15 thoughts on “Efficient Aircraft Boarding”

  1. Airlines already use a version of “slow first” policy and have been for some time. The first to board are women with small children followed by “special needs” passengers. Then comes the military and then first class, who are usually older. The only way to tell who’s “slow” and “fast” in the normal passenger classes would be to stage a test prior to boarding. I don’t think that’s going to “fly”.

    Maybe their “special relativity” equations can give them that information.

  2. Not that I really endorse it.
    Fenster determining boarding speed of a person ain’t impossible,
    Nothing a few cameras can’t do , Put a few cameras on the plane and AI and facial recognition and databases and can quickly determine the general speed of the passenger after a few flights and track them. Then The next time the passengers gets a boarding ticket assign a boarding group of their slowest person of the group. Most likely can even extend it to the Time Through Security and walking to gate to determine their speed at boarding. But be tough to use that information in real time short of assigning boarding groups at the Gate perhaps electronic boarding tickets /Cell phones.
    Personally I take the added delay rather than being tracked, airlines on the other hand the ability to increase boarding speed by 10-15% could be significant cost saving worth the capital cost to develop the system and add the few cameras to the plane , gate and gangway and develop the software and database.
    Though Figure with assign seating alternating boarding with seat assignment would show similar efficiency

    1. Scary. But unfortunately credible. My recent commercial flying experiences have been that once everybody is on board the plane, we sit for between 10 to 40 minutes before the aircraft leaves the boarding gate. Thereby rendering passenger seating speed moot.

  3. How about boarding window seats, back to front. Then middle seats, back to front. Then aisle seats, back to front. Then board first class. No one has to walk past anyone.

  4. Instead of assigned seating seat based on amount of carry on. The fewer the items the more likely you will get window seating. This makes sense during flight as well. Those with little or no carry on will have less reason to leave their seats during flight. Sort the line by this and board back to front window, middle, isle. People needing assistance will get isle seats near the front and last boarding. Families get rows and those with younger children the forward rows and board last. All takes place preboarding. Sorry if you like to sit in the front buy a first class ticket.

    1. Of course maybe boarding shouldn’t be what is optimized but rather deplaning instead. That would help reduce the stress level of those seeking connections…

  5. If a plane has airstairs, the passengers to be seated in the rear half of the cabin should use them while the other half use the jet bridge.

  6. I particularly dislike the element level boarding groups. Silver, Gold, Platinum. I’m a level Astatine 211, so when I hear groups like “Bismuth” called, I get all excited…except there are 5 isotopes to go through with that…and to think, my isotope decays to Bismuth 207 in just 7.4 hours (well…half life). It just isn’t fair!

    1. With proper arrangement of seating groups, placing people such as yourself in hexagonal patterns throughout the cabin, the pilot can turn off the in-flight cabin heating…

  7. Rows of wheeled electric seats in waiting area. You show your ticket to the seat and put on the belt. When it’s time, the seat drives to your plane, parks in its spot and locks itself to the floor. When the plane arrives at its destination, it exits the plane and delivers you to the waiting area. If you have a connecting flight, you wait in the seat. Otherwise you get up and wander off. This technology is available now, and it wouldn’t be that costly an upgrade. On the other hand, if Hyperloop works, airlines will die off, route by route. Get in your EV at home, enter your destination in the car’s touchescreen, car drives to the nearest Hyperloop loader and sends you to your destinations, drive off when you get there.

  8. Apart from Southwest, airlines charge you for a checked bag.

    Do they charge for a “gate check” when your bag doesn’t fit in the overhead?

      1. The few times I am compelled to board an airplane, I travel with piece of soft-luggage in the form of a shoulder bag that I think I picked up attending a scientific conference, a bag I can count on smooshing under the seat in front of me, although the 737321’s have some kind of “brick” taking up that space (choose your form of torture, the stretched B737 or the A321, each of which has that “entertainment screen” in your face because of the short seat pitch).

        But on American, I thought I saw bags lined up in the Jetway for those-unable-to-stow to pick up?

        I would like to know what the current “social contract” is for flying or for any other activity I engage in. Is the deal that it has to be a legitimate “carry on”, that its contents are able to pass through security? That it has to be part of your “carry-on” plus a “man-bag” allotment. The suitcase portion of the allotment has to fit in that sizing cube? And if they tell you “no more room! no more room!”, they will “gate check” it for you to go into the baggage compartment and give it back to you as you disembark?

        If that is the “deal”, maybe I will pack one of those roller bags, and when I board in Platoon Foxtrot (as in A-B-C-D-E-F) and the flight attendant tells me, “I am so sorry, you will have to check that bag”, I can just shrug my shoulders, had over the bag to the ramp agent inside the Jetway, and expect to claim it on the way out the door?

        If that is “the deal”, I am OK with that, it is just with airlines and their crews, do the rules change all the time?

        1. If you have a carry-on, its contents have obviously already passed through security. If it’s American, unless it’s American Eagle, you don’t get it back when you disenbark. You pick it up on the carousel. But if it’s American Eagle, you automatically gate check it.

  9. Thanks for reminding me how awful airline travel is. I have a couple of transcontinental trips coming up.
    Best deplaning I’ve ever experienced was LAX to SFO in 1983. Late Friday afternoon and was obviously experienced commuters. First row on left got up, grabbed carry on and departed followed by first row on right, second on left etc. Awesome!

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