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Maybe military boarding is a different issue

Maybe military boarding is a different issue

Old May 13, 11, 3:41 pm
  #1  
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Maybe military boarding is a different issue

There has been a lot of talk about military boarding on United lately.

Maybe we all missed the target? Military is United largest customer, by a long shot. Both in revenue and in overall PAX. Just as WalMart is P&Gs biggest customer. WalMart gets the very deepest discounts, yet P&G needs their revenue.

Maybe United's overall boarding plan has a motive we have missed and might hate to acknowledge. Follow the money.

Disclosure- I am active duty military and fly an average of 12 segments per month on a assigned mix of airlines. I would never think of boarding anytime except in the group I am assigned.The real way to board a aircraft with PAX (with carry ons)should be just like loading a military bus with carry ons, back always gets loaded first. If we really want to load properly, no other formula works nearly as well.
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Old May 13, 11, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
The real way to board a aircraft with PAX (with carry ons)should be just like loading a military bus with carry ons, back always gets loaded first. If we really want to load properly, no other formula works nearly as well.
Not going to touch on the military boarding issue, but I'm guessing a military bus is far different boarding-wise - I doubt you have servicemen/women constantly taking an aisle seat, then standing up and letting someone else slide in to the window.

W-M-A has been documented / proven / studied as more efficient than back to front by rows.
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Old May 13, 11, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Not going to touch on the military boarding issue, but I'm guessing a military bus is far different boarding-wise - I doubt you have servicemen/women constantly taking an aisle seat, then standing up and letting someone else slide in to the window.

W-M-A has been documented / proven / studied as more efficient than back to front by rows.
the study assumes that they follow that procedure to the "T" as families sitting together will board separately (real world doesn't work that way) and it didn't account for the influx of carry-ons that have occurred in the past 2.5 years.

Rah! RAh! (to the Co folks...Wah! Wah!( to the complainers)
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Old May 13, 11, 4:01 pm
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If you've ever flown IAD-KWI, there is like 2% leisure travel on that plane, everything else is military.
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Old May 13, 11, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
There has been a lot of talk about military boarding on United lately.

Maybe we all missed the target? Military is United largest customer, by a long shot. Both in revenue and in overall PAX. Just as WalMart is P&Gs biggest customer. WalMart gets the very deepest discounts, yet P&G needs their revenue.

Maybe United's overall boarding plan has a motive we have missed and might hate to acknowledge. Follow the money.

If the goal were to allow them to pre-board because they're a large customer, the airline can discretely provide that to them on their boarding pass -- through discrete status matches, through their fare basis, through a negotiated agreement, etc. No need for a public announcement. But that's not the goal, the goal is to generate PR, which is why it's policy and a public announcement is made. They think they'll get more Rah! Rah! this way.
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Old May 13, 11, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Halo117 View Post
the study assumes that they follow that procedure to the "T" as families sitting together will board separately (real world doesn't work that way) and it didn't account for the influx of carry-ons that have occurred in the past 2.5 years.

Rah! RAh! (to the Co folks...Wah! Wah!( to the complainers)
OK, when they report the next quartertly stats, we'll probably see PMUA on-time arrival rates take a big 6 point drop way down to PMCO's level, and then we'll have our proof that WMA is faster.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:08 pm
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Everyone should have to line up outside the gate by row 30 min prior to boarding, sound off (loudly) by seat number, and board B to F, W to A. So much more efficient.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
The real way to board a aircraft with PAX (with carry ons)should be just like loading a military bus with carry ons, back always gets loaded first. If we really want to load properly, no other formula works nearly as well.
Do you have assigned seats on those military busses, or is it just convention that everyone goes as far back as there are free seats and then sits down by the window if there is a double-seat available, otherwise aisle?

Purely from an "algorithmic" standpoint that would seem like the fastest way indeed, but in reality you will have people gum up the aisles because they were allowed to board early (kids, elites, elderly, military, FAM, ...).

Seems like Southwest is doing fine with a fairly random process. The passengers are lined up in a well-defined order at the gate, but once they get on the place they can pick any seat. They seem to get pretty quick turn-around times. Might help, though, that they have a somewhat lower load factor than their competitors last I checked, so gate-checking etc. may not be as often a problem delaying departure.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:37 pm
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While it is not going to slow down my boarding 99.9% of the time I still don't like the concept of calling military out individually. Especially when boarding flights overseas.

Yes, it's super-technically not limited to US military personnel. But de facto we know what it is about.

No concerns doing this on domestic flights. I'd still prefer it not be done, but don't care a whole lot either way.

As to the OP, I don't think there's much evidence to suggest early boarding will motivate a lot of folks to switch to UA. A 10% automatic discount or something similar probably would.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:43 pm
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I have no issue with Military boarding before everyone else, in fact i would have no problem with non-active military boarding before me.
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Old May 13, 11, 6:02 pm
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I am NOT happy with this.

I am NOT cheerful about this at all. Pre-boarding for disable folks, young children etc I fully support. Uniform worship I simply don't. I don't think this is good PR at all for United as a major (albeit US based) international commercial passenger airline.
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Old May 13, 11, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheerfulflyer View Post
Pre-boarding for disable folks, young children etc I fully support.
As long as they buy first class tickets i am fully on board with this
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Old May 13, 11, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
If you've ever flown IAD-KWI, there is like 2% leisure travel on that plane, everything else is military.
And contractors. An incredibly interesting mix of people on that flight.
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Old May 16, 11, 4:29 pm
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I think the original boarding scheme United had was fine. It makes no sense to add a new zone for military. There are a ton of military 1Ks deployed to Denver and the other big hubs (Dulles = Pentagon).

Continental was looking for a no cost way to appear patriotic and all, but their boarding scheme is crap.
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Old May 16, 11, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheerfulflyer View Post
I am NOT cheerful about this at all. Pre-boarding for disable folks, young children etc I fully support. Uniform worship I simply don't. I don't think this is good PR at all for United as a major (albeit US based) international commercial passenger airline.
+1. I've been giving UA a fair amount of business recently.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 17, 11 at 9:17 am Reason: OMNI
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