View Full Version : What do you do when pax don't show at the gate ?

19th Sep 2004, 19:16
Ms WHBM just travelled from Russia today. Delayed several hours as a pax checked-in with hold luggage, then didn't report for the flight. We've all been there I'm sure. So they were all taken off again, baggage all identified and rechecked, sounds thorough.

But they were also told the Police were setting off to trace the no-show. Wow! Russian Police too :uhoh: . But what goes on in the west in this situation? In my experience their bags are pulled and that's it. But in this case there would seem to be some big trouble ahead for someone who inconvenienced everybody.

Way to go ?

Gear up Shut up
19th Sep 2004, 19:30
I've always found it quite bizarre how someone could check in and "forget" to show up for a flight. I can't help thinking that questions should be asked even if it is just out of idle curiosity - or if there is something sinister going on, you've got them just from wanting to know purely out of intrigue as to how someone could be so stupid.

19th Sep 2004, 20:30
Offload the buggers!!:mad: Hate having to search for bags then find them,only to be told pax has turned up,so now we have a game,if bag found b4 pax turns up they are off the flight!! :ok: :rolleyes:


tall and tasty
19th Sep 2004, 20:44
May I put in my bit

worked in both chkin/gates and on the line as despatch. No shows usually get lost at departure lounge - fall asleep/drinking in the pub gone to the wrong gate even snogging others they have just met does happen!. Some actually go home if they live near enough and then get stuck getting back.. Had some went to the other terminal and then forgot which flight on and sat looking at the wrong boards. Others gone on a jolly on gatwick express to London as thought plane would wait!

Sometimes pax decide that don't want to go fear of flying feeling unwell pax off loaded but not removed from the system so still showing with bags on board !!!!! worst sniario no communication from anyone about these.

No recking on to the flight if name mispelt and not identified. How many more would you like to know about? Basically only way to check is do calls on board have good gate staff talk to checkin box sup/ tell everyone on board and worst for loaders tell them to start looking. Totally agree with off load if not at gate when bags found

Only way to make them believe that the plane is not a bus stop!

Hope not too long and winded
Tall and tasty

A Very Civil Pilot
19th Sep 2004, 22:50

I think the situation in Russia has much to do with the current security status - after all two a/c were lost a few weeks back due to terrorism. I imagine that they think that if someone is checked-in and fails to board the a/c there is reason to believe it is major security problem.

master slug
19th Sep 2004, 23:59
Had to have bags offloaded on many occassions, this being due to the fact that the punter was still in the bar, Out of his/her Tree.

So says the slug.....

20th Sep 2004, 06:08
I've only been guilty of inconveniencing an airline once by being late at the gate after checking my luggage in.

After initial check-in, I went to a LH business lounge with plenty of time remaining. Unfortunately though, I mistook the boarding time for the departure time. The boarding pass had the boarding time, whereas the departure screen showed departure time - my cock-up pure and simple having thought the boarding time was the one displayed!

A rush through the endless corridors between the lounge and the gate (this was at FRA) and I arrived breathless, apologetic and sweaty! They were very understanding and at least they hadn't had to offload any bags!

Perhaps if flights actually boarded at the 'boarding time', passengers might respect it rather better? Assuming, that is, that they haven't made a mistake, got plastered in the bar or wandered off shopping?

How many times have you seen 'Boarding Time 2015' on the ticket, turned up at 2005, then sat there until 2025...?? The trouble is that passengers may then expect that they can always be late, knowing that 'boarding times' are rarely accurate.

No-shows should certainly be investigated where possible; I imagine that the Russian police in this instance were making sure that no security risk was being posed.

20th Sep 2004, 07:38
As an on-time pax I am fed up with being inconvenienced and stessed out by people who can't give a sh1t. E.g. "Will I make the connection at the other end now we've lost 20 minutes?"

Off with their bags I say!

BTW, don't want to change the subject, but with the new RFID technology a tag can be attached to the boarding pass, and can track the pax whereabouts in the terminal. Late pax could even be targeted for automated announcements channeled only thru the tannoy near them "hey that's enough time in the toilet Mr. Jones".

