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Old 05-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
goofy4tink
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Just have to share my Airtran experience with you all....

I flew Airtran down to Ft Lauderdale, from Boston last Wednesday, and returned to Boston today. My flight from FtL to BWI was fine, as were my other two legs getting to FtL. But, when we were ready to board in BWI??? Rather than just leave people seated as she called for each zone, the gate attendant told all those flying elite or business to come and line up between the windows and the stainless steel posts (the SW numerical posts). So, of course, about 50 people jump up and get in the line...well, actually in three lines. There were clumps of people trying to edge their way into the line everywhere. So.....the gate attendent looks at everyone and yells...'One line people, just one line'. So, she has said nothing about the business or elite people boarding..but some did get through. Okay...so I'm sitting there, on my seat, watching this, trying to figure out how the heck it's all going to end. The gate attendent then calls for those in zone 1 to come up. People are now looking around, trying to figure it all out...shoving forward so as to not miss their 'chance' to get on early!! Then, she calls for zone 2.....no one comes forward, but lots of milling around. She calls again.....so she then calls for zone 3 and one person goes up. Then zone 4...me. So, I get up from my seat, while those in that stupid line, stand there muttering about why do I get to go in front of them...they've been waiting!! Seriously???? None of us in zone 4 could figure out why the heck that gate agent had people get up and form any kind of line...why the heck not just leave people seated, the old fashioned way??? It worked on the other three legs of my trip.
I could only imagine what a lot of you would be saying at that point.See, I do think of you all when I'm gone!!!!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #2
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thats really bizzarre. maybe they will be switching to the SW cattle call and she was just practicing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:16 PM   #3
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Ee gads I hope they're not switching to cattle calling boarding routines

Airtran assigns seats, I'm totally confused by this - were you given a "zone" with your seat assignment?
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:06 AM   #4
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Yep, zone 4. They usually call for business and elite passengers first. Then zone 1, zone 2, and zone 3. There usually aren't a lot of people in those three zones...so zone 4, being the far rear of the plane, is the first zone to have very many people in it. I think that there were, legitimately, about 25 people on the plane when I boarded....all in business class or medical preboards, or those with very young children. For some reason those with young kids were called to board early. That hadn't happened in the other three legs of my trip.
It was just chaotic. People were so confused, jockeying for position.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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How many people in the line between the window and the stainless steel posts got to board before the gate agent asked for Zone 3?

Do the business and elite folks have zone numbers (e.g. 1 or 2) themselves?

If the (imaginative?) gate agent had not asked people to line up by the window then the chaos would be over at the gate entrance. Like fast pass guests congregated around the fast pass entrance waiting for their fast passes to mature.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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How many people in the line between the window and the stainless steel posts got to board before the gate agent asked for Zone 3?

Do the business and elite folks have zone numbers (e.g. 1 or 2) themselves?

If the (imaginative?) gate agent had not asked people to line up by the window then the chaos would be over at the gate entrance. Like fast pass guests congregated around the fast pass entrance waiting for their fast passes to mature.
No, there would be no chaos if people hadn't lined up. I had three other legs, on Airtran this trip. And every single time we remained in our seats until our particular zone was called. People didn't get up and crowd the jetway entrance area.
I believe that the elite and business class people are probably zoned as well..probably 1 and 2.
I don't think many were allowed on that didn't have the correct zone numbers. When I boarded, in zone 4, with no one in zone 3, there were only people seated in business class and about 8-10 people seated in the front rows, behind business class.
The only chaos that ensued was when the gate agent had business class and elite form a line. I'm not sure why everyone else thought they should get in the line as well. Man, talk about following the crowd. One woman who had been standing there, just watching the goings on, and chatting with me, finally said, 'I guess I'll join the crowd' and went to stand towards the front of the line.....making the line now about 4 across, rather than a single file line. And there she stood, as my zone was called..and I moved over to the 'line' and walked right on past all those who had jumped up to 'get in line'.
Who knows.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TwiddleDeeTwiddleDum View Post
Ee gads I hope they're not switching to cattle calling boarding routines

Airtran assigns seats, I'm totally confused by this - were you given a "zone" with your seat assignment?
They won't forever. They will go to the SW model
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #8
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They won't forever. They will go to the SW model
unfortunatelyand the 4 credit business upgrades will be a fond memory
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by goofy4tink View Post
No, there would be no chaos if people hadn't lined up. I had three other legs, on Airtran this trip. And every single time we remained in our seats until our particular zone was called. People didn't get up and crowd the jetway entrance area.
I believe that the elite and business class people are probably zoned as well..probably 1 and 2.
I don't think many were allowed on that didn't have the correct zone numbers. When I boarded, in zone 4, with no one in zone 3, there were only people seated in business class and about 8-10 people seated in the front rows, behind business class.
The only chaos that ensued was when the gate agent had business class and elite form a line. I'm not sure why everyone else thought they should get in the line as well. Man, talk about following the crowd. One woman who had been standing there, just watching the goings on, and chatting with me, finally said, 'I guess I'll join the crowd' and went to stand towards the front of the line.....making the line now about 4 across, rather than a single file line. And there she stood, as my zone was called..and I moved over to the 'line' and walked right on past all those who had jumped up to 'get in line'.
Who knows.
I always upgrade to Business Class on Airtran and it is zone 1 along with the elite.

I hate the thought of losing Zone1 and the great seats on Airtran when SW finally changes everything. I've never seen any boarding done by Airtran the way you described. I'd have been furious at first, but then I would have walked on the plane in zone 1 and wouldn't have seen the rest of the mess after that.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I always upgrade to Business Class on Airtran and it is zone 1 along with the elite.

I hate the thought of losing Zone1 and the great seats on Airtran when SW finally changes everything. I've never seen any boarding done by Airtran the way you described. I'd have been furious at first, but then I would have walked on the plane in zone 1 and wouldn't have seen the rest of the mess after that.
I've upgraded before too. But, if the flight isn't close to full and I've got the seat of my choice in the back of the plane, I take my chances on not having anyone next to me. It's worked out almost every time. And the only time it may have been worth it, flight being pretty close to full, it would have cost me $69 to do so....not spending that kind of money for a 90 min flight.

It will be sad to see the zone seating go away. While I don't really mind the SW boarding process, it's nice to not have to worry about where you'll be sitting.
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