(Lack of) Use of Rear Stairs for disembarking - evenings at MEL

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by BD1959, May 9, 2014.

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  1. BD1959

    BD1959 Established Member

    May 11, 2011
    1,710
    780
    MEL
    Two weeks running, evening arrival into MEL, forward-door disembarkation only.

    Just a Red-Dog, building status on VA, I'm tending toward the rear-most seats until I can get access to the forward seats and Priority Boarding. When rear-door is used, it can be quite a bit faster into the terminal than being even 1/3 from the front.

    I've noticed that none of the aircraft in the evening have the rear-stairs attached; is this a cost-cutting measure for (say) post 7:30pm flights, given expected light-loads if the aircraft is turning-around?


    Regards,

    BD
     

  2. TomVexille

    TomVexille Enthusiast

    Nov 12, 2013
    10,137
    4,643
    Melbourne
    I've also wondered about this. My latest arrival into MEL had no rear stair disembarking either.
     
  3. Nexus9

    Nexus9 Junior Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    37
    12
    OOL
    Could be that because it is Melbourne and heading into winter, that it is just too bloody cold to use the rear stairs :p
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. BD1959

    BD1959 Established Member

    May 11, 2011
    1,710
    780
    MEL
    Could well be, Nexus9. :)

    ... except for the announcement during taxy that both doors would be used - only to find that everyone had gone home once at the Gate??

    ... or maybe they went home because it was too cold to work on the apron??

    Regards,

    BD
     
  5. Leroy87

    Leroy87 Member

    Jul 30, 2013
    114
    13
    Had the same thing happen a week or so ago except it was even stranger...
    - Announcement coming in said we would use both forward and rear door
    - Ground crew brought up the stairs to the rear door (no orange tape out yet on the tarmac)
    - Second announcement saying we would only use the front door
    - FA at the rear of the plane had to tell the confused ground crew guy to take his stairs away :confused:

    Row 27 :(
     
  6. Demon_fan

    Demon_fan Member

    Mar 18, 2014
    126
    16
    Pretty sure they used them last night on my flight into Melbourne. Landed around 7pm.
     
  7. TomVexille

    TomVexille Enthusiast

    Nov 12, 2013
    10,137
    4,643
    Melbourne
    No stairs back in February. Wasn't exactly cold back then.
     
  8. jaspon

    jaspon Member

    Jun 26, 2011
    181
    57
    i think a lot of the time, they dont have the staff available to marshall on the tarmac, therefore forward exit only. I get this alot in townsville. Up there its a cost cutting measure for the contract staff, having 1 less staff member.
     
  9. Rob.au

    Rob.au Junior Member

    Oct 8, 2012
    13
    0
    When I travel MEL-SYD I normally get the last or second last flight. On those occasions I've flown, it's rare to get rear stairs in Sydney (but they always announce front & rear during the taxi, followed by a correction on arrival at the gate).
     
  10. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    30,091
    5,548
    BNE & SYD
    #10 markis10, May 10, 2014
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
    More to do with turning the aircraft around I think, at that time of night there is probably less need to do a quick turn. The staffing issue is a side bonus of that for VA.
     
  11. BD1959

    BD1959 Established Member

    May 11, 2011
    1,710
    780
    MEL
    Which I can understand, appreciate and plan for - if this is, indeed, SOP.

    Regards, BD
     
  12. ywwol

    ywwol Intern

    Oct 30, 2011
    92
    25
    I thought it might have to do with OH&S. With the ever growing amount of compliance and litigation, we wouldn't want people to trip on the asphalt and sue the airport.
     
  13. AustraliaPoochie

    AustraliaPoochie Established Member

    All to do with the storms of the rain variety is the reason.
    There were rains early on today in MEL.
     
  14. BD1959

    BD1959 Established Member

    May 11, 2011
    1,710
    780
    MEL
    LOL...not 8:45pm Thursday it wasn't. skies so clear, the temp was 7c!!

    Regards,

    BD
     
  15. strtrek

    strtrek Member

    May 15, 2011
    228
    69
    Sydney
    sunday MEL gate 5....3 pm disembarked rear stairs, 4 pm embarked rear stairs....I do love walking the tarmac :) beautiful day....
     
  16. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    39,234
    7,755
    MEL
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    Not on the evening of Saturday 3rd ... my experience is as described up-thread with a forward only disembarkation correction to the prior forward/rear direction as we pulled into the gate.
     
  17. Must...Fly!

    Must...Fly! Established Member

    Jan 12, 2010
    2,847
    531
    Perth
    Rear stairs will have more to do with if the aircraft is turning around, and the load on the inbound and outbound flights. As mentioned up thread they do need an extra staff member.
     
  18. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
    16,605
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    SE Oz (Sale)
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    There are some of us who would/will never use the rear stairs. I have had way too much extraneous turbine noise over the years and do not need my hearing effected any more thanks.

    With the noise levels experienced on tarmacs it is probable that VA is treading fine with this one.
     
  19. Generally it is because of either the following;

    - Aircraft is terminating for the night and stairs are not required.
    - Wind speed could be to high to operate stairs safely.
    - Ground crew could be short a man in their team and elect not to use.

    These are just some of the reasons that this could happen.
     
  20. docjames

    docjames Senior Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    8,348
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    ISTR they (are supposed to) delay / pause rear stair boarding if there is a nearby aircraft taxying or on pushback etc due to the " noise issue".

    Happy to be corrected.
     
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