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Delta Air Lines is scrapping its back-to-front boarding process

One of Delta’s last remaining pandemic-era policy adjustments has just come to an end. On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Atlanta-based carrier resumed its “normal,” zone-based boarding process after nearly 18 months of loading coach passengers from back to front. The carrier confirmed the move in the following statement to TPG: As Delta continues to welcome customers back onboard, we also continue to explore opportunities that keep people moving efficiently and enhance the airport experience. Beginning… ( More...

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Bob Denyer 12
Never understood why airlines don't board window seats first, then middle seats, and then aisle.
blt56 3
Boarding is not about efficiency. It is about creating 'priority' or other reasons that allow airlines to charge for 'better' seats. They create value out of passenger's desires to board sooner.

And when you are higher up on the frequent flyer roster there are fewer ways to reward you that don't cost the airline money. Allowing earlier boarding does not have a cost - someone will board at any given time slot. May as well 'reward' some people.

We all have assigned seats by boarding time. People like to board early so they can get overhead space for their carry-on luggage. I love it when airlines offer to gate check carry-on luggage for free. Then I relax in the gate area until the last passengers board. I skip the herd pressing forward until their boarding group is called. I don't have to sit there and watch people load the overhead or get in and out to allow the window passenger into the row. It is much more relaxing to board last, especially if the flight is the one to home. Gate checking is more risky on the outbound flight.
Alan Glover 5
Me too. Works great. People are sheep.
Or cattle?
Roger Curtiss 3
I like to board late as well-I enjoy seeing the faces of my row mates when they realize that my window seat will be occupied after all!
Tommy Boy 2
Why is gate checking risky on outbound flights? I figure I have delivered my carry-on to the plane itself, and if I'm with you, and we are the last to board, my luggage is on top and will be the first to be unloaded into the first trolley at the destination.

You do realize that for other people, that may be the flight home.
blt56 1
They gate check to your final destination so if you have connecting flights they can lose the baggage.
Alan Glover 1
Yes....on the bottom of all the other luggage that comes after. Sometimes it works but not always.
Tommy Boy 1
That's what I "figure" but regardless, my bag always shows up. Delta has never lost my luggage on outbound, inbound, of flights with multiple layovers in over 35 years of flying them. So, I don't worry about it.
rlowney 9
The problem with back to front is lazy people who carry their large carry-on put them in the front bins. They then walk to the back. Can't tell you how many times this happened to me. Of course, the attendants don't make sure they take their stuff with them so it still causes problems. Face it people are just get overovers.
I don't understand why Delta or any airline was not boarding back-to-front long before China virus hit. Boarding in zones causes people to block the aisles while taking they old-easy-time in putting their stuff up. The most efficient way of boarding is back-to-front, then deplane front-to-back.
jrd47 3
There was a mythbusters episode on this and the best process was to have people board randomly.
Alan Glover 7
Nope. Fastest is outside to inside. Windows first, middle seat second, aisle last.

It has been tested but will never work as peeps don't want to board separately from their seatmates.
jrd47 3
Yeah, I remembered it wrong. Random was better than back to front. Though, I'm not sure people will follow directions well enough for WILMA.
Alan Glover 1
They don't need to follow directions. If their boarding pass says window, they go first.

The tests reduced boarding times by a not insignificant number when we consider that on time departures are the gold standard for airlines. We all LOVE it when pushback is even 3 minutes before sched.
RustySimmons 1
My recollection is that USED to be the norm for all airlines (except SWA). At least up through the 90s if not a little beyond. They called by rows, back to front, then named them as zones, then zones became a way of differentiating pax by ticket price or FF status. I guess they decided differentiation is more important than efficiency.
Tommy Boy 2
My pet peeve with the airlines is the term "Pre-Boarding." How can people be boarding, before people are boarding? If you are pre-boarding, which resembles boarding, you are by definition, boarding. When one types pre-boarding or preboarding, a red squiggly line appears under it because it isn't even a word!

