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Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:23 pm UTC
by Chen
And all that said, the different methods didn't really change the time all that dramatically. Changing carry-on vs checked bag rules would probably be FAR more effective in reducing that time.

Realistically this would come at customer's cost in that they'd likely start charging for carry-ons. Realistically people should get a weight allowance and have to pay if it's over that, regardless of whether its carry on or checked luggage or, more controversially, the person themselves.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
by ucim
Chen wrote:Realistically people should get a weight allowance and have to pay if it's over that,
Why weight? The delay is due to bulk, not weight, and the two are not well correlated (especially when one is encouraged to put the heaviest things in carryon so that one's luggage doesn't go over the limit). The break point is the overhead bin. Stuff that goes under the seat (and interferes with where the cramped passenger can put their feet) is easy, even if it weighs a ton.

And an unaddressed issue is passengers who, after reaching their seat, need to go to the bathroom, get water, or for any other reason need to buck the line. If we're charging fees to save a few minutes, maybe a $20 fine for turning around would be in order.

Jose

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:13 pm UTC
by Ranbot
Chen wrote:And all that said, the different methods didn't really change the time all that dramatically. Changing carry-on vs checked bag rules would probably be FAR more effective in reducing that time.

Realistically this would come at customer's cost in that they'd likely start charging for carry-ons...


Realistically, customers hate being charged for things they think should be or are accustomed to being free (rightly or wrongly) and may choose fly on another carrier.

Logic, mathematics, and engineering are wonderfully efficient, until you add an irrational human to the mix. :lol:

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:27 pm UTC
by Zohar
There's nothing irrational about not wanting to pay for something you believe isn't right, and trying to find ways to avoid it.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:30 pm UTC
by Chen
ucim wrote:
Chen wrote:Realistically people should get a weight allowance and have to pay if it's over that,
Why weight? The delay is due to bulk, not weight, and the two are not well correlated (especially when one is encouraged to put the heaviest things in carryon so that one's luggage doesn't go over the limit). The break point is the overhead bin. Stuff that goes under the seat (and interferes with where the cramped passenger can put their feet) is easy, even if it weighs a ton.

And an unaddressed issue is passengers who, after reaching their seat, need to go to the bathroom, get water, or for any other reason need to buck the line. If we're charging fees to save a few minutes, maybe a $20 fine for turning around would be in order.


That was more of an aside of overall airfair costs. It didn't really have to do with the delay factor directly. Right now cabin delays are longer because checked bags generally cost money and carry on don't. So people cram as much into carry on as possible which does increase the boarding time (because more people have more carry on).

My point about weight was that the overall cost structure for airfare should be based on weight carried since that's what drives the actual cost to the airline. They charge by bag instead both to make it easier on the customer (not having to precisely calculate weight of everything) but presumably also because they can less transparently get more money that way. Any bag I check below a certain weight costs the same. And then there's overages for overweight items.

Ranbot wrote:Realistically, customers hate being charged for things they think should be or are accustomed to being free (rightly or wrongly) and may choose fly on another carrier.

Logic, mathematics, and engineering are wonderfully efficient, until you add an irrational human to the mix. :lol:


Carriers are already starting to charge for carry on luggage. Just like certain carriers started with charging for checked luggage. It'll move to the point where there are no alternatives because they'll all be charging for carry on anyways.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:09 pm UTC
by Ranbot
Zohar wrote:There's nothing irrational about not wanting to pay for something you believe isn't right, and trying to find ways to avoid it.

It is irrational when people's beliefs make an entire system inefficient, slower, and more expensive for everyone involved (including the person trying to avoid paying for something).

If there's one take-away from this entire discussion is there absolutely are policies and procedures that can make airline travel better, faster, and cheaper for everyone, passengers and airlines, alike. But we can't implement those systems because they can't accommodate for the unexpected and irrational things people do and believe.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:20 pm UTC
by Zohar
How is someone wanting to find a cheaper flight going to make the system inefficient? I was remarking on your (rightful) assertion that people would look for cheaper alternatives. There's nothing irrational about that...

