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Rude to walk in front of people in your same group/zone just before boarding?

Rude to walk in front of people in your same group/zone just before boarding?

Old Dec 25, 18, 4:40 pm
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Rude to walk in front of people in your same group/zone just before boarding?

If your airline boards by zone, and you’re standing within a few feet of the boarding lane and boarding is about to start, do you consider it rude if someone in your same zone/group walks right in front of you? Particularly if the person sees your group number?

For example, if you’re standing within 2 feet of the American Airlines pole at the gate that states “Zones 1-4” (and the gate agent has told everyone not to stand in the boarding lane), you’re holding your boarding pass that says “Zone 2”, visible to other people, and another person walks up, eyes your boarding pass and you see the person’s phone that also shows “Zone 2”, and the person says, “I’m also Zone 2” and walks right in front of you?

Or, for example, if you’re in the first zone that boards and everyone in your zone has lined up, but people standing elsewhere, not in line, just walk in front of you?

Do you get irked? Do you say anything?

Last edited by ibrandsguest; Dec 25, 18 at 4:56 pm
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Old Dec 25, 18, 5:32 pm
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Sometimes, it is not clear if another person is gate lice or in a group about to be called. So I don't mind if someone cuts in front of me. If it is clear to them that I am not gate lice, they shouldn't shove their way and go to the front.

I suppose if one is really irked, they could yell "I am zone 2 and anyone who shoves past me is going to make me snap and demand the plane fly to Havana!". However, this adds significant risk to being detained. Either that or nobody will shove their way past you.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 8:22 am
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If they've called your group and you're standing there, what else are they supposed to do? If they're ready to board before you have your act together and start walking, they should board. If that happens to take them in front of you, so be it. As far as they know, maybe you're waiting for someone else so the two of you can board together. (Maybe you have the other person's boarding pass or something. It's not their job to figure out why you're standing there after your group has been called.)

If they've called your group and you're moving, just not moving quite as fast as they'd like you to, it's incredibly rude. You'll probably all end up waiting a bit at the end of the jetway anyhow;

If they haven't called your group, the gate agent should send them back. Granted, not all gate agents do, especially if they're in the next group and it's about to be called, but in that case they shouldn't be going anywhere - and you could perhaps say something.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
If they've called your group and you're standing there, what else are they supposed to do? If they're ready to board before you have your act together and start walking, they should board. If that happens to take them in front of you, so be it. As far as they know, maybe you're waiting for someone else so the two of you can board together. (Maybe you have the other person's boarding pass or something. It's not their job to figure out why you're standing there after your group has been called.)

If they've called your group and you're moving, just not moving quite as fast as they'd like you to, it's incredibly rude. You'll probably all end up waiting a bit at the end of the jetway anyhow;

If they haven't called your group, the gate agent should send them back. Granted, not all gate agents do, especially if they're in the next group and it's about to be called, but in that case they shouldn't be going anywhere - and you could perhaps say something.
Thanks. This was before my group had been called, and after the gate agent had told everyone to stay out of the boarding lane. Next time I'll say something.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 4:38 pm
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I typically politely say something to affect of "Excuse me there is a line here."

The one time I had some do similar what the OP describes was while boarding in first class. I did say "Excuse me there is a line here." They starkly said, "I'm in First Class" to which I replied "We are all in first class." They got to the GA and handed them their board pass which beeped red. The GA told them to step out the line, at which point I handed the GA my BP which beeped green and proceed to board. But not before giving the perp the stink eye. I noticed when the perp finally boarded they walk to the back of the bus. They were low class.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 5:10 pm
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I find the etiquette of this a bit confusing, particularly in the US where the current boarding group system started (and has largely been shown to be superior to other approaches and is being adopted everywhere).

Boarding a United Houston Bonaire flight the other day Group 3 was being boarded, but everyone in the waiting area was in a single line. I was in Group 3 and eventually just stood at the back of the line and boarded last (by which points Group 3 and 4 were boarding according to the monitor, though no announcements had been made since Group 2).
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Old Dec 26, 18, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Sometimes, it is not clear if another person is gate lice or in a group about to be called. So I don't mind if someone cuts in front of me. If it is clear to them that I am not gate lice, they shouldn't shove their way and go to the front.

