Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Priority: People (on air travel)

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I recently made a longhaul trip in which our original plans were rerouted by the airlines such that we had very short transit times. My husband was worried our luggage would get lose, but I assured him Airlines did this all the time, and I was sure they had a system in place to ensure (most) luggage got transferred correctly. Turns out they do – they put a tag on our bags saying something like “short transit time” which I assume meant the bags were placed in the cargo in such a way that they got transferred out of the aircraft quickly to the upcoming flight. 

Unfortunately, they don’t do anything like that with people. Which meant we had to struggle through running across Heathrow to go from one terminal to another with our 6 year old (not always knowing where we were supposed to go exactly) and in the US we missed our Connecting flight for multiple reasons.

So here is something I propose should be done for economy class customers who have short transit times

  1. Just as luggage is marked “short transit time”, certain seats should be known to be “short transit time” and allowed to exit the aircraft first 
  2. If there is some kind of passport control or security check to be done, people with short transit time should have a separate lane or something like the “10 items or less” checkout in supermarkets 
  3. When there are buses to transfer ppl between terminals and such, people with short transit times should get priority lanes 

I would offer to pay more for this, but honestly, i would never have booked such short (under 2 hours) transit times to begin with, and if the airline did this to me, they should do something to take care of me so I can get there on time, since they believe it’s humanly possible! If I were alone, it would not have mattered SO much, but with a kid, it’s horrible. And note: running around so fast there was no time (or place) to take kid to the bathroom, which was horrible for my kid who needed it JUST as they were checking our passports for the next flight (and I had an issue so I asked them to process my kid and spouse so they could get in – coz no bathroom until ur on the plane).

Maybe there should also be different provisions for people traveling with younger kids?

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