Carry On Luggage the Key to Faster Boarding

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jan 21, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Winter storms kicking off the start of the year have seen hundreds of flights canceled across the state. They may not be able to control the weather, but researchers in upstate New York have developed a method that could relieve some of the hassles of air travel, making boarding quicker and easier.
    All airlines seem to do it differently. Some budget carriers like to charge extra for the privilege of boarding first, while others prefer a free-for-all scramble for the best seat.

    Either way, Clarkson University researchers think they have a strategy that could see passengers seated a whole 3 percent faster.

    Lead researcher R. John Milne says it all comes down to finding that elusive spot for your carry-on.

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  2. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    I don't see how this could work. Pax are more concerned with the location of their seats (ie) front of the plane or exit rows, than they are their carryon. Carryon is secondary, until they board of course. Besides what about the last-minute shopper who brings everything but the kitchen sink? He's thrown the whole algorithm out the window. IMHO the airlines screwed up when they started charging for checked luggage. Again, IMHO if they want to "fix" boarding they ought to charge for carryon. Now let me put my thick skin on...
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  3. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I don't see the need for thick skin... I think most people would at least somewhat agree. There are probably more measures they can take as well and a "carry on" would have to be better defined, but I think charging, at least for the huge ones which take up several spots, would make a big difference.
  4. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    This all looks great in computer models and the lab but I agree with @FetePerfection, there's just no way this would work in the real world. I'm sure half or more of occasional travelers have no idea how many bags they will bring until they leave for the airport... and this process is impossible without the airline having that knowledge at least 6-8 hours in advance... and then you'll have a lot of resistance from people who don't want to get a random seat assignment at the gate based on how many pairs of underwear they packed, myself included.

    I'm not trying to bash the researcher but in all these studies everyone looks at a perfect model and doesn't include the things that we always discuss on this board when talking about boarding an aircraft: idiots with too many bags who block the aisle while they arrange their tray table so the chi is exactly the same as their office with the rock fountain in the right corner and the pens in the left...........

    Personally I think they need to make checked bag fees a function of how far the bag is traveling. I feel $20-25 is perfectly reasonable to check a bag from LAX-JFK or ANC-ORD, but charging the same $25 for LAX-SFO isn't fair. This is primarily about fuel and handling, right? Charge a scaling fee where the farther the bag goes the more you charge with $10 for short flights and a cap of $25-30 for longer flights. This could possibly result in the same amount of revenue but much higher *perceived value* for customers, making them more likely to check their bags and speeding up boarding.

    FWIW on my flight to Hawaii last Friday (OAK-KOA on AS) there were almost no carry-on bags in the bins but we departed with just 4 empty seats. They started boarding at 40" to departure and we were ready to go 20" prior to departure. I'm sure the lack of roll-aboard bags greatly contributed to the speed of boarding. I think people are more than willing to check bags for $20-25 each for a 5 hour flight. (Although thank-you AA PLT for the 6 bags we got free!! :D)
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