Frontier May Stop Using Jet Bridges At Denver Airport

Frontier May Stop Using Jet Bridges At Denver Airport

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As reported by The Denver Post, Ultra low cost carrier Frontier Airlines may soon stop using jet bridges at one of its hubs, and instead replace them with air stairs.

Frontier plans significant Denver expansion

Denver International Airport is in the process of expanding significantly, with the addition of many new gates, which is part of a $1.5 billion investment. The airport has now proposed $317 million in additional costs for a project that would see Frontier Airlines expanding significantly, but in an unconventional way.

Under this plan, the airport would spend $183 million to renovate and expand an existing ground-load facility at the eastern end of Concourse A. Frontier Airlines would take over this space, which would feature 120,000 square feet of terminal space. With this plan, in early 2024 the airline would trade in its nine “traditional” gates for 14 gates in the expanded ground-load facility. The lease would last for at least a decade.

For context, Frontier is currently the third largest airline at Denver International Airport, after United and Southwest. The airline has roughly 11% market share at the airport.

The catch? This ground-load facility wouldn’t have jet bridges, but rather passengers would board via ramps and stairs. Where’s the upside for the airline here?

  • Frontier Airlines would be able to expand its presence at the airport significantly, going from nine gates to 14 gates
  • The airline could cut turn times at the airport by nearly half in some cases; that’s because the airline could both load and deplane passengers via the forward and rear door, rather than just via the forward door
  • Not only would this mean that the airline goes from having nine gates to 14 gates, but each gate would also be able to accommodate more flights

As Jake Filene, an SVP for Frontier Airlines, describes this concept:

“Anybody who travels internationally within Europe, you’re going to see ground boarding just about everywhere, even for mainline aircraft. So for us, it makes a more efficient process and allows us to do what we’re all striving to do, which is to have our aircraft in the sky and not sitting on the ground.”

The proposed new Frontier Airlines facility in Denver

Would this be good or bad news for passengers?

Frontier Airlines is known for its ultra low fares, and on the one hand seeing the airline expand significantly in Denver would be good for consumers. Not only would the airline be getting 56% more gates, but the airline could potentially operate more daily flights out of each gate. That’s a lot more flights every day, putting more pressure on United and Southwest.

That being said, I think this kind of gate setup isn’t ideal for conumsers:

  • One of the nice things about aviation in the United States is that jet bridges are used for a vast majority of mainline flights, especially at major airports (unlike in Europe)
  • On the other hand, at least these aren’t remote stands that you have to take a bus to get to; rather you’d just board directly from this remote terminal to the plane via a ramp or air stairs
  • One disadvantage of this setup is that these new gates would be quite far from the center of Concourse A, so it would take passengers significantly longer to get to their gates
  • Another major disadvantage is that Denver has inclement weather, at least seasonally, so I don’t see this being very pleasant when it’s snowing, raining, etc.

As much as I’m usually opposed to non-jet bridges at airports, in this case I’d say the consumer benefit of a lot more Frontier flights out of Denver outweighs the downside of the less convenient gates. And that’s true even if you don’t fly Frontier, since this would put downward pressure on fares out of the airport.

Frontier Airlines may be giving up its current gates in Denver

Bottom line

With a new proposal we could see Frontier Airlines expand significantly in Denver, though not without a catch. The ultra low cost carrier could go from having nine jet bridges to instead having 14 gates with air stairs or ramps.

This would have the benefit of allowing the airline to expand significantly at the airport, bringing more competition to Denver. At the same time, a longer walk from the main terminal and being exposed to the elements during boarding wouldn’t be ideal.

Personally I’d consider this to be a net positive, given the benefit of more competition at an airport like Denver.

What do you make of the plans for Frontier to expand in Denver?

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  1. FlyerDon Guest

    This sounds like a real money maker. I would actually pay to watch them board flights at night in a snow storm.

  2. Rick Whitman Guest

    Handicap access???

