Why no separate elite boarding line, a la UA Red Carpet?

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by RedM3Pilot, Apr 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. RedM3Pilot
    Original Member

    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    39,358
    Status Points:
    14,425
    I agree...with the following thoughts:

    1. Where do we draw the line on eligibility, i.e., do we allow Silvers, other *Golds, and credit card holders too?
    2. Will the FAs be more vigilant in protecting the FC bins? Pissed off Preferreds who didn't get their upgrade might stow their stuff over Rows 2 and 3 out of spite.
    3. What shall we call it? What color carpet?
     
  2. dcpatti
    Original Member

    dcpatti Silver Member

    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    225
    Status Points:
    385
    I'm one of the few that doesn't care much about having a special lane or carpet; I actually find it a little tacky, depending on which airport, because at some of the UA gates, it's done with such an air of elitism that it's just, well, tacky. What I would really rather see is the GA's enforcing the proper boarding order, and being more vigilant to disperse the pre-boarding crowds.

    A separate lane and a fancy carpet are just another way of reinforcing to some people that they're "special" and face it, there are already enough elites out there with an over-inflated sense of entitlement; if you add a fancy elites-only carpet to it, that's just fuel to the fire. The GA's taking control over the gate area is really what' needed.
     
    viguera and kellio like this.
  3. SS255
    Original Member

    SS255 Silver Member

    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    907
    Status Points:
    770
    Except that the separate boarding lane for elites enables those with tight connections who arrive at the gate after general boarding has commenced to get on the plane and claim their overhead space. I find that to be the most valuable perk of a separate boarding lane.
     
  4. DeacFlyer1
    Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    718
    Status Points:
    675
    I don't need it to be special or fancy or have a carpet or anything like that...honestly, if US would just get overhead monitors that could say "Boarding Zone 1", "Boarding Zone's 1-2" etc, that would probably do the trick. It's just always astounding the number of people you see crowded around the gate with a zone 5 boarding pass. GA's can take control all they want--in fact, I think the US GA's are actually pretty good about turning away people who aren't in the zone being boarded...but that alone is not going to stop the crowding of the gate by folks who are in zone's that aren't boarding at the moment.

    Along the same lines, I wish US would install monitors at their gates like DL and UA have that showed the upgrade/standby lists.
     
    Sean Colahan likes this.
  5. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    I have to agree. It is not so much as an elitism thing, as just a perk for being an elite. You can board first..but if you choose not you can don't have to stand in line with Zone 5 just to get on.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I couldn't agree more. This is what I want the separate line for.

    I arrived in IAH from LGA a couple weeks ago and had only a 45 minute connection on to HNL. CO starts boarding a 764 about 45-50 minutes prior to departure to begin with so I was already "late" for boarding. They were about half-way through coach boarding when I arrived at the gate. I actually had one agent try to tell me that the elite line was closed at that time and that I should head to the back of the line. I stood their dumbfounded and confused (partly because of her comment and partly because of limited sleep to catch a 5:45am flight) until another agent took care of me. Not having to wait an extra 10 minutes in the line at that point allowed me to get my bag stowed and get a drink I much needed from my BF seat.

    United doesn't permit all elites to use the Red carpet so if you are not a 1K nor in F you have to wait if you miss pre-boarding. DL excludes silvers completely, I believe. I happen to prefer the CO approach the most.
     
    mht_flyer, IDGflygirl and SS255 like this.
  7. dcpatti
    Original Member

    dcpatti Silver Member

    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    225
    Status Points:
    385
    When arriving late in the boarding process, I've never had a problem from a GA or another passenger when I've politely shown my Zone 1 BP and stepped to the front of the line. I know some people will be massively ticked off by someone cutting the line but like I said, never been a problem as long as I stay polite and let people know what I'm doing. Unfortunately this relies on the line-cutter having manners :)

    Just saying the lack of a special lane for elites does not mean one cannot get themselves onto the plane in a timely manner even if he/she arrives late.
     
