United’s Boarding Ed Bastian Addresses United’s Approach and Expresses Delta’s Boarding Philosophy
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has hinted that Delta is not planning to adopt United Airlines’ recent boarding process change aimed at expediting departure times. During an interview on “Today,” Bastian discussed Delta’s extensive experimentation with various boarding methods, highlighting the simplicity of “just boarding people” as the fastest approach. He emphasized that additional features tend to complicate the process.
Openness to Innovation
While expressing Delta’s commitment to its current efficient boarding philosophy, Bastian acknowledged that if United’s new method proves more successful, Delta would consider adopting similar practices. United’s recently implemented WILMA (window-middle-aisle) boarding plan was cited as an example during the discussion.
United’s Boarding Plan and Operational Impact
United Airlines claims that its new seating plan, implemented last month, could save up to two minutes on the boarding process for each flight. The change, affecting domestic and select international flights, is expected to enhance operational efficiency, particularly during the upcoming holiday travel season. Delta, however, declined to provide additional comments on the matter.
Industry Perspectives on Efficiency: United’s Boarding
As major carriers anticipate heightened holiday travel demand and adjust schedules, American Airlines pilot Capt. Dennis Tajer suggested that United’s boarding process change is financially motivated, helping decrease turn times—a critical factor in airline operations. Delta Air Lines, for now, has not announced any specific adjustments to its current boarding procedures in response to United’s recent modifications.