Why Don’t Airlines Board Us Most Efficiently? Money

Jet airliner at gate.

There are some very slow and inefficient ways to board passengers onto an airliner. Most airlines use some variation of them. But there are also some mathematically proven efficient, optimum ways. Why don’t the airlines use those? Money. This video analysis uses great graphics and demonstrates the problem.

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5 thoughts on “Why Don’t Airlines Board Us Most Efficiently? Money

  • Completely overlooked in this video is another critical consideration. If airplanes boarded from rear to front, it can cause the plane to tip back on the tail. It has happened! The center of gravity of the plane is just a bit in front of the main landing gears in the main wing. Passenger weight is significant to keeping enough weight in front of the landing gear. If passengers did not prefer front seats, the Southwest free boarding would not work. My guess is that loading first class and some front rows in the main cabin first might be enough to offset further consideration of this issue. Under cabin cargo and luggage loading/unloading management may also help manage this issue.

  • It is true that the primary reason for making everyone miserable is to be able to charge premium prices for priority/business/first class.

    However, faster turnaround times and fewer boarding delays are also beneficial to the airline. Saving time usually also saves money, and it’s beneficial to passengers as well.

    Some airlines (Southwest) have unassigned seating, which seems to result in faster boarding, shorter turnaround times, and fewer delays due to boarding.

    Other airlines use both front and rear doors to parallelize getting on and off the plane, which is about twice as fast as using a single door.

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