  3. Hugh Janus Guest

    As if you'd ever fly Frontier

  4. Roseann Amato Guest

    Personally, I'd rather pay a reasonable amount more to not have to be exposed to the elements. Having turned 60 this year, I also think it won't be too long before I might need help going up or down stairs, especially if they are slippery or if I have to climb them while holding on to a carry on. I would definitely avoid this type of flight and I'm sure others will also feel this way - seems like they could lose business because of this.

  5. Grey Member

    Really interesting how many people are so horrified at the notion of this. Wheelchairs can be accommodated with lifts pretty easily. And using front and back makes boarding and deboarding quicker. Without the bus, I don't see anything to complain about. Most large North American airports already have this to some extent for regional jets. Not sure what the big deal is.

  6. JohnG Guest

    Wow, a lot of the OMAAT readers here sure are delicate flowers to shudder at the idea of spending a couple of minutes outside in chilly or inclement weather! I like disembarking outdoors upon arrival, especially after a long flight. It can be quite refreshing, especially in a cool, breezy place like Keflavik. And I agree with those who mentioned that typical Frontier customers are very price-motivated and not so delicate when it comes to minor inconveniences.

  7. Warren Barnett Guest

    I frankly do not see this passing muster with the government. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that business make a reasonable effort to accommodate people with disabilities. Opting out of sky bridges for a few gates in an airport dominated with sky bridges (including Frontier's) is not a reasonable accommodation.

    The use of switchbacks in inclement weather for a few gates does not sound to me like a reasonable accommodation. How is...

    I frankly do not see this passing muster with the government. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that business make a reasonable effort to accommodate people with disabilities. Opting out of sky bridges for a few gates in an airport dominated with sky bridges (including Frontier's) is not a reasonable accommodation.

    The use of switchbacks in inclement weather for a few gates does not sound to me like a reasonable accommodation. How is a disabled passenger to know if they have a sky bridge to access their plane or not? They will not know until their boarding passes are issued and they have enough knowledge of the airport to know which gates have bridges and which do not. Never mind that gates can change on a whim. Will boarding time be extended for people with disabilities?

    Europe uses stairs more because they do not give a damn about people with disabilities. Compared to the US, the advocacy effort among the people of European countries with disabilities is not as successful. To wit: how many television shows and movies from Europe are captioned, even in their native language ?

    Besides, by the time you add the cost of staff to assist those who will need it, the savings will start to disappear.

    This is an excellent case study in how an airline is trying to fly wherever they can to make money. Cutting cost is a goal, even if it inconveniences the passengers.

    The question is whether the US Government will let Frontier get away with it.

  8. AlanD Guest

    Many UA Express flights at DEN already board from ground gates via stairs and ramps. It is not that new of an idea for the airport. If you’ve ever lived in Denver, as you know, there are many mild days in the winter. Very frigid daytimes aren’t as common as some think. Now nights are a whole different ballgame.

  9. BRC Guest

    For everyone concerned about wheelchairs, Frontier already boards some of their gates this way at DEN and were the first airline to use the current A71-A87 ground load gate area when it first opened years ago. They have switchback ramps to board the aircraft. Google “switchback passenger boarding ramp” to see an example. They allow for boarding and deplaning of wheelchair passengers and are already onsite at DEN and will be used in conjunction with air stairs.

  10. Miles Guest

    My wife reminded me that it's difficult to climb airstairs when you are lugging a carry-on plus small personal item.

    I've never noticed how airstair airlines deal with wheelchair / walker / crutches pax.

  11. David Hockenberry Guest

    Yeah I used to work for Delta and this would be absolute nightmare for the gate agents and the customers. Especially in the winter when the ramp is slippery, not to mention the increased exposure to TSA scrutiny. I can’t imagine how much of a nightmare this would be. Thank god I don’t work there.

  12. Robert Fahr Guest

    #justsayno This is fabulous at airports like Burbank with the SoCal weather. Denver? Pass

    1. Eric Guest

      Statistically Denver gets more sunshine a yr. than San Diego or Miami, over 300 + days. That makes winter quite nice w all that extra sunshine and brilliant bright blue skies w no humidity. Snow is gone in usually a day, grassy areas are the only evidence. @ 5,280 Ft. the intense mile closer to the sun melts it very rapidly. You don’t have three mos. of dirty brown snow on the ground, no sunshine...

