New Airplane Boarding Procedures Could Be In Your Future

This Wall Street Journal article focuses on American Airlines’ efforts to speed up the boarding process. In a two year study, the airline found that randomizing boarding can actually reduce boarding procedures and get you in the air faster.

You’ve been boarded by row numbers from the back of the plane to the front and you’ve waited for your zone to be called (or your lights to blink at Southwest), but have you been boarded by window or aisle? American found that boarding windows seats first, then middle and aisles, can shave a few minutes off of the boarding time.

No more getting stuck behind that one passenger trying to cram their oversized bag in to the first available space they see because they’ll be more likely to easily move forward to their own seat area. When you randomize and spread out the boarding, studies show that the traffic flows better and faster.

I’ll go along with anything that gets the crowd in the jetway moving forward faster. In my travels, I’m either an early boarder (first class upgrade or elite boarding status) when I have a carry-on bag, which is most always, or the dawdler who is in no hurry to get aboard.

Once in awhile I do check a bag. On those occasions, I’m very happy to be the last one to board the plane since I don’t have to worry about finding overhead space. It’s very freeing to not have the “is there overhead space near my seat?” worry.

I’m almost never a middle-of-the-pack boarder as I abhor the slow crawl through the jetway and the aisle to get to my seat.  So even if their airlines changed their boarding sequence, I’ll stick with my personal sequence of boarding.

What do you think of these various boarding methods? And what is your modus operandi for boarding?

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