I suppose if one is really irked, they could yell "I am zone 2 and anyone who shoves past me is going to make me snap and demand the plane fly to Havana!". However, this adds significant risk to being detained. Either that or nobody will shove their way past you.
If it happens to me this weekend, I'll try your approach. I'm flying to Havana.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
If your airline boards by zone, and you’re standing within a few feet of the boarding lane and boarding is about to start, do you consider it rude if someone in your same zone/group walks right in front of you? Particularly if the person sees your group number?

For example, if you’re standing within 2 feet of the American Airlines pole at the gate that states “Zones 1-4” (and the gate agent has told everyone not to stand in the boarding lane), you’re holding your boarding pass that says “Zone 2”, visible to other people, and another person walks up, eyes your boarding pass and you see the person’s phone that also shows “Zone 2”, and the person says, “I’m also Zone 2” and walks right in front of you?

Or, for example, if you’re in the first zone that boards and everyone in your zone has lined up, but people standing elsewhere, not in line, just walk in front of you?

Do you get irked? Do you say anything?

Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
If your airline boards by zone, and you’re standing within a few feet of the boarding lane and boarding is about to start, do you consider it rude if someone in your same zone/group walks right in front of you? Particularly if the person sees your group number?

For example, if you’re standing within 2 feet of the American Airlines pole at the gate that states “Zones 1-4” (and the gate agent has told everyone not to stand in the boarding lane), you’re holding your boarding pass that says “Zone 2”, visible to other people, and another person walks up, eyes your boarding pass and you see the person’s phone that also shows “Zone 2”, and the person says, “I’m also Zone 2” and walks right in front of you?

Or, for example, if you’re in the first zone that boards and everyone in your zone has lined up, but people standing elsewhere, not in line, just walk in front of you?

Do you get irked? Do you say anything?
I think the flaw in your thinking is that you seem to believe that 'rude' and the opposite 'civilized' actually still apply to air travel. The simple observation of how people crowd in front of the boarding area before every flight, should indicate to you that your expectations are not in line with reality.

I think there are also two other factors at play here. One is culture. In some cultures, 'lining up in an orderly fashion' is simply not the norm. That person walking in front of you may not be doing anything 'rude' at all in their view and it is their view that determines their behaviour, not your view.

Second, why not look at the underlying reason for why people want to rush the gate? Do you really think it is because they just want to get on the plane and sitting in their seat waiting for everyone else to be seated for take-off? No, that is not why they want to get on board first, do I really have to say it is about overhead bin space? I sometimes think that the best way to handle boarding would be to call Y class first and First class last. That way, you can sit and relax, read a book or whatever and then 'stroll' on board without having to deal with any hassle at all. No need to put up with 'rude' people with no more status than yourself 'butting in' line in front of you. I much prefer approaching the gate when there is no line at all. Just before the gate closes in other words. I do that regardless of what class I am flying in. So far, my seat has always been waiting for me when I got to it.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 12:23 pm
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Here is an interesting article on 'lining up'. It's a Canadian article and it seems the only difference between Canadians getting angry about 'line jumpers' as opposed to Americans, is that in the USA, they shoot them. No surprise there, eh.

One other interesting comment in the article appears at the end where an Iranian now resident in Canada sees lining up as a 'luxury'. "Most Canadians, she noted, have never endured an eight-hour lineup for water, food or scarce medical supplies, situations where “if you start being polite, or if you stay at the end of the line, your child can die.”

Puts a whole different perspective on things don't you think?
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Old Dec 27, 18, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
Here is an interesting article on 'lining up'. It's a Canadian article and it seems the only difference between Canadians getting angry about 'line jumpers' as opposed to Americans, is that in the USA, they shoot them. No surprise there, eh.

One other interesting comment in the article appears at the end where an Iranian now resident in Canada sees lining up as a 'luxury'. "Most Canadians, she noted, have never endured an eight-hour lineup for water, food or scarce medical supplies, situations where “if you start being polite, or if you stay at the end of the line, your child can die.”

