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Gatwick trial cuts plane boarding time by 10%

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Gatwick trial cuts plane boarding time by 10%

Old 30th Oct 2019, 05:23
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Gatwick trial cuts plane boarding time by 10%

When I saw this headline, my first thought was: "I'll bet this is an old idea" indeed it is ...
BBC web news

The basic is the: Load Window Seats First - Starting At The Back. Then Middles and then Aisles. They have done some tweaking to allow for families and the use of display screens.

Forgive my cynicism but I had to laugh. All the careful boarding by rows and sections that we were doing in the 1990s - that got thrown out? Now the 'bright young managers' have thought up this great idea?
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 06:24
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Good God! LOL Not just the 1990's PaxBoy, but some 60 years after package holiday flights first started (with quite big planes) and they are actually having management meetings and pow-wows as to how to board a plane WTF!!!

I cannot believe we are having this nonsense given air time....God I could run this shower standing on my head

I posted this on Jet2 who were pontificating about boarding a plane ---

2 sets of steps used for pax boarding/disembarking for a 737 800 or a 757 for instance is much quicker than an air-bridge/jetty as long as the ground staff get both the front and rear steps on PDQ

Also today the ramp ground staff also have to faff about for ages (for H&S reasons gone mad) in setting up an elaborate chain link barrier system and cones to stop pax walking under the wing - this also wastes time on a quick turnaround if the ramp guys don't arrive with the kit or it is not left on the stand (more junk on the apron)
Back in the day the ground staff girl/boy boarding/meeting the flight, (or the No.4 CC would get off first) and would stand at the end of the wing to guide the pax accordingly - it's not rocket science, been doing it since 1972 lol
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 08:59
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
Good God! LOL Not just the 1990's PaxBoy, but some 60 years after package holiday flights first started (with quite big planes) and they are actually having management meetings and pow-wows as to how to board a plane WTF!!!

I cannot believe we are having this nonsense given air time....God I could run this shower standing on my head

I posted this on Jet2 who were pontificating about boarding a plane ---

2 sets of steps used for pax boarding/disembarking for a 737 800 or a 757 for instance is much quicker than an air-bridge/jetty as long as the ground staff get both the front and rear steps on PDQ

Also today the ramp ground staff also have to faff about for ages (for H&S reasons gone mad) in setting up an elaborate chain link barrier system and cones to stop pax walking under the wing - this also wastes time on a quick turnaround if the ramp guys don't arrive with the kit or it is not left on the stand (more junk on the apron)
Back in the day the ground staff girl/boy boarding/meeting the flight, (or the No.4 CC would get off first) and would stand at the end of the wing to guide the pax accordingly - it's not rocket science, been doing it since 1972 lol
Back in July I we were flying with operator Cebu Air out of teen weeny Camiguin Airport, regularly Cebu Air have their own airport ground staff but with so few flights thru Camiguin I observed it was actually the airport's own handling wearing Cebu Air uniforms.

Cebu Air board their ATR72 pax in three stages, front, middle and rear, it is regular that as soon as they announce boarding there is a stampede of most passengers who don't understand seat numbers etc. and to achieve a 20 minute turnround sometimes a blind eye needs to be turned to pax stupidity, I was sitting back with the attitude that there is no rush to board because they're not going anywhere until we all board and I was watching the carnage, this handling agent were taking the boarding process by strict dictation whereas they were turning some pax around who were then blocking the progress of the pax that should have been boarding resulting in a very slow boarding that delayed the turnround.

I'm glad I'm retired from this nonsense and I can sit back and observe it with humour.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 09:47
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The wheel goes round and round, nothing new or original at all. No common sense or logical thinking by anyone nowadays. Heaven help us in years to come.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 10:22
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
2 sets of steps used for pax boarding/disembarking for a 737 800 or a 757 for instance is much quicker than an air-bridge/jetty as long as the ground staff get both the front and rear steps on PDQ
Though in my experience you will always get passengers fixated on boarding by the forward steps and then fighting their way to the rearmost row.