I fly Delta a few times a year, not a lot, but a few, and I have to say I've never noticed any difference. That may be because I don't pay any attention to the boarding "process" as I want to spend the least amount of time inside the plane, so I'm always at or near the end of the line. Being the in the first group of people boarding is the last thing I want to do.
Richard Haas 1
Airline employees are instructed to "pre-plan", also not a word, an airline neologism.
Coalora 7
If your metric for ending all this nonsense is "No one must ever get sick/die ever again." then you need to rethink your priorities and realize that's not only unrealistic, it's downright foolish. Turn off your TV and get back to living your lives, folks. This nonsense ends as soon as *you* want it to.
Jeff Taylor 3
@coalora your statement is 110% correct. Hey Covid "flu" is here to stay, just like the "flu" was in our lives into 2019. Time to move on folks
Alan Glover 1
Right on.

"You have nothing to fear but fear itself".
It's the "stuff".
Jesse Carroll 1
Bob Denver.....I've suggested the same thing for years!
I pay for early boarding and by the time I do board the plane is half full!
Really tired of crawling over people to get to my window seat!
Paid for better seats for next week, can't wait to see how that works out!
Also, a few months ago I paid extra for behind the bulkhead for extra leg room and had me knees under my chin. Thank you AA!
Dave Mathes 1
....i still prefer to wear an extra jacket and check myself in as baggage....

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Ken Bittner 5
Quit trying to create a "straw man" argument. This is a post about "seating".

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

David Rice -1
"...until it will be proven deadly." Yea, please hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Meanwhile you can keep living in your world of hate, fear, and Fox News. The rest of us will live in the real world with our TVs off.
Jesse Carroll 1
When and if you turn on Fox News, you will see what actually is NEWS!
This morning Fox opens with Gen. Millie??blowing up innocent children with a drone strike!
GMA led with some stupid artist?? putting pink paper around some islands!
If you don't watch Fox try OAN or News Max. At the least you will see what's happening in the world. Not bull crap praising Sleep Joe's farce government!
Alan Glover 1
Fox is the only msm that has pretty much it all (which proves you don't watch but just smear like a good little prog) and all the on-airs are pro-vaxx or at least mind their business and respect your privacy, something for which you seem to care little. 😉

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Alan Glover -4
Heh, and socialist countries with zero liberty are sailing right through.

The Uiber-rank odor of marxism.
Robert Cowling -1
Again, sparky, America does have Socialism. Why do you think that all of the GOP tax cuts shower the benefits on the rich, and we get peanuts. Wake the hell up. Those 'trump Tax Cuts' were the golden shower for the haves, and too many of us got next to nothing. And those 'stimulus checks'? THe GOP has fought them tooth and nail, because the 'working class' needs to work for that benefit, while the rich just show up, contribute, and walk off with HUGE tax breaks...

Someone once said that the problem with the working class is they need a better lobbying plan. The rich can contribute tens of thousands, and BUY politicians, the working class need that money to SURVIVE.

Wake the FUCK UP!!! America has Socialism, and you ain't getting any of that golden shower money, what we get is all urine!!!
mmc7090 -3
Money talks so called science walks. Bla bla bla from the marketing geniuses too funny!
H Ghavam 0
Consider a family of three,Not really a great idea to make mother and father board separately while little child remains at the gate
Alan Glover 1
Exceptions are human. It's cool. We are nothing if not a highly adaptable race.

Still, boarding outside in (combined with back to front as well but that's NEVER going to happen) is the fastest.
I have seen that happen! The parents sit in First, and the kids are stuffed into coach. One of the last flights I was on last year was where a child was having some anxiety, and their parents had to be located in First to come back to calm them down, and at first refuse to swap seats so Jr could sit next to mom. I can't believe that kind of assholery. What do the tell their kids? 'You're only a tex exemption, so until you can earn some serious money and contribute to the family bottom line, you get to sit in steerage!'? What kind of crap is that?


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