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Sdmccray1984
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Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:35 pm

For most of us who frequently travel throughout Europe on ULCC’s, hardstand gates seem almost more convenient than jetways. Quicker deplaning/boarding for passengers(front & back aircraft doors both open) & much cheaper overhead costs for the airline(jetway rent is expensive). Why don’t ULCC’s in the U.S. copy this model?
 
VSMUT
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:26 pm

It isn't always faster. Most of the time, it will be a remote stand followed by a lenghty bus ride. Those definitely don't give you any advantages. Additionally, more and more airports in Europe have begun using a combination of jetbridge and rear airstairs for faster boarding and deboarding.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:57 pm

I hate remote stands and it’s one of the turnoffs when going to Europe.

Yes, it happens elsewhere as well, but quite a bit in Europe and we find it annoying. We’d much rather have a gate with a jet bridge.
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:54 am

VSMUT wrote:
It isn't always faster. Most of the time, it will be a remote stand followed by a lenghty bus ride. Those definitely don't give you any advantages. Additionally, more and more airports in Europe have begun using a combination of jetbridge and rear airstairs for faster boarding and deboarding.


It depends on the design of the terminal. Sometimes the bus will offload you at a place nearest to the immigration point/ exit of the airspace, when compared to the furthest gate in the terminal.
 
gdavis003
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:07 am

Although I really did not like it when I had to do it on Ryanair, something like the system at STN probably makes quite a lot of sense from a turn time stand point and an economic standpoint. You wait in the waiting hall with restaurants and such, and then when it's time to board, they post your gate, and you take the train to that concourse and board from via airstairs there. The train ride seems more economically advantageous and time efficient than the buses, as they can compile passengers for multiple flights on the train. It's definitely an interesting system that kind of sucks, but it's what you get for paying 40 euros for a STN-LIS flight
 
mxaxai
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:18 pm

Sdmccray1984 wrote:
Why don’t ULCC’s in the U.S. copy this model?

Accessibility for people with disabilities is an issue. Some airports have either dedicated lift trucks for wheelchair users or allow the use of catering trucks but it's still a hassle, especially for the passenger. Combine this with the fear of getting sued and relatively strong minority protection laws in the US and most airlines will avoid the risk.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:56 pm

One of the most frustrating moments boarding at a hardstand was in Rome. Two buses pull up to the jet and both front and rear doors were open. One bus load went to each door. Unfortunately there was no organization regarding seating so as people boarded there was a big gridlock in the airplane as people that entered the front tried to get to the back and vice versa.
 
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JBo
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:12 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Sdmccray1984 wrote:
Why don’t ULCC’s in the U.S. copy this model?

Accessibility for people with disabilities is an issue. Some airports have either dedicated lift trucks for wheelchair users or allow the use of catering trucks but it's still a hassle, especially for the passenger. Combine this with the fear of getting sued and relatively strong minority protection laws in the US and most airlines will avoid the risk.


This ^^ And also this:

FriscoHeavy wrote:
I hate remote stands and it’s one of the turnoffs when going to Europe.

Yes, it happens elsewhere as well, but quite a bit in Europe and we find it annoying. We’d much rather have a gate with a jet bridge.


Not only do jet bridges make it far easier to board passengers in wheelchairs (or with other physical disabilities that make it difficult to climb stairs), it's also nicer and more pleasant for the average, able-bodied passenger. At the very least, you don't get exposed to any inclement weather.

Those reasons are also why many smaller airports now have jet bridges designed to work with smaller regional aircraft.
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rjsampson
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:11 pm

In the US, I would also suggest that Security strongly plays a role in airstands being rare.
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e38
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:55 am

with reference to comments about wheelchair accessibility being better with jetways, I agree that accommodating passengers in wheelchairs is somewhat easier with a jetway and provides protection from weather and ramp operations. However, sometimes proper ground support equipment can help mitigate this issue. In the United States, I am familiar with operations at Jackson Hole, Wyoming airport (KJAC) - all gates -- and Seattle (KSEA) - remote hardstands, where they use a "switchback" style ramp--some of them are covered--not airstairs--making it easy to provide for passengers in wheelchairs.

e38
 
schernov
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:22 am

I think some of it has to do with most US airports have airline leased gates vs general access gates. So there is no incentives to bus people. I would second that frustration of hard stand boarding especially on a widebody. Had to do it in Sao Palo on a AA 777 and in Rome on UA 767. What a mess.
Sometimes you do luck out when hard stand is close and bus drops you right at immigration. Like at LHR T5. Bus could be quicker than train and walk. Also Americans are used to having big carry on bags. Much easier with jetway.
 
