Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is next in the Airline Industry?

Continental Airlines has decided to test a “self boarding” plan. This plan will be tested at the Houston Intercontinental Airport. When the passengers swipe their boarding pass, a turnstile door will open to allow the passenger entry into the airplane. This automated boarding does not require the human touch. But there will be an attendant on hand to deal with any customer service problems.

Continental Boarding Pass

Looks like they are going to test an anarchy rule. Right now the passengers are called by row to board the plane. With this “Do It Yourself” boarding plan, all passengers will make a dash through the turnstile.

A Transportation Security Administration spokesman said that they are "determined it does not impact the security of the traveling public." Thanks for the encouraging words. Thanks a lot Ms. Janet Napolitano.

Self-boarding has been around at foreign airports for a few years. As of 2009, 14 airlines worldwide were using self-boarding gates.

What is next in the Airline Industry? As usual, while doing nothing most of the day every day, I came up with the following rhetoric questions:

We serve our own drinks in the plane?

Self load our luggage?

Vending machines replacing flight attendants?

Pilot-less planes like the Air Force? Or

Self Flying Flights? Passengers will take turns flying the plane to its destination?

Bring our own toilet paper?

Should Steve Jobs and Apple sell the airline an iAgent?

I was talking to a friend of mine about this new procedure. He wisecracked: Don't know about you, but I have always self-boarded. They never carried me to the plane.


  1. I already love to fly...and this makes me love it even more.

    John Madden

  2. Thanks for your comments John. You are my hero. You are the winningest American football coach of all times. And, that too you live in my neighborhood, Pleasanton, California.

    (For those who don’t know who John Madden is. He has aerophobia. He is afraid to travel in a plane. USA is a large country with 5 different time zones. His team travels to many cities by a special chartered plane to play the games. How does he travel? He has his own custom made bus with kitchen, living room, bedroom, and shower. He has bus drivers, cooks, and other helpers who work 8 hour shifts. And, they come and go by plane to take care of him. Money talks.)

  3. hmmm, i dunno whether it's a good idea or not..but well; like i said last time, if it works, it will be a good idea! I am not too fond of self service things somehow..take buffet for example..if i m spending money and eating out, i would prefer food to be served on my table..maybe i can help myself even if the bowl is there in front of me..but otherwise, if i have to get up each time and fill my plate, then, well I am happy eating at home without worrying about the etiquettes etc. al!

  4. Make a passenger do the in-flight safety demo?
    Get your own entertainment?

  5. hii
    hehe! honestly speaking i love travelling by train :)

  6. Self flying flights may be thrilling for youngsters. Let's see what else is going to be there.

  7. Thanks for your comments Neha. I agree with you. I don’t like buffet either, especially in other people’s home. Once a 12 year old girl dropped her plate full of partially eaten food on top a dish on the buffet table. Since then, I have aversion toward buffet.

    Restaurant buffet is a little bit OK in the United States. Per law, the dishes are kept in such a way that accidents like the above do not happen. Also, if you need second helping you don’t have to take the same plate. You can take a fresh plate. Pricewise, buffet is cheaper.

  8. Thanks for your comments Radha. I will pass along your suggestion to
    Continental. Hahaha.

  9. Thanks for your comments AS. When we visit India, we always travel by train. That is the only chance for us to enjoy the train ride and the scenery. The only problem is toilets are horrible, even in AC First Class.

  10. Thanks for your comments Chitra. May be they will come with a 50% discount for any passenger willing to "fly" the plane.

  11. Self boardin...yeah sounds a little weird to me!!! Heeey I enjoyed readin your previous post with the marriage proposals! Nice blog, come check me out at

  12. do not know,
    the success of this will depend on the customer experience.

  13. Thanks for your comments Mary. And, welcome to my blog. I am glad you liiked couple of my posts.

    Mary, please visit here as often as possible. I sure will visit your blog. Thanks.

  14. Thanks for your comments SM. You are right. It depends on the customer experience.

  15. It will work for me SG. In any case the person just scan the boarding pass.

    Check-in counters are already automated for years now. Works fine for me. Much faster than before.

    Local flights don't serve food any more. Service is not so great.

    Travel by plane = Travel by bus (No difference) except that plane does not stop too often.

  16. Thanks for your comments A. You are right. Nowadays, travel by plane is like travel by bus.

  17. @ SG ,that was funny the last few lines ,serve ur own drink ,pilotless flights,funniest carry ur own paper towels.