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:48 pm UTC
by arbiteroftruth
Ranbot wrote:Realistically, customers hate being charged for things they think should be or are accustomed to being free (rightly or wrongly) and may choose fly on another carrier.

Logic, mathematics, and engineering are wonderfully efficient, until you add an irrational human to the mix. :lol:


That's not so hard to address. Don't charge for carry-ons. Offer a discount to people willing to waive their carry-on privileges.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:44 pm UTC
by Thesh
Ditch the overhead bins entirely. If you want carry on, make sure it fits under the seat in front of you. In my experience, most of the time spent waiting is spent waiting on people dealing with the overhead bins.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:48 pm UTC
by ucim
Chen wrote:My point about weight was that the overall cost structure for airfare should be based on weight carried since that's what drives the actual cost to the airline.
I don't think that's true at all. It's a bit cheaper to fly an empty plane across the country, but not much. It's pretty much a fixed cost. Handling passengers and luggage is a cost; that's by the piece. Both weight and volume are hard limits, thus scarce, but volume is easier to charge for, and that's what airlines charge for in first class. Individual heavy bags increase the chance of injury (to handlers), but overall, it's the number of bags that is most responsible for handling issues, not the total weight.

Weight and balance are important to aircraft safety and control; this is evident in smaller airplanes because there's less flexibility in loading. But the law of large numbers favors airliners here.

Ranbot wrote:It is irrational when people's beliefs make an entire system inefficient, slower, and more expensive for everyone involved (including the person trying to avoid paying for something).
When I fly, I am not interested in contributing to the overall efficiency of the system. I'm interested in the result. For me. Even if it's more efficient to take the train, I'm willing to sacrifice that to go somewhere fast.

arbiteroftruth wrote:That's not so hard to address. Don't charge for carry-ons. Offer a discount to people willing to waive their carry-on privileges.
You do know that those are the same thing, don't you? Well, I suppose the difference is in the price that would be (legally) advertised, which would include the built-in charge for carry-ons.

Actually, JetBlue does something like this for checked luggage. There are three levels of fares, and they include (or don't include) bennies like free checked luggage. It's mostly a wash, except for the times when the misleading advertising traps you.

Thesh wrote:Ditch the overhead bins entirely. If you want carry on, make sure it fits under the seat in front of you. In my experience, most of the time spent waiting is spent waiting on people dealing with the overhead bins.
Except that overhead bins are extremely useful; far more so than the five minutes saved.

Jose

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:32 pm UTC
by arbiteroftruth
ucim wrote:
arbiteroftruth wrote:That's not so hard to address. Don't charge for carry-ons. Offer a discount to people willing to waive their carry-on privileges.
You do know that those are the same thing, don't you?


Of course. I was addressing the argument that irrational humans would rebel against being charged for carry-ons. You get around that by rephrasing the exact same deal in a manner that doesn't offend the irrational thought process. Suddenly you're not the airline charging an unfair fee; you're the airline offering a special discount!

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:23 pm UTC
by bantler
ucim wrote:
Chen wrote:My point about weight was that the overall cost structure for airfare should be based on weight carried since that's what drives the actual cost to the airline.
I don't think that's true at all. It's a bit cheaper to fly an empty plane across the country, but not much. It's pretty much a fixed cost. ..


It takes roughly a gallon of jet fuel to move 100 pounds on a domestic flight (at an industry average price of $3.05 a gallon).
Weight-costs add up quickly and multiply out to millions $ per year.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:41 pm UTC
by Thesh
Technology: You sit down in the terminal, put your carry-on luggage into an overhead locker, and then the whole shebang is motorized and moves into the plane on its own. It doesn't matter where you sit, you can do it in the open where there's no congestion.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:13 am UTC
by DaBigCheez
Thesh wrote:Technology: You sit down in the terminal, put your carry-on luggage into an overhead locker, and then the whole shebang is motorized and moves into the plane on its own. It doesn't matter where you sit, you can do it in the open where there's no congestion.

