I have a bug about boarding this week, it seems. Not only have I praised Ryanair’s boarding process for its efficiency, it has lead to a follow on idea about stairs versus the jet bridge.

For those down under wondering, a jet bridge is what you call an aerobridge. You know, the tube like tunnel you board through at the airport terminal. With me? Okay!

Stairs Are Better

In some respects, using the stairs is better. From a pure enjoyment of flying point of view, there is nothing like being out on the apron and seeing your aircraft as you board. The sounds, the sun, the breeze all make you feel like you’re part of the flying experience.

There are two issues of course. First, the weather. It is no fun boarding in very strong wind or when it is raining or snowing. It actually becomes a pretty horrible experience in that situation.

Another issue is when people have mobility issues or travel with children. It is not easy to tote a large carry on bag as well as hold a child’s hand to make sure they don’t fall down.

Even so, using stairs makes for a much faster boarding experience when both a front and a rear set are used on short haul flights. It is why budget airlines can turn flights around so quickly. I love them just for the pure feeling of nostalgia!

Aerobridges (Oops!) Are Better

For pure comfort, you can’t go past the jet bridge, aerobridge or jet way. You get to serenely pass from air conditioned airport terminal to air conditioned aircraft without a hair on your head being disturbed. Perfection! Obviously the price we all pay for this comfort is increased embarking and disembarking times.

Nothing is worse than being time poor and waiting for a lumbering loiterer to get a move on. A shame the days of dual jet bridges – one for the front and one for the rear – are no longer. They weren’t so common anyway.

Overall Thoughts

I’m an advocate of both methods of getting on board an aircraft. Why? It is the way you get on board an aircraft and it is quite a lot of fun being on one and flying.

While both have their advantages and disadvantages, I’ll take the stairs in good weather and the jet bridge in bad, thereby getting the best of both worlds. Now I’ve said that, next time I am in a rush you can bet I will be behind a slow moving passenger on a flight using a jet bridge.

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons.