Better, but not perfect. Delta Expands EPQS or the gate pillar boarding lanes in Atlanta.

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EPQS! Enhanced Pillar Queuing System. You just gotta love the name (#SaidNoOneEver). But beyond the ridiculous corporate name, I am honestly somewhat surprised to say EPQS is actually somewhat working and improving things. Where this is in place in Atlanta you are much less likely to  endure the below in hubs like Detroit DTW:

There are few things worse than rushing to a gate and being blocked by folks who have no intention to give up their “space” so you can pass by and get to your gate nowhere near where the mass of people are!

Now what I said before is still the biggest issue that is somewhat restricted access to the gate agents. Plus, when you have a mass of folks wanting help, you are going to have a line of folks potentially blocking all the EPQS lanes.

I think the biggest two improvements this has at least accomplished (and Delta should be praised for) is somewhat preventing folks getting ready to board blocking the concourse as well as keeping the 1st class and Diamond boarding area more open. Lastly, the pre-boards have to fight much less to get on-board also speeding up boarding a bit.

Credit where credit is due, Delta, this is better but not a permanent fix that would require a total rework of all the Delta boarding areas at every airport! What do you think about the EPQS boarding lanes / pillars? – Rene


  1. I gotta say, I kinda like ‘me. It’s definitely an anti-gatelice mechanism!

  2. We also have them at DCA and it has made the boarding process much better and faster. The gate agents have noticed a big difference in the boarding time and little to no confusion on who is boarding. They were afraid it would take away too much seating but that is not the case. I have used them in ATL and worked great. Last week I was in DTW and they really need them there as well as MSP. Blocking the walkway is a danger and annoyance. I look forward to the rollout at all the Delta locations!

  3. At ATL they work better at the B gates than at others (looking at you, T areas under renovation). Can’t wait for them to come to MSP. Tensabarrier stanchions would improve them further to help guide the queues in the desired column of humans. Once you get about 20 feet back from the pillars, people start to get confused as to which line is which. Baby steps, though…

  4. I like this scheme, but I wish Delta had put the arrows at the top of the posts instead of halfway down. Once people start lining up, the arrows cannot be seen by the newly arriving passengers. As I noticed last week, people who do not fly very often, mistakenly got in the Sky Priority line, thinking it was Zone 1.

  5. I finally got to use one of these last week at ATL and I do like this MUCH better than before. The problem I encountered was no one wanted to be the first to line up or no one knew how to use. So I got up from my seat and started the line for Sky right after the GA made the 5 minute boarding warning announcement, then 15 seconds later all the lines were stacked!! Probably will need to hang signs from the ceiling so those further back will know which line is theirs or make those pillars taller. If Delta’s “baggage thugs” weren’t so rough with bags, this rush to be on first would be no issue as I (and as would a many Medallions) would gladly check my bag EVERY time and only carry on my backpack. “Baggage thugs” are the next improvement.

  6. @PJ as a ff I shudder anytime I am out of eyeshot of my bag(s). You couldn’t charge me or pay me to check a bag.

    As far as queuing goes we will see today but I am rarely at the gate unless vouchers…

  7. I was in DCA last week and encountered this for the first time it’s not at DTW
    I hated it, the gate was mass of confusion-the space is just too small to accommodate all these separate lines. And if you walk up late, you have no idea where to go.
    If people are bothered about folks bunching up at DTW there is always the other side of the moving walkway. I dont see this as an improvement= there is still bunching at the gate!

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