Sunday, August 11, 2013
Heathrow Airport Boarding Game
London Heathrow is taking the fun out of cutting it close. They are implementing a "Positive Boarding" system that will stop you before security if you are cutting it too close (30 minutes before departure in most cases). This will help planes depart on time because the ground crew can start removing checked bags when they are alerted of blocked passengers. Great idea, except, it misses it's true potential.
The first issue is that you can't check bags and then get so delayed at LHR before security to be within the 30 minute window. All the fun stuff is air side and airlines won't take bags less than 45 minutes before departure anyway. However, this does prevent the business traveler from maximizing their time by not waiting in the airport (I'm still excited to linger around LHR, the stores and lounges are top notch). If you are cutting it close, but not within the 30 minute window, it just tells you to rush to the gate. It doesn't however get you a skip to the front of the x-ray line pass or anything else useful to remove time from the process. A skip the line (or queue if you prefer) pass would be a great value add of this system because the security wait can be interminable. The Positive Boarding system has potential, but not how it is set up now.