C & # 39; s the family that blocks the walk with children and carts. The passenger argues with another to find the best place for his hand luggage. And the little aviator, who sacrifices the place, looks for a little speech: the embarkation can be so annoying. But at Lufthansa, a new system to accelerate boarding, the airline wants to save valuable time.
What should the embarkation process look like in the future?
In essence, the system revolves around the boarding order: in the future passengers will be divided according to whether they have booked a seat at the window, in the middle of the row of seats or in the corridor. The process is called the "central window corridor" system, in short "Wilma". For US airlines like United, it is already practiced, KLM introduced in 2013.
The Lufthansa Group plans to introduce this concept during the winter, in particular on European flights operated by its Austrian and Swiss network companies Lufthansa. The beginning is this Thursday.
How do I know when to get on board?
On the boarding card, the Lufthansa companies will enter another direction besides the departure gate and the seat number, ie the boarding groups 1 to 5.
Who is authorized to enter first?
Initially unchanged Families with small children and needy or Limited guests Enter, says Vicky Scherber, manager of the Lufthansa Group's passenger and baggage processes and worked on the new system for a good year.
Then come in Groups 1 and 2 the privileged regular customers (Senators, Hons) and passengers with expensive business or Ecoflex tickets, regardless of the location of the booked seat.
Economy passengers scattered on the sitting position on the other groups:
- Group 3: Passengers with window seat
- Group 4: Passengers in the center Sit
- Group 5: Passengers with seat a course
Will travelers have to travel separately in the future, for example, why does one sit by the window and the other sits in a central square?
Families, couples and groups would not be able to get on board, assures Scherber of Lufthansa. The software guarantees that the passengers booked can join the same boarding group and then get on board together.
What does Lufthansa expect from the new system?
The new method aims to minimize the stressful conflicts that arise in the race for the right place and enough space for hand luggage. Above all, the airline wants to save time. "Two minutes doesn't seem like a lot, but it's already about ten percent of the boarding process," says Scherber.
How do frequent flyers react to the process?
In Internet forums, experienced air travelers show little optimism that the new boarding process will change very positively. The reason for the traffic jams in the corridor, they see in the confined space in the shells of luggage above the seats, the "Baskets". Since the airlines apply additional fares for each checked bag, the space on a fully fledged medium-haul flight is sufficient only for the parcels of a good half of the approximately 200 passengers.
Another problem: many passengers are at the start of the embarkation but not at the gate, but rush into the air as a passage to the last push. Even with the best precaution, it is therefore impossible to prevent passengers at the end of the process from entering the cabin with the windows.
Those who arrive last often have trouble finding a space in the trunk. In case of doubt, your suitcase still wanders in the hold. "Unless they finally limit their hand baggage to a bag that can stay in bins, even the most sophisticated boarding procedures won't help," says a Brussels frequent flyer, for example.
"Of course, we will also deal with hand luggage during the change," says Scherber. There are now many more checks and even more calls to deliver luggage and carts, but just before departure voluntarily and for free. But in the end, many people like to keep their things with them, even to save time at their destination airport. With the new boarding process, this account is less likely for people who like to sit in the corridor.