Jorge Newberry
20th Sep 2004, 09:04
Why doesn't some ruthless SOB like Michael O'Leary fine pax for failing to show at the gate on time? After all he has our credit card details and we click that we agree to about a million lines of terms and conditions...

20th Sep 2004, 09:06
The attitude of CX many moons ago was what I liked.

The veterans among you will recall that many planes from Kai Tak left from remote ramps and us pax had to be bussed to them.

Not only were a lot of pax late to check in, they were late for the busses. Delays of 30 minutes or more were common so that some feckwit could get a bus on his own to the waiting plane.

Then CX introduced a 'zero-tolerance' policy. Anyone that arrived late for the last bus to the plane was kicked off the flight.

I remember one flight to Tokyo where three pax didn't make the last bus. The pilot (a Brit, judging by his accent) came on and apologised for the delay and noted that he'd missed his slot. 'But don't worry, we'll make good use of the extra time on the ground by offloading the missing passengers' baggage.'

It made me feel a little better.

20th Sep 2004, 09:20
luggage offload (not mine) happened on 3 out of my last 4 flights....

FRA-CPH on sep 01
PRG-FRA on sep 04
FRA-SIN on sep 12

beyond me how people simply miss thier flights.....

mr Q
20th Sep 2004, 09:47
In the good old days at Kai Tak an extra 20-30 minutes valuable drinking time airside could be gained by having baggage checked in rather than hand carried on the basis it was quicker for the airline to locate the passenger/s than off load the baggage.
Less pleasant was the practice,at some airports, in the event of any discrepancy, of making the passengers disembark irrespective of weather conditions,and personally identify their checked in baggage which would be lined up on the tarmac.
Needless to say reconcillliation of passenger and baggage presumes that no one will willingly commit suicide for any cause which is no longer the case.
My present concern is the mixture of freight and passengers on the same airline. Necessary for the bottom line of course but an obvious weakness even in the days when suicide terrorists were not as prevalent as today.
When the flight deck says we will be on our way shortly and we are just loading the last of the freight ( usually followed as if on cue by that noisey shudder that says yes, a container has just been on loaded in the hold ) I sometimes get an uneasy feeling for a few seconds (depending on location) as to what has managed to get aboard in those last few minutes as everyone concentrates on getting the aircraft off the stand on time.

20th Sep 2004, 09:56
sorry to ask! but what exactly is PAX stand for!:ok:

PAX = passengers plural, PAP = passenger singular

20th Sep 2004, 12:42
BA783 (ARN - LHR) had the departure time advanced by ten minutes last Friday. You could see this possibly causing a problem - especially as they never announce the departure in the business lounge until the last possible moment. This has led to radeng being the last PAX on board on several occasions!

20th Sep 2004, 15:47
Well, it is not always the PAX fault. In the "we will call you when the flight is boarding" Swissair lounge at LHR a few years back, they did not call us. The flight had never gone to "boarding" (= inbound aircraft has arrived) let alone "last call" (= aircraft will start boarding at about the time it will take to walk out from the lounge) on their screen. "Oops" was the answer. When a colleague and I got to the gate, the flight had been pushed back... SR took responsibility and gave us hotel vouchers. Then called us as the aircraft had gone technical and returned to gate. Left an hour or so later.

Still a mystery how people can check bags then miss the flight first thing in the morning. Perhaps they have checked in bags the previous day, then don't make it to the airport on the morning itself, for whatever reason. Getting sloshed seems unlikely at that time.


surely not
20th Sep 2004, 16:48
Mr Q re your concerns about frieght. You can rest assured that freight is also subject to security screening.

Max Angle
20th Sep 2004, 17:11
Most common reason for us to have a "fail to join" is the time it takes to connect from one flight to another. The bags are pretty quick and get loaded and the pax. get stuck in security or just don't have enough time to get across LHR for the flight. Happens ALL THE B****Y TIME and drives me nuts.

mr Q
21st Sep 2004, 04:22
Thanks for the reassurance Surely Not. However having witnessed the dismal and unacceptable performance of some of those scanning the hand carry baggage in some locations and while in full view of the public and possibly regulatory/supervisory personnel I have become sceptical of the performance of those who operate out of the public view. Anyway point taken !!!