TravelsUK
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:28 am

You are using incorrect terminology, a hardstand is what an aircraft is parked on regardless of whether it has a jetbridge or not, a remote stand is what your are talking about as it is 'remote' from the terminal.

In the US, I would also suggest that Security strongly plays a role in airstands being rare.

How would security be compromised walking a short distance from a terminal to an aircraft or from a bus to an aircraft as pax are already in the sterile area of the airport?
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Sokes
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:48 am

"We paid for the plane, we do not take the bus. "
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unimproved
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:34 pm

TravelsUK wrote:
You are using incorrect terminology, a hardstand is what an aircraft is parked on regardless of whether it has a jetbridge or not, a remote stand is what your are talking about as it is 'remote' from the terminal.

In the US, I would also suggest that Security strongly plays a role in airstands being rare.

How would security be compromised walking a short distance from a terminal to an aircraft or from a bus to an aircraft as pax are already in the sterile area of the airport?

Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.
 
TravelsUK
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:40 am

Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.

I guess that must be a purely American issue then given that thousands of pax manage to do it unaided, sucessfully and safely around the world every day.
757 flights 1 378 350 km 34.4x around earth 2024 h 18 min 74.3 days 12.0 weeks
 
r6russian
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:15 am

TravelsUK wrote:
I guess that must be a purely American issue then given that thousands of pax manage to do it unaided, sucessfully and safely around the world every day.

Id say so. Just saw a thing earlier today where A&W came out with a 1/3 pound burger to compete with Mcdonalds 1/4 pounder and it failed because people thought 1/4 was bigger. Although there are idiots everywhere in the world, USA seems to be much fuller of them than most other nations.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:53 am

TravelsUK wrote:
Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.

I guess that must be a purely American issue then given that thousands of pax manage to do it unaided, sucessfully and safely around the world every day.

Not neccessarily an issue with the passengers per se. Passengers walking around means that the drivers of buses, refueling trucks, tows etc. have to be alert in case a pedestrian walks on their path. This can be mitigated with training and an improved layout of marked roadways on the tarmac but if you've designed your apron for vehicles already, adding people can be quite the headache. Similar to how US cities are designed for driving, not walking.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:42 am

unimproved wrote:
Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.


I mean, JFK has done this pretty regularly, and I would think if any airport in the US is concerned about security, it'd be JFK.

The reason remote stands aren't more common in the US is weather. The US has some of the most extreme weather in the world. Only a few geographical areas have weather where it wouldn't be at least uncomfortable to use remote stands much of the time, and in some areas it would be potentially dangerous for certain people (the elderly, especially). In Phoenix, for example, it gets up to 120 degrees in the summer, and that's not counting the heat island effect created by a large airport. In some northern airports, by contrast, it can be well below zero (F) with snow and ice on the ground. You don't want passengers walking through stuff like that. It's a recipe for a lawsuit. (And a justified one, because any injury or death caused by weather is clearly and totally preventable with jetbridges.)

Some airports do still have remote stands, but they're sparingly used. Delta did used to use them pretty regularly at JFK but I'm pretty sure that was temporary while they built/renovated their terminals. They still exist as far as I know but I don't think they're used all that much.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:28 am

spacecadet wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.


I mean, JFK has done this pretty regularly, and I would think if any airport in the US is concerned about security, it'd be JFK.

The reason remote stands aren't more common in the US is weather. The US has some of the most extreme weather in the world. Only a few geographical areas have weather where it wouldn't be at least uncomfortable to use remote stands much of the time, and in some areas it would be potentially dangerous for certain people (the elderly, especially). In Phoenix, for example, it gets up to 120 degrees in the summer, and that's not counting the heat island effect created by a large airport. In some northern airports, by contrast, it can be well below zero (F) with snow and ice on the ground. You don't want passengers walking through stuff like that. It's a recipe for a lawsuit. (And a justified one, because any injury or death caused by weather is clearly and totally preventable with jetbridges.)

