Business class check-in queuing T5

Old Sep 28, 19, 4:34 am
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Business class check-in queuing T5

Some genius decided to dispense with the common queue at T5 business/silver check-in this morning and have a separate queue for each check-in desk. Evidently they've not studied Elementary Queuing Theory.

Not a huge issue as it's not very busy but seriously?
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Old Sep 28, 19, 4:56 am
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A while since I used it, but I do recall the 'common queue' for the first available desk was very efficient. Perhaps they now have a shortage of Tensa barriers?
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Old Sep 28, 19, 5:08 am
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Even if (big if) separate queues was more efficient there’s more downside from a customer experience perspective of unhappy customers. You get lucky and it’s just luck, you get unlucky and you blame BA (rightly!)
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Old Sep 28, 19, 5:15 am
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There was no shortage of Tensa barriers (they were using them to separate the queues). Even BA staff didn't know who had decided on the 'new' system.

Possibly a retro move as part of the 100 anniversary celebrations - 'here's how we used to do it till we knew better'.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by alpenlupe View Post
Some genius decided to dispense with the common queue at T5 business/silver check-in this morning and have a separate queue for each check-in desk. Evidently they've not studied Elementary Queuing Theory.

Not a huge issue as it's not very busy but seriously?
I detest post office style queue mazes. As far as I can see, there is now a queue maze for check-in or individual queues for bag drop if you already have a boarding pass.

From when T5 opened and up to around 2 or 3 years ago the entire terminal was individual queues. Hours upon hours of manpower is lost every week from dwell time after a customer has left a desk, waiting for the next person to get there.

I for one use the self service bag drops. Far quicker.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:23 am
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As someone who does research on queueing, seeing this nonsense of separate queues really gets my blood boiling. One queue only until the last possible moment.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
As someone who does research on queueing, seeing this nonsense of separate queues really gets my blood boiling. One queue only until the last possible moment.
Oh, how strongly I agree with you! Our last trip had ludicrous queue congestion at Security at IAD and [unusually] Premium Gatwick due to multiple queues ... in both instances I got stuck behind the incompetent and unaware.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
in both instances I got stuck behind the incompetent and unaware.
That's no way to speak about your wife!
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
As someone who does research on queueing, seeing this nonsense of separate queues really gets my blood boiling. One queue only until the last possible moment.
... and as someone who studies queues when in a queue... as in a previous post, it does depend on the breath of the check-in disks - if the distance from the common queuing line to the furthest desk is too far it is very inefficient (both from trying to scan from L-R for the next free desk - and actually getting there!), which is probably the case at T5. What about a dentritic queuing system? :-))
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Old Sep 28, 19, 7:30 am
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This is terrible news for me, as I always, choose the slowest line without failure
If anyone sees me at the airport choose a line other than the one I am in, and you'll be OK or at least faster than me.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by IntVic View Post
This is terrible news for me, as I always, choose the slowest line without failure
If anyone sees me at the airport choose a line other than the one I am in, and you'll be OK or at least faster than me.
There’s still a queue maze for check-in.

Bag drop (you need a boarding pass already) has individual queues.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by CKBA View Post
... and as someone who studies queues when in a queue... as in a previous post, it does depend on the breath of the check-in disks - if the distance from the common queuing line to the furthest desk is too far it is very inefficient (both from trying to scan from L-R for the next free desk - and actually getting there!), which is probably the case at T5. What about a dentritic queuing system? :-))
Part of that issue could be solved by placing a display at the head of the single queue which would tell you which desk to go to when it became free! I've seen a supermarket in Portugal implement that, and that wasn't that far off the size of T5!

Of course ideally you wouldn't even need to stand, you'd just check in the app when you arrived and it'd place you on an electronic queue...
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Old Sep 30, 19, 12:26 pm
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I’d suggest the best approach (from a customer perspective, at least) is the system where you get a ticket with a number, and a big display then tells you where to go when your number is up. This allows customers to not stand in a physical queue, and even to sit down.

To make the system more efficient and decrease the time wasted by people having to move to the right counter, it could be improved to “pre-announce” numbers, that is, telling people to go to a counter and wait for it to become available. And even better, it could implement a time limit, so that if people don’t get a move on, they go to the back of the queue after, say, 10 seconds...
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Old Sep 30, 19, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by AverageHighFlyer View Post
I’d suggest the best approach (from a customer perspective, at least) is the system where you get a ticket with a number, and a big display then tells you where to go when your number is up. This allows customers to not stand in a physical queue, and even to sit down.

To make the system more efficient and decrease the time wasted by people having to move to the right counter, it could be improved to “pre-announce” numbers, that is, telling people to go to a counter and wait for it to become available. And even better, it could implement a time limit, so that if people don’t get a move on, they go to the back of the queue after, say, 10 seconds...
The Duomo di Milano ticket office has a very similar system to that.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 2:32 pm
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I've opted for the self serve bag drop a number of times recently having seen a queue at the business desks and nothing of note on the self serve. Confuses the barrier ticket checker who points out I can check in over there instead and can't understand why I would skip such service.
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