46

The use of a jet bridge has several major advantages over loading passengers from the ramp via portable staircases or built-in "air stairs", among them: Boarding of handicapped passengers Not all passengers can use stairs: a jet bridge allows passengers with limited mobility, particularly those confined to wheelchairs, to board and disembark from the same ...


42

The aviation industry is already running at near-peak efficiency, performing crucial tasks simultaneously to ensure quick turn-around. Trying to speed up the boarding process by allowing entrance from both ends would be doable with a large amount of changes to the existing process, in both operations and infrastructure. However, the result would be ...


41

Boarding takes a long time, true. There are more efficient strategies (.pdf) which have been proven to speed up boarding by between 20% and 50%, still they are not adopted. Why? You need to load the baggage, too. Also the catering. And fuel. You need to inspect the aircraft, run through checklists and brief the new crew. This all takes up time, too. ...


24

Fear of number 13 is known as Triskaidekaphobia. I randomly entered some flight numbers on SeatGuru and found that this one has row 13 (aircraft is B737): In this case, there is no 13th row: However, in this case, several row numbers (12, 13, 14) are skipped to adjust galleys and lavatories. This could be that they were added later or can be removed in ...


17

Aircraft producers don't choose numbering schemes, it's up to the airline to specify layout, row numbers, lavatory placement, etc. Airlines think about their customer base, and in the western world the occasional person has a fear of the number 13 so some airlines choose to skip the number 13. It costs them little to do so and it shows their good will. ...


17

The system you propose would be extremely heavy compared to existing aircraft. More weight means more fuel and more fuel means even more fuel to carry that fuel through the air, and even more fuel to carry that fuel and so on. Fuel is one of the biggest expenses an airline faces. It would also be extremely expensive. To gain any time, you'd have to have ...


16

There are no rear entrances these days, but many smaller jets like the Avro-RJ, Bombardier CRJ series or Embraer regional jets have their own air-stair on the main (front left) door. On the smaller planes the door are hinged at the bottom and the stair are part of the inner side of the door, on the larger ones there may be folding stairs stowed beside the ...


16

At Cairo West, a joint Egyptian-US military airfield, we once used a fork-lift with an empty pallet to get military personnel on and off a 747-200 when the stairs weren't available. It took awhile. That was the method sometimes used to get JFK on Air Force One (when that airplane was a 707 and never in public view, although one picture got out) to avoid him ...


15

It's not as much boarding as much as standing around does not generate any revenue. Use Your Capital Assets: 25 minutes a day is a lot, and in some cases is equivalent to a domestic leg. Rather than arriving at 23:00, you could arrive at 22:30 and still squeeze in an additional short flight before midnight. If you're flying 10 flights a day and you can now ...


13

In Canada's northern areas older large planes are used for freight. The crew just bring along an aluminum ladder.


13

Some large aircraft (like Air Force One) have been specially modified to include air stairs so that they don't have to rely on equipment on the ground: The air stairs are quite heavy though, so most airlines have made the business decision to remove them (to save money) and only operate out of airports that have appropriate ground facilities, including ...


13

I'm not sure, but I think this is somewhat a geometry thing. If planes are being loaded from a jetbridge, it would have to get past the wing to reach the rear door. That would involve it having to drive around the wing to get to the door, which is somewhat space-intensive, and also requires a pretty long jetway with limited ability to have supports along its ...


13

Instead of built-in "air stairs" or portable staircases, Mobile lounge have been used for several airports to transfer passenger from terminal to planes directly. Plane-Mate in Washington Dulles airport (Creditor) However for several reasons most of the mobile lounge has been replaced. Rise of air transport: Number of flights and capacity of airliners has ...


12

An additional complication not touched in the existing answers is the disparity in number of passengers that can be handled by an airliner and a bus. A large bus might be able to accomodate somewhere on the order of 50-100 passengers comfortably while maintaining a reasonable turning radius and maneuverability as well as reasonable boarding and unboarding ...


