Stop the early boarding (D0) stupidity

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Old Mar 1, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler View Post
Reading this reminds me of how screwed up air travel is in the US between this latest nonsense, the inevitable sitting on the tarmac forever...ugh.
Every European flight I take boards 30 minutes in advance (with a few exceptions). How is it that these flights can properly board in that timeframe and AA flights cannot?
2 of several reasons:

ppl in europe check their bags, even the tiny ones, so no scrum or delay waiting for ppl to hoist mammoth trunks

no waiting for first class to get situated or pdbs because eurobiz is weak
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Old Mar 1, 19, 1:17 pm
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Being a wheelchair user, this issue complicates things for me tremendously as I need to be at the gate to preboard before regular boarding starts. Always a great unknown when that is. I always leave room and go to gate very early before heading to lounge and ask GA what time to return to preboard. Even getting there 5-10 minutes before the time I was told, I have often seen them already on group 4. It is quite annoying to have everyone stare at you while you are wheeled down the aisle by incompetent people and then have to move the folks in B/C to get to A.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 1:27 pm
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Not really-- checking bags is as expensive as in the US.
That said Europeans travel with less "stuff"...
And agreed, the whole upgrade process does slow things down- good point.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
I'm at the lounge at B4, which is about a 10 minute walk to the gate. I leave at boarding time sharp (2:27pm).
​​​​
Personally I like to be at the gate well in advance of the boarding time.

No comfy lounge seat makes up for the stress of worrying about missing my flight.

And, yes, they do board and depart early. Yay. I'd rather get to my destination a bit early than wait for some lounge lizard to saunter in at the last minute.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 5:41 pm
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Data Point:

I was standing-by on AA1456 today (currently waiting on tarmac at DFW, ugh). It was a totally booked flight and I was #6/20 on the standby list.

They cleared #1 on the standby list at T-18 to departure. I cleared at T-13, and there were others that cleared after me. Not sure if the guy who cleared at T-18 was taking the seat of someone who they knew wouldn’t make the flight or what...

I rarely fly on “completely full flights” so I usually find myself clearing standby at T-45 so I don’t have much other anecdotal eveidence to share.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 6:36 pm
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Another data point at DFW on Eagle (Envoy) on a ERD today, 4:25 departure, leave lounge at 3:52, get to gate at 4:03 and they are paging “for an on time departure”, sitting in 1A and the FA asks me if there were others waiting to board, I said it appeared so and she huffed and said they should be on the plane already. I pointed out that they had 7 minutes to hit T-15 and 12 for door close, she huffed saying they “had” to get out on time and people needed to board earlier. I just smiled and put my headphones back on.

AA going for great indeed, if you have a MCT of 40 minutes it feels more like 10-15 when going Eagle to Eagle waiting on valet bags.
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Last edited by jliehr; Mar 1, 19 at 6:41 pm
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Old Mar 1, 19, 7:31 pm
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Another data point at DFW on Eagle (Envoy) on a ERD today, 4:25 departure, leave lounge at 3:52, get to gate at 4:03 and they are paging “for an on time departure”. . . .
My 2018 experience is this happens frequently with Eagle flights at DFW. GA's have told me it is to have taxi-time cushion so ATC can't mess up their slots.

We have more than once been on time, but already been replaced by standby passengers. Got on but relegated to much worse seats than I had snagged. No I was not happy but I learned some things just are. Yes I have seen them close the door. I would really not be happy if they left me.

Of course in an earlier period of my life I was frequently the standby traveling for business on very short notice just hoping they would give me somebody's seat because I was supposed to be somewhere by morning.
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Last edited by jayer; Mar 1, 19 at 7:37 pm
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Old Mar 1, 19, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Listen to ATC recordings on YouTube. Pilots need approval for all ground movement. They simply can't drive off to and from the gate as they please. In fact when you listen to ground controllers at large airports there's often testy communication with pilots. If the controller has a tarmac full of planes he/she likely won't let an aircraft push early.
"Leaving the gate" seems to be "when the AA agent closes the plane door"

Not necessarily driving around the tarmac

(Look at the records filed with FAA on flightstats.com, you can see planned, actual times for all sorts of things)

So a pilot CAN 'depart the gate' (in terms of that metric that AA posts publicly) without moving. Then sit there for as long as AA wants, before the tower clears them to move into 'their turf".

IMO
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Old Mar 1, 19, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
Door of the gate, not door of the plane.
Are you sure? Post #53 seems to say otherwise.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 11:26 pm
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If you are at the gate at T-60 and can you sit in the gate area by the door until T-15? If they close the door is this IDB?

I ask as I saw a group watching some NBA game in CLT E and the GA was visibly frustrated with them. (My flight was next from E35z)
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Old Mar 2, 19, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Personally I like to be at the gate well in advance of the boarding time.

No comfy lounge seat makes up for the stress of worrying about missing my flight.

And, yes, they do board and depart early. Yay. I'd rather get to my destination a bit early than wait for some lounge lizard to saunter in at the last minute.
....so you can sometimes sit in that 17.4" wide coach seat as the aircraft rests on the tarmac because "early arrival" resulted in the gate being occupied?
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Old Mar 2, 19, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Personally I like to be at the gate well in advance of the boarding time.

No comfy lounge seat makes up for the stress of worrying about missing my flight.

And, yes, they do board and depart early. Yay. I'd rather get to my destination a bit early than wait for some lounge lizard to saunter in at the last minute.
Cool story bro. Your preference is complete irrelevant to the fact that AA has a stated contract about when we have to be at the gate, I just gave it a gander in case I had missed something and it turns out your feelings on the subject were not in said contract. Also this isn't a ride over to your friends house, even if you are able to push early (which you often won't) that in now way means you will actually be wheels up early (which again, you often will not) and even if you are there's a better than average chance you will have to wait to get a gate upon arrival so you're not getting to your destination early. This is 100% poor management pushing bad metrics and agents who have the wrong incentives which results in a poor customer experience. In unrelated news, AA would like you to vote for them in the Freddies oh and please sign up for a credit card.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Are you sure? Post #53 seems to say otherwise.
Yep, I'm sure. The GA doesn't simultaneously shut the jetbridge door and the aircraft door at T-10.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post
"Leaving the gate" seems to be "when the AA agent closes the plane door"

Not necessarily driving around the tarmac
The DOT sets the rule for recording departure time as:
7. 'Gate departure time' is the instance when the pilot releases the aircraft parking brake after passengers have loaded and aircraft doors have been closed.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 11:02 am
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I never seem to be any of these flights that board early. All of mine even when the crew and the a/c is ready they wait for the countdown from the boarding signage. Yes I've noticed that AA will post a departure time of when the door is closed. You can be sitting there 20 minutes later and the flight shows departed.
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