Stop the early boarding (D0) stupidity

Old Feb 28, 19, 1:13 pm
  #1  
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Stop the early boarding (D0) stupidity

Today I'm flying an envoy flight BOS-JFK, which departs out of B36. The flight departs at 2:57pm, and boards around 2:27pm. 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).

About 5 minutes into my walk (2:35pm), I get a phone call from a mass. Number. It's AA:
AAgent: "hello no2chem this is x with AA, will you still be traveling with us today?"
Me: "yes, I'm at gate B23 and walking"
AAgent: " you're the last to board the gate will be closed soon"
Me: " boarding started 5 minutes ago"
AAgent: "you're the last to board the gate is about to close"

.... So I get there and the agent repeats how I'm the last to board and they were about to close the gate. I make it a point that the gate isn't supposed to close until 10mins before departure, and it's 2:40, 17 mins before departure.

To add insult to injury, the flight departs 10mins late anyway

While I appreciate the call (sort of, the AAgent was really rude and it sounded like she wanted her bonus points for closing the flight early), they really need to fix this early boarding crap. At least announce in the AC when you're going to do that.

Anyone else experience this?

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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
Anyone else experience this?
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No. With AA and the typical scrum for F overhead space on regionals, I make it a point to be at the gate by T-35.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
No. With AA and the scrum for F overhead space on regionals, I make it a point to be at the gate by T-35.
Well, this regional has no F or overhead space, so usually no need to head over early 😀
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
Well, this regional has no F or overhead space, so usually no need to head over early ��
An ERD from BOS-JFK?? Wow.
I guess when you cut back JFK departures like AA has, there's not much to connect to.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post

Anyone else experience this?

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Welcome to life at Alaska Airlines, where I'm sure to be at the gate at T-45 if I want overhead space, even in F.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:49 pm
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I make it a practice of heading to the gate from the AC and arrive around T-10 boarding. If there's an issue I want to know about it asap and I certainly not going to depend the GAs to proactively tell people ahead of time that for instance maintenance is onboard and boarding will be delayed pending their findings. So what, I either stand for 10 minutes (and stretch my legs) or we board early. A couple of weeks ago it took 50 minutes to board a 321 at DFW because no one in Groups 6-9 would gate check bags and before long it became the fish trying to swim upstream looking for bin space or forced to gate check their bags anyway. After the Captain did his best to make up time we sat on the tarmac at MIA for nearly 30 minutes anyway forcing many to miss their connection. (The a/c also stopped pushback at DFW for 20 minutes because the ground crew forgot to load on the mail).
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:50 pm
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2:57 scheduled departure means that drop dead at the gate is 2:42 PM. It was 2:35, so "we're closing the flight soon" is jumping the gun by a bit, but just a bit.

As soon as 2:42 rolls around, AA is free to close the flight and push.

With small regional aircraft, it takes about 10 minutes to board, so at T-20 you will be close to the last one on. I agree that early boarding is a poor idea as the OH is non-existent and all you get from being seated while everyone walks by is a sore shoulder.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
2:57 scheduled departure means that drop dead at the gate is 2:42 PM. It was 2:35, so "we're closing the flight soon" is jumping the gun by a bit, but just a bit.

As soon as 2:42 rolls around, AA is free to close the flight and push.

With small regional aircraft, it takes about 10 minutes to board, so at T-20 you will be close to the last one on. I agree that early boarding is a poor idea as the OH is non-existent and all you get from being seated while everyone walks by is a sore shoulder.
The rules seem to indicate you have to be at the gate at least 10 minutes before.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp
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Old Feb 28, 19, 2:09 pm
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Two unrelated data points.

Flying ORD-BMI two weeks ago and ORD-BNA is boarding at the gate next to me. Both are 10:05 pm departures.

Boarding for ORD-BNA (CR7) starts around 9:25. By 9:35 the GA is calling individuals names for departure and final call. Shortly after, she closes the boarding door and goes down the jetway. By 9:40, three or four people are now congregated at the door trying to figure out why no one is there to scan their boarding passes (keep in mind 35-50 minute connections are common at ORD now). An employee walks by and talks to them, then heads down the jetway I am guessing to retrieve the GA.

The GA reappears shortly after, still around 9:40. But she does not scan their boarding passes, she instead takes them to the desk and it appears she is starting to rebook them for flights tomorrow. You can tell the passengers are agitated, and at one point they are looking at the TV display behind the desk which still shows a 10:05 departure. I had to board my BMI flight at this point, so I don't what happened next. The plane did not depart the gate until after 10:05 though, so I hope the passengers were allowed to board.
VPS-DFW on Sunday. 1:27 departure. I get to the gate around 12:45 and notice that the boarding door is open and they appear to be taking early boarders. I go to a quick stop at the restroom and return around 12:50. The display says boarding in 5 minutes, but it is obvious that they are probably boarding around group 4 or 5 at this point. I get in line to board. Most boarding is done by 1:05 (A319), but of course we have to wait for a few stragglers as both the AA check-in line and the security line were really slow. We ended up departing either exactly on time or a little late. The A319 is bad enough without having to sit on it an extra 25 minutes. Of course, I have the opposite where they pre-board people needing extra time at 31 minutes, and actual group 1 boarding doesn't start until 25 minutes because it takes time to get the wheelchairs in and out. Those flights invariably end up departing late. So if given a choice, I will take early boarding over late boarding.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
gun by a bit, but just a bit.

