Stop the early boarding (D0) stupidity

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Old Mar 2, 19, 12:16 pm
  #76  
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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.
Well. That's you. And, the "lounge lizard" arriving early isn't going to get you to your destination any faster, believe me. AA has a habit of closing boarding early and just, um, sitting there as they "clear checklists" or something. Supposedly.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
...just, um, sitting there as they "clear checklists" or something. Supposedly.
Yeah, you're right- who needs it?
https://www.aopa.org/training-and-sa...eoff-checklist
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Old Mar 2, 19, 1:22 pm
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Did anybody say "Spanair 5022"...?!
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Old Mar 3, 19, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
Yep, I'm sure. The GA doesn't simultaneously shut the jetbridge door and the aircraft door at T-10.
I know. That was my point.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Well, I'm pretty sure the checklist doesn't take more than 3 minutes to execute.
Now that I think about it, a lot of delayed departures I've sat on (including this recent one) are related to lagging ground ops; they've rushed everyone aboard but they're still loading luggage on, for example.
The luggage excuse really annoys me, as AA has the most idiotic late luggage-check policy in the industry (as in, no bags accepted, even as 'late' after T-45)... so they really don't have an excuse here...
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Old Mar 3, 19, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
I may be in the minority, but I'm good with them boarding early since it gives a somewhat better likelihood of us actually getting out of there on time. I find when they start boarding "on time" on the mainline planes, half the time they are still boarding by the time we should depart.

Maybe what they really need to do is bump up the departure time to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
I agree with your points. The RJ's when they board on-time often push back early - the mainline often late.

I am in the super minority in this thread with experiences. I cannot recall a single AA flight that I have been on boarding early. About 2/3 - 1/2 of of mine board late.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jcatman View Post
AA2520 DFW-ORD 787-8 February 23

Arrived at gate 5 minutes after scheduled boarding time (incoming flight late due to high winds at DFW).

Group 8 was already boarding.
I was on this flight a couple months ago. On my way out of the A club at the stated boarding time (to the gate directly across from the club entrance), I was rhetorically asked by the AAngel if I had "lost track of time", as they were already on final boarding, and that I needed to hurry. She wasn't wrong, but I didn't appreciate the attitude from her, or the GAs. We were the last ones on, but the doors didn't close for another 20+ minutes.

No idea how early they started boarding the 788 to have it fully loaded at T-30.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 10:58 pm
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Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
I may be in the minority, but I'm good with them boarding early since it gives a somewhat better likelihood of us actually getting out of there on time. I find when they start boarding "on time" on the mainline planes, half the time they are still boarding by the time we should depart.

Maybe what they really need to do is bump up the departure time to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes.


I flew Delta recently, and I belive their boarding started at either T-35 or T-40 for mainline planes. Since AA likes to copy Delta on a lot of things, maybe this can be something they follow suit on.

