Why is boarding always from the Left?

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by SeatBackForward, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    Every plane in every country I've flown to/from (thats not really much compared to folks on here) has always put steps/aerobridges on the left hand side of planes. There are doors on both sides, but why always the left?

    It must have something to do with terminal design, but the surely you'd have a half/half split of lefts to rights..
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Its so they can load food/supplies, luggage and cargo on the right. :p
     
  3. bravoecho1

    bravoecho1 Member

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Its also a good redundancy if the left side doors aren't working or in an emergency if there is a problem (like a fire) on the left.

    Just make sure you watch out for the food and luggage carts when you "jump and slide" :D
     
  4. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

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    Both posts don't explain why it is solely the left side.

    Are Boeing and Airbus planes designed with cargo doors only on one side?
     
  5. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
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    cause if it was the right side the universe would fold in on itself, implode and disappear up a wormhole and then reappear in the 5th dimension where cats are the rulers ...

    that's as good an explanation as any i reckon :mrgreen:
     
  6. I would hazard a guess that it is convention, just the same as the captain of the AC occupies the left seat. On lesser types of passenger aircraft such as the Saab 340 and the Dash 8 the right-hand forward door is an emergency exit only. My guess is that again this is convention from years gone by and I suppose doesn't really answer the question
     
  7. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

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    Ahh....Thats how you get into the Chairmans lounge!
     
  8. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

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    Convenient convention, is my guess. The crew can direct boarding passengers to the correct seats without having to stop and remember which side of the aircraft they are on. The service vehicles and crew can go about their routines the same way every time. Eliminate confusion, even simple and small sources, and things work better, turnarounds are faster and errors are fewer.
     
  9. Groundfeeder

    Groundfeeder Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
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    I replied to a similar post some time back about the A380 having pax top loaded by front-end loader. We even went into the realms of pax pallet racking but I think bigjobs got a look at the plans before all this and has provided an adequate explanation.

    I personally think that because most can-openers are operated with the right hand, that the port fuselage was picked for this purpose to cut an entry hole, because if the operator slipped, the pilots window was subject to shattering.
     
  10. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Yeah, probably convention.

    No different to a few other things in life where the same stuff is done worldwide for consistency reasons.

    (BTW, except on Dash-8 sized aircraft, I don't recall a plane having a cargo door on the left hand side.... )
     
  11. Hi there

    Goes back to the horse, always mount a horse from the left, honest i read it somewhere.

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  12. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
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    That clears up alot about my marriage ... thanks for that.
     
  13. ColinP

    ColinP Member

    May 1, 2006
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    It's an inherited nautical convention.The right hand side of a ship is starboard. the left is port. this came about because before rudders were invented the ships had a large oar called a "steerboard" on the right hand side. Because of the obstruction, and to avoid damage to the "steerboard" the ship would always tie up when in PORT on the "port side". Hence the gangplank would always be on the port side.

    Strange but true. there's no reason that aircraft should have followed that convention but they have.
     
  14. Groundfeeder

    Groundfeeder Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
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    Does it all matter???

    I recall in my younger days often boarding DC9's via the aft ladder under the tail - obviously cheap seats and no hint of status. Probably even before people could spell "airbridge".

    Following a few well publicised issues with DC9 tail cone falling off, I don't think this design carried thru to what we now call the DC9-GT, aka B717.

    Deathstar appear to have got shot of the DC9-GT, if only for its one pax loading door.
     
  15. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

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    #15 markis10, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006

    DJ737, did you by chance travel on BA this month, because it is mentioned in their inflight magazine (the British seem to have a thing about mounting horses).

    BTW not all cargo doors on on the starboard side, 767's have a small one on the port side just in front of the aft passenger door, I am watching some mail go into OGD by that door as I write this.

    Groundfeeder, 717 still has a tail exit, however it is now an emergency slide, it is recommended that potential rescuers not be standing under the tail cone when this is activated!
     
  16. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

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    Ahhh, just a little slot, is it?

    Pete, air male
     
  17. crazydave98

    crazydave98 Active Member

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    #17 crazydave98, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
    If you have a close look at the aircraft you will also see that the passenger doors on the left hand side are generally wider and taller than those on the right - it's especially noticeable on smaller aircraft. Real plane spotters might like to look at Boeing's airport planning manuals that show door dimensions with scale drawings. This link for the B737 which I just happen to know well for obvious reasons: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/737.htm
    The whole document is 19.5 meg, but you can download just section 2 which is only about 2 meg and has the relevant drawings/dimesions etc.
    cheers
    CrazyDave
     
  18. Hi there
    Yep that was where i read it, was on a shuttle MAN-LHR on the 13th.

    Thanks
    DJ737
     
  19. NM

    NM
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    If they used the right side doors, the F pax would need to turn right when entering the aircraft ... and that just will not do. Everyone knows the F pax must turn left when entering the aircraft :p.
     
  20. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    er that depends on both the aircraft type and door used, eg on 777-300 it is a right turn for F (from door 1L)
     
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