Gate Lice And The Associated Loathing...

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by garyst16, Oct 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

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    OK, so I understand the term, but guess I am missing something here... Why all the loathing and name calling for those that feel the need to line up before the GA makes their announcement? With everyone carrying on more and more because of the airline's greed over checked baggage, OH space has become a premium and those that are unfortunate to board toward the end are indeed lucky to find available space...

    So why all the disrespect for those that want to ensure they have room for their carry ons? Why the degrading comments? Why the arrogance? This kind of talk and degradation reminds me of TOBB...
     
  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Amen, brother.

    They say it's love that makes the world go around, but I really think it's hate. Most people need to have someone to hate, or at least to look down on.
     
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  3. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I think there are other causes -- like not enough comfortable seats in the waiting area, plus a lot of sitting coming up and if you're changing planes.....

    Just wonder what would happen if they let the people in coach with large carry on's (like roller bags) board first.

    <lol>

    DTWBOB
     
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  4. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I think the problem is not with the people who line up as much as with the general clogging of the area near the gate. If you are lined up properly, there is plenty of room for everyone with priority boarding (now at least half the plane) to get by. But if you are just "near" the front of the line, you do interfere with smooth boarding. Those are the lice.
     
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  5. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    If the biggest carry-ons were forced to go on last, fewer passengers would have to gate-check. Improving overall service for more...Obviously not possible in our over-entitled elite based system.
     
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  6. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    I agree w/this. If you're standing near the gate with an F ticket then that's not lice, but when you're blocking the path and you're in the last boarding group then you have a lice situation.

    I don't have any bile toward them, but my favorite person on every flight is the F passenger who HAS TO BE the first person on the plane.

    On another note, the wife and I usually find empty seats and place our carry-ons on them and stand until it's time to board. We're going to be sitting down for a while anyway most probably.
     
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  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    woops, I meant w/o large carry on.... i.e. nothing goes in the overhead.

    DTWBOB
     
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  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    If you think of someone as a louse I have to say, pretty much by definition, that you have bile towards them.

    Do I wish that tourists in New York would not stand in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures or refer to maps, thus impeding my walking? Yes. Does that make then tourist lice? No.
     
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  9. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Truthfully I don't care enough to argue with the humorless on this so yeah, you're right. My bile cup runneth over.
     
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  10. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I agree that constructive conversations tend to be easier to have when negative characterizations are left out. However, we have all at some time seen GAs lose control of lines with the most aggressive jumping in impolitely. We wouldn't be human if we didn't think extremely rude thoughts at those individuals.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    That's my understanding as well... and unfortunately I've had more than my fair share of experiences having to almost elbow past people that don't understand that it's my turn to board, not theirs.

    So maybe I have status, or maybe I'm flying F, or maybe I have a baby with a stroller (or all three :) ). Regardless, there are plenty of times that I'll get to the gate just in time for priority boarding to start, and there's 4-5 lines converging into another 2 lines of people, none of which are in the current boarding group, blocking access for everyone else.

    And there are worse things than gate lice... like the people that board early and they know they're on row 25 but leave their carry-on in the overhead for row 5.
     
  12. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    This is one reason why I believe WN's system is better prior to boarding. Legacy carriers could modify it to keep zones, but have a zone + another code like WN does with position numbers. I realize that they do it because there aren't seat assignments, but it really does clear the general boarding area.

    Personally, I think the carpet for elites and going left instead of right of the barrier is rather dumb, and would venture a guess that elites really don't care about whether they walk on that rug that says elites and whether non-elites walk on it or not. They just want the first class experience they used to receive and to get on the plane without having to run over a bunch of kids and other people who are just standing and milling around waiting for their turn.
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Do you mean the line-hoppers or the gate agents? There are certainly people who deliberately try to push their way somewhere they're not entitled to be but I think that's a minority of the people who get categorized into the "louse" category. And most gate agents don't even seem to try to enforce the rules although, as I lay out below, I think it's probably not reasonable to expect them to do so.

    No orderly boarding policy is going to work unless:
    1. It's enforced. I've rarely seen anyone turned away for line jumping.
    2. It's enforceable. Checking whether someone is on the right line when they're already at the scanner so that they really can't be turned back without forcing everyone else out of line doesn't work.
    3. The boarding area is separate from the waiting area. It's simply too easy to wind up near the gate and it's not reasonable to expect people not to be in that area.
    4. The process is comprehensible. Many infrequent fliers can't find their "zone" on their boarding pass and don't understand how it relates to boarding.
    What might a reasonable, enforceable policy look like?
    First off, the entrance to the priority boarding line should be separated from regular boarding. That could possibly be done by running that line behind the gate desk. It might also require rethinking the layout of the gate area.

