What's the best way to lead passengers onboard a commercial plane? When a passenger has an important business engagement to get to, speed and precision can make all of the difference, and it seems that the blog Vox Media has presented some ideas on how to board so that passengers get to their seats faster.
As the article explains, the standard method of leading customers in would seem to be orderly, but actually involves a lot of moving around and waiting in line. Instead, it says that it might make the most sense to follow the example of United Airlines, which leads people to their seats based not on their section, but where they are sitting in their respective rows.
In this model, people with window seats are led into the craft first, then middle seats, then aisle seats. This may violate the traditional hierarchy of the different sections, but it also reduces the amount of awkward interactions where passengers who are already seated have to stand up to let newly boarding passengers on.
Vox calls a version of this approach developed by physicist Jason Steffen "the very best method" for boarding. Eric Chemi of Bloomberg Businessweek recently noted that the current system of boarding planes can be a self-perpetuating struggle for travelers.
"The stress of boarding is so bad that people are willing to pay money to wait in the plane, rather than outside it—and they pay money to the very company causing that stress," Chemi said.
Of course, there's an obvious answer to those who might want to avoid the problems caused by inefficient boarding policies: a charter jet service. With the privacy of a chartered plane, customers have the ultimate assurance that there will be fewer difficulties in finding their seats.