Tag: bumped passenger

Continental Airlines Testing Self-Boarding

turnstileAccording to the USA Today, Continental Airlines, which was the first to offer passengers paperless boarding in 2008, is now testing “self-boarding” in which travelers use CTA-type turnstiles to check their boarding passes and enter the plane.

Continental is the first U.S. airline to try self-serve boarding, joining 14 international airlines including Lufthansa, Air France, Korean Air, Japan Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Continental says it’s testing self-boarding at one gate in its hub in Houston Intercontinental airport.  The airline’s primary goal is to free agents from the mundane task of scanning boarding passes and allow them to handle other customer issues that require individual attention, such as upgrading seats.

In order for self-boarding to proliferate, airlines will first need to adopt boarding passes with  ”two-dimensional” barcodes, which contain more traveler information than magnetic strips or traditional barcodes.  Airlines have agreed to phase out magnetic strips by the end of the year.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Check out these futuristic designs for airplane interiors using a “Step-Seat model” that emphasized cost efficiency and passenger comfort, two seemingly polar opposites.  These designs are technically certifiable by the FAA, and can be implemented in airplanes already in use.
  • Jet Blue is conducting a fall airfare sale through tomorrow, July 30th.  The sale, which allows travel from September 7th to December 15th, applies to cities such as Austin, Chicago, and New York, L.A. and many places in between.  According to The Huffington Post,  you can fly from NYC to Barbados for $99, or from San Francisco to Boston for $149.  Also, if you buy a ticket during the sale your first bag travels for free.
  • Southwest Airlines, the same airline that felt actor Kevin Smith was “too fat” to fly on a SWA flight one year ago, has now reportedly bumped a woman from a flight to make room for a plus-sized teen who required two seats.  According to reports, a woman who was flying standby from Las Vegas to Sacramento, was in her seat ready for take off when a teen passenger arrived late to the gate.  Flight attendants said she would have to deplane to make room for the teen.  The woman expressed irritation about the situation and said that SWA employees began to “berate” her for complaining.

ohare-international-airportAccording to the FAA, Summer travel is expected to be relatively smooth at most of the nation’s airports.  This is, in large part, due to deep capacity cuts and fewer flights.

However, one key airport that could be facing a number of delays is O’Hare International Airport.  The FAA says the carriers have scheduled almost as many flights as the airport can handle in peak travel times on good-weather days, and added operations that far outstrip O’Hare’s capacity in stormy weather.

The over-scheduling is occurring in 15-minute bursts – typically at the top of the hour, when research shows flight make more money.  For instance, on Thursday (6/10), American Airlines scheduled 27 flights and United scheduled 39 flights between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.   That’s seven more flights than the airport can handle under the best conditions.  O’Hare can handle approximately 100 departures an hour, but not 66 in a 15-minute window.

FAA officials warned that congestion problems forming at O’Hare could worsen as the carriers have already announced plans to expand their schedules in the second half of 2010 — adding almost 22,000 more flights at O’Hare from July through December compared with the same period last year.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • The USAToday noted that, “many first-class seats aren’t being filled by high-spending customers, but rather by fliers who’ve paid only for a coach class ticket but moved to the front of the cabin on an upgrade.”  Keep that in mind the next time you’re about to pay top dollar for first class.
  • In the first quarter of this year, just 10.6 percent, or 23,380 passengers, of the 219,860 passengers who got bumped were unwilling.  But it was worse on some airlines than others.  American Eagle denied boarding to 4.59 passengers per 10,000 in the first quarter.  Delta involuntarily bumped about 0.63 passenger per 10,000.  Jet Blue had the best record, denying boarding to only about 0.01 passenger per 10,000.