Preferred Seat / Priority Boarding

Old Jan 27, 19, 4:34 pm
  #1  
Ged
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Preferred Seat / Priority Boarding

So. More out of curiosity rather than grumbling. Fly domestic around 7 times a year, International a couple of times and trans tasman a couple of times. Mainly with Air NZ. Enough lounge passes through Kiwibank card etc so I don't join Koru. For the first time on a return flight to Auckland for myself and good lady at the weekend, I selected the preferred seating / priority boarding - primarily as I like the window and prefer to get onto the plane, get my bag uptop and sit down and buckle in without fighting up the aisles etc. I'm trying to figure out the benefit of paying $40 for 2 flights when the gate ( on both flights ) opens with ..Air NZ flight blah blah is ready for boarding. We will be boarding from front and the rear of the aircraft. Row 1 to 15 through airbridge. All other rows via tarmac. Then 100 people rock up all at once and we are about 85th in the que. Same on flight back. Sitting in Auckland lounge. Gate 31 just outside the lounge. Flight is called. Same as above. No call for any upper tiers to board first. We walk out immediately and are literally at the back of a very long que that is sectioned off around the stairwell. I'm trying to figure out if the seat is the difference - 9A and 9B up and down and priority boarding is simply a bonus ? As I said, no real grumbles. Flights were good. Just trying to get some clarity on what the extra $ are for such as bigger seating etc ? Thanks for the knowledge share.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:04 pm
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I travel most weeks and I would say most of the time they do say Koru and star alliance gold customers welcome to board now or at our convienience, but follow up about 2 seconds later saying they welcome all customer to now board. Guess they are just trying to get everyone on board as quickly as possible, and do not want to wait 5+ minutes for all the customers in the lounge to arrive. They certainly don't seem keen on providing different queues for priority/general as is often seen overseas, so even if you arrive after boarding has started, you still have shorter queue.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:05 pm
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The concept of priority boarding doesn't really exist on domestic flights - partly because so many people are HVCs that even if Air NZ did go out of their way to separate the boarding lanes you'd find that often well over 50% of the aircraft would have access to the priority lane.

Others will disagree but it's something I have zero issue with. Unlike places like the US where priority boarding is essential if you want overhead space, here a full A320 can routinely be boarded in under 15 mins, and boarding times are often under 10 mins and overhead bins are rarely anywhere near close to full.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
The concept of priority boarding doesn't really exist on domestic flights - partly because so many people are HVCs that even if Air NZ did go out of their way to separate the boarding lanes you'd find that often well over 50% of the aircraft would have access to the priority lane.

Others will disagree but it's something I have zero issue with. Unlike places like the US where priority boarding is essential if you want overhead space, here a full A320 can routinely be boarded in under 15 mins, and boarding times are often under 10 mins and overhead bins are rarely anywhere near close to full.
I don't have an issue with it personally in that it doesn't matter too much when you board an ATR. But I do have an issue that Air NZ sell it as part of the Preferred Seat package, then consistently fail to deliver it. I've never purchased a Preferred Seat so it hasn't affected me personally, but they shouldn't sell something they don't deliver.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:20 pm
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Also on the A320s could say there are two lanes the HVCs get the jet bridge and the rest get the stairs.

The actual priority boarding is making eye contact with the person at the machine while the other person is keying up the mic.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by edmm View Post
I don't have an issue with it personally in that it doesn't matter too much when you board an ATR. But I do have an issue that Air NZ sell it as part of the Preferred Seat package, then consistently fail to deliver it. I've never purchased a Preferred Seat so it hasn't affected me personally, but they shouldn't sell something they don't deliver.
Good point.

Occasionally though strange things do happen. Boarding this morning to from WLG to ZQN I was standing at the gate ready when they announced boarding. There were at least about 15 of us who got through in the "priority boarding" before a general boarding call was made.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:55 pm
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Ged
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Thanks for the speedy responses. I'm flying Sydney in a couple of weeks so have moved seat and chucked it on to see what happens. Ged
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Old Jan 27, 19, 7:37 pm
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Not that I really care but could someone take this to the commerce commission if they really wanted to? Very often I purchase the preferred seat to sit further up the front of the aircraft. These are always sold with the priority boarding entitlement. However, it never occurs on any Air New Zealand flights.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
The concept of priority boarding doesn't really exist on domestic flights - partly because so many people are HVCs that even if Air NZ did go out of their way to separate the boarding lanes you'd find that often well over 50% of the aircraft would have access to the priority lane.

Others will disagree but it's something I have zero issue with. Unlike places like the US where priority boarding is essential if you want overhead space, here a full A320 can routinely be boarded in under 15 mins, and boarding times are often under 10 mins and overhead bins are rarely anywhere near close to full.

my strategy is to leave lounge 5 mins prior to boarding, wait at gate, then be among first on so my bags always have a locker.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
Others will disagree but it's something I have zero issue with. Unlike places like the US where priority boarding is essential if you want overhead space, here a full A320 can routinely be boarded in under 15 mins, and boarding times are often under 10 mins and overhead bins are rarely anywhere near close to full.
Cool story but not really applicable when you primarily board regional aircraft services. It borders on fraud to call it a service offering when its, largely, not offered on regional routes. Even more dubious when they literally advertise it when making a sale.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Ged View Post
Thanks for the speedy responses. I'm flying Sydney in a couple of weeks so have moved seat and chucked it on to see what happens. Ged
TT flights have dedicated priority boarding.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
TT flights have dedicated priority boarding.
No I have never had priority boarding with preferred seating on my TT routes
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by curioustill View Post
No I have never had priority boarding with preferred seating on my TT routes
Think it was in reference to the queue. Just a matter of walking up and using that queue.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
Think it was in reference to the queue. Just a matter of walking up and using that queue.
Yep I have used the queue and been told off as I was 'not Koru'
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Old Jan 27, 19, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by curioustill View Post
No I have never had priority boarding with preferred seating on my TT routes
It's probably a stupid sounding question, but why not?

All TT ports have dual boarding queues and while it's been a long time since I've flown out of CHC, certainly WLG, AKL, MEL, SYD and BNE all have clear queues for HVC / priority boarding.

Do you simply choose not to use this queue or are you unaware of it?
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