So then to retrieve it, what, you have to essentially go through the baggage-claim-carousel process on board your flight, which many people opt to not check bags specifically to avoid?

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:05 am UTC
by Thesh
Presumably, it would open when you got off the plane.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:58 am UTC
by Tyndmyr
Thesh wrote:Ditch the overhead bins entirely. If you want carry on, make sure it fits under the seat in front of you. In my experience, most of the time spent waiting is spent waiting on people dealing with the overhead bins.


This is probably true, but is not due inherently to the nature of overhead bins, but rather, people who bring large luggage, and overall too many carry-ons for the plane. If folks do two carry ons, plus exempt items like bulky coats and purses, the carry on room is quickly filled, and folks are left trying to wedge bags into areas that are clearly not big enough. Then, during flight, they shift, and people have to get their bag from that one spot they found ten seats against the flow of traffic afterward...

I think it's addressable without removing overhead bins. Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:45 am UTC
by ucim
bantler wrote:It takes roughly a gallon of jet fuel to move 100 pounds on a domestic flight (at an industry average price of $3.05 a gallon).
Weight-costs add up quickly and multiply out to millions $ per year.
So, with those numbers, a 200 pound person with ninety pounds of luggage costs less than nine dollars. Pee change.

Thesh wrote:Presumably, it would open when you got off the plane.
The (other) point of carry-on luggage is having it available on the plane.

Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap.
That's both inefficient and unsafe. Unused space from one passenger can reasonably be used by another. In general, nothing can be on people's laps during takeoff and landing - certainly not luggage.

Jose

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:52 am UTC
by elasto
ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap.
That's both inefficient and unsafe. Unused space from one passenger can reasonably be used by another. In general, nothing can be on people's laps during takeoff and landing - certainly not luggage.

I think the so-called no-frills airlines in the UK/Europe do do that though. Your handheld luggage has to be below certain dimensions or you are forced to check it.

No-frills airlines are both cheap and short-haul though, so such a restriction is generally less onerous than might be the case on a long-haul.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:39 pm UTC
by bantler
ucim wrote:
bantler wrote:It takes roughly a gallon of jet fuel to move 100 pounds on a domestic flight (at an industry average price of $3.05 a gallon).
Weight-costs add up quickly and multiply out to millions $ per year.
So, with those numbers, a 200 pound person with ninety pounds of luggage costs less than nine dollars. Pee change.


A single airline flies over 40 million customers a year. That's an ocean of urine.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:46 pm UTC
by heuristically_alone
DaBigCheez wrote:
Thesh wrote:Technology: You sit down in the terminal, put your carry-on luggage into an overhead locker, and then the whole shebang is motorized and moves into the plane on its own. It doesn't matter where you sit, you can do it in the open where there's no congestion.

So then to retrieve it, what, you have to essentially go through the baggage-claim-carousel process on board your flight, which many people opt to not check bags specifically to avoid?

I assumed most people try not to check bags because it costs money. If I could check bags for free, I'd have no problem waiting at the carousel.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:49 pm UTC
by Chen
heuristically_alone wrote:I assumed most people try not to check bags because it costs money. If I could check bags for free, I'd have no problem waiting at the carousel.


There's the risk of losing it too. If I'm going on a trip and I only need what fits in a carry-on I will take it that way both to avoid needing to wait for checked bags AND to ensure it doesn't get lost.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:43 pm UTC
by SuicideJunkie
Thesh wrote:Technology: You sit down in the terminal, put your carry-on luggage into an overhead locker, and then the whole shebang is motorized and moves into the plane on its own. It doesn't matter where you sit, you can do it in the open where there's no congestion.

Just go one step further; sit down in the terminal, put your stuff away, and then the whole shebang, chair and all, gets rolled onto the plane.
If you can close the clear plastic pod walls, then you can also get a high velocity boarding process.

Triple and quad seat pods for the bigger planes will accommodate families and children with parents. Those needing assistance can get it before boarding.


