Rant: I hate remote stands!

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.


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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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  1. Darth Chocolate says

    Wah, wah, wah! This is typical for airports in China. It has happened in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guanzhou. For 737s, no less.

  2. PittDoc says

    I have to agree. I HATE REMOTE STANDS. They throw an unexpected wrench into tight connections and boarding and deplaning are always a PITA. I’ve slugged my luggage in the freezing snow and scorching heat up/down stairs when traveling in FIRST. Insane for a $10K+ ticket! I travel with a mobility limited partner for whom remote stands are a nightmare. Navigating the stairs, wheelchair from the stairs to the bus, waiting for a wheelchair post-bus ride. Last week they made us wait until all checked luggage was offloaded, then all the gate check luggage was removed then finally a wheelchair was allowed to approach the stairs. By the time we reached baggage claim our checked luggage in the airline’s lost luggage office. Ugh, this is a by-product of high demand despite prices that are higher than ever.

  3. Kiwi Flyer says

    It isn’t just small aircraft that get remote stands. Before pier Z was built at FRA any LH flight could get assigned a remote stand – even 747s. Some of the remote stands at FRA are several minutes bus drive away. Before the new extension to TBIT terminal opened at LAX, QF A380s regularly got remote stands. Similarly BA 747s at LHR. Many more examples of course, including some busy airports that have no airbridges at all.

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