Prima donna passengers versus punctuality

Yesterday I boarded an EasyJet flight out of Cologne for London Gatwick. We pushed back 17min early and arrived 40min early. Pushback as early as that is a record for me.

I was left to reflect on how this was achievable. Clearly the airline had all its operational ducks in a row, but the final decider of when the doors may be closed is the time of the last passengers’ arrival before the gate is closed.

Is it, perhaps, true that the scheduled low cost carriers achieve better arrival and departure times than their full service counterparts (which they do) because passengers, when they travel with the likes of EZY or Ryanair, behave less like prima donnas than they do with the full-service carriers? Maybe they are more likely to turn up in plenty of time. They certainly board fast with no fuss.

Is that the secret?

Oh yes, and the Gatwick gate was ready for us despite the very early arrival, unlike Heathrow gates that are frequently not ready for on-time flights. 

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2 Responses to Prima donna passengers versus punctuality

  1. Phil 22 January, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    I was in Gatwick a few weeks ago for a BA flight and I was observing the boarding of an EasyJet flight bound for Gibraltar. The departure of the flight was delayed because they were waiting on 5 passengers who were late. After repeated announcements over about 20 minutes they finally closed the gate only to have the passengers finally saunter up to the gate and have it re-opened for them. They may or may not have been prima donnas… I guess they could have genuinely been running really late for legitimate reasons.

    A few weeks before that I was in Toulouse (France) awaiting my flight and I observed another EasyJet flight awaiting departure. This flight was delayed 40 minutes for various reasons, including late passengers.

    Either way, one example of early departure does not make a trend.

  2. Jon Curie 2 July, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    This is three times now that i’ve landed on your pages in the last 2 days while searching google for absolutely unrelated things. Kinda funny. Keep up the good job!