Some airports do still have remote stands, but they're sparingly used. Delta did used to use them pretty regularly at JFK but I'm pretty sure that was temporary while they built/renovated their terminals. They still exist as far as I know but I don't think they're used all that much.


I don't think it is the weather. The rest of the world has no problem with remote stands in "extreme" weather. A one minute walk is fine. Not long enough to really feel the effects much. If you're really frail, you can get assistance, e.g. a wheelchair.

As you say, though, liability might be a consideration in the US. The added insurance cost of using remote stands might make it far less cost-effective than in the rest of the world.


Airports in Sweden use remote stands. It gets cold, snowy and slippery. Kiruna, which is well north of the arctic circle, has a yearly average temperature just below freezing, with January's average being -14C. From experience, there can be icy patches on the ground at Swedish airports despite the best efforts of the rampers. But that's just "living in Sweden". :)
Image

Airports in Thailand use remote stands. It can be quite hot, muggy, and rainy. Koh Samui airport even has an open-air terminal. And little trolleys like at an amusement park instead of buses. It's amazing.
Image
Image

Airports in the Australian desert use remote stands. It gets very hot. Alice Springs has an average daily temperature high in summer of around 35 degrees.
Image
Last edited by Starlionblue on Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mxaxai
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:42 am

spacecadet wrote:
The reason remote stands aren't more common in the US is weather. The US has some of the most extreme weather in the world. Only a few geographical areas have weather where it wouldn't be at least uncomfortable to use remote stands much of the time

Yeah, places like Singapore and Qatar are known for their temperate climate. And I'm sure it never snows in northen Sweden, Canada, or really anywhere else outside the US. That's why they all use airstairs. \s

There are very few regions in the US where weather can actually injure you in the few minutes you'd spend on the tarmac. Arizona can get very hot, yes, and the Midwest can get very cold. But outside of that, you're gonna be fine. It's just a matter of comfort and being willing to pay for it.
 
e38
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:54 pm

In the United States, it is not about weather or security; rather, convenience and comfort, even if that is only a perception on the part of the passenger.

As a result, while there are some exceptions, even very small air terminals in the U.S. are equipped with jetways.

By the way, sdmccray1984 (topic author), are you talking about hardstand gates as in "remote" parking, or just aircraft parking adjacent to the terminal using integral airstairs or a mobile stair?

If you are talking about remote parking, I do think that presents a certain disadvantage in the need to use and maintain a bus/passenger transfer vehicle and associated drivers/attendants.

Sometimes there can be a "confusion" factor as well. In the United States at Washington National Airport (KDCA), American Airlines uses Gate 35X which is a ground level, bus loading gate for multiple remote aircraft parking positions. When several flights are departing close to the same time--a bank--the process is occasionally chaotic; it has been described as "herding cats." And, to make matters worse, occasionally they will load a bus for multiple flights--including departures to Charleston, West Virginia (KCRW) and Charleston, South Carolina (KCHS). What manager thought that was a good idea? Yes, passengers have gotten on an aircraft for the incorrect destination.
This gate--35X--will be eliminated in the future with the terminal expansion project--Project Journey--at KDCA.

Just from my experience, aircraft terminal parking seems to be more efficient than remote parking.

e38
 
unimproved
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:21 pm

TravelsUK wrote:
Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.

I guess that must be a purely American issue then given that thousands of pax manage to do it unaided, sucessfully and safely around the world every day.

The US is also one of the few places where you have to remove shoes during screening. Or answer immigration questions before boarding a flight to.

They don't really care about the walk itself, but about a passenger intentionally entering airside areas they shouldn't be in.
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:53 am

Starlionblue wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Having passengers walking about on the platform with only a couple of gate agents to keep them within the marked path.


I mean, JFK has done this pretty regularly, and I would think if any airport in the US is concerned about security, it'd be JFK.

The reason remote stands aren't more common in the US is weather. The US has some of the most extreme weather in the world. Only a few geographical areas have weather where it wouldn't be at least uncomfortable to use remote stands much of the time, and in some areas it would be potentially dangerous for certain people (the elderly, especially). In Phoenix, for example, it gets up to 120 degrees in the summer, and that's not counting the heat island effect created by a large airport. In some northern airports, by contrast, it can be well below zero (F) with snow and ice on the ground. You don't want passengers walking through stuff like that. It's a recipe for a lawsuit. (And a justified one, because any injury or death caused by weather is clearly and totally preventable with jetbridges.)

