Airline Boarding Sucks

If you’ve flown within the last decade, you know the drill for boarding.

As soon as the gate attendant announces that boarding is beginning for first class, everyone starts crowding the gate, even if it’s not their turn. Once boarding for coach begins, all hell breaks loose. People try to get in line even if their seating area hasn’t been called, vying for a precious overhead bin. It just seems completely chaotic.

Surprisingly, researchers found that letting passengers board whenever they want, without a seating area system, is actually faster and more efficient. An even more efficient system is one created by Fermilab astrophysicist, Dr. Jason Steffen. Here’s his system:

First, passengers sitting in the window seats on one side of the plane all board at once, in alternating rows (row 1, 3, 5, etc.). Then the same is done on the other side of the plane. Then the middle seats, still in alternating rows, boards on the first side of the plane. That continues with the other side’s middle seats, then (first one and then the other) aisle seats. Then, do it all again for the even-numbered rows.

I can’t really see how this is more efficient, but it seems that it is. Check out the video at the source link.

Source: Popular Science

    • Erica Brown
    • September 20th, 2011

    I’m no astrophysicist, but I’ve often thought that it would make sense to board folks in window seats first — that would alleviate the need for folks in aisle seats to get up and block the aisle to allow folks in window seats to get situated.

    • Some airlines do board from the window first, apparently. But this boarding method looks more efficient.

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