How to speed up plane boarding

Physicist Jason Steffen has discovered a method for getting passengers onto airplanes twice as fast as the usual method.

(via kottke)

6 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This looks like it was a setup. The real issue with boarding a plane that 99% of the time you are held up because someone can’t find overhead bin space or people don’t stay in their seats.

  2. Tom, think about it. If the grouping of boarding passengers is done so that the first ones one, are the ones with the window seats (maybe even staggered as he seemed to have done it), and then the ones closer to the isle, a lot of the jams caused would be eliminated.

    I’ve often thought of this while stuck behind some slow poke on the plane. My cure for this: just board last. Give it some time for the jam right outside the plane to clear up and then board. Gives you at least an extra 15 minutes of reading your book.

  3. This doesn’t work for Southwest Airlines who do not have assigned seating. The only system they practice is lining up at the gate.

  4. I’d love to see this in action with a midday plane full of families going to Orlando. I travel with my toddler. We’re pretty good about being quick as we’ve done it a lot. I can’t say the same for other families.

  5. It looks to me like people were given a boarding group number (1, 2, 3, 4) and the people in each group were from 3 areas of the plane separated by 3 or 4 rows. That way they aren’t competing for the same aisle space as someone else while getting loaded and seated.

    This instead of the typical method of loading the plane from the back to the front and causing a jam up because people from the same block of seats are all trying to use the same few square inches of aisle at the same time.


  6. I know that when one airline tried putting a dollar bill under ONE seat, boarding went superbly fast.