When it comes to the best seat, the distances are particularly important to some passengers. But as soon as it comes to getting out of the car, those of all people who had previously complained ignore all the instructions of the crew and don't care about the distances.
The German airline Eurowings surprised in mid-June with the fact that although the check-in is to be carried out online, the boarding pass must be picked up personally at the counter. You have so many questions that you can only ask personally, argued the company. In practice, however, the procedure turned out to be a veritable farce, which in a "test flight" asked the check-in agent why one actually comes to the counter after checking in online. Of course, this is accompanied by the note that you should please print out your boarding pass next time. But this was not possible due to Eurowings requirements.
Eurowings now saw that this “system” was not the last word and that it was a unique solo effort in the Lufthansa Group too. At least between Austria and Germany, the "collection obligation" at the counter has been abolished again. Passengers can now check in online again without contact using their PC or smartphone and receive their boarding pass to print out or alternatively on the display.
A spokesman for Eurowings explained in detail why the "compulsory counter" has been introduced and has now ended: "We can understand that personally picking up the boarding pass means more time for the traveler - especially when you look at the undisputed advantages used to check-in online. Unfortunately, the two countries Germany and Austria still do not allow completely free travel. The majority of the passengers, who are mostly Germans and Austrians, did not feel that - but some other nationalities who are also among our customers as an international airline did. For example, IATA's information on entering Austria currently includes a large number of travel restrictions for different nationalities or groups of people who have stayed in one of the defined countries or have traveled through certain countries. In particular on the latter point, a personal interview with the passenger is urgently required in order to avoid incorrect transport. Since these regulations still change very frequently, it was not previously possible to integrate these different parameters into the online check-in system. Therefore, the online check-in was deactivated in cross-border traffic in order to check ALL travelers whether all the necessary information was available for a proper entry. As part of the relaxation of travel restrictions, we have now re-enabled online check-in. "
Passengers first want distances and only an hour later they no longer adhere to them
Virologists recommend maintaining a safety distance of at least one meter (1,5 meters in Germany, by the way). In some cases there are even government regulations that make this mandatory under certain circumstances. There is no explicit regulation on board that would oblige airlines to keep the middle seat or even entire rows of seats free. However, EASA recommends that this should be done if the load on the flight allows it. Currently, fully booked flights are unfortunately the absolute exception, so that there would be plenty of free seats and rows on many connections.
On both “test flights” with Eurowings, the load factor was rather modest, so that it would have been possible to implement the EASA recommendations with regard to the distances without any problems. Especially due to the fact that all travelers had to pick up their boarding passes personally at the counter. It would therefore have been possible for the seats at the counter to be allocated in accordance with the recommendations of the EASA. The Lufthansa subsidiary decided not to do so, however, and so the strange picture emerged that many passengers were "crammed" into fully occupied rows of three in the back of the cabin, while the majority of the remaining rows were completely empty. A pilot who was interviewed, who does not work for Eurowings, said that this could have economic reasons, because the fuel consumption would be lower if the weight (i.e. the passengers) was "collected" in the rear area of the Airbus A319.
While it was rather very quiet on the outward flight and only a few travelers turned over, it was a bit restless at the departure point Germany. Some passengers complained to the crew in a very friendly but determined tone that it was possible to keep the distances and whether you could please move. The cabin crew was happy to comply with this request and also used a loudspeaker announcement to indicate the possibility of taking another seat of your choice.
Those passengers, for whom it was particularly important to keep the distances before departure, must also be reproached, because after landing these thoughts had apparently evaporated and despite repeated announcements from the crew that they should remain seated and got off row by row is, in order to be able to keep the safety distances, this was ignored by the "complaining" passengers. They jumped up immediately and formed a queue in the aisle - as if this made it possible to get out of the car faster. The Eurowings crew on duty is to be given positive credit for having tried everything possible to get passengers who were in a particularly hurry to sit down and keep their distances. Some travelers were very understanding and followed the instructions of the crews, but unfortunately not all. Obscure, but that's exactly how it was: It was precisely those passengers who had complained about keeping the distances before departure and who wanted to be implemented.
This shows very clearly that cooperation between the crew and passengers is necessary. Travelers must behave in a disciplined manner and follow the instructions of the cabin crew. If this is ignored collectively, no orderly deboarding is possible while observing the safety distances. The crews do what they can, but the passengers just have to be disciplined and be patient until it is their turn to get off. Unfortunately, some passengers seem to be overwhelmed with it themselves.
A Eurowings spokesman explained in detail on the subject of seating: “In general, we do not restrict the choice of seats, so that passengers have the freedom to choose where they want to sit down. The system normally relies on a rough distribution - a very complex algorithm is stored here, which takes into account the most diverse constellations - the group of travelers, children, emergency exit, unoccupied seats, etc. Unfortunately, it can no longer be reconstructed from our current viewpoint. Basically, our seating systems are constantly being developed and adapted to new requirements. "