In my experience, early boarding can be such a tease. It gives the notion weíll push back early, but in reality itís just more time sitting on a stuffy plane while the final bags are being loaded and the paperwork is completed. In the end, departure isnít usually until T-0 or later.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 11:39 pm
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When boarding times become inconsistent, the 1-4 boarding group benefit evaporates.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
The luggage excuse really annoys me, as AA has the most idiotic late luggage-check policy in the industry (as in, no bags accepted, even as 'late' after T-45)... so they really don't have an excuse here...
That policy is most likely to avoid bags being checked in and not having enough time to get to the plane. Bags have to go through TSA like everyone else, and at the end, cant walk to their gate on their own. Even if a bag is checked in late, if it doesn't arrive with you and you file a claim at your destination, that claim is reported to the DOT as if AA truly lost your bag. As it is, the policy barely cuts it at some airports. So if you're delayed because of bags, blame the person who arrived at the counter 46 min before departure. They are the one making you wait as their bag travels through the airport, gets screened by TSA, has whatever hazmat is inside it removed, waits for a ramp agent to rush it to the gate, is loaded, and then requires load sheets and manifests must be amended before departure.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by brettsir View Post
That policy is most likely to avoid bags being checked in and not having enough time to get to the plane. Bags have to go through TSA like everyone else, and at the end, cant walk to their gate on their own. Even if a bag is checked in late, if it doesn't arrive with you and you file a claim at your destination, that claim is reported to the DOT as if AA truly lost your bag. As it is, the policy barely cuts it at some airports. So if you're delayed because of bags, blame the person who arrived at the counter 46 min before departure. They are the one making you wait as their bag travels through the airport, gets screened by TSA, has whatever hazmat is inside it removed, waits for a ramp agent to rush it to the gate, is loaded, and then requires load sheets and manifests must be amended before departure.
I think you're missing the point. Other airlines allow baggage to be checked later than 45 minutes and don't have this problem. So it's infuriating that AA requires extra time to handle the bags and still can't manage to get them on the plane faster than the passengers.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by brettsir View Post
That policy is most likely to avoid bags being checked in and not having enough time to get to the plane. Bags have to go through TSA like everyone else, and at the end, cant walk to their gate on their own. Even if a bag is checked in late, if it doesn't arrive with you and you file a claim at your destination, that claim is reported to the DOT as if AA truly lost your bag. As it is, the policy barely cuts it at some airports. So if you're delayed because of bags, blame the person who arrived at the counter 46 min before departure. They are the one making you wait as their bag travels through the airport, gets screened by TSA, has whatever hazmat is inside it removed, waits for a ramp agent to rush it to the gate, is loaded, and then requires load sheets and manifests must be amended before departure.
On other airlines, they just tag a big red "LATE CHECKED" thing on your bag and make you sign a waiver, so it's really not an issue. I'm not sure if it's the stupidity of AA's ops or their crappy IT system and their quest to remove all aagent empowerment (apparently, a supervisor can no longer override the error). I've been able to get around it occasionally by SDFC to a later flight, checking the bag, and then SDFC back on to the original flight, but I think their system checks if you have checked bags and disallows this now.

Also, other airlines have shorter bag cut offs and WAYYYYYY more checked bags (like WN, with 2x checked bags free), and they don't have this ridiculous bag problem with the TSA causing them delays.

And that's besides the point, I mean why rush to load the plane full of pax if the bags aren't there yet?

Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
I think you're missing the point. Other airlines allow baggage to be checked later than 45 minutes and don't have this problem. So it's infuriating that AA requires extra time to handle the bags and still can't manage to get them on the plane faster than the passengers.
Spot on.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 11:48 pm
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Outside of the phone call, they really called?, people are shocked they board early? DFW Monday AM flights? You better be there 40 min before boarding if you want to be in your group.

I frequently see them close the door and 5-10 min before departure, but I have no expectation of them pulling back immediately.

Since AA doesn't notify us when boarding starts, here is the tip. Go on the app, click on 'inbound flight', if it's at the gate more than 45 minutes before you flight is supposed to take off, you might want to be there if don't want to be 'shocked' by early boarding. Otherwise allow 15-20 minutes for boarding to start after the 45 minute mark.

Sorry it's not really that complicated.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 8:00 am
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I have flown AA from DFW to GGG probably 8 times in 2018. Boarding was never announced and I arrived when boarding was supposed to start and was the last person on the plane (I don't have lounge access).
I think it's interesting that everyone is so interested in the airline's policy...and then when it doesn't get followed everyone gets upset. Here's the thing...I just try to adapt to what actually happens. A policy on a website somewhere means nothing. I don't want to miss my flight so I will just sit at the gate a few minutes before boarding is supposed to start. There is no way that anyone can "train" the airline to board at the correct time and close the door at the correct time. They don't care if you want to sit in the lounge before your flight. So, instead of me getting frustrated when I sit in the gate area or get on the plane and sit, I am going to adjust my expectations. I expect that flying isn't the most enjoyable experience and the whole motto is "hurry up and wait". Therefore I find myself being much less irritated.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by deac83 View Post
Sorry it's not really that complicated.
Here's another idea that wouldn't be that complicated: just board at the time you print on the boarding pass.

Alternatively, if an AAgent wants to board earlier than they tell their customers, don't get grumpy with them when they've chosen to travel according to your documented times rather than requiring everyone to find this thread and read your rules of thumb.

Even better still: try to track and incent against a useful metric like "what percentage of passengers get to their final destination on time?" rather than "what fraction of the time do we close the door early?"
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