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Plane boarding trial @Gatwick with Easyjet

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

BBC News - Gatwick trial cuts plane boarding time by 10%

This report is available on the BBC. It shows how using multiple boarding calls have produced more efficient results to get people seated and the plane flying on time.

The problem is 10%. To some it may seem a lot, and to others it seems like nothing. It's a difficult 10% to measure.

BUT, what the report does highlight is the chaotic and “packed like sardines“ way that the boarding process works. Anyone who has travelled will see the same thing (in the UK at least). People will have queued up before any announcements are made! I wont list out the numerous issues that occur as there are many. And we've all seen it or been at the end of that bad experience (if you haven't, then sorry to break this to you, but you are the one at fault!)

Once on board, it doesn't get any better. As the report and feedback shows, queuing whilst people are putting away their bags.

Yes, i realise, being British, we are a people who queue :-)

However, that British trait, goes out of the window if we see others breaking the unwritten rules.

Airlines in the UK, have been slow to resolve this. Some things are out of their hands (like area of the gate to accommodate the number of passengers). But the report has a few ideas which airlines should have started testing at least 5-7 years ago.

The low cost airlines do it some of the time, but opening the rear doors makes perfect sense. If space and the infrastructure is there, split the passengers to enter the plane via the front and rear doors. I realise the big A380 does this, but that's mainly for different classes. Boarding by window, middle, aisle seat could prove problematic.

Bag issues, bag size, storing etc, are managed by the airlines, and they will operate this. But i want to see some changes in the way we and everyone around us at an airport behaves.

These passenger behavioural changes can be made when all the airlines and airports adopt and apply the same system.

Less time boarding, means less time in the air, meaning doing our bit to use less fuel. A less stressful way to start any holiday or business trip.

Passengers complaints are always because something is deemed unfair. A sense of injustice. (I will ignore the minority who feel a sense of entitlement)

But, if a universal code for boarding is applied everywhere, then passengers over time accept it, and in unison will call others out if they break these "unwritten rules".

Perhaps we all have a Little Britain in us.


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