21st Sep 2004, 15:37
Mr Q: I saw an 'amusing' sight at LTN last Thursday evening. The woman 'watching' the screen of the bags x-ray was filing her nails and just glancing up at the screen when she felt like it. :mad: I was running for the flight and had no time to locate the supervisor but have a note to write a letter.

The return sector was from Nice and the woman there spent a-g-e-s inspecting the two images of my bag and checking the alternative colour and mono images. She chose not to have the bag inspected but it was much better peice of work.

Only once I have lost track of time in the duty free and been the embarrassed person last on board. That was 20 years ago and I shan't make that mistake again. How people miss the gate? Beyond imagination. On balance, I am rather glad that they do. We don't need doo-lally twits on board. :*

B Sousa
21st Sep 2004, 16:12
On balance, I am rather glad that they do. We don't need doo-lally twits on board.

Pax Boy. Im hoping that does not include us poor folks who have to travel last class standby due to employment within the Airline Industry. Lately I can never get a seat until the flight closes, then its a mile run to Security. Delay, then run to the gate. So when you see me as a doo-lally twit, just say Hi, glad you made it.........

21st Sep 2004, 18:11
I'm sure many pax get caught out by the delay at passport control/hand luggage screening...

I arrived at Stansted once with loads of time to spare. As there was NO queue at Passport control I went for breakfast. Twenty mins later the queue was almost out of the door of the terminal. It took ages to get through. Just made the flight ok without holding it up but others wern't so lucky. Perhaps they should make an announcement when the queue reaches say 10 mins?

On one ocassion I arrived two hours before my short haul flight only to find it was delayed for several hours, grrrr. They didn't know which gate it would be when I checked in and the airport _appeared_ to have separate passport control gates for A1-10, B1-10 etc. When it finally appeared on the board I found that channel was closed (heck the whole airport was almost closed)! I had to hunt round to find a member of security staff to let me through. Then as I _ran_ to the gate I was met by irate cabin crew who wanted to know where I had been. I had to reminded them it was they who were late not me.

stator vane
21st Sep 2004, 18:32
i find that it is difficult to get anyone to actually look for the bags and just today in PMI, four pax late, with multiple bags. started looking for the bags and then pax show up before all the bags are located. then the agent comes into the flight deck telling me that pax are already on board. not much since in getting them off and sit waiting for their bags to be found. we pushed with one minute to spare. but then the push back tug driver then noticed that he had a flat tire and then we had to wait for another tug.

do you as captain go downstairs and help (or force them to look for bags?) i have a few times and have jumped up into the hold to help look for the bags and never found any that match the number!

and that might be why the bag people are not very motivated to look in any timely manner.

i ask the agent to get the names and make some note as to their lateness, but i suspect that nothing is done. i have had names in my hands, and give them to an agent, and something inside tells me that the list finds it way to the first trash bin in sight.

i made a few PA's as the last pax boards, but i don't think that does any good either.

so my conclusion is that until the airline management get motivated enough to make a practice of penalizing the guilty passengers, not much will change.

sometimes, it ended up being a cock-up at the gate rather than any actual missing pax.

22nd Sep 2004, 00:26
B Sousa: Yep, I mean the drunk and disorderly, no offence intended to those in your situation.

stator: Useful feedback. My guess is that you are correct, no one wants to be the first to move against this problem. We have seen some effort about handbagage and this might be next. Thatb said, EZY have just opened the gate a bit on hand luggage weight.

It needs some wannabee management spark to calculate the annual cost of late pax.

22nd Sep 2004, 01:00
Before we hang the poor guy, sometimes its not really the pax fault. A gate change can really bugger things up, you can arrive at the gate early, usually a transit pax, and they announce a gate change in some language that no one can understand, you sit there thinking this is an empty flight, how wonderful! Then 400 screaming irrate pax's at the real gate or onboard calling for your head

25th Sep 2004, 14:09
Still a mystery how people can check bags then miss the flight first thing in the morning. Perhaps they have checked in bags the previous day, then don't make it to the airport on the morning itself, for whatever reason. Getting sloshed seems unlikely at that time.