Personally, I pack relatively light and keep all my stuff in one carry-on size bag. As a single self-contained travel bundle, I don't have to worry about things, just go straight through.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm UTC
by bantler
Just go one step further; sit down in your easy-chair and don your VR glasses.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:36 pm UTC
by drzeus
heuristically_alone wrote:I assumed most people try not to check bags because it costs money. If I could check bags for free, I'd have no problem waiting at the carousel.

Everyone I know avoids checking bags because of the carousel wait. They are mainly business travellers, which may skew things. Personally there is value for me in anything which minimises time around flights.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:00 am UTC
by EdgarJPublius
I also avoid checking baggage because the bag check-in process takes time and means you have to get to the airport even earlier than you already should to account for security and such.
And on top of that, your checked bags are subject to the depredations of the baggage handlers and may be damaged, pilfered, outright stolen, or flown to Murmansk (unless that is your destination of course).

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:45 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap.
That's both inefficient and unsafe. Unused space from one passenger can reasonably be used by another. In general, nothing can be on people's laps during takeoff and landing - certainly not luggage.

Jose


A coat or some such can certainly be carried in a lap if need be. Thus the "or check it" option, for things that cannot reasonably be.

Yes, unused space from one passenger can be used by another, but that's where you get into "moving ten seats against the flow of disembarking traffic to get the luggage" which is obnoxious.

drzeus wrote:
heuristically_alone wrote:I assumed most people try not to check bags because it costs money. If I could check bags for free, I'd have no problem waiting at the carousel.

Everyone I know avoids checking bags because of the carousel wait. They are mainly business travellers, which may skew things. Personally there is value for me in anything which minimises time around flights.


Wait is an issue, loss is an issue. I've had a couple of lost bags, and the process is quite obnoxious. One of them was run over by some kind of vehicle, torn up, etc, and they insisted on "sending it out for repairs" rather than replacing it. It came back in pretty crap condition, but was ostensibly "fixed". Costing money is probably the grandaddy, though. It incentivizes people to push carry-ons to the absolute maximum.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that luggage-included fares are significantly more expensive. Depending on where and when, it may be $100+, which is obnoxious. Some bag checking fees can also be quite painful. Certainly far more than marginal fuel costs. When you factor in schedule constraints, you may not have options that are terribly reasonable in terms of comfort/cost tradeoffs, so you might end up in the low cost extreme, even if you'd rather be near the midpoint.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:20 pm UTC
by orthogon
elasto wrote:
ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap.
That's both inefficient and unsafe. Unused space from one passenger can reasonably be used by another. In general, nothing can be on people's laps during takeoff and landing - certainly not luggage.

I think the so-called no-frills airlines in the UK/Europe do do that though. Your handheld luggage has to be below certain dimensions or you are forced to check it.

No-frills airlines are both cheap and short-haul though, so such a restriction is generally less onerous than might be the case on a long-haul.

I'm pretty sure the size limits for carry-on luggage are internationally agreed and apply to all airlines. It's just that budget airlines tend to enforce the rules more stringently; after all they can often take the bag off you and levy a punitive charge for an extra item of checked baggage.

I strongly suspect that people are taking bigger carry-on bags since the limits were codified. Before, it was a question of not taking the piss, and different people had different shame thresholds. Now, you might as well bring a bag the maximum allowed size. As somebody speculated upthread, I don't think there's enough space for everyone to do that.

More strictly on-topic: I've flown a lot with Avianca over the last month. They have a system of boarding by group letter, but I wasn't convinced that anybody - passengers or staff - paid any attention to it. The announcement is hard to understand, people are tired and befuddled, and they can't really police it anyway. The line ends up out of order, but they can't tell whether that's because person A queued up before their group was announced or person B was slow in getting in the line.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:34 pm UTC
by ucim
LuciaV88 wrote:One of the main problems is almost all people want to carry their hand-bag or trolley inside the cabin.
One of the main problems is that almost all airlines charge for checked baggage, and thus incentivize people to carry on what they would have checked.

