You might not realize this at the time of boarding the flight, but if closely observe there can be a lot of pros and cons of the way you board the flight. Over the last year, I have taken more than 40 flights to national and international destinations. I experienced flight boarding through aerobridges, by bus, and even by simply walking to the plane form the terminal. Every time I boarded the plane, I felt I could have avoided few things that I regretted later. So, I decided to observe the way I chose to board the flights and came up with a strategy for the best boarding experience. You can also consider this observation process as my favourite hobby while waiting at airports.
Your boarding strategy will depend on how you are travelling. We will go over different scenarios one by one!
If you are travelling Business Class:
A lot of airlines have separate lines for business class that makes things easier for the privileged fliers. The best and fun way to make most of your business class ticket/upgrade is to board the flight early and put your legs up while taking a sip of champagne served to you while the economy class passengers walk by you making faces. This is super fun to watch, especially if you don’t usually travel in business class and only got a lucky upgrade. Make sure you make most of it!
If you are Travelling Economy class:
This is my category as well, and I managed to get business upgrades only a few times. Usually, I am always at the back side of the plane. But the strategy is same as before! Board the flight first and while you walk through the business class to your seat in economy class, don’t hesitate in grabbing the newspaper/magazines stuck in the business class seats. You can only do this if you board early when the business class seats are empty. Don’t blame me if you try this when boarding the plane last. In that case,I wish you good luck. In addition to this, you also get to capture extra space for your handbag before anyone else comes in.
Get the last minute Upgrades:
It happened to me a couple of times; one time I was late to boarding gate and when they scanned the boarding pass, they found out economy was full and someone in business class cancelled the ticket. So, I got the upgrade for being late. That was the last thing I was expecting that day, so I tried this once again and was late deliberately. That day, I nearly missed my flight and didn’t even get the upgrade. But when I tried the same thing some time later, it worked! The point is, this might work and might not—it’s totally your luck. All I am saying is that it is possible to get an upgrade like this and it’s super fun when you walk last on the plane and stop in the business class section.
The boarding strategy also doesn’t stay the same for all the time. The above scenarios are applicable only when you know that your flight will be boarded by the aerobridge and not the bus. At domestic airports, if your airline puts you in the bus and takes you to the plane for boarding, your boarding strategy needs to change. It’s important that you follow a different strategy to enjoy the first boarding perks we discussed above. So let’s take a look at the bus boarding strategy.
If you are boarding by Bus:
I am happy that something I learned in school is finally helping me in travelling. Before we get into the strategy, let me introduce two concepts I learned in my school as a computer science graduate. LIFO and FIFO: LIFO stands for Last in First Out and FIFO stands for First in First out. In FIFO system, the first item that enters comes out first as well, for example, a queue to get your boarding pass at the counter. The first person who came to get boarding pass will get first and last person to come gets the pass last. LIFO is a system where the item that comes last goes out first. For example, if you fill an empty jar with cookies, the cookie you put last will be taken out first. Now why I am teaching you this data processing concept here? This is because if you observe closely, this is the base of our plane boarding strategy.
While boarding through aerobridge, the first person who boards the flight gets on the plane first—this follows the FIFO system. When it comes to boarding by bus, the system changes to LIFO. When you board the plane by bus, you need to switch the strategies because the passenger who boards the bus first, gets pushed to the back of the bus to make space for new passengers. The passengers who board last, get to stay close to door and get on the plane first.
I hope that after reading this post, you all will observe more while boarding the flight and follow the right strategy to make the most of your experience. It’s so weird to know that there are a lot of hidden layers in things we do every day. When you actually start thinking about it, it becomes so much more fun! So the next time you are at the airport to board the flight, remember this and make sure you enjoy your flight. Leave your feedback in the comments section and let me know about your crazy experiences at the airport.