  8. RedM3Pilot
    Original Member

    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    39,358
    Status Points:
    14,425
    Having the special lane, however, leaves less to chance and/or doesn't require us to have to be polite*...and men are generally less likely to be tolerated when "jumping in line."

    *not saying I do not like being polite.
     
    mht_flyer and Sean Colahan like this.
  9. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    How on EARTH do you even get close to cutting the like...you have more guts than I do.
     
    RedM3Pilot likes this.
  10. MikeLaw
    Original Member

    MikeLaw Silver Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    50
    Status Points:
    160
    I'm impressed. I've never done that.
     
  11. dcpatti
    Original Member

    dcpatti Silver Member

    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    225
    Status Points:
    385
    Well, to be honest, I don't do it all that often, once or twice a year if that. Maybe if I did it more often, I'd get yelled at sooner or later? But I honestly don't run that short for connections, either. I don't go out of my way to pick an extremely long connection but if I'm connecting through, say, PHL late on a summer afternoon, I might pad my schedule with a longer connection, knowing how the east coast thunderstorms can make a real mess and how often they pop up in the summertime.

    Most times when I connect, I don;t have to break a sweat to get between gates. But if I do run late, I've got no problem entering the line mid-stream or going right to the front. Like if they're on Zone 2 and I can see the Zone 3's lining up behind them, I'll get in line between the 2's and 3's. And that's pretty much what a separate lane would be--- socially acceptable line-jumping-- so I don't see anything wrong with it.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I'd say that it requires one to not have manners. Cutting to the front of the line is not a benefit to which you are entitled. Decided that you shouldn't have to wait just because you do not want to makes no sense to me. It isn't a benefit that US offers.
    You can, but you shouldn't. There's a difference. :cool:
     
    NE Flyer and viguera like this.
  13. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    I can see that this topic has potential... :)

    A separate lane wouldn't actually be socially acceptable at all... trust me, everyone else is looking at you with murderous eyes. Some people are vocal about it, some are not, and considering we're all going into the same plane, is it really worth it? :)

    So you got there late (your mistake) either because you had a short connection (again, your mistake) or because of some other reason that is really not my fault. If I'm in line, you're going in behind me... that's the way I think about it. :)
     
  14. RedM3Pilot
    Original Member

    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    39,358
    Status Points:
    14,425
    Socially acceptable or not...I've benefited and enjoyed separate lanes on other carriers, at check-in lines, and prior to the TSA ID checks. I really don't care if there are some people shooting daggers. As much as there are those who would like to pretend, we do not live in an egalitarian society.

    US already has elite lanes for check-in and for the ID checks...an elite boarding lane is the logical continuation.
     
    Sean Colahan, secretsea18 and Grace like this.
  15. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Well be that as it may, bottom line is that there's no special carpet for latecomers at the gate. The single lane is the great equalizer. :)

    And yes, I'm probably not only the guy yelling at you to get in line, but I'm also the one that's gonna say something to you once I get on the plane. :)

    But don't mind me, I just find the whole discussion fascinating and I like to instigate. I have no problem boarding when it's my time, whether that's priority boarding or not. But if you're late to the party and you wanna get a piece of cake before me (and I've been waiting my turn), you better believe I'm going to say something.
     
  16. RedM3Pilot
    Original Member

    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    39,358
    Status Points:
    14,425
    Good discussion...and we really don't have a disagreement. I'd really like to see the elite boarding late so that I don't have to wait in line behind Zone 2s and above. And that's because if I do get there late for boarding, I will not cut in line because I'm holding Zone 1 and/or in FC.
     
    Wandering Aramean likes this.
  17. dcpatti
    Original Member

    dcpatti Silver Member

    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    225
    Status Points:
    385
    Interesing discussion (and reactions) indeed. So the airline says Priority Boarding is an elite benefit but the general concensus is that if there's not a separate lane, it's not "fair" or not good manners to promote yourself to the front of the line (or the little break in the line where one zone ends and the next begins, as many times folks do hang back just a bit while a lower zone boards but still form what's more or less a line). No matter how it's handled--- cut in line or separate lane, the end result is the same: the elite can walk up late and still get onto the plane before all those folks who've been patiently queuing, and the elite will probably be given the stink-eye in the process. So what is it about the separate lane that makes it OK to sail to the front of the queue? Is it just because the other passengers can see there's something different about you and are less likely to send out the stink-eye? Because the end result really is the same: I'm in front of you.