Jose

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:50 pm UTC
by Zohar
Even if checked bag is free, it's still nicer not to have to wait to pick it up.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:29 pm UTC
by ucim
Zohar wrote:Even if checked bag is free, it's still nicer not to have to wait to pick it up.

If it's your only bag, yes, that's a valid tradeoff. Otherwise, you're going to have to wait for something anyway.

Jose

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:35 pm UTC
by Zohar
I would be surprised if the time to board is longer than the average time for people to pick up their luggage. Usually, even with poor boarding and unboarding strategies, you still end up waiting a while for your checked bag.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:36 pm UTC
by ijuin
The most effective means of speeding boarding would be simply to have multiple boarding points instead of having everyone boarding through a single hatch. Having passengers board through the rear hatches as well as the front would nearly double boarding rates, though it would require a dual gangway.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:15 am UTC
by speising
ijuin wrote:The most effective means of speeding boarding would be simply to have multiple boarding points instead of having everyone boarding through a single hatch. Having passengers board through the rear hatches as well as the front would nearly double boarding rates, though it would require a dual gangway.

what happens when passengers for row 20 board through the rear hatch and passengers for row 30 through front?

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:53 am UTC
by HES
Your boarding pass tells you which entrance to use. This is quite a common thing for shorthaul european flights, especially when you access the plane via the tarmac and steps.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:04 pm UTC
by Zohar
I've also seen cases where first and business class get their own special gangway so they don't have to mix with us commoners.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:50 pm UTC
by reviewcart
Aeroplanes do not load that way, nor do they load for efficiency.

Aeroplanes load in the way that is the most financially advantageous to the airline (and this will vary between airlines). They give the best (first) loading to the customers they are making the most money from as an incentive to buy tickets like that and as a benefit of such.

They have done endless, endless research on this, and in the end, its all about the money, that's how they load. That's how they should load. They are a business, they act in their best business interest and for airlines, its all about maximizing profit on each passenger.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:27 am UTC
by Sungura
going back to "southwest is fastest" i experienced the miracles of it firsthand once.
Coming back from the Great Seattle 2010 xkcd meetup, actually. Lots of storms meant long delays in Chicago. There was about a 20 min pause between lines that they could get some planes out, this is after whole airport has been grounded almost 4 hours.
Southwest got the most flights out.
They announced we were going to go for it. Had everyone line up and be ready to go. We had 5 min from the doors open to get totally seated and taxying to have a chance at takeoff. We did it with about 20 sec to spare.
People can move friggin fast and organised-chaos if they want to...and we made it. So did 13 other southwest flights...of about 20 total flights they were able to get out before grounding everyone again. Now, they could have lied on the numbers (pilot was congratulating us over PA system) but point remains...yes. Visually, the few planes in front of us were southwest, and most the ones after us also Southwest, about 3/4, so visually his reported numbers lined up. Everyone should do it Southwest style. I really hate they don't have a hub near me where I live now!

I can pick delta or UA here I hate UA so I fly Delta which is slow as snot. but for the routes I need, UA has a habit of dumping a LOT of international flights at the same time (it's all UA, too) so customs takes far too long just due to sudden overload.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:17 pm UTC
by elasto
reviewcart wrote:They have done endless, endless research on this, and in the end, its all about the money, that's how they load. That's how they should load. They are a business, they act in their best business interest and for airlines, its all about maximizing profit on each passenger.

Not at all. It's about maximising total profit, of which profit per customer is only one component. There is also the number of customers served.

Plenty of businesses make fortunes on minuscule margins, and, indeed, sometimes build their whole brand identity upon that fact.

Plenty of businesses are inefficient too, complacently coasting along, especially in markets with high barriers to new entrants.

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:15 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
CGP Grey just put out a video on this topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAHbLRjF0vo

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:44 pm UTC
by aradralami
Ok this is my boarding method: Always get on the plane last, no matter my boarding group. I get 15-20 extra minutes to relax in the terminal while everyone else stands in line. I still get to my destination at the same time as they do. :D