Rant: NRs seated in F get F priority boarding?

 
Old Aug 11, 05, 10:09 am
  #1  
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Rant: NRs seated in F get F priority boarding?

Yesterday on a packed LRTC 757 flight STL-DFW, we were seated in the forward couple rows of Y on the AA-config SlaveShip, so queued up near the gate so as to be among the first Group 1'ers to board so as to have some shot at overhead space near our row since we'd have no underseat storage. Politely waited while the umpteen pre-board categories (F, EXPs, Plats, OW Sapphire/Emeralds, etc.) were called. Towards the end of the pre-boarding, two snarling in-uniform FAs who were seated in F pushed past all the waiting revenue pax to take AAdvantage of the calm before the storm and board with the other F/preboards.

Question: are uniformed employees with F seats entitled to F preboarding? I really don't care that much, but these two dragons were pretty pushy and rude about it, and it made kind of a poor impression.

I'm NOT trying to start another thread about employee class...or whether they were must-rides, deadheads, NRSAs, or whatever. There was no "F has checked in full, forget about any upgrades" announcement, so I have no reason to believe any revenue elites got denied an upgrade, and the flight's only 75 minutes long anyway. Just curious what the policy is on entitlement to pre-board. Oh and BTW these two sure didn't wait for the rest of the scrum to deplane on arrival (which I thought they were supposed to do), either.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:19 am
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First of all, boarding when your group is called (be it F, EXP, 1, 2, etc.) is not preboarding. And if one seats in F, he/she boards with F. Sounds perfectly OK with me.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:28 am
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I've seen non-rev crew actually pre-board, before F boarding. I was on 3A on a MD80 recently. I was first pax on and just as I was walking in, the non-rev (who sat in the cocpit jumpseat (still assuming this was non-rev passage) put his suitcase in "my" bin (yes, I know it's not really mine ). Had to use a different bin for my carry on. Not sure I truly object. Just an observation.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by UAL_Rulez
...Oh and BTW these two sure didn't wait for the rest of the scrum to deplane on arrival (which I thought they were supposed to do), either.
I'm not sure where you get your information on what non-rev travelers are and aren't supposed to do. This varies by airline anyway. (I say that because it appears that you maybe fly UA more than AA.) On AA, if you have an F boarding pass, you board with F. And there are no rules on deplaning. In between, non-revs are not supposed to request any "special" service. They are supposed to descreetly defer to revenue pax on meal choices. And they are supposed to not call attention to the fact that they are employees. That one's a little tough if you're in uniform. (It was also difficult in the days when coat and tie were required dress in F for men and you were going to Hawaii. ) They might have been a little more careful if they "pushed past all the waiting revenue pax" to board with their group, but if all the waiting revenue pax were blocking the way instead of waiting for THEIR group, what were they supposed to do?

Last edited by mwhitted; Aug 11, 05 at 10:37 am
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by mwhitted
I'm not sure where you get your information on what non-rev travelers are and aren't supposed to do. This varies by airline anyway.
I guess you're right. IME, UA and CO both observe the following pretty consistently:

1. The only non-revs who preboard are postitive space uniformed pilots.
2. All other non-revs (regardless of their assigned class of service/cabin) board AFTER all confirmed revenue pax have boarded.
3. All NRs remain on board during deplaning until the revenue pax have deplaned.

It sends a strong and positive message to the revenue pax, and I'm so used to it it just seems common courtesy.

Anyway, question asked and answered, thanks.
Moderators, feel free to close if you want.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 11:43 am
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If they're in uniform, that means they're traveling on AA business. If they're FAs, there's a high likelihood that they're deadheading to another airport to meet a flight that they're crewing. What's the point of making them wait on board until after all revenue passengers have left? What's the "strong and positive message" that's being sent?
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Old Aug 11, 05, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by acf573
What's the point of making them wait on board until after all revenue passengers have left? What's the "strong and positive message" that's being sent?
That the airline cares about having your business. I personally wouldn't get up in arms about it either way, but treating revenue passengers like you value their business would seem to send them a positive message.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 12:13 pm
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I am completely failing to understand how boarding people in the seat assignment order devalues passengers. Maybe flying airline employees should have to also wear scarlet AAs on their foreheads, make a gantlet and bow while the paying passengers board and disembark? They could extend plastic knives over our heads too... then we would feel so valued.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 12:19 pm
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I do get to non-rev, and in the list of rules it states to board with your assigned boarding group to expedite the boarding process.