Well. maybe it is is due to the line being too long at Costas coffee???

Remember being stuck for nearly half an hour at their outlet on the dep lounge in BHX early in the morning for a 0645 FlyBE dep to GLA. I made the flight well in time - but the bus which took us to the aircraftt got delayed due to a nice old gentleman boarding the wrong bus - he was to to board the EDI flight from the next gate. We still thought we would depart on time after boarding, but only to be told after about 20 min by the pilot that he arrived late being a last minute replacement having been called in from home after the original captain couldnt make the flight. He also subsequently explained that we missed our ATC slot so there was further delay. But all the same, being properly informed by everyone concerned meant there were no complaints.

Compare this with Indian domestic services when the reason for delays almost inevitably is "LATE ARRIVAL OF INCOMING AIRCRAFT". A remarkable and perfectly correct statement which explains nothng! After all why talk more when u can get away with less!

26th Sep 2004, 01:46
Folks will remember what it was like at HKG last year in the middle of the SARS thing - the W terminal area (gates 40-80) virtually shut down.

Why then with monotonous regularity would pax mistake seat numbers (say 60D) as gate numbers and trundle off to Gate 60 which is a) dark, b) empty, and c) devoid of anything resembling an aircraft; and then sit there waiting for a,b and c to magically change.

Got to the point if missing pax were from seats in R40 thru 60 we'd just send someone out to the W terminal and be sure of finding them.

Carnage Matey!
26th Sep 2004, 02:58
do you as captain go downstairs and help (or force them to look for bags?)

Try that in BA and you'd be looking at an instant walkout by the loaders. Then you won't be going anywhere!

Tony Flynn
26th Sep 2004, 08:13
oopps! guilty of this once in my life, drove from Indianapolis to Cinncinatti last year and checked in nice and early. Me and the guy with me then went for a beer, walk around the shops etc and I was surprised to hear us being paged, sauntered up to the Delta desk to get a good shouting at and told to run to the gate because we're holding the aircraft. Couldn't work out why the flight had been brought forward - we were halfway home before we worked out that cvg is an hour ahead of ind! - I always check the local time now.

surely not
26th Sep 2004, 16:40
I'm sure that the ground staff wouldn't mind the Captain going down and helping find the bags. They'd probably be a bit p!ssed off if he started trying to organise things that they are more practised in, or started throwing his weight around 'forcing' them to look for bags.

Of course if it works both ways and they can go up to the flight deck and start twiddling switches when the a/c is tech?? :D :D

Ckin Gal
3rd Oct 2004, 09:38
yesterday after putting out calls for this passenger he came running to the gate as i was taking the tag no. to the loaders for offloading. despatch was on the stairs waiting to close the door. i jokingly clapped my hands,and he caught what i meant. When the a/c was closed up in comes despatch to say the no.1 had put out an announcement for the whole a/c to clap as he came onboard. oops

on friday our flt to man was delayed by a couple of hrs. whilst at the gate it was delayed for a further 15mins due a no show at the gate.
It turns out that the passenger opted to fly with another carrier but as he had no bags didn't feel it was important to inform the ckin staff. ANNOYING!

30th Oct 2004, 15:47
Why, oh Why, oh Why do I bother telling pax the boarding time, only to have them turn up late to the gate stating "oh, but it doesn't go until XYZ time and now i've missed my flight." As the a/c pushes back into the distance!!!

The boarding time is to help us get everybody to the gate on time and then commence a smooth turn round without having to play the bags or pax first game.

sorry about the rant but there it is!! :ugh:

Rwy in Sight
31st Oct 2004, 14:23
I either tend to ignore airport shops and go straight to the gate, or I make my best to allow plenty of time for wandering around at the airport before I go to the gate.

However a couple of issues a) the slow check in procedure (not pax faults allways) and b)the understanding by some SLF that this immediate boarding may mean 15 or more minutes wait at the gate -> so why bother?

Back to my hole to fight the minor cold and cough I am having since Friday!

