Elite Boarding lane test

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Aug 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    I happened to wander over to the "other site" today for the first time in a couple months (I almost forgot it still exists!), and saw a thread talking about how US tested elite boarding lanes in PHX for about a week earlier in August (see link to photo from US employee who posted it on that thread: www.flickr.com/photos/56197276@N02/6018930908).

    I don't normally double post here and there, but seeing as I hadn't heard about this until now, I'm thinking some folks here haven't either...Bottom line, it sounds like the airline solicited feedback from people who traveled on flights where they boarded using the "Fastpath" lane, and now it has to pass the "Beancounter/Excel spreadsheet" test...i.e., is the money that it would cost to implement going to be worth doing it?

    I just wrote the preferred line and told them my feelings about seeing this permanently implemented, so if others feel the same way and you haven't heard about this or done anything, write an email/letter/make a phone call!
     
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  2. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    I like it, I hope it works out for them and they find it worth while to implement.
     
  3. DeacFlyer1
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    I just read (again, on that other site where I still occasionally find myself) from a US employee who posts there (same one who posted the picture linked in the first post) that US is going ahead with a two-lane boarding process starting in February, system-wide. Will apparently be called "priority access." Those are all the details that seem to be out there right now.

    If true, I think it's great--I always enjoy seeing US finally do things that are standard operating procedure at the other major US airlines.
     
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  4. Sean Colahan
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    Me likey!
     
  5. bna_based

    bna_based Silver Member

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    I hope it is true! I was in CLT in December when they were run a test and LOVED it!
     
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  6. Gulfstream 550

    Gulfstream 550 Silver Member

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    Even flying First this past week out of PHX, everyone crushed into the priority lane at the gate. Maybe soon the culture will change.
     
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  7. Dreamworks

    Dreamworks Gold Member

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    Saw this in use in PHL. I think it will be great for most elites who arrive after general boarding has begun, but it won't do anything to fix the gate lice problem.
     
  8. DeacFlyer1
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    I don't know how you solve the gate lice problem, without doing something extreme. I'd really like to see airlines implement some sort of new software for the computers the gate agents use, something that goes like this:

    • When boarding begins, the gate agent clicks a button on the computer corresponding to the first boarding zone (in this example, clicking "button 1" indicates boarding for first class).
    • Until the next button is clicked ("button 2" for zone 1, for example), the scanner/computer will actually reject/not be allowed to scan any boarding pass with a seat assignment that doesn't fall within the parameters of the current boarding group
    • When that boarding group is finished, the GA will click the next group on the computer, which will allow anyone with a boarding pass in the next group to have their boarding pass scanned
    Maybe if something like this were implemented, and it forced gate agents to turn people away if they try to board ahead of their group, people would stop trying to crowd the gate.

    The other option is for every airline to do boarding like WN does, where people just have a pre-assigned spot in line. This is actually one of the things I really like about WN...they really don't have a gate lice problem, because everyone knows that crowding the gate before boarding does you no good.

    Both pipe dreams probably, but just my two cents...
     
  9. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    I really would love to see more airlines adopt this. Plus the airlines could do what WN does and sell automatic check in to get you an earlier spot in line. It could be something like F boards in front of all zones. Then elites are in A group, order by check in time. And lastly B and C are the rest of the plane ordered by check in.

    More and more I really think the problem are the elites. A good number of zone 1 thinks they are the most important person around and need to be first. Then everyone else feels they need to do the same or else they'll get left behind at the back of the pack. Line numbers like WN would stop this for the most part.

    Some day...
     
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  10. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I actually like option 1 better because I think (in part) the problem is that gate agents quite frankly can't be bothered with policing people some times, and I can understand why. People in the line are on their way out -- and hence out of their hair -- and who has the time or energy to get into a confrontation at that point?

    The WN approach works but it's not without its faults, and quite frankly nothing prevents somebody from getting in "the wrong line" and having a confrontation with the gate agent when you get to the scanner.

    I think if the system was reworked so that the gate agent was unable to scan the boarding pass for the wrong zone, it would solve the problem altogether. Either people would be shamed into "getting to the back of the line" or a good shrug from the agent saying "there's nothing I can do, your pass won't scan" and shift things back towards the offending passenger to avoid a confrontation.
     
  11. Dreamworks

    Dreamworks Gold Member

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    I agree though. It's not the first class, it's all the elites in Zones 1 and 2 who are the worst. The odd thing is that except on certain few routes, the vast majority of the plane and the overhead space is Zones 3-5.
     
  12. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    I like your idea.
     
  13. DeacFlyer1
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    Experienced the dual-boarding lanes in action for the first time today. It was deployed in CLT (I don't think it was there a week ago when I was last there), and then also used it in PHX. I'm not sure if it was a direct result of this, but there did seem to be fewer non-First/Zone 1 folks huddled around the gate before boarding started.

    The true test will be using it once you've missed the early zone boarding, but so far, seems good.
     
  14. Sean Colahan
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    I just had an experience in CLT where they had the lanes but didn't use them. I purposely waited to not board with Zone 1 (as my boarding pass stated) so I could give the lane a try. They called Zone 2 (no mention of priority lane). Then they boarded Zone 3 and no mention of Priority lane and they still had it closed off. Realizing this I quickly jumped into the Zone 3 line to board as it looked like they weren't using the Priority lane:-( I was wondering if it was just for decoration.
     
  15. phlwookie
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    phlwookie Silver Member

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    It's not consistently used yet. I went through CLT four times last week, though, and it was used three of those four times.

    Signs are up at most if not all PHL B/C gates, but I haven't seen it in use yet. Haven't been over to A in the past few weeks, but F didn't have them as of a few days ago.
     
  16. mladden

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    F had them today but did not look like they were using them.
     
  17. bna_based

    bna_based Silver Member

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    If I wanted to be treated like cattle, I would fly on WN! As a Chairman, I have paid my dues (both time and $$$).
     
  18. chz2215

    chz2215 Silver Member

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    PHX is my home airport and I have noticed improvement since they implemented this. I hope it is expanded to all airports quickly.
     
  19. phlwookie
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    phlwookie Silver Member

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    Signs and lanes were being set up at DCA yesterday.
     
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  20. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Now we just need an Elite/First Class security line and we are set!
     
  21. DeacFlyer1
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    It is shocking that there isn't an elite/F security line for the North pier at DCA...
     
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  22. phlwookie
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    Indeed. That's probably my biggest frustration about originating from DCA.
     
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