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Delta experimenting with valet overhead bag service

Delta experimenting with valet overhead bag service

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Old Oct 10, 14, 6:43 am
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Early Valet - New boarding procedure

All:
Please do not be mad if this is somewhere else, but I did a search and did not find anything.
I am in ATL right now and the gate agent stated that they have a new program "Early Valet". They take the carry on bags aboard before the pax and place them above the seats in the cabin. I assume this is to hasten boarding time. But It looks like it is random. They are asking for boarding passes and putting a blue tag on the bags. This flight ATL-MDT is only about 70% full. I wonder how this would work with a very full 757.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by RobtheAggie View Post
All:
Please do not be mad if this is somewhere else, but I did a search and did not find anything.
I am in ATL right now and the gate agent stated that they have a new program "Early Valet". They take the carry on bags aboard before the pax and place them above the seats in the cabin. I assume this is to hasten boarding time. But It looks like it is random. They are asking for boarding passes and putting a blue tag on the bags. This flight ATL-MDT is only about 70% full. I wonder how this would work with a very full 757.
You sure they aren't having the lowely silver and gold carry the platinum and diamonds bags on board?
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Old Oct 10, 14, 6:53 am
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Who's actually taking the bags on board?
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Old Oct 10, 14, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
Who's actually taking the bags on board?
Gate lice.

Gets them out of the way, and on the plane along with the luggage.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by RobtheAggie View Post
They take the carry on bags aboard before the pax and place them above the seats in the cabin.
While it sounds good, I'm not sure it's worth the time and manpower involved, especially on the 757 where FC turns left and is out of the way of general boarding. On a full 737 or MD, maybe it will allow quicker overall boarding.

I'm guessing this service is just for elites, correct?

They may be trying to ensure that bags are put in the most efficient way, and this might also be a way to enforce the 2 item limit.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 7:58 am
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I can't see anyway this would make boarding overall more efficient. It just takes to much time.

Maybe it is just an exercise to see if they(Delta) can get more bags on the plane if done by them and to enforce the 2 item limit as someone else suggested.

I certainly wouldn't plan on this becoming anything regular anytime in the future.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 9:10 am
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The only place where I see it working is for those who need a little more time to board.

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Old Oct 10, 14, 9:37 am
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Sorry, I just got of the flight. Here is the deal. There were three agents at the gate. One who was working the flight, and the other two who were there to help with the bags. They made an announcement about 40 min before the flight then started to ask people. They never said that the service was free and this caused a little confusion. The two agents collected the bags, then took a cart down to the place about 30 min before the flight departed. Once boarding started, they obviously stopped the Early Valet.

As a FO they did not ask me to take the bags down, so maybe it is reserved for the Gold Elites. FO's may not be worthy!
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Old Oct 10, 14, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by DLdweeb View Post

I'm guessing this service is just for elites, correct?
.
Service is for any and all.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 9:52 am
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Service will be complimentary in 2016 for whoever spends 15k MQD's. Otherwise, it will be possible to take advantage of it by spending 15k MQD's.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 10:23 am
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Hm. Still confused as to what the benefit is. If it sped up boarding that could be valuable in terms of having aircraft spend less time at the gate, but it sounds like this aircraft was already parked at the gate well in advance of boarding anyway, and having employees go on to place bags in advance probably takes enough aircraft ground time to counterbalance any shortening of the boarding process.

I suppose some people, especially infrequent travelers, can be quite slow getting their rollaboards stowed, so in theory having "professionals" do it could lead to a much faster boarding process, and could better allocate space in some pinch points like in the first few rows of 757 coach where overhead room is very scarce -- but only if there were 100% participation. Otherwise you still have the problem of some people showing up at the last minute or boarding late in the process, not having space anywhere near their seat, and having to clog up the aisles looking for a place for their bag.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 10:29 am
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Sometimes the plane is there but not the crew, and in these cases getting the bags on would be a real time saver.

Also, it would avoid the situation where inconsiderate jerks put 2 bags in the overhead. One could also ensure that rollaboards went on the 3-seat side, other bags on the 2-seat side (where appropriate), and that people in the back didn't dump their bags in the front on the way back.

The only downside is for STE+ who arrive too late for valet and no longer get any benefit from early boarding to secure bin space.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by colerc View Post
Hm. Still confused as to what the benefit is. If it sped up boarding that could be valuable in terms of having aircraft spend less time at the gate, but it sounds like this aircraft was already parked at the gate well in advance of boarding anyway, and having employees go on to place bags in advance probably takes enough aircraft ground time to counterbalance any shortening of the boarding process. ....
You are missing the possibility that the critical path is waiting for the crew to arrive. Other than that case, this makes little sense.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 10:43 am
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sounds bizarre
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Old Oct 10, 14, 10:44 am
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They offered this service on a flight I took ATL-IAH earlier this year.

The GA and an individual from what I assume was operations (wearing a button-up and khakis - clearly not DL ground crew/flight crew) announced the carry-on valet service and walked around with blue tags and a push-cart. The service is 'free' and they put your bag above your seat for you.

Can't remember if the flight was particularly full and didn't avail myself of the service (I was in FC). I'm guessing it saves either space or time - probably speeds up the boarding process quite a bit. Especially on flights where there's a good bit of tarmac time/padding prior to boarding (first flight of the day, red eyes). Plus, then for the pax who don't valet bags, the FAs and GAs have a better idea of how much additional large-bag space there is. And frankly, on aircraft where the bin space is finicky - such as the 767s that really need giant stickers on the non-center bins that say "rollerboards only" - it would probably help quite a bit with spacing. If I board late (Zone 2+) on the 767, there's always space to be had but it usually involves shuffling other pax's bags and sometimes convincing the FA that yes, I'll be able to find space.

If I were a Zone 2+ pax and had the time, this would probably be a service I'd use (if free).

I wonder how gate checking would work, though, if your bag is oversize - do they come out to the gate area and tell you, let you remove stuff from your bag, etc?
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