I've never understood why ground staff seem unable or unwilling to make a simple announcement to the effect that passengers sitting in rows XXX and higher should board via the rear steps. It's not rocket science.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 10:35
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I agree with the comments above. I have been at the sharp end of this. The idea was tried some years ago at MAN by one of the locos, and did nothing whatsoever to speed up boarding. Initially there was free seating, then the current system, or something very similar, was tried, with no improvement in boarding times. Then they went to standard seat allocation, which had very little effect either way. I think it would be wiser to remember that there is a lower time limit to pax loading which can never be improved upon, no matter what they may have told you at business school.
Two sets of steps, a prompt release of the pax from the gate or the aircraft and ensuring that there is a working PIG on the stand will do more to ensure quicker turnarounds than faffing about with seat allocations,
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 10:38
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Gatwick trial cuts plane boarding time by 10%

Apparently the trial currently involves Gate 101 at Gatwick's North Terminal.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 10:38
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Smile

Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Though in my experience you will always get passengers fixated on boarding by the forward steps and then fighting their way to the rearmost row.

I've never understood why ground staff seem unable or unwilling to make a simple announcement to the effect that passengers sitting in rows XXX and higher should board via the rear steps. It's not rocket science.
Very true! I think people have just become so used to using air bridges nowadays.

I have been at the gate when such announcements have been made very clearly and some people do take notice, but there's no accounting for human nature!
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 12:56
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The bigger problem is that pax are carrying much more in carry- on bags than ever before, and a lot of these will not fit into the airline's gauge anyway - should any of the ground staff be arsed to police this. the aisles are subsequently jammed with standing pax trying to stuff these aforesaid bags into the overheads.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 14:55
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'Back in the day' Peter Bath of Palmair fame personally supervised the boarding of all his ex BOH flights and called out each row starting from the middle of the aircraft, so absolutely nothing new in this except we did it solely to make the passenger experience better and to avoid any possibility of queuing on wet or icy stairs. Really unsure why something so very obvious is getting so much press puff !!
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 15:37
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Originally Posted by esscee View Post
The wheel goes round and round, nothing new or original at all. No common sense or logical thinking by anyone nowadays. Heaven help us in years to come.

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Old 30th Oct 2019, 17:35
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I cannot believe we are talking about how to board a plane - good grief we been doing it on big holiday planes since the early 60's - And management are putting out press releases and getting TV and Radio air time on this?

Peter Bath will be spinning in his grave and PHSL :P
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 20:30
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I'm just waiting for this:



What could possibly go wrong ?

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Old 30th Oct 2019, 20:34
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Now if Gatwick was able to work out a system to reduce aircraft queuing time by 10% at the runway holding point then that would be more beneficial. Of course to achieve this I suspect runway declared capacity would need to reduce which I don't think is on the cards.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 20:53
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Would have been easier for them to just look at a 5 year old Mythbusters episode which concluded the same;
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 21:54
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The BBC article states they are using screens to give the loading sequence but, as folks have said above - will they be able to police the pax? For some, they will need megaphones and bullwhips.

Many thanks for all the contributions and the videos from nonsense and 737aviator. I certainly agree with the view of front + back loading. When easyJet started we used to have that method most of the time - both at LTn and down route. I found that we could whip round to the back stairs and be seated with bags stowed before the queue reached us. That was because, mostly, people took the first possible rows available.

What I find staggering is that wide body aircraft, often have but a single air bridge. I have often seen a wide-body board one-at-a-time. In September we found that the LHR T3 gate we were at had only one bridge so the 787 loaded this way.

A good challenge for newly qualified MBAs would be to try and implement a new boarding system (any system) at any Italian airport ...
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 22:59
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
I'm confused.

Once passengers have got to the "Prepare" stage, what more do they have to to when they reach "Get Ready" ?

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Old 31st Oct 2019, 05:55
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Its Nonsense - how you just board window seat pax first - Erm what about families with little kids all together - so you just leave little John and Jane at the boarding gate?
Don't worry Darlings, your turn will come - see ya...
and folk travelling with companions (Elderly and grannies ETC)
Oh yes what about the Greeks, Spanish and Italians? They do not get any form of boarding process except stand up and rush forward...

A complete farce - This has even made headlines on SKY and CNN -
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 09:55
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Maybe that's why they put the trial in (gate)Room 101.
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 10:26
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When I was on detachment to Australian Airlines, 30 YEARS AGO, they had thought of it then, they trialled it for a day and then gave it up as a bad job.
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