    On the flip side, if it's not fair to others to jump in line when boarding late and holding a Zone 1/FC BP, does it become any more fair by the presence of a separate line?

    I'm very curious to see what people say here!
     
  18. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    I think it's interesting because I think most people eyeball "VIPs" with the stink-eye regardless. And seriously, one of the reasons you can't make much fuss from the premium side of the velvet rope with US Airways is because you can simply buy your way into elitism for less than a decent dinner at a premium restaurant in NYC. :)

    But it probably has something to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, we're all getting on the same plane. Maybe I'll get a bit better service or get to disembark 30 seconds before the next guy, but I've never felt that was enough reason to be snobbish or cut in front of someone in a wheelchair just because I value that precious overhead bin.

    It would be interesting if airlines could somehow manage VIPs in the same way that some hotels do when it comes to boarding. Hell, in Vegas you might not even be on the same floor with the crowds (the MGM does a great job of this) and depending on whether you want to be truly unique (staying at a Skyloft) you check in upstairs in your room, after they give you a ride to the hotel in the Maybach.
     
  19. DeacFlyer1
    Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    718
    Status Points:
    675
    I'm not sure that we're flying the same airline here...I can't remember the last time I've seen a "line" for US boarding. It's more a mass of people converging on a loosely defined point in space in the general vicinity of the boarding door. You've got people merging into a "line" from about eight different points all at one time, or so it seems. There really never appears to actually be a line until you're about 5 feet from the GA.
     
    Sean Colahan, Grace and SS255 like this.
  20. DeacFlyer1
    Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    718
    Status Points:
    675
    This is always what I want to say to the people who are standing right by the desk, in front of the door, 25-30 minutes before the plane is even ready to board. I always just want to ask them if they're worried they're not going to get a seat? It is pretty crazy sometimes.

    I really do think a lot of it comes down to overhead bin space. If I could be guaranteed that I would have overhead space for my rollaboard, I would be the last person on the plane, every single time. There's no way that I want to sit on the plane an extra 20 minutes (especially if I'm in coach) on top of a 5 hour flight...but you're almost forced to sometimes to try to get space. When I'm on express flights where all bags are gate checked, I'm always the last one on.
     
    viguera likes this.
  21. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I disagree with this entirely. Nowhere does anything say you have the right to cut in the queue. You've simply assigned yourself that benefit because you decided you should have it. You are certainly welcome to believe that "priority boarding" means that you just walk to the door regardless of whomever else is in line, but I believe that is just plain wrong.

    Because you are not pushing others out of the way.

    Yes. Just like it is fair to use the 10 items or less line in the grocery when you have only 3 things but it is not cool to push in front of the other folks who are queued in the regular lanes.
     
  22. SS255
    Original Member

    SS255 Silver Member

    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    907
    Status Points:
    770
    I personally find CO's separate boarding lane for elites to be much more orderly than the US boarding method. You would think that it would not make that much of a difference, whatever the reality may be, it just FEELS more orderly.
     
    IDGflygirl and RedM3Pilot like this.
  23. Grace
    Original Member

    Grace Silver Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    500
    It is all about the customers you with to attract. at the end of the day US Airways claims to be a Low Cost Carrier (hence the stock ticker).

    I do like them much better than AirTran, but I also paid a lot less for the filth of AirTran.
     
  24. RedM3Pilot
    Original Member

    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    39,358
    Status Points:
    14,425
    Although it would seem that they're weaning themselves away from trying to be WN as of late.
     
  25. Grace
    Original Member

    Grace Silver Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    500
    Maybe I haven't been paying as much attention recently, but I don't remember Doug Parker starting too many more sprints to the bottom.
     

Share This Page