      Statistically Denver gets more sunshine a yr. than San Diego or Miami, over 300 + days. That makes winter quite nice w all that extra sunshine and brilliant bright blue skies w no humidity. Snow is gone in usually a day, grassy areas are the only evidence. @ 5,280 Ft. the intense mile closer to the sun melts it very rapidly. You don’t have three mos. of dirty brown snow on the ground, no sunshine w high humidity like every city in the NE, North Central US.
      The average temperature in Denver for winter is Dec. is 47, Jan. 49 & Feb. 49.

  13. Thomas Guest

    I know how cold it gets on the jetbridges in Denver. I won't be choosing Frontier if this goes through.

  14. CMC Guest

    I'm waiting for Frontier to add a "jetbridge fee" where you can bypass the airstairs and use the comfort of a jetbridge for a small fee. This is not logistically possible of course (or is it??) If they could figure this out, I guarantee they would slap a new charge.

  15. Ralph Spielman Guest

    I’m sure this will work well in a Winter Blizzard or a Summer T-Storm. Another example where the financial types say it will work out to everyone’s advantage and save lots of money for the carrier.

    Anyone remember Penn-Central? Same kind of thinking, they lasted eight years. Time Warner synergy?

    Wake up, Frontier.

  16. dander Guest

    300 million for a piece of concrete. Does anyone else have an issue with this?

  17. DeffJeff Guest

    How will Frontier handle wheelchair passengers?

  18. XPL Gold

    Great idea! Frontier is all about lowering operational costs to get lower prices. If you like low prices, here you go and you're welcome. If you prefer a jet bridge, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of other airlines for you. I'm not sure why some people seem opposed to choice.

  19. guest Guest

    A brilliant idea, especially in a city that can be quite cold and snowy in the winter months! This is sure to increase their customer satisfaction numbers and drive repeat customers!!

    1. Eric Guest

      Your incorrect. Statistically Denver gets more sunshine a yr. than San Diego or Miami, over 300 + days. That makes winter quite nice w all that extra sunshine and brilliant bright blue skies w no humidity. Snow is gone in usually a day, grassy areas are the only evidence. @ 5,280 Ft. the intense mile closer to the sun melts it very rapidly. You don’t have three mos. of dirty brown snow on the ground,...

      Your incorrect. Statistically Denver gets more sunshine a yr. than San Diego or Miami, over 300 + days. That makes winter quite nice w all that extra sunshine and brilliant bright blue skies w no humidity. Snow is gone in usually a day, grassy areas are the only evidence. @ 5,280 Ft. the intense mile closer to the sun melts it very rapidly. You don’t have three mos. of dirty brown snow on the ground, no sunshine w high humidity like every city in the NE, North Central US.
      The average temperature in Denver for winter is Dec. is 47, Jan. 49 & Feb. 49.

    2. Eric Guest

      It’s actually not. DEN gets over 300 days of sunshine a yr. more than Miami & San Diego. You make it sound as if DEN is surrounded by high altitude mountains like Switzerland. It not, it’s on a high desert plain, w no humidity and avg. winter temperatures in Dec. 47, Jan. 49 & Feb. 49.

  20. Bob Guest

    I'd wager your average Frontier passenger doesn't fly often. Having to walk outside to the plane a few times per year won't matter to them. They'll continue to buy based on price. It would be different if they were flying weekly and had to deal with cold or rain regularly. This is a good fit for Frontier's business model.

  21. derek Guest

    An explanation of how more planes can fit would be good. Are the jetways usually spaced too far apart so they can handle a 777?

    When I walk down the stairs, I sometimes act like a President and wave to the distance even though nobody is looking at me.

  22. Esquiar Guest

    Simultaneous front and back boarding is a huge win for consumers. Who likes waiting forty minutes for aircraft to load and unload?

