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Unloading pax by seat row

Old 1st Aug 2022, 16:01
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Unloading pax by seat row

During Covid, there was good reason for cabin crew to allow pax on arrival to exit the aircraft 1 row or a few rows at a time. Even if the medical evidence was sketchy, it allowed an airline to claim it was protecting people from Covid - the public perception was critical, maybe even more so than the medical reality

Now that Govts and the masses seem to have largely stopped caring about Covid, is there still reason to do this ? Adding 5 or 10 mins to turnaround times was fine 12 months ago when fleet and crew utilisation was low, but perhaps not what an airline wants when its fleet and crew are struggling to operate a schedule.

Note - I am not questioning an airline allowing premium class pax to exit on arrival before the peasants in economy.

Earlier today, Easyjet crew's repeated instructions were completely ignored by the bulk of pax on a flight I was on, who seemed in no mood to engage in procedural theatre when masks have largely disappeared from society in Europe.

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 1st Aug 2022 at 16:15.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 17:59
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Good question dj6. I have certainly noticed the almost total abandoning of masks in daily life in the UK, irrespective of the infection rate.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 18:11
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The few times I've done it becuase (we had a really tight turnroad time), unloading pax by seat row was quicker - just takes more organisation/effort than a free for all
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 07:54
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IIRC a few years back someone in the USA published research showing it was faster to load and unload by distance from the aisle . I think it utilises the whole length of the aircraft aisle all the time, not just the front end or something
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 08:05
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Easyjet from MXP to EDI. Speedy boarding was useless as everyone ended up on tow coaches. No mention on mask requirements so people wore them if they wanted to or not .
BA LHR to MXP. Pre flight boarding announcement was that masks would be required as we we traveling to Italy. This was checked as we boarded , then people removed them as they saw fit during the flight. Cabin Crew did not take any action regarding mask wearing so overall a bit confusing,
This flight was the only time I have seen BA not adhere to the boarding group plan, after business it was open to one and all. A nice change for me as I'm usually in Boarding Group 9
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 14:32
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Video discussing the benefits and shortcomings of different boarding sequences:

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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 20:10
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Thank you for posting that nonsense, you saved me the trouble of hunting for it! What we do know is that, almost no matter what instructions are given, most Pax will ignore them ...
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 20:25
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Unlike boarding, when deboarding one has a different situation.
- all pax know exactly where they want to go
- all pax are already in their assigned seat
- pax do not have to find info on their assigned seat
- nobody needs to find a place to put their luggage
- pax are going from somewhere cramped to somewhere with potentially more space. Farts obey Boyle's Law... pax do so as well

If all pax are allowed to get up the second the seatbelt sign is turned off... then you have lots of people retrieving their luggage and putting on their coats *at the same time* - ie we have parallelisation. If pax can stand up only one row at a time, you have to wait for the suitcase retrieval process to be done maybe 30 times in sequence... which translates to longer deboarding and longer turnaround.
Yes, an airlines wants to let pointy class pax off the aircraft first... but why would an airline, particularly a LCC whose business model requires high aircraft utilisation, want to deboard economy class pax a few rows at a time, when they can't claim any sort of Covid moral superiority if nobody is wearing masks ? Longer turnaround times are rarely desired by airline management
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 21:26
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I think you hit the nail on the head with your first post:

Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Earlier today, Easyjet crew's repeated instructions were completely ignored by the bulk of pax on a flight I was on
I can't recall ever being on a flight where, whether instructed or not, passengers only stood up one row at a time. Mostly, people seem to sort themselves out without any intervention from the crew. I've even seen, on more than one occasion, passengers being allowed to exit out of turn if the flight is late and/or they have a tight connection.
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 21:55
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When the junior 25Fs were younger we'd simply wait for everyone else to get off (after they'd spent ten minutes standing in the aisle) - and then we had the space to look around and make the *very* important check that "Bunny" hadn't got lost under or between the seats. But we would still be one pace behind someone else by the time we got to the door.
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 22:45
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If I have checked bags, I remain seated until there is clear open space. If I want to ask a question of the FC, then I might wait longer. This is so not to cause a blockage near the door. I do not usually have to wait long for my bag.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 12:45
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"I can't recall ever being on a flight where, whether instructed or not, passengers only stood up one row at a time. "

