Friday, January 28, 2022

The Declining Use of the Jet Bridge

I was not familiar with the term "jet bridge" until I watched this video, although I have used them many times. It's the hallway that swings out from an airport terminal to an airliner so that passenger can board without climbing stairs. It's an innovation that makes all the difference in the world for people who use wheelchairs. However, in the cutthroat world of budget airlines these days, it's considered a luxury that can be cut to save some money. Airports charge the airlines per-passenger fees which can vary depending on whether a jet bridge is used. Planes are also charged parking fees (by the minute) which are higher near the terminal or at a jet bridge.

Personally, I don't mind climbing stairs to get on a plane, but when the plane is parked a half mile from the terminal and there's no bus or luggage transport, it can get a a bit annoying. Simple Flying explains what's happened to the simple luxury of the jet bridge.  (via Boing Boing)


WilliamRocket said...

800 metres.

Couldn't help myself.

xoxoxoBruce said...

The bridges or jetways are great when it's raining cats and dogs, or 10° with a 30 mph wind.
The bridges often have wires to supply the parked plane with 120V 400Hz power.
That eliminate the generator trucks having to be on the field.

Anonymous said...

I have been flying for about 30 years or so now; the only time I have used stairs to board a plane or deplane were the small planes that airlines use that supplement big airlines--for instance, the companies that fly as United Express for United Airlines.

The "lowest cost airline" company I have used is Southwest, so that maybe why I have not used stairs as much as jet bridges.

Miss Cellania said...

Once in Nanchang, our flight was delayed so long that the bus drivers went home for the night. That's how I found myself hauling a baby, a diaper bag, and a suitcase a half mile across the tarmac to get to the plane.

Krusty Walk said...

evidently this is less common in the USA than it is in europe. I think 90% of my recent flights have been on stairs. and they barely bother building jet bridges any more in regional airports.

Bicycle Bill said...

So then how D̲O̲ they accommodate people in wheelchairs when the jet bridge – or jetway, as I thought it was called – is not used?


Miss Cellania said...

Bill, I've read in comments elsewhere that they use the same lift contraption they use for loading luggage and supplies. Some airlines also have stairs with chairs attached like some houses have, although that means getting in and out of the wheelchair.