    The reason people don’t like air stairs is because of their association with bussing to a ground stand. Remove the bus and everyone is happy

  23. Nichael B Guest

    Air stairs? Watch out for hop-ons...you're gonna get a few hop-ons.

    1. George Michael Guest

      Great advise Dad!

  24. Mike Simons Guest

    Use to ground board often at ORD long time ago, and it sucks big time during rain and snow. Are they going to put canopies along the walkway ?

    1. Eric Guest

      DEN gets FAR and AWAY less snow than ORD. In fact Denver gats more sunshine than Miami or San Diego - over 300 days a yr. Little to zero humidity also melts snow so rapidly (along w intense brilliant blue skies of sunshine a mile closer to the sun.) DEN doesn’t have high humidity, dirty brown snow and sunless days for three months straight like ORD, or any other NE & North Central US city.

  25. Creditcrunch Gold

    Looks like the US version of London Luton Airport which is the base for EasyJet. The airport is currently consulting on a major expansion too.

  26. Bob Guest

    Don't see a benefit due to the extra time it will take for wheelchair passengers. I have a permanently injured ankle. I can walk fine but I'm slow on stairs.

  27. RJB Guest

    Meanwhile, Dulles Airport is replacing 18 ground boarding gates (with no bus needed to plane /deplane) with 14 jet brides for the bargain price of $800 million. (But it will probably be well over $ 1billion if history proves to be a guide) Net loss of 4 gates.

  28. Joe Guest

    I'm a regular DEN airport passenger, and I think more ground boarding is an excellent idea. I fly through Burbank regularly, where Southwest uses ground boarding from both the front and rear of the aircraft, and I find the boarding/deplaning portion of the trip is smoother and faster than at DEN.

    I recently sat on a returning flight to DEN for over 45 minutes after landing because Operations apparently couldn't find somebody to drive the...

    I'm a regular DEN airport passenger, and I think more ground boarding is an excellent idea. I fly through Burbank regularly, where Southwest uses ground boarding from both the front and rear of the aircraft, and I find the boarding/deplaning portion of the trip is smoother and faster than at DEN.

    I recently sat on a returning flight to DEN for over 45 minutes after landing because Operations apparently couldn't find somebody to drive the jet bridge the last ten feet to the forward door. Sometimes, the simplest solution, like ground boarding, is the best option, at least for able customers. As long as those with disabilities aren't further inconvenienced, I say bring on the air stairs.

  29. Never In Doubt Guest

    No jet bridge is not that big a deal in this case.

    The ridiculous downside/inconvenience in Europe isn’t the lack of jet bridges, it’s having to load/unload/wait for/ride the damn buses.

    1. Donna Diamond

      Exactly! More wasted time.

  30. Corbett Guest

    I experienced this approach on Virgin Australia SYD-MEL and it was fine but so was the weather, gorgeous, in fact. When I drop my rental car at DEN, even though I have expedited National service, it can be quite chilly waiting for the shuttle bus. I shudder (literally) to think how that would work 6 or 7 months out of the year on the tarmac to board and/or disembark!

    1. Eric Guest

      DEN average temperatures in winter are 47 Dec. 49 Jan. & 49 Feb. There aren’t 6-7 mos. of chilly elements. (Key to non native travelers, dress in layers.) Fact is DEN averages more days of sunshine than San Diego and Miami, over 300 + days of sunshine. It’s geographic location, 5,280 Ft. and a mile closer to the sun allows for brilliant bright blinding blue skies w zero humidity. Even in the winter mos.

  31. Donna Diamond

    No thanks! Another good reason to never fly them. I’ve plenty of experience with boarding via stairs in bad weather and it is a big deal in my opinion since I don’t care to get drenched along with my luggage. As for the situation at EU airports having stairs as some sort of norm for widebodies, the only time I’ve experienced it is during an airport expansion or repair as in the case of the...

