30min Boarding Cutoff... why?

Reply

Old Jul 11, 18, 10:11 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SFO / HGH
Programs: UA 1K, AS MVPG 75K, Marriott Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,367
30min Boarding Cutoff... why?

I was a bit surprised to learn that the official
boarding cutoff for AS is a cushy 30 minutes, while almost every other airline is 15 or 10.

Iíve been doing some commuting this week from SFO and gate agents there confirmed they donít close the gates until 10min before departure which if true really helps improve my stride.

So I guess my question is, has anyone ever gotten bitten by this huge cutoff? Or is it just never enforced in practice?
pushmyredbutton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 10:19 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Land of 10,000 Upgrades
Posts: 9,462
Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
I was a bit surprised to learn that the official
boarding cutoff for AS is a cushy 30 minutes,


But it's not:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...boarding-times

You need to be check-in and at the gate. You are not required to have boarded.
UpgradeMe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 10:28 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: LAX
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 385
Originally Posted by UpgradeMe View Post
But it's not:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...boarding-times

You need to be check-in and at the gate. You are not required to have boarded.
Presumably if you're at the gate, boarding pass in-hand and they're making final boarding calls at 20 mins before departure, they would certainly count you as a no-show if you weren't responding to PAs, and possibly clear stand-by pax to your seats if you didn't let them know you were there and waiting for some reason. Though I've seen flights depart 10-15 mins early, being at the gate 30 mins prior to scheduled to departure every flight isn't entirely necessary.
eponymous_coward likes this.
be_rettSEA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 10:29 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,235
Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
I was a bit surprised to learn that the official
boarding cutoff for AS is a cushy 30 minutes, while almost every other airline is 15 or 10.

Iíve been doing some commuting this week from SFO and gate agents there confirmed they donít close the gates until 10min before departure which if true really helps improve my stride.

So I guess my question is, has anyone ever gotten bitten by this huge cutoff? Or is it just never enforced in practice?
I've only been bitten when I was inadvertently checked out after an upgrade and showed up at the gate at T-20, when the agent had closed the doors at T-23 and left. The agents at the adjacent gate looked at it, acknowledged that she closed boarding 13 min early because she thought I was a no show. They reopened it and let me on (losing my upgrade in the process).
ucdtim17 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 11:13 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Juneau, Ft Lauderdale, Whitehorse, and mostly 2A or 3C. Never, EVER 4 though.
Programs: AS MVPG + BR, DL GM, Hertz Pres Circle, Natl Emerald Exec, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,325
actually you all are wrong.

the boarding cut off time depends on the mood of the gate agent :-D
UAPremierExec is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 11:52 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SFO / HGH
Programs: UA 1K, AS MVPG 75K, Marriott Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,367
Originally Posted by UpgradeMe View Post
But it's not:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...boarding-times

You need to be check-in and at the gate. You are not required to have boarded. [/left]
Correct, but it still means you can't reliably waltz up at T15 and expect to get on, like all the other majors.
pushmyredbutton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 1:05 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 16,292
Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
Correct, but it still means you can't reliably waltz up at T15 and expect to get on, like all the other majors.
Correct. AS is perfectly fine with closing boarding by then (and I've seen it done). Your hint is AS starts boarding at T-40...
be_rettSEA likes this.
eponymous_coward is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 3:20 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVPG; Starriott Platinum, National Exec.
Posts: 80
I could be wrong, but I get the impression they only close the doors if they think you are no-show based on whether you've checked in. Actually had a gate agent call my cell phone at one point when I was being pokey getting from the LAS Club to the AS gate.
PDX4MSU is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 6:01 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
More annoying is the 40min baggage cutoff. I've made the cutoff by <5min at a few smaller airports where security is a non-issue, and on a flight from IND on Sunday, they actually paged the gate agents to come check someone's bag, because the check-in agents had already left their post.
be_rettSEA likes this.
StevieTopSiders is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 10:30 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Juneau, Ft Lauderdale, Whitehorse, and mostly 2A or 3C. Never, EVER 4 though.
Programs: AS MVPG + BR, DL GM, Hertz Pres Circle, Natl Emerald Exec, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,325
baggage cut off has to do more with central load planning needs - so the pilots / dispatch and work on fuel load, where to put the bags, etc. Weight & balance is an art at Alaska (ever wonder why Alaska is the ONLY airline to use tail stands on ALL 737-800/900s?)
UAPremierExec is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 10:54 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator, Information Desk, Ambassador, Alaska Airlines
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ANC, MRI
Programs: AS MVP Gold75K, AS 1MM, Maika`i Card, AGR, HH Gold, Hertz PC, Marriott LTG, SPG Gold, CO, 7H, BA, 8E
Posts: 40,552
I have in KOA...
beckoa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 18, 11:20 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold; Hilton Gold; Marriott Platinum; National Executive
Posts: 2,823
Maybe this is AS throwing their frontline employees a bone.

I have seen other airline GAs get really stressed out over the 15 min cutoff, when they are waiting for one last passenger to board so they can close out the flight.
davie355 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 18, 2:44 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AA, AS Gold 75K, BA, QF, SQ, Marriott Platinum Premiere
Posts: 1,449
Originally Posted by StevieTopSiders View Post
More annoying is the 40min baggage cutoff. I've made the cutoff by <5min at a few smaller airports where security is a non-issue, and on a flight from IND on Sunday, they actually paged the gate agents to come check someone's bag, because the check-in agents had already left their post.
Smaller Airports don't have separate agents for check-in, gate and airplane operations. They check you in, ARE the Gate Agents AND do the necessary work boarding the aircraft. Then they move back out front to assist with the arriving passengers. The cutoff allows then to move from one post to the next. If they called for a check-in agent, s/he probably had to leave the gate and return.

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 18, 6:03 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Smaller Airports don't have separate agents for check-in, gate and airplane operations. They check you in, ARE the Gate Agents AND do the necessary work boarding the aircraft. Then they move back out front to assist with the arriving passengers. The cutoff allows then to move from one post to the next. If they called for a check-in agent, s/he probably had to leave the gate and return.

James
I remember one time flying out of HVN (pmUS) the same two people were doing checkin, baggage loading, GA, and marshalling. There was only one Dash 8 at the airport at any given time.
dblumenhoff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 18, 7:45 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 37,826
AS poor staffing means allowing more time to process boarding and close the flight. AA, DL, and US all have T-15 boarding for domestic and manage it. But, for mainline flights, there will typically be a "floater" GA who arrives to help with standbys, upgrades, gate checked bags, and general whining.

The baggage check for AS is consistent and, as others note, at smaller stations, the same staff handle multiple functions, so the cut off may be absolute.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: