Saturday, June 16, 2007

Airline Efficiency?

I have been doing a fair share of flying while in India and have been very impressed at the ability of all airlines to minimize ground time. Planes land, passengers de-plane, new passengers board and the aircraft is back in the sky in less than half hour. But before you start giving a lot of credit to the process efficiencies, 6-sigma and ISO-9000 programs within the airline companies, I believe that most of the credit needs to go to the passengers.

As I have mentioned in a couple of my postings before, Indians do not like to wait. Earlier this week, I was observing passenger behavior sitting at the Hyderabad airport. Even before the plane has landed, passengers are already crowded close to the gate. As soon as their plane lands, more passengers huddle around. As soon as the first boarding announcement is made, ever passenger is up, in line and pushing ahead to board.

Of course, getting off the plane is no different. You can sense the urgency among fellow travellers to tear off their seat belts and lunge for their hand luggage the moment the aircraft touches down. Despite pleas by the air hostesses, folks are up and getting ready to de-plane before the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign has been turned off.

So - much credit to the passengers for the increase in airline efficiency (and profitability!)


Anonymous said...

While accepting that the passengers contribution in waiting for their flight eagerly avoid delays for flights, it is the system that is followed by different airlines that makes the ground time less. When there is a last minute passenger missing is reported all that has done earlier has no relevance. There are some passengers who sleep off, some passengers who fly for the first time etc. They do not know the seriousness of dispatching the flight within or less than the ground time. HOwever, it is because of the passengers alertness that delays are avoided. At the same time, there are lots of activities that is happening during the short ground time in and outside the aircraft which is done efficiently and quickly. Cleaning the aircraft is one among them which sometimes take long time as there may be a vomit case on board occasionaly. If it is not done properly the area can not be occupied by passengers on the next flight. Certain days some new things will come up and that has to be addressed. So generally it is a team work in which passengers contribution is also counted.

Roxanne said...

This is great info to know.