I can remember a single occasion - JAL
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 12:54
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On a recent Easyjet flt, passengers were disembarked from the rear seats first, through the fwd door. The announcement from the cc said it was because of 'loading issues'! The pax at the front end were not impressed. I understand the reasons for off loading rear hold cargo first, to stop the C of G moving too far aft but I've never seen the technique used with passengers.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 14:02
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
The few times I've done it becuase (we had a really tight turnroad time), unloading pax by seat row was quicker - just takes more organisation/effort than a free for all
I recently had travel to South Africa, and had a few flights there on one of their low-cost domestic airlines (Kulula), and loading/unloading was notably different than my normal US experience:

Loading:
First class and premium economy loaded via jetway by row. Remainder of economy was called by row and boarded via stairs from the rear door.

Unloading:
Same as above, but they enforced a strict "stay seated until the FA tells you to leave".

It was noticeably more efficient than my typical boarding experience, despite the level of carry-on baggage generally being higher than a lot of my US domestic flights; those overhead bins were packed (primarily since due to high pilferage, the airlines requested that all valuable items come onboard)
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 15:54
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This is from another wed site:
Over the years weíve seen airlines tweak their boarding and deplaning process, in an effort to minimize turn times. After all, maximizing aircraft utilization lets planes generate more revenue. One airline in India is now taking efficient deplaning to a new level.
IndiGo is an Indian low cost carrier thatís growing at a fast pace, with a fleet consisting primarily of Airbus A320-family aircraft. The airline has this week officially announced plans to deplane aircraft via three doors, including the forward left and right door, as well as the rear left door. This new process will initially be deployed in Bengaluru (BLR), Delhi (DEL), and Mumbai (BOM), and will then gradually be extended to other cities.

Itís claimed that it ordinarily takes 13-14 minutes to deplane an Airbus A321. They now expect it will take just 7-8 minutes to deplane.
Any thoughts?
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 18:00
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Sounds ridiculous. Little point in having passengers shuffle towards two exits unless the aisle is double the width, too.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 18:17
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Sounds ridiculous. Little point in having passengers shuffle towards two exits unless the aisle is double the width, too.
Not pointless at all. Many people walk down stairs much more slowly than they walk along flat level surfaces. Think of people carrying a small suitcase, small children, elderly, or other people who are less stable on their feet but don't want an Ambulift. Furthermore, airstairs are typically narrow with little or no room to overtake when carrying luggage - so one person moving very slowly will delay a long queue of people
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 19:15
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Only a very few airlines manage efficient boarding. One being Singapore Airlines calling up passengers by row so they can remain seated until being called up. No lines, no rush just pure perfection even when boarding some A380. The other is Ryanair with sort of rude rules to be respected and strict checkin procedures and deadlines but finally managing a perfect line of passengers to stand "at attention" (children, elderly and handicapped in front) next to the apron glas door before the arriving flight moves in.
I was once told chaos boarding is fastest.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 20:00
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Originally Posted by kaszeta

It was noticeably more efficient than my typical boarding experience, despite the level of carry-on baggage generally being higher than a lot of my US domestic flights; those overhead bins were packed (primarily since due to high pilferage, the airlines requested that all valuable items come onboard)
That would be the easiest way to speed up loading/unloading - get rid of those big carry-on bags.

Furthermore, airstairs are typically narrow with little or no room to overtake when carrying luggage - so one person moving very slowly will delay a long queue of people
Passing people on stairs while carrying luggage?

Last edited by SWBKCB; 5th Aug 2022 at 20:11.
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Old 6th Aug 2022, 00:47
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I vaguely recall an internal PIA flight ~40 years ago where people were standing up to get to the bins - as the wheels hit the tarmac.
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