I have come to view airplanes as the busses of my youth. Any one that says different is either hopelessly romantic about flying or occasionally having an experience other than a semi-miserable bus ride in the sky.
Earlier this week, USAToday…ran an article on how airlines are handling the “loading of the bus problem”, aptly titled “Airlines change how they herd us aboard…”.The most interesting system from my perspective seems to be United’s. They load from the windows in, so that if you have a window seat, you get on first. That way people don’t have to climb over others. But the author quotes one expert who notes that Southwest’s system of allowing people to board without seat assignments is very efficient. Not sure if I like the idea of no seat assignment, particularly when I work to get an exit row seat, but most of the flights I have had on Southwest have been better than average.
A final comment really caught my attention, ( and one that I totally agree with!) as one frequent flyer said that reducing the amount of carry-on baggage would be the best way to speed the process!
After all the flights I have taken, I have concluded that two things should happen to make flying better:
- Nothing other than a back pack/brief case or purse should be allowed as carry on baggage. In doing so all baggage would be treated better, and everyone would get on and off quicker. Too many times I have been forced to help people muscle their bags up into the overheads, or watch fly attendants work to cram bags into too little overhead space.
- Just one major airline now in bankruptcy should be liquidated, planes sold, jobs eliminated, and jobs lost.
My friends have suggested that by advocating such a plan, i.e. eliminating a major airline, I would cost myself money, i.e. less capacity, fewer seats, hence higher prices.
But think about the the impact on airline customer service, i.e. there is nothing like a little fear, the fear of losing one’s job that causes us all to work harder and treat people better. Because whatever they are doing today makes one long for the good old days when paying customers on airlines were treated like real human beings.