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Squawks & HeadlinesA modest proposal for Southwest Airlines

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A modest proposal for Southwest Airlines

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Bin There, Done That — Boarding an airplane these days takes longer than some of the flights. (www.bizjournals.com) More...

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tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 5
JBU used to do this (they still might). The problem here is that with most gates now, and the jetways going to the parked aircraft, to board at the back, you'd need to get those passengers down onto the ramp to do so. Most terminals may or may not have that ability. Some do allow this (LGB, BUR, SNA, for example, do). JBU did when they were parking at the A gates at LAS, but now that they've moved, they no longer do this.

What this guy doesn't realize is that it will take more time to do this for SWA than what they are doing now. This would add at least 10 - 15 minutes to their goal of the 20-minute turnaround.

In short, this guy is complaining about something, but doesn't know about the ramifications of what he is proposing.
tarbaby
phil gibson 1
One of the major reasons some airlines "zone load" is for weight and balance situations. Loading an airplane in the rear first would risk the tail of the plane tipping.....not good. In earlier years, the Aircraft would have a "tail stand" affixed during loading of either cargo or pax.
Southwest has simplified the loading process by giving you the option of an earlier boarding "number". Most with the earlier boarding number load the forward part of the plane, satisfying the "balance" situation. Boarding process 101.
RRKen
Kenneth Schmidt 6
I like this idea the best. Board First Class, then those without carry on, and last, folks with steamer trunks and 5 whining kids. When we reach destination, First Class and us non-carry on go about our business while those loading their pack mules can do so at their leisure.
abc123ucm
austin pennington 3
Im sorry but that sounds like a terrible idea and an expensive one. To make his idea happen you would need two jet bridges (one to the rear to enplane, one to the front to deplane). good concept, Bad Idea.
38Luscombe
Chris Fraser 2
I don't like the new thing that Southwest is doing where you pay forty dollars to be one of the first fifteen on board. To me, it's at least thirty extra minutes that you have to sit in an uncomfortable seat going nowhere. I would rather stand in a line because I am going to be sitting for the next hour at least.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
SWEATINTHSWAMP 2
I remember when airlines did board both the front and back when jets first came into commercial use in the late '50s
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Nice thought but.....why don't airlines with assigned seating board highest numbers first ? It's all a game to make you think you are "special" and lots of people buy in. As for baggage, they would rather have 100 pax handle instead of 2 baggage handlers. Funny how you can get to the airport early to get through security, wait an hour to start boarding, but can't stand to wait 10 minutes to deplane. I love it!
flynryan
Ryan Parry 2
You should be so lucky you get to complain about flying. I've got news for you though, the people that board first and take up so much time arrive at the destination the same time you do.
kcpirate
Kevin Welsh 2
SW can still turn around faster than the airlines that make you pay for "excess" baggage. Those airlines force people to bring everything they own as carry on.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
You are old. You actually walked up air stairs. Sorry. I'm a member too. That when jets were fast.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
SWEATINTHSWAMP 1
Yep. I walked up many door air stairs on the DC-3's and Convair 240's !
tarbaby
phil gibson 1
Yes, those were the days! When it was really fun to fly as a passenger. As a Pilot, THOSE WERE THE DAYS!
abc123ucm
austin pennington 1
The system is supposed to work to board passengers in sections such as group 1,2,3. each group in theory is supposed to have passengers from the front, middle and back to avoid congestion in each area.there are many theories of how to board. Take a look at this link if interested it shows and explains boarding practice used by most domestic U.S Airlines.
http://www.seatguru.com/articles/boarding_procedures.php
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
My flights must have missed the memo. Lol
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
If you load in the reverse order of unloading its quickest but you don't get to feel special. If I had an assigned seat in first class I would be dead last to board.
abc123ucm
austin pennington 3
I think the "hurry up and wait" mentality overtakes any logic or system airlines try to use.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
As a matter of fact, anytime I have assigned seating I'm happy with being last to board.
abc123ucm
austin pennington 2
I only Non-rev anymore I am just happy to have a seat.
wingbolt
Todd Wilson 3
Get a private jet, boarding is easy!!!
andytyler
Andy Tyler -5
poor aircraft have such lousy safety records. i'd rather not die in a fiery crash.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 4
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
And you are single pilot ifr? Better recheck those stats. I am in the same category and understand the limitations. I don't have a schedule to maintain. But a turbine powered, multi engined, crewed, airplane just has better odds.
KW10001
Kylan Walters 1
Next time, just say "I'm an idiot."
mikeb5618
Mike Barbato 1
There actually exist over-the-wing jet bridges that allow rear door ops. I believe DEN and YYC have a few. The other alternative I've seen is using an airstair at the rear door, but then you have the additional work of routing pax down to the ramp.
mgolchert
Michael Golchert 1
SW has at least 2 gates at ALB that can board from the front and aft at the same time. In looking at Google Earth of the ALB conccourses, it appears that the two south gates have an additional "arm" on the jetway that goes over the wing to reach the aft door.

This DOES speed up the turn-around time rather dramatically!
atcssct
Kevin Ford 1
Then i recommend you elect to NOT pay the optional 40 dollars!

jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
Simple, just don't bother boarding until they make the final announcement. It also would help to do so w/out carry-on and on an airline with assigned seating.
eagle763
John Hale 1
No matter what you try it's still up to the passengers getting on the plane or off that make it quick or not. I see people all the time stand in the middle of the ilse and just goof off meesing with there carry ons and such. Me. I know where I'm sitting,when I get there I'm already ready to throw my bag in the bin and sit down. 20 seconds and I'm out of the way.
andytyler
Andy Tyler 2
yeah except the last person to board a southwest flight will undoubtedly get a crap seat.
tarbaby
phil gibson 1
The perverbial middle seat......gotta love it!
bishops90
Brian Bishop -1
Last I checked, a 737 doesn't have a back door.....
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
That's where they board the peanuts, pop, and Jack Daniels.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
Lol. I know there is one back there, just figured it was only used for my peanuts! (And emergencies).