    If possible, the boarding passes should be color coded. That's much easier for people to understand ("we're boarding green and yellow please") and it's much easier to have a "gatekeeper" at the entrance to the boarding line turning people away. You could even have a Whole Foods type lane control sign over each lane entrance showing who can use that lane. You could extend this so that different parts of the gate area would have lit-up color signs that would show where you should be standing at any given time for optimal sorting and boarding of passengers (that is, passengers with an orange boarding card should all be standing over here ->).
    With people printing boarding passes at home, it's harder to control whether they can have a color bar on them or not. You can get around this by printing the name of the color in very large letters in white text in the color bar (so a green boarding pass printed on a black-and-white printer would say GREEN in a black bar) or by going to some other easily-understandable proxy for colors (names of animals, sports teams, whatever). Just, for heaven's sake, not another meaningless number.
     
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  14. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    My most common boarding problems have been somewhat preventable or at least foreseeable with UA boarding full aircraft that accomodate 175+ passengers at gates designed 25 years ago for aircraft with 125 passengers (and smaller load factors).
    Further, they sometimes compound the problem by boarding multiple aircraft simultaneously right next to each other. I once had the marvelous experience of trying to board a 757 flight at gate 136 in EWR while another 757 loaded at gate 137 and a 737 was at gate 135 - all scheduled to depart within a period of about 20 minutes and all going to Florida destinations (including Orlando). It was bedlam. If you know that corner of EWR you know that they cannot peacefully board two aircraft there much less three with many children as passengers.:eek:
    If they could manage to include in the boarding process some thought on the infrastructure of the gate, many of these problems would be reduced.
     
  15. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Better enforcement but also much better communication. I think it unlikely that the physical infrastructure can be changed much. I like the idea of color coding the BPs - make them more visible.
     
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  16. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I think this thread has moved from the original question "Why all the loathing towards travelers around the boarding area" to "What's wrong with the boarding process".

    I propose starting a new thread "Let's redesign the boarding process so it actually works."

    Good idea?
     
  17. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Most good conversations evolve. But I also think that when the process itself is flawed, though obviously it works well enough to keep things moving, behavior is affected in a way that can make us all less civil.
     
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  18. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    When I've seen folks in the priority access line w/a boarding group higher than '1' (like '5'), I will sometimes casually comment to the person next to me (also a '1' b grp) how surprising it is that 'some folks can't read numbers'!;):p
     
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  19. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    At times I'm one of them, but not for the reasons implied. On occasion, I weave my way into this area simply to hear the boarding/delay announcements. Since I'm deaf in one ear and failing in the other, I often find myself a little lost when it comes to delays, length of delays and other assorted announcements that can come up at the gate area.

    ALSO, it's refreshing to know that the topic is not a major one here on Milepoint, in fact this is only the second time ever that gate lice has been the topic of a thread and the other thread is very casual and not a commentary. Let's keep it this way and understand that we can respect our fellow traveler, and actually help contribute to new boarding ideas as suggested.
     
  20. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    If it wasn't for the overhead space issue I always thought the airlines should always board the planes from back to front which just makes the best sense. My favorite is the SW boardings at Bob Hope where everyone in A is all going up the front stairs on the tarmac while the B group literally runs to the rear stairs to beat half of them to the best seats and overhead storage. Too funny.
     
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  21. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Agree, that the overhead bin/space issue is relevant. I find that just like with the TSA screening process where lots of (probably infrequent) travelers do not 'prepare' (anticipate taking out liquids, laptops, etc.) ahead of time, -- there are folks that take up a lot of time getting 'situated' (taking items out of their carry-ons & then struggling to get said carry-ons into overhead bins -- all while standing in the aisles), -- making it difficult for any other pax to proceed. It makes no difference where they are seated (window, aisle, middle), since the overhead bins can only be accessed from the aisle!
     
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  22. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    What I am reading here is that the boarding process may be annoying, but that's all it is. Better communication clearly could make the process better and there may be some simple improvements that MPers could come up with. Most gates were designed a long time ago when the planes, security, passengers and economics were different.
    IME getting rude doesn't make anything better.
     
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  23. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    I agree.

    If such characterizations are going to be allowed, let create names for elites who crowd the podium and pester GAs for upgrades and the DYKWIAs who try to bully their way into airline clubs when lacking any basis for access.
     
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  24. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Gate lice..... I wonder who coined this term.....

    :eek:
     
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  25. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    wow, this thread occupies the top 2 spots on the 'trending' list!:confused:
     
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