DENPost: United ditches double-ended jetways


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United ditches double-ended jetway project

The bridges cut the time to exit planes at DIA by nearly two-thirds, but one of them damaged a jetliner's wing.

By Kelly Yamanouchi

The Denver Post

Article Launched: 10/31/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

United Airlines is giving up on a much-ballyhooed dual-end jet-bridge technology aimed at getting passengers on and off planes more quickly. The decision follows an investigation into a malfunction of one of the bridges earlier this year.

United started testing the dual-end jet bridges on gates for its discount operation Ted at Denver International Airport last year. The bridges allowed passengers to get on and off flights at the front and back ends of an airplane at the same time.

United said last year the bridges cut the boarding time for an Airbus A320 plane to 12 minutes from 18 minutes and cut the amount of time it took to exit the plane to 4.5 minutes from 12 minutes.

The bridges were computer-guided and -driven, with sensors to locate where to dock.

United had the bridges on five gates at DIA and had hoped to expand the program to other cities if it was successful.

But in March, one of the new jet bridges malfunctioned and struck the wing of a United Boeing 757 at DIA as it was positioning to unload the plane. The part that malfunctioned was the rear bridge, which was supposed to travel over the wing to dock with the rear door. Nobody was injured, but the plane was damaged.

United removed the section that failed and stopped using the over-the-wing part of the other four bridges.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_7324922

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Lets hope YVR and WS follow United on this and get rid of them altogether.

Last I heard the YYC bridge was to be removed and YVR has barely used theirs since Mavericks accident. Since they were installed they've been used probably 30% of the time. The rest of the time they're either broken and INOP, being "upgraded" (lot of good that's done), or sat idle because of safety concerns. Tear those things down. When they work passengers do get off quick but they inconvenience every other aspect of the operation.

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I've always wondered why they weren't designed to stow underground and pop up from behind the wing. I know it would cost alot more but if the time it saves is that important, it should be worth it.

Otherwise, I agree with Mav, get rid of the stupid things. mad.gif

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I'm back to work as of today albeit a reduced schedule.

It's coming along but it'll be a long while yet.

Well done.

I've always found a good place to hide from the jetways is by standing directly in front or behind of those thingys that hang off the wings.

cool.gif

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Well done. 

I've always found a good place to hide from the jetways is by standing directly in front or behind of those thingys that hang off the wings.

cool.gif

I'll bear that in mind but if any of those POS DEW bridges get their tires slashed it wasn't me! laugh.gif

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Guest rattler

The feedback on it was that guests loved it for the offload. They were off in half the time and on their way.

So were the bags at the carousel when they got there to pick them up or was there the usual wait? I love to watch people pushing ahead to get off the aircraft fast and then seeing them waiting at the carousel for their baggage when I complete my more leisurely disembarkation. biggrin.gif

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The feedback on it was that guests loved it for the offload. They were off in half the time and on their way.

That's the small problem with the dual bridges.

The first 2/3 of the airplane doesn't really care as they use the front entrance and the use of the aft door does not affect them.

The next fews rows are slightly confused as to which way to deplane but not enough to "hate" the concept.

The last rows loved the aft bridge as it got them on their way faster. These pax do not relate the increased waiting time for bags because they got out of the airplane faster. Finally, the pax do not realise the overall time savings are a matter of 1-4 minutes on average. When your standing in line waiting for the forward pax to clear, 5 minutes is a long time. When your rushing to the next gate, 5 minutes just not enough.

What we really should be asking is.... What is the price (in dollars and ground support issues) to pay for giving about 4 rows of pax an extra minute in the offload process? The increased cost and hassle of the DEW dual bridges is not worth it, IMHO.

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