    No thanks! Another good reason to never fly them. I’ve plenty of experience with boarding via stairs in bad weather and it is a big deal in my opinion since I don’t care to get drenched along with my luggage. As for the situation at EU airports having stairs as some sort of norm for widebodies, the only time I’ve experienced it is during an airport expansion or repair as in the case of the FCO fire in Terminal 3 back in 2015. And they did unload wheelchair passengers with the lift via the doors where the food is loaded into the galleys during the repairs as @Samo states.

    1. Eric Guest

      DEN gets over 300 days of sunshine a yr. More than Miami & San Diego. W zero humidity as well. Even in winter, avg. DEN temperature Dec. 47, Jan. 49, Feb. 49.

      I’ve sat for an hr. @ gate on SWA. And several other times for almost that long. I guess you’d rather sit on the plane for 45 min. @ gate, than be out the door (s) front and back disembark in less...

      DEN gets over 300 days of sunshine a yr. More than Miami & San Diego. W zero humidity as well. Even in winter, avg. DEN temperature Dec. 47, Jan. 49, Feb. 49.

      I’ve sat for an hr. @ gate on SWA. And several other times for almost that long. I guess you’d rather sit on the plane for 45 min. @ gate, than be out the door (s) front and back disembark in less than 10. The gentlemen earlier made an excellent point. After a long stuffy packed flight, give me a quick exit for some fresh air and stretch the legs.

  32. Stuart Guest

    In Australia they use a hybrid system often. Front boarding via jet bridge and rear boarding on stairs. It's quite efficient and why they tend to board 20 minutes prior and it's fast.

    With that said, anyone who has used the stairs has experienced how slippery they are during ice/snow/rain. The first time someone falls down one and dies or is seriously injured this will end fast. Let's face it, the litigious nature of...

    In Australia they use a hybrid system often. Front boarding via jet bridge and rear boarding on stairs. It's quite efficient and why they tend to board 20 minutes prior and it's fast.

    With that said, anyone who has used the stairs has experienced how slippery they are during ice/snow/rain. The first time someone falls down one and dies or is seriously injured this will end fast. Let's face it, the litigious nature of U.S. consumers is a far cry from more rational European approaches. It's gonna happen.

  33. Samo Guest

    As for boarding via both doors, I like hybrid approach employed by SAS in Scandinavia, where they usually have jet bridge in the front and stairs in the back. That way you get faster boarding, while keeping the jetbridge comfort for those in the front (the only problem is if someone chooses to use the jetbridge despite being seated in the rear part of the aircraft).

  34. Tom Guest

    Im all for it (though I don't fly Frontier). This year alone, twice I've had trouble deboarding at DIA while flying United because the plane parked too far away for the jet bridge; delaying the deboarding process by 20-30 mins.

    Being able to deboard from both ends of the plane, and NOT have to wait on a jet bridge? Yeah, I'm all for this change.

  35. Debo Member

    Good point about using the air stairs in bad weather. Alaska uses a similar setup in Seattle for many of the short regional flights. I remember there being some sort of awning or covering along the path from the terminal to keep passengers protected during bad weather. I’m guessing (hoping!) Frontier would do the same in Denver.

    1. Eric Guest

      Yes, they do cover the air stairs. Denver also gets more sunshine per day than Miami or San Diego, over 300 + days a yr. Seattle is a very beautiful city - but I couldn’t live there w rain and overcast cloudy days 9 mos. out of the yr.

  36. Chasgoose Guest

    I think this is actually a creative idea. Frontier knows this concept can work because they fly to a lot of secondary airports where jet stairs are the only option and it seems to work even with wheelchairs (the term jet stairs is misleading here since it’s really a low incline ramp that doubles back on itself up to the plane and no stairs involved, so not much harder for wheelchairs than a jetbridge). I...