Rwy in Sight

31st Oct 2004, 22:39
Sometimes it's really not the pax his fault he or she holds up an aircraft. The airlines sell sometimes unbelievable short transit times. Even up to 50 mins transit time. This is at AMS i am talking about which is a big single terminal airport with some huge walking distances. So it happens that the bags make it , but the pax don't due to getting lost, not able to walk that fast or liking the big tax free shopping area.

1st Nov 2004, 04:54
That short is OK so long as the airline handles it well. Cathay at HKG allow 45mins as the minimum legal connecting time, but if you arrive off a flight with a connection less than about 90 mins then you will find a person holding a sign with your name at the end of the airbridge and they will make sure that you get to the new gate. This sort of things is what sorts out the premier airlines from the rest.

Final 3 Greens
1st Nov 2004, 06:19

I can see where you're coming from, but pax do learn by experience.

easyJet, at STN domestic term, have a habit of setting the FIDs to Final Call, before the aircraft has even landed.

This certainly gets pax to the gate ...... but they are highly p!ssed off with the long wait and no doubt resolve to ignore the screens in future.

The trouble is that they then take this learning to other plces, where this practice is not used and troubel starts.

1st Nov 2004, 10:03
Another problem are the announcements in the lounges being generally a bit on the late side. At Arlanda, if you're on a BA flight, you need to get moving (well, going to the loo and then leaving!) when the screen announces boarding, not wait for the announcement. LHR T4 can be a bit that way, too. We all know why - I suppose if you're a frequent enough flyer to have access to these lounges, you should have enough 'nous' to not be late.

1st Nov 2004, 13:33
easyJet, at STN domestic term, have a habit of setting the FIDs to Final Call, before the aircraft has even landed.
Yes, this is a particularly annoying habit (found elsewhere too) where you rush along to the gate changed from Boarding to Final Call and up to the agent only to be treated like an imbecile (even more than usual at Stansted) as the incoming aircraft is not even on stand yet (on one occasion at STN it sat at Final Call for an hour after delayed boarding/departure too).

If only BAA acted as real airport managers, rather than shopping centre developers, they would ensure that all their tenants acted in a responsible and accurate manner in all information aspects. But they couldn't care less and the tenants thus take their cue from them.

wirgin blew
7th Nov 2004, 12:07
SLF is and should be told to be at the gate 30 mins prior to departure.
Trains and buses dont page customers, I dont know why airlines do.

Recently I had a couple of CC on days off using staff travel, they turned up in the middle of the bag search with a couple of fresh coffees in hand. We let them on but sent a quick email to staff travel so hopefully they lost there benefits as they really should know better.

7th Nov 2004, 12:33
wirgin blew

>SLF is and should be told to be at the gate 30 mins prior to departure.

SLF already spend enough sitting around waiting. Or at many gates, standing, because there aren't enough seats - and plenty of SLF hog two of the few that there are, using an extra one for their carry ons.

Nevertheless, the airline isn't run for the benefit of the employees, as some like to think, and you do need to consider the SLF who are actually doing the paying. Admittedly, they're not paying enough in general, because air travel is too cheap these days, which is why the service the SLF get isn't generally anything like as good as it was 20 years ago.......

In any service industry, the customer is nearly always right, and even if he isn't, it's probably worth letting him think he is....unless you don't want his future business. Maybe if it's the ''once a year to Ibiza" charter flight, you don't mind too much, but the regular scheduled airlne business is another matter. We do have some choice still!

7th Nov 2004, 13:52
SLF is and should be told to be at the gate 30 mins prior to departure
As the standard turnround allowance at Stansted is 25 minutes, whatever purpose is served by requiring all the pax to be there before the incoming aircraft is even on stand, and before any processing of them has even started ?

wirgin blew
10th Nov 2004, 16:06
As the standard turnround allowance at Stansted is 25 minutes, whatever purpose is served by requiring all the pax to be there before the incoming aircraft is even on stand, and before any processing of them has even started ?

So the ones who are always early are there, the ones who are on time are there, the ones who are 10-15 mins late are there, and the ones who are pathologically late hopefully get there.

