, followed by all Y class passengers. I noticed that they had signs in the gate area separating folks by rows, but they weren't followed nor were they announced. I found it was very efficient, with no gate lice. Everyone seemed just to get in line at the same time and board orderly.

Leaving SIN, I noticed that they had Zone numbers on boarding passes but they weren't announced either. Everyone just seemed to get on.

It's quite sad that my AA 738 (I clocked it at over 45 mins) flight the other day took longer to board than the SQ 77W flight, although there are a number of cultural factors likely involved, and I have noticed that non-US cabin crews seem to be more helpful in helping pax during boarding and find their seats.

Slow boarding times don't usually bother me due to the way US carriers overly-pad their schedules, but I cannot stand gate lice. I honestly don't get it, truly I don't. I flew AA LAX-DCA the other day (A321NX) and the boarding lanes were clogged with loads of people Zone 8 (Basic Economy pax) that were blocking access to the jet bridge. I'd rather that get solved more than anything.
Chemist wrote:
WN at some airports uses front and rear boarding. Add unassigned seating and free bags, and there is relatively little baggage bin ballet.

WN also installed a number of rear jet bridges at AUS/DAL to trial if they improved boarding. ALB also installed their own using their own funds. The WN installed ones were quickly removed, but ALB just recently deactivated them this year because they outlived their useful life.


Completely random is actually faster than traditional zone boarding. The CGPgrey video I linked above shows this at 3:26. https://youtu.be/oAHbLRjF0vo?t=206

Your SQ 777 has two aisles and probably boarded from two doors. Both these factors make for greater efficiency compared to a single-aisle jet where one person can stop everything.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
USAirALB
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:32 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Completely random is actually faster than traditional zone boarding. The CGPgrey video I linked above shows this at 3:26. https://youtu.be/oAHbLRjF0vo?t=206

Completely random would never fly with the US3 simply because of the sheer number of FF elite pool that exists, and the fact that they by and large will almost always either be sitting in either F/J or in Y seating that is located near the front of the plane. Even if you let them on first, I could imagine that there would still be crowding at the front of the cabin during boarding.

This would likely be exacerbated on hub-hub or other high-yielding routes where a good number of FF elite/credit card holders with "preferred" boarding exist at both origin and destination (ORD-DFW/DCA/LGA on AA, SFO-EWR/IAD on UA, ATL-LAX on DL, our example). I've been on AA flights on DCA-CLT where F passengers+AA Elite+OW Elite+AA Credit card holders take up the vast, vast majority of the pax, so "priority" boarding isn't really priority.

I could see it being beneficial, on an airline like NK/F9/SY/G4. Those who bought priority boarding can board first, and then everyone else randomly.
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FlyHossD
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:54 pm

Years ago, I flew TransAsia(?) a few times in Taiwan with each flight being an A321 and boarding from the front left and rear left doors. Despite 200+ passengers, boarding was completed in well under 15 minutes.

The difference? Passengers were only carrying briefcases and purses. IOW, there were no roll-aboard suitcases; passengers boarded, placed their briefcase in the overhead bin and sat down. Just that simple.
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FlyHossD
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:01 pm

planecane wrote:
Mythbusters did experiments on an episode once and found that for fastest boarding window to aisle with back to front was the absolute fastest. That's not practical because it requires parties to board separate.

The second fastest was WN style open seating.


Mythbusters ran a tightly controlled test with motivated "passengers" who were well briefed about the experiment - hardly any resemblance to relatity. Further, they also failed to consider late connecting passengers. Did they have any children in their test (I can't remember)?
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
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hawaiian717
Posts: 3474
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:26 pm

FlyHossD wrote:
Years ago, I flew TransAsia(?) a few times in Taiwan with each flight being an A321 and boarding from the front left and rear left doors. Despite 200+ passengers, boarding was completed in well under 15 minutes.

The difference? Passengers were only carrying briefcases and purses. IOW, there were no roll-aboard suitcases; passengers boarded, placed their briefcase in the overhead bin and sat down. Just that simple.


I was once on an EVA Air 777-300ER from LAX that boarded in about 20 minutes. They had signs for different groups spread around the gate area and people were all lined up in their group so they were able to board one group after another.

I think in general long haul international flights can load quickly, with no bag fees there less incentive for people to try and carry everything on, plus more people are traveling with larger suitcases that have to be checked anyway.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1924
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:52 am

Boarding 228 pax on NK/F9 takes approx 20 minutes...

Zone 1 are pax who paid for priority boarding and carryon bags
Zone 2-4 is everyone else. If you show up with a carryon bag in this zone you get culled from the line to join the line to pay even more extra for the bag.

Even with a full A321, there is ample space in the overhead bin for passenger #228 who boards last with a carry on bag.

Everyone is usually seated with bags and personal items stowed ready to go at D-20. Everyone has to wait around because there’s always one passenger who doesn’t show up until D-10 when the boarding door closes.

I think bag fees are the reason why the overhead bins are empty which allow the boarding to be completed relatively quickly even for an oversold 321 flight.
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hawaiian717
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:31 pm

Woodreau wrote:
I think bag fees are the reason why the overhead bins are empty which allow the boarding to be completed relatively quickly even for an oversold 321 flight.


Specifically, carry-on bag fees. When Spirit introduced the carry-on bag fee in 2010, this was precisely the reason stated:

“In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience,” says Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie. “Bring less; pay less. It’s simple.”


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lightsaber
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Re: Most obvious way to significantly cut boarding time

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:14 pm

alasizon wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
alasizon wrote:

After you board the elite passengers and credit card holders on half the flights that 321s fly the plane is more than half full anyhow and there are already plenty of 321/757 turns out there than happen in 50 minutes.

As far as what you are missing - overhead bin space. If you board back to front, those in back end up with all the overhead bin space and they are likely on basic economy/lower bucket Y fares as opposed to those further up who are not. Airlines go out of their way to cater to those who pay higher fares.

The main theory supporting the with the back to front method is that people put their bags in the overhead nearest their seat.


And anyone who has ever watched the people in back toss their bag in the first available open bin knows that isn't true in reality. In theory it very much is but humans are lazy.

People in the back know their bins will be full. It isn't lazy, it is thinking ahead.

Either cater to the higher fares or lose them One minute of boarding time isn't as critical as revenue.

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