Finally Here's The Real Reason Why Airlines Board Use The Annoying Zone Boarding System

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    http://www.businessinsider.com/airline-zone-system-2011-6

    If you've ever flown coach, then you know the feeling of standing in a mob of Zone 4 ticketholders while the flight attendant repeats for the tenth time: "Now boarding all passengers in Zone 1."
    One assumes it would be faster to board the passengers who are waiting at the gate, rather than wait for the last remaining Zone 1 passenger to return from Starbucks.
    And it really is faster to board randomly -- 5 to 10% faster according to American Airlines. The results of an inhouse study were cited earlier this summer when American abandoned the standard back-to-front seating protocol in favor of random seating.

    So why do most airlines insist on the zone boarding system?
    Because the random method involves more work for flight attendants, who must prepare the plane for takeoff faster and begin seating sooner.

    The Assn. of Professional Flight Attendants disagrees [with the American Airline study]. It contends the process has created "complete chaos" among passengers, forcing attendants to spend more time preparing the plane for takeoff. The attendants are irked, it says, because they are not paid for the extra time needed to load the plane.
    "We understand it needs to be tweaked a little," said Jeff Pharr, a spokesman for the flight attendants union.

     
    jbcarioca, Horse, NYBanker and 3 others like this.
  2. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,268
    Likes Received:
    7,778
    Status Points:
    6,770
    I don't believe it.
     
    jbcarioca and savydog like this.
  3. savydog
    Original Member

    savydog Gold Member

    Messages:
    34,689
    Likes Received:
    234,029
    Status Points:
    20,020
    meldrew.jpg

    (Explanation below for those that do not know :))
     
    jbcarioca, sobore and Chimpy like this.
  4. savydog
    Original Member

    savydog Gold Member

    Messages:
    34,689
    Likes Received:
    234,029
    Status Points:
    20,020
    One Foot in the Grave

    This classic British sitcom followed the misfortunes of cantankerous old grouch Victor Meldrew as he railed against the injustices of the world around him.

    In each episode Victor's ever-simmering temper at the unfairness of it all boils over into a vitriolic rant, occasionally preceded by his immortal catchphrase "I don't believe it!"
     
    jbcarioca, sobore and Chimpy like this.
  5. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I was at the meeting when management agreed that this would be the best plan. ;)
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  6. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I believe that. I also believe it would be faster randomly than from front to back. Back to front might be faster yet, but nobody seems to excited about that, probably because the overhead bins would fill up front to rear anyway. A number of shuttle operators load in a totally random way and seem to load very quickly.

    I wonder how many practical studies have been made on this issue? There have been countless ones for offloading and emergency offloading has specific standards and proofs during certification. I recall much less attention paid to loading procedures.
     
    savydog, sobore and NYBanker like this.
  7. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Though not something likely to be implemented, when the liquids scare first came to light, essentially all hand luggage was banned on flights out of lhr. While it caused some heavy strain on the baggage systems, boarding itself was significantly streamlined. I recall boarding a 747 out of lhr and having the entire boarding process taking about 25 minutes for a fairly full flight.

    This obviously had less to do with process and more to do with volumes of carry on...but amazing to see the difference.

    Memo to WN: if you banned carry ons, you could turn your planes much faster.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  8. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    There is a 5 kg carryon limit in Brazil, unevenly enforced except for shuttles where it is usually quite rigid. Boarding is always random and fast. There is always plenty of overhead space too. Some people, including milepointers, have become adept at betting seats in the front and emulating the most refined gate lice, so I am usually among the first on and first off (FIFO works fine for inventory IMO, if I am the inventory in question). Flights rarely require more than 15 minutes for loading.

    That has nothing to do with being on time BTW, that is not so assured as the loading is.
     
    NYBanker likes this.
  9. Grace
    Original Member

    Grace Silver Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    500
    And now we've come full circle with many US airlines charging for checked bags making more people carry on.
     
    jbcarioca and sobore like this.
  10. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,268
    Likes Received:
    7,778
    Status Points:
    6,770
    Cantankerous old grouch. How apt.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  11. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    A friend who works for a different airline told me they did a pilot study on boarding processes, and they also found that its fastest to board with the "all-aboard" cattle call. The reason, they concluded, was that the people tended to end up ordered in line by how desperately they needed overhead bin space, so the problem of how to most efficiently pack the overhead bins sorted itself out. You completely avoided the two or three Zone 5 people with a huge rollaboard wandering up and down the aisle looking for space to stick their bags.

    However, the "sorting itself out" process was rather chaotic and stressful (both for employees and passengers), and it just looked bad so they went back to a semi-ordered system.
     
    NYBanker and jbcarioca like this.
  12. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    That makes sense
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,503
    Likes Received:
    20,197
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Has the union explained why they think it create more work? If it's on average faster, which should be easily measurable, then it should be less work.
     

Share This Page