Nevertheless, the airline isn't run for the benefit of the employees, as some like to think, and you do need to consider the SLF who are actually doing the paying

Yes and so are the other 199 people waiting onboard who bothered to turn up when told, only to be waiting for some selfish SLF who needs a coffee before they can come on board. So I would say this is all about the majority of the pax as opposed to the very few, and nothing to do with the staff.

18th Nov 2004, 20:47
A Couple of years ago flying for Sabena we were at the gate in AMS all passengers on board except one buisinesman.
Lots of calls around the terminal to no avail.
From the flightdeck we could see into the waiting area and sighted a middleaged man sat alone reading a paper. By now it was 5mins passed our push time and the offending gents bag was now sitting on the tarmac.
At this point I requested the Cabin crew to close the doors and Turned on our Anti collision beacon indicating we were about to push back from stand.
Our 'gentleman' looked at the aircraft, looked at his watch got up and walked to the counter waving his boarding card at the Girl behind the desk.
It was with great satisfaction we taxied away from the gate with a very angry looking guy banging on the glass windows of the terminal:p

19th Nov 2004, 00:58
oomje: Jolly good!!!

Talk about cold departure gates with six plastic seats ... Thursday at LTN for routine trip to see mother in IOM, and it was VERY cold and the parsimony of TBI was laid bare for all, once again. I judged the time fairly well and had to spend less than five minutes there. Fortunately, no delays.

A timely arrival at the gate by Pax? Nope, too many people think they know how to work the system. I can only support a faster location of their bags and removing of bags and owner from the manifest. In this regard, when Bags have RFID tags, rather than the bar code tags, it will be a lot faster to locate the bag in the hold or can.

[Radio Frequency IDentification]

19th Nov 2004, 10:09
Take Cardiff "International". Not the worlds biggest airport. But it amazed me how many pax were late to the gate when the only departure was thier flight.

I can remeber dispatching the only flight of the night (Britannia to IBZ, IIRC) where everyone except a family of 4 were on the flight 20 mins before the departure time. As stated in BY's ground handling manual I asked for the bags to be located at -15mins. During this time a number of "name and shame" calls were made for these pax along with a search of the departure area. Their bags were found and taken off the aircraft at -10min. -5 I had a word with the captain and we agreed to offload the pax, close the door and push the aircraft back. I stayed at the gate for 10mins after the flight had departed to finish off my paperwork. On my walk back to the office I decided to go via the departure lounge and what do I find, a family of 4 sat quite happily reading books and what not. Anyhow I broke the news to them and as is the way with pax, it was my fault, and took them back to the checkin area. Now what struck me was that there was no-one else in the airport appart from staff and these 4 pax. All the doors to the gate were open untill I closed them on my way back to the office. So I asked them where they had been and why they didn't come to the gate with every one else. It turned out that they checked-in 3 hours before but didn't want to pay the airport prices for a meal and decided to go to the local carvery. They returned to the airport 45 mins before departure (start of boarding) but didn't make it in to the lounge untill the flight had departed. I tried explaining to them why they missed the flight, but it was no use as I was the one to blame for allowing the flight to depart.

Thats were my phobia of pax came from I believe......

Dick Fisher
20th Nov 2004, 13:45
I was at EMA recently for a flight to Edinburgh due to depart at 7am. The flight was boarded at 6.40, and I thought "great - an on-time departure."

Then I overheard a crew member say that the slot time was actually 7.20. Nice of them to tell the poor SLF!

Yet, can you believe that at 7.10, there were still folks wandering out onto the apron from the terminal, looking totally unconcerned and what's more, BMI Baby were quite happy to let them on-board. Doesn't this send totally the wrong message to the dawdlers and gawpers?

On my return from Edinburgh (not the world's largest airport - so not easy to lose yourself), we were again boarded early and were told by the captain that as the flight had arrived early into Edinburgh, he intended to get away early too. Outstanding.

This time though, we sat waiting fifteen minutes for a group of four passengers who had somehow managed to get lost - although their bags were on board. Ultimately, in order to ensure at least an on-time departure, the captain instructed the crew to remove the bags with still no sign of the late-comers.

Serves them right I think. Airlines should be tougher on the small percentage of people who by their inattention and tardiness, can easily spoil the experience for everyone else.