I have to admit that I’m not used to planes landing at a remote stand. Unfortunately, I can expect more of this flying out of DCA airport and I’m not happy.
Smaller regional aircraft can’t tie up valuable terminal gate space, so they’re forced to park on Tarmac away from the buildings, and then have passengers bussed in.
Here’s what I really dislike about this:
– At DCA specifically, the in terminal waiting area for the remote stands is overcrowded and too small. Close to 10 flights can depart from an area the size of 2 normal gate areas. It’s cramped, crowded and chaotic.
– Once you step off your flight at a remote stand, you are not a free bird. You’re forced to wait for a bus that doesn’t depart on your schedule. With tight connections, or a need to get somewhere else, this slows down the process.
– You need to wait for ground crews to offload gate checked bags. I hate gate checking bags, but on some smaller aircraft there simply isn’t a choice. Often times crews load all luggage onto one cart, which slows down your retrieval time.
I can probably come up with several more pet peeves of remote stand gates, but those are the biggies for me. Sure, an airport isn’t going to spend millions of dollars more to build a terminal where they could just simply stick a plane outside, however in the grand scheme of things, it really does a disservice to passengers.
Okay, rant done. 🙂
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