Transportation

Southwest is experimenting with two exit doors for passengers arriving in Sacramento

In this April 23, 2015, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet takes off from a runway at Love Field in Dallas.
In this April 23, 2015, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet takes off from a runway at Love Field in Dallas. AP

Passengers flying Southwest Airlines into Sacramento won’t have an easier time getting away, but they will have an easier time getting off the plane thanks to a new experiment in dual-door deplaning.

On a select number of flights landing at Sacramento International Airport, customers can choose to depart through the forward door as usual or through the back door via stairs down to the tarmac, the company said Tuesday.

That experiment “has proven successful in improving both on time performance as well as the customer experience,” said Michelle Agnew, a spokeswoman for the company.

Alaska Airlines already uses dual-door deplaning at Sacramento International Airport, said airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower.

Southwest will expand its experiment starting Thursday. For a two-week period, the company “will deplane as many inbound flights as possible through both available left side passenger doors,” Agnew said in a statement.

The focus will be on exiting the plane only. The test will help the company understand what resources and processes are necessary to maximize dual-door deplaning, the company said. Southwest is also experimenting at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

In California, passengers may be familiar with the dual-door approach at Hollywood Burbank Airport, where passengers board and deplane through two doors.

Ed Fletcher: 916-321-1269, @NewsFletch

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