Puts a whole different perspective on things don't you think?
Congrats, off-topic post of 2018.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
I think the flaw in your thinking is that you seem to believe that 'rude' and the opposite 'civilized' actually still apply to air travel. The simple observation of how people crowd in front of the boarding area before every flight, should indicate to you that your expectations are not in line with reality.

I think there are also two other factors at play here. One is culture. In some cultures, 'lining up in an orderly fashion' is simply not the norm. That person walking in front of you may not be doing anything 'rude' at all in their view and it is their view that determines their behaviour, not your view.

Second, why not look at the underlying reason for why people want to rush the gate? Do you really think it is because they just want to get on the plane and sitting in their seat waiting for everyone else to be seated for take-off? No, that is not why they want to get on board first, do I really have to say it is about overhead bin space? I sometimes think that the best way to handle boarding would be to call Y class first and First class last. That way, you can sit and relax, read a book or whatever and then 'stroll' on board without having to deal with any hassle at all. No need to put up with 'rude' people with no more status than yourself 'butting in' line in front of you. I much prefer approaching the gate when there is no line at all. Just before the gate closes in other words. I do that regardless of what class I am flying in. So far, my seat has always been waiting for me when I got to it.
But then you wouldn't get a pre-departure beverage.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
I think the flaw in your thinking is that you seem to believe that 'rude' and the opposite 'civilized' actually still apply to air travel. The simple observation of how people crowd in front of the boarding area before every flight, should indicate to you that your expectations are not in line with reality.

I think there are also two other factors at play here. One is culture. In some cultures, 'lining up in an orderly fashion' is simply not the norm. That person walking in front of you may not be doing anything 'rude' at all in their view and it is their view that determines their behaviour, not your view.

Second, why not look at the underlying reason for why people want to rush the gate? Do you really think it is because they just want to get on the plane and sitting in their seat waiting for everyone else to be seated for take-off? No, that is not why they want to get on board first, do I really have to say it is about overhead bin space? I sometimes think that the best way to handle boarding would be to call Y class first and First class last. That way, you can sit and relax, read a book or whatever and then 'stroll' on board without having to deal with any hassle at all. No need to put up with 'rude' people with no more status than yourself 'butting in' line in front of you. I much prefer approaching the gate when there is no line at all. Just before the gate closes in other words. I do that regardless of what class I am flying in. So far, my seat has always been waiting for me when I got to it.
In my case, it was in my city, by someone of approximately my age and same race and gender as me.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 8:37 am
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I dunno. If you arrive at the gate after the GA makes the announcement to stand back, for example, you wouldn't know why the person was just standing there. Sometimes you try to do the right thing and wait and end up getting stuck behind someone who's just lingering for whatever reason.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 9:36 am
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With AA, there really aren't any queues. There's a sign with 1-4 on one side and 5-9 on the other. Even worse, in many cases you would logically think that the "priority" side should be where the 5-9 sign is. There is usually not much of a barrier between the sides. So people are just gathered around in a clump when they start calling the groups.

I'm either group 1, if upgraded, or group 4, if not. I fly AA enough to know that groups 2 and 3 are usually small. It's basically a few un-upgraded Plats. Group 4 is the Golds and I'm guessing some of the other people who have "priority" boarding for whatever reason. So it's a larger group. But Group 4 never forms an orderly queue: we're just a clump. So when the GA is calling 2 and 3 (usually quickly, as there are few people in those groups), I move into position, careful to not block the way for any lingering Group 1-2-3 people coming through. I'm then usually in the first couple of Group 4 people boarding.

If I saw someone else doing the same thing as a Group 4, I'd just let them go first. Getting an overhead bin as a 4 is never a problem. But...I don't linger in the back expecting a queue to form, because I know it won't...and I certainly don't want to be back there when they start boarding the rest of the groups.

Other airlines seem to do a better job of marking out more discrete single-file queueing areas. It's possible AA does for widebody departures out of some airports, although I don't recall it being much better at any gate at ORD.

Southwest has the *most* orderly boarding process of all - almost zero gate-licing, very rapid loading that I like much better whether I have elite status or not. Sort of ironic, considering that the first 30-ish years of their existence was some variant of the "cattle call".
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