American Airlines CEO explains why reverse landing doesn’t work.

Gary Leff at 21. March 2021.

The airlines want planes quickly. A short delay has a knock-on effect as the next flight is likely to be delayed and so will the next. Passengers miss connections, luggage also fails to arrive on the next flight, and crew members who are late for a flight also delay other flights (and may even exceed their hours for the day, resulting in cancelled flights).

That’s why it’s important to know how to get on a plane quickly. Southwest Airlines said it would take them 8-10 planes a day to add a few minutes of blocking time to every flight on our schedule.

Airlines so often try to speed up boarding. Southwest tends to board quickly because the order of the cabin determines where passengers will sit on the plane. So you stand at the gate 30 minutes before departure and usually wait in line. Airlines with their own seats do not benefit from this advantage.

A study has shown that the optimal process for advice is as follows

Passengers arrive in waves, with the first passengers called aboard sitting in windows separated by two rows – first 30A, then 28A, then 26A and so on. Then do the same on the other side of the plane (30F, 28F, 26F). It continues with odd rows of seats with windows on either side, seats in the middle and finally seats on the aisle side. Anyone can be seated in a few minutes without disturbing anyone. In field tests, this method proved to be almost twice as fast as most traditional methods and 20 to 30 percent faster than the have-at-it method, a completely random landing that is also faster than the method used by airlines. (This also allows slower passengers who need assistance to board first).

You can’t do that in the real world. Doug Parker explained that there are customer considerations and you can’t just do what’s best for a quick landing. Right now you want to socially remove passengers when they board, even though most airlines no longer block seats and planes are getting more and more crowded.

At a meeting with flight attendants earlier this month, he explained why American Airlines doesn’t want to switch to back-to-back boarding, despite its intuitive appeal:

We’ve looked at it, we’ve studied it, and although it seems better for people to go from back to front….. What you actually want to do is go from the window to the hallway, but when you do that, you separate families and everything else.

If you work back to front, the interaction with customers coming in and out of the aisle is in some cases the same, if not more, than our process.

Therefore, we have decided to tell our frequent flyers – our elite customers – that they can board at their convenience, and that we will use our normal boarding procedure.

And then we’ll ask you when you’re leaving, because we have everyone leaving from one window to the next, and they’re leaving accordingly ….. But we haven’t seen an increase in the lack of close interaction when we go back to the beginning compared to the process we use.

…We have discussed this issue with the company engineers, and we see no significant change, in some cases even more interaction.

You can’t separate families, so the best planting order doesn’t work in theory. And back to back also leads to batching. And because it doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in theory, their usual intake process has come to a halt.

That’s why all airlines tinker from time to time and never stop, because they’ve never been able to improve much – with a few exceptions.

In the early years of Southwest Airlines, the company had financial problems and had to turn in one of its planes. They kept most of their program even though they lost a plane. And to do this, they had to turn around in less than 10 minutes. The passengers left the back of the plane while new passengers boarded. Southwest’s cabin crew even cleans up the planes a bit between flights.

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frequently asked questions

Why do airlines make planes climb from front to back?

However, a new study shows that it can do just the opposite: American scientists have found that boarding a plane from the back rows extends the time it takes for people in the aisles to load their luggage into the baggage compartments before going to their seats.

How does priority boarding work on American Airlines?

Faster through check-in, security check and boarding Pay attention to the priority signs at the American Airlines check-in counter, security check and gate. For faster boarding, you can board as a First, Business or Elite passenger when priority is called and even board earlier.

When can an airline refuse boarding?

Yes, unfortunately airlines can deny a passenger access to a plane or remove them from the plane for any reason. The passenger also paid the full price of the ticket. Passengers don’t have many rights when it comes to air travel.

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