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question everything

(47,717 posts)
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 12:57 PM Jun 2023

Order of entering an airplane?

I have not travelled for many years and was used to agents calling travelers to enter by row, starting from the back and with many grabbing the storage compartments in the front.

The other day, at JFK, at Delta, our boarding passes included Cabin 1 and Cabin 2.

The gate agent - a wonderful competent one - told us to form two lines, on both sides of the gate, no possibility of crossover. The first to board were the front rows, and then the back ones. It made so much sense. We had all the overhead compartments available.

So I am curious of whether this is how it is no done.

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(4,274 posts)
1. On a smaller commuter
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 01:02 PM
Jun 2023

I've seen people just kind of "load". Maybe a discount experience like Southwest just turns a flashing red light on and everybody jams in and figures it out. Just kidding. There's no way Southwest is spending the money for the flashing light or the electricity to turn it on.

Blues Heron

(5,978 posts)
2. It should be back to front window seats first, then back to front middle, then back to front aisle
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 01:04 PM
Jun 2023

But that would be too logical, so let’s have a million people get on and sit down only to have to get up again cuz the window seat guy needs to get by.

Alternatively back to front window then middle then aisle would work- row by row back to front. Regardless, window people need sit first in each row, then middle etc.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
5. Unfortunately what makes the most sense collides with the economics of ticket sales
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 02:16 PM
Jun 2023

Frequent flyers with status and those who pay extra for the privilege are always given priority as per the pecking order the airline establishes.

I fly often enough where I get boarding priority on the airlines I frequent the most. If I had my way I'd be the last on and the first off, but unfortunately you have assholes who want to bring 3 carry on pieces, two of which are too large to carry on and they want to put all of it in the overhead capitalizing the space so nobody around them has any left. So I get on early and put my one appropriately sized bag in the overhead and put my small backpack underneath the seat. I always sit in the aisle, so if there's any space left after boarding I'll throw my backpack in the overhead.


(10,345 posts)
3. I usually fly American Airlines and they board by group number.
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 01:05 PM
Jun 2023

Concierge members (their uber frequent travelers) board first, then first class/Group 1, and so on. Those in groups 6 and 7 are often asked to gate check any bags because the overheads will be filled by the time they get on.


(2,899 posts)
4. I think it just varies between airlines and the current fads, like hemlines.
Sun Jun 11, 2023, 01:31 PM
Jun 2023

Front to back isn't a bad idea; I haven't seen that one before, but I haven't flown Delta in a while. I prefer sitting in the back, and it would really suit me to keep out of the plane as long as possible, so this would be great.

I had heard that window seats, then middle, then aisle was really fastest, but I've never been on a flight where they did that. They'd have to figure in people flying together.

Airlines have made so many exceptions for boarding order, mostly unnecessary or profit-driven. Mobility impaired, people with small children--sure. But then there's first class, premier seating, whatever loyalty tier, etc, etc. Last time I flew United, they had six different lanes, only partly based on where in the plane your seat is.

Don't get me started on how the pay for flight attendants starts only after the plane door closes. Explains the constant nagging for people to put their belongings away and get in their assigned seat. Most people are motivated to get in their seat, and putting things away takes as long as it takes. The nagging is just unpleasant and mostly unnecessary.

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