As for waiting to deplane, don't see why it matters. If I'm in Y wearing jeans and a polo shirt you wouldn't know I was non-reving, thus you wouldn't get the "AA appreciates the paying customer" warm fuzzies.

I have been in F before (upgrade on paid tix, and D3) and had to fight my way through the 50 or so people who crowd the jetbridge door waiting for their group to be called. Those people are the ones who drive me nuts, not pilots boarding when their group, or class is called.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Eugene
First of all, boarding when your group is called (be it F, EXP, 1, 2, etc.) is not preboarding. And if one seats in F, he/she boards with F. Sounds perfectly OK with me.
A simple and reasonable answer to the question. I agree.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by AAToday
I do get to non-rev, and in the list of rules it states to board with your assigned boarding group to expedite the boarding process.

As for waiting to deplane, don't see why it matters. If I'm in Y wearing jeans and a polo shirt you wouldn't know I was non-reving, thus you wouldn't get the "AA appreciates the paying customer" warm fuzzies.

I have been in F before (upgrade on paid tix, and D3) and had to fight my way through the 50 or so people who crowd the jetbridge door waiting for their group to be called. Those people are the ones who drive me nuts, not pilots boarding when their group, or class is called.
I experienced this on Monday night on AA67 ORD-DFW, a full 777. Fortunately, the GA took the Moses approach and "parted the seas" prior to boarding.

What is most annoying about this somewhat regular phenomenon is that is that is usually caused by frequent travelers, people who should know better.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by drtdk
I experienced this on Monday night on AA67 ORD-DFW, a full 777. Fortunately, the GA took the Moses approach and "parted the seas" prior to boarding.

What is most annoying about this somewhat regular phenomenon is that is that is usually caused by frequent travelers, people who should know better.
Oh they know better. They just don't care. What's really bad is when this flight departs from K19 and there's about 2 feet of space between the gate readers and the back of the check-in desk. That's a HORRIBLE area to try to board a 777. L8 (where AA67 seems to operate in the summer) isn't quite as bad. At least they can spill out into the hallway.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by UAL_Rulez
I guess you're right. IME, UA and CO both observe the following pretty consistently:

1. The only non-revs who preboard are postitive space uniformed pilots.
2. All other non-revs (regardless of their assigned class of service/cabin) board AFTER all confirmed revenue pax have boarded.
3. All NRs remain on board during deplaning until the revenue pax have deplaned.

It sends a strong and positive message to the revenue pax, and I'm so used to it it just seems common courtesy.

Anyway, question asked and answered, thanks.
Moderators, feel free to close if you want.
On my next London flight I am going to make an announcement telling the NR's to stay in their seats until everyone leaves so that those who didn't know who they were will appreciate the sacrifice they have made in the name of courtesy towards revenue passengers.

I am kind of dumbfounded by this. Is this a new policy at UAL because I have never seen this while on an employee pass and I was never warned by my best friend ( a UAL FA) that I should board late and stay late?
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Old Aug 11, 05, 3:00 pm
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Maybe some UA personnel are feeling shamed by their airline and are trying to avoid too much personal contact with the passengers or remain incognito - board last, disembark last... but the OP's handle seems to say it all - they must be following "UAL_Rulez".

Thank goodness AA rules seem cons. derably more logical - including dumping the pension plan on the taxpayers while spending money they don't have on ps and E+ that seems to be - according to one UA poster - largely used by UA deadheading staff. (I wonder when they board?)

Originally Posted by AAFA
On my next London flight I am going to make an announcement telling the NR's to stay in their seats until everyone leaves so that those who didn't know who they were will appreciate the sacrifice they have made in the name of courtesy towards revenue passengers.

I am kind of dumbfounded by this. Is this a new policy at UAL because I have never seen this while on an employee pass and I was never warned by my best friend ( a UAL FA) that I should board late and stay late?
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Old Aug 11, 05, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by LTRS
That the airline cares about having your business. I personally wouldn't get up in arms about it either way, but treating revenue passengers like you value their business would seem to send them a positive message.
Frankly, if they are in uniform, and likely off to another flight, it shows me far more that they care if they are hustling off the plane as soon as they can to get on with their job. That's what matters to me. This whole notion of remaining seated while others deplane as a show of respect is really getting overdone around here lately .

Cheers.
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