Cranky on the Web: 20 Questions with Cranky, American’s Boarding Process, 2016 Ops

American, Cranky on the Web

I forgot to post these last week, so here’s two week’s worth of stuff.

20 questions with The Cranky Flier (Brett Snyder)Wade Patterson/steemit
I was asked if I would be willing to answer twenty questions and I said yes, but I prepared for some generic Facebook-style garbage that I’d usually delete. I was pleasantly surprised that these were much more thoughtful questions directed specifically for me. It actually took a fair bit of time to think these through, and I thank Wade for letting me participate. If you’d like to learn more about me, give it a read.

American Airlines redesignates boarding
I know, you’re sick of the boarding thing by now, right? But here’s a take on American’s new boarding process in one of its hub cities.

Report card: Which airlines are top flight in punctuality, reliability?Dallas Morning News
Conor at the DMN took a look at year-end operational performance. I spoke with him on it, and it looks like his editor even included a photo of me on the final product along with one quote.

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9 comments on “Cranky on the Web: 20 Questions with Cranky, American’s Boarding Process, 2016 Ops

  1. I never consider Hawaiian an on time leader since most of there flights are in Sun destinations so they don’t deal with snow and storms as much as other carriers, so it’s not fair to judge them as and on time leader.

    1. Eric – A good question. In my opinion, it’s not practical. Do I think that the US broke some laws to take over Hawai’i and eventually make it a state? Very likely. But you can say that for pretty much every state in the US. This country is littered with broken treaties with the Native Americans. But do I think Hawai’i would be better off today if it were able to become independent? I find that to be a hard case to make.
      Admittedly I don’t know as much about this as I’d like (which is why sitting down with the Queen would have been helpful). I have real sympathy for the Hawaiian people, but I don’t personally think independence is likely to be the right answer today. Even if it were the right answer, I can’t imagine a scenario where that actually would be allowed to happen.

      1. A very good (i.e. thoughtful) answer. Thank you. I’ve read “Lost Kingdom” and recommend it if you haven’t read it.

  2. Interesting that you’ve become interested in Hawaiian music, do you happen to know any Kapono Beamer songs? Granted, I only know about him from SpongeBob, but his stuff is pretty relaxing. I’ve recently taken up playing the guitar, and although I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m starting to get bored of it and instead I want to try the ukulele as well.

    1. MK03 – I don’t, actually. I have a mix of songs I’ve learned from various eras, but I don’t have a huge catalog yet. The first song I learned was Ulupalakua, and I still like playing it. The kids’ favorites are the song Lava from the Pixar short and Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride from Lilo & Stitch. (Gotta keep some of those in the repertoire.) Then I have some of the classic hapa haole songs like My Little Grass Shack.

      Some of my favorites are more contemporary, like Palehua by Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and Koke’e by Dennis Kamakahi. I really like some of Keali’i Reichel’s songs as well.

      Right now I’m trying to learn Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai by Aunty Edith Kanakaole. That’s a tough one, but it’s a stretch goal. Always open to new ideas though.

  3. Got into Charlotte in plenty of time for the next flight; 35 minutes to spare. Uh no… another plane was at our gate. Waiting on the tarmac. Finally, cleared to move. Uh no… someones in the latrine and the plane cannot move when someone is in there evidently. Three more people and ten minutes later, all the bladders are drained, but now we have to wait on another aircraft crossing in front of us. Finally, we’re at the gate. Out of shape people slowly take their huge luggage from overhead and stroll off the plane while I wait. Finally, I am off the plane. My connecting flight leaves from Gate E9. I am at gate B3. I run, run, run, passing people the whole way, while I zigzag through the crowd. I arrive 12 minutes early. The sign says the close the gate 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure. Two minutes to spare right? Nope. The airline lady closed the door early. I can see her on the tarmac lolligagging with the flight crew for the next 11 minutes while I bang on the window in futility. When she comes back, she lies and states she closed the gate exactly 10 minutes early. I do not argue. Airlines have all the power. I take the hotel voucher, and ask if they give meal vouchers. They do not. That’s American Airlines.

  4. Well, after two international trips (four flights) and a domestic roundtrip I can tell you that the American bags come out at the same speed as they always did…slow.

    In addition, the new American boarding scheme is, as predicted, worthless. They American gate agents basically have two groups, the first being ticket groups 1-4 and then 5-to the end. The time between calling group one and two was, at the longest, five seconds. In five of the six American boardings it was group 1, then almost immediately 2..3..4. I was always in 1-4 so don’t know what they did after four. However, I can tell you, that everyone in 2,3 and 4 thinks you board together and so it is one big group. The sign even says “1-4” in one lane so everybody in four is in there with the first class passengers. The “ten groups” is really two and if you are in group 1 or group 2 you now get two more groups to fight with to get on.

    It is stunning that somebody at American actually thinks this is going to work better in the real world (like Barcelona which is far removed from DFW HQ, believe me). The agents said they just treat it as two groups and let people sort it out. Maybe, as Cranky identifies as the scientifically best method…random, is what they really are going for.

    Maybe I should quit thinking of the airlines as transportation companies and start thinking of them for what they are…marketing and sales organizations.

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