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Sep 02 2011

Better aircraft boarding scheme mistakenly presumes passenger cooperation

A story making the rounds of the big technology blogs this week involves an aircraft boarding procedure that has been shown to not only make the process easier and more comfortable for passengers, but also cut the amount of time it takes to get everybody seated *in half*. Surely the airlines would embrace something like this, right?

The boarding scheme, developed by an astrophysicist in Illinois (so yes…it appears as though it really IS rocket science) calls for the window seats of every other row on one side of the plane to be filled first (back to front)…followed by the the same set of seats on the other side. The remaining window seats on the first side come next, then the other side, followed by every other row of middle seats on the opposite side, with the pattern repeating all the way through the aisle seats until the cabin is filled.

You can see how it works in this video:

As a fairly frequent flier myself, I’d love to see airlines adopt this method because anything that makes airline travel even slightly less miserable is worth trying.  I don’t know about you, but in my experience even standard back-to-front boarding procedures are routinely ignored … especially on short-haul flights. I’ve lost count of  how many times I’ve waited patiently at the gate for my row to be called only to find numerous people settling into seats several rows in front of mine once I’m on board the plane. So passenger cooperation and boarding agent enforcement will be required to make it work, which is pretty much a guarantee that it’s never going to happen.

Feed my ego!

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