    I think this is actually a creative idea. Frontier knows this concept can work because they fly to a lot of secondary airports where jet stairs are the only option and it seems to work even with wheelchairs (the term jet stairs is misleading here since it’s really a low incline ramp that doubles back on itself up to the plane and no stairs involved, so not much harder for wheelchairs than a jetbridge). I don’t see why scaling this up should be that hard, although they would need to make an effort to to give each gate discrete boundaries, since the biggest issue I have seen is single gate airports where two planes are boarding by jet stairs next to each other and either passengers or luggage or both get on the wrong plane).

    The only thing that I would be concerned about is that if it’s a flop with customers they aren’t going to have the flexibility to quickly switch back to a more traditional gate setup.

  37. Lance Guest

    "Another major disadvantage is that Denver has inclement weather, at least seasonally, so I don’t see this being very pleasant when it’s snowing, raining, etc."

    People flying Frontier are already in for an unpleasant experience, so I doubt boarding in a snowstorm will significantly impact the overall quality of their Frontier experience.

    1. Bagoly Guest

      Snowstorm not so bad, unless it's really cold - but heavy rain is a nightmare.
      And quite often with Wizz or Easyjet (and presumably Ryanair) people at the front of the queue can have to stand outside for 15 minutes (so they minimise the time taken once ready to board)
      Given how much money they are spending, why not put up canopies attached to the building to cover at least the front stairs?

    2. Eric Guest

      So does every other city that employs ground boarding ?? And the fact is DEN gets over 300 days of sunshine a yr. More sunshine than Miami or Dan Diego. And w zero humidity, avg. temperature in winter @ DEN. Dec. 47, Jan. 49 Feb. 49. It’s being a mile closer to the sun, that makes the difference compared to NE & North Central cities w dirty brown snow, chilly cold sunless days and high humidity three mos. out of the yr.

  38. AA70 Member

    I'm for this. To all the people with the wheelchair arguments, your points are valid. But Europe does this anyway for widebodies too, so its not like this concept is new.

  39. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The significance is that Frontier is willing to challenge the notion in the US that large jet aircraft (not just regional jets) have to be boarded by jet bridge. There are probably alot of airports that are cheering Frontier's move because it could allow much more rapid expansion at lower cost, esp. on minimal notice. The holding facilities themselves will be cheaper to build since they are at ground level. As long as Frontier has...

    The significance is that Frontier is willing to challenge the notion in the US that large jet aircraft (not just regional jets) have to be boarded by jet bridge. There are probably alot of airports that are cheering Frontier's move because it could allow much more rapid expansion at lower cost, esp. on minimal notice. The holding facilities themselves will be cheaper to build since they are at ground level. As long as Frontier has procedures to handle special needs passengers - which there are far more of in the US than in other parts of the world - they can make this work. Boarding via the ramp requires alot more employees to make sure that passengers do not walk where they are not supposed to. If Frontier can make the economics work with lower fares, more power to them.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, Never In Doubt, all bunch or crap.

      There is no notion. Jet bridge made stairs obsolete. It was and still popular outside US is because it's cheap and economical (very European). Our wealth and technology supersedes the need of stairs.

      MD-80s had them. 727s had them. 737s had them. DC-9s had them.
      Why don't you see newer jets equipped with it?

      Frontier is being cheap, probably trying to save cost to the extreme.

      LOL, Never In Doubt, all bunch or crap.

      There is no notion. Jet bridge made stairs obsolete. It was and still popular outside US is because it's cheap and economical (very European). Our wealth and technology supersedes the need of stairs.

      MD-80s had them. 727s had them. 737s had them. DC-9s had them.
      Why don't you see newer jets equipped with it?

      Frontier is being cheap, probably trying to save cost to the extreme.
      DEN is HUGE!!!. You can probably build 50 more gates, 4 more runways and still have a lot of space left.

  40. Josh Guest

    I wonder how this would work when boarding passengers in wheelchairs. I’ve seen it done on smaller planes, using ramps that zig-zag, but can’t imagine a 737, 319, etc. accommodating these ramps. It seems that the height of the larger planes would make the ramps too steep to push heavy objects.

    1. Samo Guest

      In Europe it's usually handled by a lift / movable ramp.