Some airports do still have remote stands, but they're sparingly used. Delta did used to use them pretty regularly at JFK but I'm pretty sure that was temporary while they built/renovated their terminals. They still exist as far as I know but I don't think they're used all that much.


I don't think it is the weather. The rest of the world has no problem with remote stands in "extreme" weather. A one minute walk is fine. Not long enough to really feel the effects much. If you're really frail, you can get assistance, e.g. a wheelchair.

As you say, though, liability might be a consideration in the US. The added insurance cost of using remote stands might make it far less cost-effective than in the rest of the world.


Airports in Sweden use remote stands. It gets cold, snowy and slippery. Kiruna, which is well north of the arctic circle, has a yearly average temperature just below freezing, with January's average being -14C. From experience, there can be icy patches on the ground at Swedish airports despite the best efforts of the rampers. But that's just "living in Sweden". :)
Image

Airports in Thailand use remote stands. It can be quite hot, muggy, and rainy. Koh Samui airport even has an open-air terminal. And little trolleys like at an amusement park instead of buses. It's amazing.
Image
Image

Airports in the Australian desert use remote stands. It gets very hot. Alice Springs has an average daily temperature high in summer of around 35 degrees.
Image


And not to mention DXB, even 380 need to board via remote gates every day
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:53 am

It is the law and regulations make it too risky/ costly to board at the remote stand in USA.
 
StTim
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:31 am

The low cost carrier pier at Schiphol is built low cost (no air bridges). The planes park at the gate (not remote) and you walk the short distance to the front or rear doors. Special equipment available to facilitate passengers with reduced mobility on and off.

Luton has zero air bridges, they don’t have the space.
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:45 am

Look at labor costs. With a plane at the jetway, you can get away with two, maybe one in a pinch, gate agent to board a flight. Remote boarding will require one at the gate, one one the ground directing them to the plane or bus, a bus driver, another at the air stair to verify the passengers is at the correct plane during multiple ops and assist. At outstations with a few flights a day, which model of operation is cheaper? Two or up to four employees?
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AirBoat
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:15 am

One thing about remote stands is a holiday maker coming back from the southern hemishere summer wearing t-short, shorts and slops and deplaning in sweden.during winter....
otherwise, I quite like it. consider Frankfurt: your jet bridge can be a km walk from the baggage claim. the bus should drop you off just outside the baggage claim.
ORTambo: the bus drops you off right outside customs, and the jetbridges can be a bit of a hike.
 
shamrock137
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:21 am

hongkongflyer wrote:
It is the law and regulations make it too risky/ costly to board at the remote stand in USA.


I don't think there are any laws or regulations in the US that prohibit or restrict hardstands more than any other country.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:53 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
Look at labor costs. With a plane at the jetway, you can get away with two, maybe one in a pinch, gate agent to board a flight. Remote boarding will require one at the gate, one one the ground directing them to the plane or bus, a bus driver, another at the air stair to verify the passengers is at the correct plane during multiple ops and assist. At outstations with a few flights a day, which model of operation is cheaper? Two or up to four employees?


This also depends on the cost of labour. In Thailand or Indonesia, an additional two staff is a much lower cost than in Sweden or Norway.
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exFWAOONW
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:26 pm

I should have started my post with the word, “Also.”
was thinking in terms of staffing full-time employees (8hrs straight). They may only “work” one to three flights at some outstations. Those extra employees add lots of costs no matter the labor rate. Part-time employees will have a major impact on those costs, if used logically. The downside is get people willing to work those crappy PT hours, especially if the bus driver must possess a CDL license.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Hardstand gates as an advantage?

Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:42 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
I should have started my post with the word, “Also.”
was thinking in terms of staffing full-time employees (8hrs straight). They may only “work” one to three flights at some outstations. Those extra employees add lots of costs no matter the labor rate. Part-time employees will have a major impact on those costs, if used logically. The downside is get people willing to work those crappy PT hours, especially if the bus driver must possess a CDL license.


Agreed. But again, the labour cost of an extra couple of people in Indonesia or India is very low. The bus driver would need a license, but a bus is only needed if the gate is not within easy walking distance.
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