by Vincent I. Porter
Navigating an Airport – Boarding
Following on from previous weeks, we conclude the ‘Navigating an Airport’ series with a look at boarding. what should be as simple as walking on a plane and sitting down never is. Airlines are looking to create the fastest possible turnaround time, so that they can get the most use of an aircraft.
An aircraft on the ground isn’t making any money, unless maybe it’s a feature piece of a museum, or it’s been converted into a hostel. I digress. Airlines want you to get on board as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can keep the planes flying.
You’ve made it to the gate on time and you’re relaxed and stress free, milling around waiting for your flight to be called. Depending on the airline you are flying there are different procedures. Every airline has its own take on what the best way to board an aircraft is, and they will try to guide you in this process with announcements, signs, printed zone numbers, and by other means.
Pay attention to what you see and hear. Everything is designed for you to not have to worry, and with a little bit of patience you are helping the gate agents do their jobs as best they can, while shuffling people’s seats so that a couple can sit together, for example.
Airlines have also started to realize that priority boarding can be quite desirable and lucrative and may even charge a fee for this. Most often, those in premium cabins and elite card holders are given these privileges as a benefit, but sometimes the airlines will also offer this facility to those who are willing to pay a little bit extra for it. When you would like that extra bit of time to get settled, and perhaps find space for your carry-on: pay attention to your airline’s website and offers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Please leave a comment below to tell us what you think.
We wish you safe, and smooth travels!