11

Refueling with passengers onboard is quite normal and is done according to the recommendations of regulatory bodies/manufacturers and operators. Refueling with some fuel types are not permitted, while others are. From Airbus Flight Operations Briefing notes: Refueling with wide cut gasoline type fuel (JET B, JP4 or equivalent) or when a ...


11

Some lowcost airlines use both ends to speed up both loading and unloading the passengers. Moreover, for huge aircrafts (A380 and B747), you may use several jetways


10

It might also be economical thinking behind it: Many people in the west do not want to sit in row 13, so leaving it completely out makes it one less special wish customers can utter (and therefore one less thing the airline has to care about). Source: Worked beside my studies at several places. One was a European airline's help-line. They had no. 13 and we ...


8

It is a joint decision of the entire flight crew (flight crew consists of pilots and cabin crew). It is mostly a decision by the most senior flight attendant because it is mostly a cabin issue. The prerequisite is, obviously, the cabin has to be cleaned and prepared. There are "cabin checks" to be carried out when the plane is empty. Typically, each flight ...


7

Typical terminal operations prefer fueling to start once passengers are off the plane, and to be finished before the boarding of the new passengers. However if time constraints forced your situation, there are procedures to follow: The ramp agent must ensure that: The flight crew, cabin crew and engineer are at their stations The area beneath exits ...


7

The first and biggest concern would be the weight of the container. They need to have walls, floor and a ceiling and be able to lock in place on the plane. Also each division between containers would remove some room available for another row of seats in the traditional method.


7

Standard boarding passes are the size of an IBM punchcard, ​7⅜ by ​3¼ inches (187.325 mm × 82.55 mm) because paper and printers in that size were readily available at the time, and then inertia kept the size the same even when punchcards fell out of use and it became a specialty item. Many airlines have switched to rolls of 3⅛ inch (79.375 mm) thermal paper,...


6

Very good answers but this image from @Qantas94Heavy comment link is self explanatory!


6

Passenger crates were envisaged a long time ago. Apart from the above objections, may I add this: A passenger crate in a plane is a box in a box. This would worsen claustrophobia which is already a problem. A view outside would alleviate this, but requires windows. Crate windows would need to be aligned with fuselage portholes. The psychological problem ...


5

The other answers address the question of why dropping passengers off on the apron by bus isn't common, but it does happen - mostly at smaller airports (for rural places with perhaps just one gate) and even at large busy hubs. There are several reasons airlines sometimes board by having passengers walk to the plane and then either up a ramp or airstair: ...


5

The Mythbusters tested various boarding patterns in their previous season (see the digest here, full episode here) and came to the conclusion that "random-random" (close to Southwest-style) was the fastest way to board (though the least liked), and that the current most common method among traditional airlines (back to front) was the slowest. Alternate ...


5

Many airlines do, to a degree. That's why airliners are often boarded in sections (for example row 1-10, then 11-15, etc.). Problem is many of the passengers don't listen to instructions, and rush the boarding agent the moment the lights go on indicating boarding has started, in part because they're afraid there won't be space for their 4 bags in the cabin, ...


4

Unless I misunderstand you, many airlines already do this. You buy a ticket, you join a queue and you sit in the first available seat that is acceptable to you. I find it leads to fitter younger people sprinting to the front and leaving the old and frail with the worst seats. Some airlines prioritize boarding for adults accompanying children and a few ...


4

I wouldn't want all of the connections for pressurisation, air conditioning, lighting, water, IFE etc etc connected and disconncted every flight. A maintenance and safety headache.


4

Consider that in Italy number 17 is also an unlucky number. This is why Alitalia (amongst others) removes both rows 13 and 17.


4

It's essentially 100% free for an aircraft production team to skip row 13 and go straight from 12 to 14, when numbering. Why would you not do this, and risk upsetting a minority of your paying customers who may have a less enjoyable flight because they are superstitious? It isn't particularly relevant whether you think it's silly: it's a cost-benefit thing.


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