Do you do this? The minute I get my boarding pass I check which zone I am in. I hate being in zone 4 or 5 because that means you get on last and you know how hard it can be to find a place to stick your carry on. Of course, if I wanted to be in zone 1 then I should just book first class or business, right? Or if I wanted to be in zone 2 then I should have another baby and then I can board with “families with children under 3”.
Um – no. Not going to happen.
It seems every airline has a different procedure. One thing that makes total sense is that for those who need assistance such as someone on crutches or in a wheelchair should be boarded first. But come on. How many people do you know do wheelchair assistance so they can get on first. It happens.
If it wasn’t for the concern about overhead bin space then I wouldn’t really care about getting on early. You end up sitting in your seat waiting for everyone else to board and if you happen to be in the aisle or middle seat you can be sure that you are going to have to get up again to let that window seat person in. That can be a hassle as you then hold up the whole line up of people coming down the aisle.
I read that the zone procedure used by Air Canada was introduced in 2014 and this was in response to the long boarding times. Maybe this was brought about by the introduction of checked baggage fees – hence more carry on and therefore the need to get that valuable overhead bin space.
Some airlines tried boarding window seats first, then the middles and then the aisle seats. Others just open the doors and say “Have at ’em”.
Whichever zone you are in we all know that we stand around those boarding gates anxiously waiting for the announcement – just as if we were running the New York Marathon and anxious for the starter gun!