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-   -   A modest proposal to improve the boarding situation (

saunders111 Jul 19, 19 12:09 pm

A modest proposal to improve the boarding situation
Or rather a small suite of proposals.

Given that the primary reason for the boarding scrum is the scramble for limited overhead bin space, and further given that AA will never walk back on charging for checked bags, and finally given that those sitting in bulkhead seats generally speaking require bin space for their personal items, here are a few probably tired-out suggestions:
1) limit bin use to groups 1 thru 6. Enforce this by issuing one sticker saying the date, flight number, record locator, and something like BIN OK along with each group 1 to 6 boarding pass. Every bag in the bins then must have a valid sticker on it. Any bag in the bins without a sticker gets checked, possibly for a significant penalty charge, or left behind. Issue two stickers to bulkhead row passengers.
2) within each cabin, load the bulkhead rows first, perhaps along with CK. In my particular group 3 case, I only choose to join the scrum if I have gotten stuck in a bulkhead row, in which case I have no choice.

What do you think?


(About to join the battle to board for a bulkhead seat on a fully booked 737... so yes, for today this message boils down to “let saunders111 board first”😛)

Artagnan Jul 19, 19 12:14 pm

Sounds like this would take a lot of time to enforce after boarding is done, leading to more delays.

Dave Noble Jul 19, 19 12:31 pm

To improve speed of boarding, just get rid of groups et alia and just have people board

Herb687 Jul 19, 19 12:37 pm

I will be very happy when AA copies DL and starts hanging jackets and offering PDBs at the BEGINNING of boarding as opposed to late in the boarding process (if at all).

newyorkgeorge Jul 19, 19 12:50 pm

Well it would help if the GAs made an announcement every time and explained that anyone approaching the card reader before their Group is called will be denied boarding until their Group is called. If at all possible restate it in Spanish (many GAs at MIA, DFW, LAX, and NYC are bi-lingual). Then enforce the boarding. It won't stop all but it will stop some.

I'd also say that for those in Group 8 and 9 like Spirit give them an option-either pay $20 to check their large bag or $40 to carry it on. With no need for overhead space there'd be less boarding gate lice.

Often1 Jul 19, 19 1:21 pm

The fallacy in the OP is that charging for checked bags leads to delays in boarding. Those in the first groups are either seated in F, have status, or a CC and thus don't pay for at least a first checked bag. WN does not charge for the first two checked bags for all passengers and it is even worse.

One has to accept that the boarding process is not designed for speed, but to make people feel marginally special for status. I do agree that it would both deter bad behavior and speed things up if people who either try to board before their group and people with non-compliance bags got the boot and were permitted to board after Group 9. People with scammer bags ought to have their bag checked and delivered to the baggage office on arrival so that the bag fee (no waivers for status) can be collected rather than messing around at the gate.

To be fair, AA has cracked down quite well lately and at many major stations, is especially vigorous at the beginning of boarding where others see that the rules are being enforced,

mvoight Jul 19, 19 1:26 pm

#1 seems like a bad idea as after boarding the FA's, in addition to other duties, now have to check every single bag in the overheads for a sticker and READ the sticker to verify it matches the flight number and date......Not going to happen

It would greatly speed the boarding process if people would take the stuff they need for the flight out of the bag BEFORE boarding, so we don't have to wait while they stand in the aisle and do it. I remember one time, before boarding, I had taken my BOSE out of my bag and the agent made me put them bag in my backpack because the Bose case was an extra "bag"........... Almost as odd as that time in 1995 when I had a key ring with a one inch plastic Super Soaker replica on it. Security staff at Sacramento Airport insisted I remove it before letting me through to meet my son at the gate. Luckily he gate was right next to the security point and I just shouted to let him know I was there. In 1995, box cutters were OK, but inch long plastic Super Soaker "guns" were not.

JDiver Jul 19, 19 1:40 pm

Some airlines require a tag on cabin baggage. That might be the easiest way to handle the issue of conspicuously marking approved cabin baggage.

mvoight Jul 19, 19 1:46 pm

The bulkhead issue would be for the FA to verify the people in the bulkhead have access to the bin there.
Maybe special tags for bulkhead passenger bags, marked with flight number and date.

Antarius Jul 19, 19 2:00 pm

The biggest problem isnt the process but the complete lack of enforcement.

If GAs stopped ludicrously large bags and enforced the boarding groups, the process would work a lot better.

JDiver Jul 19, 19 2:11 pm

Originally Posted by Antarius (Post 31321436)
The biggest problem isnt the process but the complete lack of enforcement.

If GAs stopped ludicrously large bags and enforced the boarding groups, the process would work a lot better.

My experience with tags is “no tag - no board”, a simple binary decision process that eliminates the judgment calls.

aztimm Jul 19, 19 2:17 pm

Originally Posted by Antarius (Post 31321436)
The biggest problem isnt the process but the complete lack of enforcement.

If GAs stopped ludicrously large bags and enforced the boarding groups, the process would work a lot better.

But then we'd have more posts over in this thread:

There should be a happy medium somewhere, but it seems to be one extreme or the other.

AndyAA Jul 19, 19 2:22 pm

Maybe if one didn’t have to wait 50+ minutes for a priority tagged bag to hit the carousel at DFW in sunny weather like I just did, that could speed up the process with less stuff being carried on.

Gig103 Jul 19, 19 2:26 pm

My pie-in-the-sky thought: If you show up with a carry-on sized roller bag, they check it in for free. To prevent abuse (someone who leaves a second bag hiding with family and doubles up on their allowance) I would re-assign that passenger to Group 9 when taking the bag.

AA100k Jul 19, 19 2:44 pm

There are a lot of problems with baggage claim delays, misdirected bags and stolen (“lost” in airline lingo) bags and it just takes one of those events to leave a lasting impression of “I’ll never check a bag again” attitude. The airlines need to clean up their baggage handling and that would help a lot.

I board early because of my status and I have no complaints but I’d feel a lot differently spending over $20K per year with AA if I was handed a boarding pass with Zone 9 on it.

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