How Hard is it to Get People onto an Airplane?
Airlines have been transporting people for years. For all these years, people have been managing to board an airplane, take a seat and the flight has taken off. What was once considered standard behavior today has become much more complicated.
Now getting on the plane is considered a perk that is to be rewarded or withheld according to the revenue model of the airline.
What is the Reason for New Boarding Models?
Finding a better model for boarding planes can be financially rewarding for airlines. It is estimated that saving 30 to 60 seconds on the time it takes to board a plane can save a significant amount of money for an airline that has thousands a flights a day.
Selling Access to Airline Boarding
But there is a secondary financial motive that developed when airlines started to charge baggage fees. After all there is no need for a passenger to rush to board an airplane to get a seat; if they have a reservation and purchase a ticket they will get a seat.
What impels people to jockey to get ahead in line is the need to get overhead space for their baggage. Since airlines started to charge for checking bags more people are taking their bags on to the airplane.
So, the airlines want to board planes as quickly as possible in an orderly manner while the passengers want to get on as fast as possible. The airlines solution? Give priority boarding to passengers who pay more, have an airline charge card, are frequent flyers or pay for the privilege. It has become so complicated that American Airlines has nine categories for boarding preference.
Oh wait, that would be ten categories if you count the group that is so privileged that it has no number that boards before Group One. What do passengers feel would be the best method? No seems to have asked.