Sitting at the airport,
taking it all in.
I have only flown a handful of times, so I am definitely not an experienced flyer. Waiting a the gate, I see the sign that says “Sky Priority” and “General Boarding.”
The gate agent announcing the flight calls different groups of people. The first I got – people who needed additional time to make it to the plane – elderly and disabled.
Then she called for people with car seats and traveling children. Again, that makes sense to me. Loading kids takes time.
Then she started calling special classes, business class, gold medallions and then sky priorities. These are assumedly people who travel frequently or do upgrades at a higher price. Then zones one and two, followed by a final call.
As I boarded the plane, the whole thing struck me as odd. Yes, I guess it secures the special class a spot for their overhead luggage, but really that is the only benefit I can see. They are all still crammed into the plane. So they are sitting there longer. They are sitting there as all the other people get loaded. They have all the other passengers walking past them, often brushing up against them as they go down the isles.
It took them just as long to board as it did the rest of us. They still had to have their boarding pass scanned. We all arrived at the same time, to the same place, and all exited the plane at the same time.
I decided airlines have it wrong, and these people have been duped into thinking they are getting the best deal.
I would agree that for most people the convenience and surety that their luggage will arrive with them is an important incentive. However, why not offer as a service to those loyal and/or financially inclined persons. They can check it at the gate and staff can take it and put it in those overhead spots.
Then board the rest of the plane, start with those that need the extra time – elderly, disabled, the car seats. Then go with the back and work your way up. After that load the common tickets, then last to board the plane would enter, saving time they are made to wait for everyone else in a confined place.
Like I said, I’m not a flying enthusiasts. I was grateful to not pay more and be able to stay off the plane longer. I just don’t see why anyone would choose to pay more to sit there longer.