I don't mean to nag about anything but this is just something I have been observing since my last two flights a week or so ago - when they call for Zone 1, almost everyone in the area lines up and both the times I ended up getting no overhead bins as I did not anticipate so many people boarding in Zone 1. In fact, at LAX for the ATL flight, they had two rows of boarding side by side for Zone 1 with two GAs scanning BPs. It seems that there was hardly anyone in Zones 3 and 4. Is it a sudden spurt in SkyPriority members or has Delta introduced things like Zone 1 for having a credit card or for having a Sky Club membership and such kind of perks? Or is it just people who start attaining higher statuses towards the end of the year?
I heard quite a few SP members in rows 10-15 or so complaining about getting an empty bin only in rows 25 and beyond, in spite of early boarding. Does this issue have a potential to blow up and Delta considering an improvement in the overall process, in general? Or is it just a one off occurrence ?
Location: Anywhere I can hide from Delta's "enhancements"
Programs: DL Diamond Kryptonium Ham Sandwich GAMER, UA Plat, AA Gold, IHG Plat, SPG Gold, HH Gold, Nat'l Exec
LAX-ATL is among the most elite heavy routes in the system. There are going to be lots of Zone 1's. In addition, there is always a healthy crowd of people ignoring anything the GA says about boarding zones and shoving their way in despite being Zone 4.
They really need to find a way to break up Zone 1 on the most elite-heavy routes, potentially boarding those in the back of the aircraft first. I see it on a regular basis on ATL-SFO flights in either direction... Yesterday, over 90 medallions were one the flight, most of which were in Zone 1 which simply causes a traffic jam and slows down the boarding process as they're mainly in the front of the plane.
Programs: HH Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, SGC Gold, IHG Plat, Delta Diamond, Cont Gold, US Air Chairmans
Similar situation in Detroit this past week - however the GA noticed (I assume) that most of the passengers had jumped into line so she amended her statement to First Class and Diamonds first then onto Platinums and so on.
I think this is the best way to handle the situation at this point - with about everyone except the once or twice a year fliers getting into the sky priority lane these days it can get a little overwhelming as all of those reading this most likely know.
I too have noticed the same thing. I normally wait til they call Zone 1 then get up from my seat and and board. Lately the skypriority lane seems longer than the general boarding plane, no matter the routes.
I saw one couple in NRT, saw their boarding pases marked zone 4, in the SP line when they called Zone 1, I guess figuring they could "slip by", the GA turned them away thankfully, but, it seems more often than not the boarding zones are not enforced like they should be.
You wait til zone 1 is called get up, wait in line, and when you board you have no overhead space anywhere near you seat. Very frustrating!
I was on a flight from JFK - LAX the other day. After first and those who need extra time boarded, the gate agent announced Zone 1 and 2 at the same time! Not so much fun then though I can laugh about it now.
I simply park myself right in front of the SkyPriority line, wave the FC pax by when they board, and then as soon as the GA calls zone 1, I raise my elbows and push forward.
This way, I don't have to worry about all the idiotic gate lice trying to steal my overhead space!!!!
That is another issue. Many people in Zone 1 assume FC is Zone 1 so they try and sneak in that way also. If the carry on bag size was enforced then this would resolve many issues as everyone would have room for therir carry on. Alo if people would refrain from putting smaler items in the overhead and and use the space under the seat in front of them it would help make more room.
One time at JFK on an int trip, 747, they actually boarded the plane in reverse, starting with Zone 4, what a disaster!!!
I haven't flown Delta in a while. I have no choice but to fly multiple carriers dependant upon fare's. I am confused regarding Delta's policy about boarding first class. Does first class board first, are they apart of zone 1 boarding or something different? Craig44485 states one thing and Houserulz77 states something different.
The reason I ask is that it seems all of the airlines are tweaking their boarding policies at different times: First class, Zone 1, Skypriority, Priority, etc...My thing, if you are in first class, regardless of how you got there, then you should have the option to board first and get settled in. I would say board later but unless the FA's hold bin space then you can't do that.
+1 - The real problem isn't boarding priority but enforcement of carry-on policy. Any bag which doesn't fit the sizer ought to be gate-checked to the baggage office at the final destination where it can be collected after paying the baggage fee + hefty penalty (no freebie luggage).
While it's true that if ever pax brings a roll-a-board + personal item, the OH will still fill, not every pax does. Certainly the OH won't fill with 50% of the aircraft.
There are ways to deal with bad pax behavior and this is one. The DYKWHIA's who don't know how to measure a bag or pack, can stand in line at arrival while those who can read and count are already in their room at the hotel.
No muss. No fuss. No gate lice. And, just like the old days, FC can board last if it chooses so that high-fare pax spend the least time.
On one of my fights the GA calls Zone 1 and stands by the general boarding podium to scan tickets. So all the Zone 1ers get in the General Boarding line leaving the SkyPriority line wide open. Another PAX and I just walk past everyone and into the SkyPriority line have our BP scanned and go on our merry way. The look of the other Zone 1er was funny. Not my fault they can not follow the instructions ;-).
That said there is bloat in the ranks and Zone 1 needs to be broken up.
With all the people trying to get on in Zone 1 & 2, I do have a question. I'm just a lowly FO (not much flying anymore). I do have a AMEX DL PLAT card. I always board when my appropriate zone is called. At what point am I allowed to step on that hallowed Red Carpet instead of the general boarding lane, if at all? I don't want to ruffle any feathers, just be sure of my options.
I do feel for those who can't find overhead space in the first zones. I try to do my share for you all. If I am in no hurry to leave the airport, I'll go ahead and check my roller (it's free, after all) and just take on my daypack. If it's a crowded flight, I will put it under the seat in front of me. I'd rather have quick and easy access to those things in my pack, so it's better under the seat than in the overhead.