KLM reinvents sucky boarding system

2013-11-13 12:02


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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has become the first airline in the world to recognise, as well as do something about the most painful part of any flight - boarding and disembarking.

The airline announced the innovative new boarding procedure on its website and it is set to take effect on three European flights out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

With the new procedure, passengers get a boarding number at the gate. This number is based on their seat in the aircraft. When boarding begins, the numbers are displayed in a sequence on screens at the gate.

The order in which the numbers are displayed ensures that passengers with a window seat board first, starting at the rear of the aircraft. They are followed by passengers seated in the midsection of the aircraft, after which the passengers with aisle seats are allowed to board. This ensures that passengers can wait their turn in the comfort of the lounge, instead of waiting in line and having to step over other passengers.

The airline said disabled passengers and parents with babies will be allowed to board first. SkyPriority passengers are given the lowest numbers and will go on board next.

Research has shown that passengers find the existing boarding procedures inefficient. Before they can take their seat, they often have to queue at the gate and then have to wait for passengers blocking the aisle or window seat. This may lead to delays and frustration.

"I am proud that KLM is the first airline in the world to develop an innovative boarding procedure of this kind. Apart from ensuring greater comfort for our passengers, the faster boarding procedure will speed up KLM’s turnaround time, which means our aircraft will spend less time on the ground. This will allow us to further optimise our service schedule," Pieter Elbers, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer KLM said.

The airline confirmed it was testing the new procedure on three flights a day, specifically Berlin, Budapest and Helsinki and would look at expanding the boarding prodecure to other European and intercontinental flights during the course of 2014. - News24 Travel

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