  41. beachmouse New Member

    This gives me flashback to having to deal with the no jet bridge E gates at Charlotte during peak summer heat while getting over a knee injury. Which was unpleasant enough that it’s ended up being one of the reasons why I try to avoid flying American.

    1. Eric Guest

      Charlotte has stifling humidity, Denver has no humidity. Combined w peak summer triple digit temperatures, many cities w that combination can be deadly. Denver, also averages more sunshine than Miami & San Diego w over 300 days of sunshine a yr. Even when it snows a foot, its gone in less then a wk. @ 5,280 ft. intense sunshine (a mile closer to the sun) melts it quickly. It also makes Colorado the second highest...

      Charlotte has stifling humidity, Denver has no humidity. Combined w peak summer triple digit temperatures, many cities w that combination can be deadly. Denver, also averages more sunshine than Miami & San Diego w over 300 days of sunshine a yr. Even when it snows a foot, its gone in less then a wk. @ 5,280 ft. intense sunshine (a mile closer to the sun) melts it quickly. It also makes Colorado the second highest rate of skin cancer in the US. But the only sign of big snows are on the grassy areas. Snow never lingers for three mos. as it does in Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, DC, Cleveland Minneapolis or any other city w high humidities and multiple months of little to zero sunshine.

  42. JG Guest

    Outdoor boarding when its 5 degrees? Sounds lovely. Also doesn’t it take 2-3x longer to board elderly and disabled? Have fun pushing wheelchairs up those ramps (when it’s 5 degrees).

    1. Samo Guest

      In Europe they usually use lifts rather than pushing wheelchairs up a ramp.

    2. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Just flew to PPT in a 777-200. They had a ramp at one door and stairs at the other. Just need more switchbacks for greater heights.

    3. Eric Guest

      Per the Denver Business Journal the Frontier Airlines gate expansion will utilize switchbacks. All details in link.

      https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news ... rport.html

  43. 305 Guest

    It’s not as bad as ppl are making it out to be. Let’s be honest, jet bridges in the US aren’t much better than this type of boarding. They’re cramped, dark, and still exposed to extreme temps (btw, when will we get glass jet bridges like Europe?!)

    Boarding via stand can still be done with protection from the elements. It isn’t the sexiest setup, but the D60 gates at MIA board by stair/ramp and...

    It’s not as bad as ppl are making it out to be. Let’s be honest, jet bridges in the US aren’t much better than this type of boarding. They’re cramped, dark, and still exposed to extreme temps (btw, when will we get glass jet bridges like Europe?!)

    Boarding via stand can still be done with protection from the elements. It isn’t the sexiest setup, but the D60 gates at MIA board by stair/ramp and have head cover from door to door.

    Worst part about this seems to be the walk to this extreme end of Terminal A. That does suck

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tim Dunn Diamond

The significance is that Frontier is willing to challenge the notion in the US that large jet aircraft (not just regional jets) have to be boarded by jet bridge. There are probably alot of airports that are cheering Frontier's move because it could allow much more rapid expansion at lower cost, esp. on minimal notice. The holding facilities themselves will be cheaper to build since they are at ground level. As long as Frontier has procedures to handle special needs passengers - which there are far more of in the US than in other parts of the world - they can make this work. Boarding via the ramp requires alot more employees to make sure that passengers do not walk where they are not supposed to. If Frontier can make the economics work with lower fares, more power to them.

4
Never In Doubt Guest

No jet bridge is not that big a deal in this case. The ridiculous downside/inconvenience in Europe isn’t the lack of jet bridges, it’s having to load/unload/wait for/ride the damn buses.

3
Stuart Guest

In Australia they use a hybrid system often. Front boarding via jet bridge and rear boarding on stairs. It's quite efficient and why they tend to board 20 minutes prior and it's fast. With that said, anyone who has used the stairs has experienced how slippery they are during ice/snow/rain. The first time someone falls down one and dies or is seriously injured this will end fast. Let's face it, the litigious nature of U.S. consumers is a far cry from more rational European approaches. It's gonna happen.

3
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