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Unattended Airbridge - LGW South 15 Jan 08

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Unattended Airbridge - LGW South 15 Jan 08

Old 17th Jan 2008, 11:42
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Unattended Airbridge - LGW South 15 Jan 08

Hope this is the right forum for this one...

Was travelling to CPH on a Sterling flight leaving Gate 12 at LGW South Terminal on 15 Jan, dep 15:20. On entering the gate, I could clearly see that the airbridge was not connected to the aircraft, and steps were in place.

When called to board, we left the gate and found that the doors to the airbridge were open and unattended - other SLF proceeded to womble down the bridge and started to queue at the end. I took the stairs before the bridge, and on crossing the apron could see that a large number of SLF were still waiting at the end of the bridge (presumably waiting for the pilot to move the aircraft?!?!).

Surely this must be against all SOP's at the gate?
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 12:01
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A door ws left open. Should it have happened? Of course not but sometimes these things do. That said, have you ever tried moving pax around an apron? I tell you, it is like herding cats!
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 00:41
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Could have been a number of things there, however, you are right that this is against all SOPS; as the standard is two gate staff and a despatcher on this type of flight, at the time of boarding i would imagine one gate staff at the front of the lounge, one at the end of the lounge checking seat row numbers and the despatcher would have been between the bottom of the stairs and the aircraft marshalling passengers.

As the lounge faces the aircraft and you could see steps on the aircraft and not connected to an airbridge, i'd like to think all the other passengers were as switched on as you; did the boarding announcement state for passengers to go down the stairs? either way, as per the other reply about rounding up cats, i liken it to sheep, and it would only need one passenger to not listen to the announcement and open the airbridge door instead of going down the stairs and other sheep will follow!

Unfortunate but does happen but shouldn't have
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 18:52
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DISP and LGWboy - agree with your sentiments on this one. However, it should be noted that both gate staff were at the front of the lounge, with nobody checking at the exit point. Next staff member was on the apron.
Poor standards all round I guess, but probably more the responsibility of the gate staff.
Pity all you souls who have to deal with brain dead SLF every day....
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 08:21
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Sterling normally have 2 gate agents and a dispatcher. One agent has to remain at the entrance to the gate lounge to pull boarding cards, the second in a case like this would normally do "tarmac" - ie be on the apron making sure pax board the aircraft and don't wander off anywhere. The dispatcher will help if possible, but they usually have many other things to do while boarding is going on. If there were 3 gate agents, ideally one should have been at the exit to the lounge, however the third person you saw at the gate was probably the Sterling rep.

When boarding starts the tarmac agent will make sure the airbridge doors are closed, and lead the first set of pax down the stairs. If there are only 2 agents available, one HAS to be on the tarmac for boarding, so you just have to hope that the next lot of pax will follow the first down the stairs. However this does not always happen. Many times I have closed the airbridge doors, put the tensor barriers up, and even placed a bin in front of the doors as well, only to look up and find one passenger has decided they knew best, moved the barriers, opened the doors and gone down the airbridge!!! Once one does it, the rest will follow!

Did the boarding announcement mention that pax were to use the steps not the jetty?
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 18:13
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Dropline - boarding announcement was just seat row and 'enjoy your flight with Sterling'. At this time, there were still 2 personnel at the front of the gate room, with one more on the tarmac - wasn't paying enough attention to uniforms, but I believe the 2 in the gateroom were both in Servisair blue...
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 19:13
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At Stansted, when off Jetway, there is only a single tape barrier to pull across to stop passengers going to the end. Of course often passengers decide they know best and pull open the barrier and carry on to the end.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 16:29
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Perhaps all gate areas/jetways should come equipped with barbed wire, and maybe the odd machine gun nest to help discourage the all knowing SLF....

Still and all, if it happens often enough, some hapless pax will end up walking of the end of the jetway and landing with a splat on the apron - I'm sure someone will take more notice then!
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 20:20
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It only happens when the airbridge is out of service or the stand is used for an aircraft that cannot use an airbridge. Most of the time there are no problems. With the best will in the world we cannot watch all passengers all of the time, especially with the limited resources available to us. Every effort is made to ensure the safety of passengers travelling through the airport, but occasionally mistakes are made, both by staff and passengers.

There are glass safety doors at the end of each airbridge, and to operate the airbridge itself a key is needed, so it would have to be a very determined (or very stupid) passenger that actually came to any harm by going the wrong way.

Perhaps the doors at top of the jetty should be fitted with a swipe reader like most other airport doors? And that is a matter for the BAA - not the staff trying to do their best to work with faulty airbridges and poor stand planning!!!
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 20:36
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at gatwick all gate agents are at the top of the gate, theres no doors after the stairs/before the jetty however there should have been a tension barrier across the jetty to ensure the passenger use the stairs. Alot of the gates at gatwick are porrly designed for operation without the jetty.
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Old 1st Feb 2008, 14:24
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Similar thing has happend numerous times at LHR too. Pax travelling X airline, but main rival airline's aircraft parked on gate with jet bridge attatched - pax boarding downstairs onto busses. Staff member in gate and staff member outside waiting for pax to board busses. You can guess where the pax ended up can't you - it wasn't on the busses !!. The a/c had NO crew or NO lights on - wouldn't that set alarm bells ringing as a pax ??? - Not in this case, not one of them !!! They were all sat down in their seats with h/luggage stowed !!!

All because there are NO doors/straps to block off the jetty to direct people down the stairs !!. This is on just about every single gate I've ever used at LHR !!.

The BAA really need to consult with the staff that actually use the facilities, rather than the airlines management who don't !!!.

Calling the faults line to report things is a waste of time too. It can take months if not years to get even the most simple things fixed !!.


Last edited by Leezyjet; 2nd Feb 2008 at 15:36.
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Old 1st Feb 2008, 21:06
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If there is one rule of passenger herding it's this:

Given a choice between an open, clear, signposted route or a closed off, tensa barriered one, passengers will always choose the latter.

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