As soon as 2:42 rolls around, AA is free to close the flight and push.
are you serious? 2:35 is like 7 mins after scheduled boarding start time. Calling me and asking me if I'm going to make the flight 7 minutes after boarding is supposed to start is a bit ridiculous to me.

Also, AAs own docs says 10 minutes, not 15. I think most US domestic carriers are 10.

Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
The rules seem to indicate you have to be at the gate at least 10 minutes before.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp
Indeed.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by KBMIFlyer View Post
Two unrelated data points.

Flying ORD-BMI two weeks ago and ORD-BNA is boarding at the gate next to me. Both are 10:05 pm departures.

Boarding for ORD-BNA (CR7) starts around 9:25. By 9:35 the GA is calling individuals names for departure and final call. Shortly after, she closes the boarding door and goes down the jetway. By 9:40, three or four people are now congregated at the door trying to figure out why no one is there to scan their boarding passes (keep in mind 35-50 minute connections are common at ORD now). An employee walks by and talks to them, then heads down the jetway I am guessing to retrieve the GA.

The GA reappears shortly after, still around 9:40. But she does not scan their boarding passes, she instead takes them to the desk and it appears she is starting to rebook them for flights tomorrow. You can tell the passengers are agitated, and at one point they are looking at the TV display behind the desk which still shows a 10:05 departure. I had to board my BMI flight at this point, so I don't what happened next. The plane did not depart the gate until after 10:05 though, so I hope the passengers were allowed to board.
VPS-DFW on Sunday. 1:27 departure. I get to the gate around 12:45 and notice that the boarding door is open and they appear to be taking early boarders. I go to a quick stop at the restroom and return around 12:50. The display says boarding in 5 minutes, but it is obvious that they are probably boarding around group 4 or 5 at this point. I get in line to board. Most boarding is done by 1:05 (A319), but of course we have to wait for a few stragglers as both the AA check-in line and the security line were really slow. We ended up departing either exactly on time or a little late. The A319 is bad enough without having to sit on it an extra 25 minutes. Of course, I have the opposite where they pre-board people needing extra time at 31 minutes, and actual group 1 boarding doesn't start until 25 minutes because it takes time to get the wheelchairs in and out. Those flights invariably end up departing late. So if given a choice, I will take early boarding over late boarding.
Thanks. I've had some similar experiences out of SEA and other places where there's one bus terminal. If I was ever denied boarding despite arriving T-10, I'd be really, really upset.

Overall, I don't mind early boarding, but I think AA needs to do a better job at announcing it. Also if I decide that I don't want to board early, AA had better respect my right not to - Its my time and if I need to grab a sandwich or use the restroom until T-10 I'm going to do that.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 3:06 pm
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Every flight DFW to SWO does this. It's a small ERJ 135 or 140, they begin boarding at T-30 sharp or earlier, it takes 5 minutes to board the plane, then they start doing final boarding call announcements. Many times I get there at T-25 as and they are itching to close the door. Not sure yet at what point they would yet. Doubt they would call me too.

However, we ALWAYS (100% of the time) just sit until T-5 or later, and it is quite common to leave at T+5 or T+10 still. Always annoying as I would rather spend that 15 minutes reading a newspaper in the aadmirals club.

So, when I can (have a long enough connection) I try to get there at T-35 just to be 'safe' because the next flight is usually not until the afternoon of the next day, so it is a bear to miss it. The real kicker is the few times when it is really delayed and AA doesn't let you know -- a few months ago they did the 5 minute rolling delay for a full hour. Luckily it was at like gate B3 so the AC was right there. I think I walked in and out four times then.

Last edited by MarkOK; Feb 28, 19 at 3:12 pm
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Old Feb 28, 19, 3:56 pm
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So sick of this! I used to pride myself whether flying Y, J, or F to board last and not spend any extra time on the plane. THEN...AA started charging for bags and as numerous posters had stated, it didn't matter what class I was sitting in, there was never overhead space left. I still show up T-25 and wedge what I can into the overheads...by then usually Group 5 is boarding and I walk through the priority side skipping two whole folks onto a non-moving jet bridge.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 3:57 pm
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Someone decided to begin the boarding process early (who knows why) and the gate agent (correctly) noticed you were checked-in but not on the plane once it finished. You can complain, but flights take off and arrive early quite frequently.

Leaving a lounge approx. 10 mins away from your gate at scheduled boarding time implies that you weighed the risk of missing your flight and decided to take a chance. You are very lucky they contacted you before closing the door.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by no2chem View Post
Thanks. I've had some similar experiences out of SEA and other places where there's one bus terminal. If I was ever denied boarding despite arriving T-10, I'd be really, really upset.

Overall, I don't mind early boarding, but I think AA needs to do a better job at announcing it. Also if I decide that I don't want to board early, AA had better respect my right not to - Its my time and if I need to grab a sandwich or use the restroom until T-10 I'm going to do that.
Both me and Alex Rodriguez were once offloaded (separately) at T-15. Luckily I was a second away and got back on. Lost my preferred J seat but got back in J. ARod got dropped from F to J. This was at MIA and I think he had an AA escort, and he wanted to board last to stay incognito.

He found J to be like steerage. I was just happy to have a J seat, albeit a middle seat (back before they were refurbished)

I wouldnt be surprised if T-15 isnít also written somewhere.
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