Many professors and engineers have studied the quickest way to board passengers on an airplane. Dr. Steffen came up with an idea how this could be done most efficiently.
The system of boarding he came up with is like this: first the passengers who will be seated at window seats in odd rows will start to board, after that it’s the passengers with window seats for the even rows turn. The same system can be used for the middle seats after that and completed with the aisle seats. With this way of boarding, passengers have plenty of room to look for their seat, store their luggage and be seated without annoying each other.
Theoretically this would work just fine, but in practice it doesn’t. Why is that?
- Passengers that travel together normally will be seated next to each other. If Dr. Steffens way of boarding is followed they have to board separately. That can be very unpleasant, for example when you are traveling with children.
- All passengers have to be present during the start of the boarding procedure, that almost never happens.
- Passengers that will be seated next to each other are not allowed to get to their hand luggage once they are seated.
Most airlines are boarding their passengers starting with the rows in the back of the aircraft and then work their way up until the first rows in front of the plane. This is the most efficient and achievable way. And even with this way of boarding, which is relatively easy, things can get unpleasant due to the fact that the passengers do not listen to the boarding procedure or try to fit in hand luggage which is too big for the small lockers. Who does not recognize this situation: the passenger first to board and enter the aircraft puts away his luggage, is seated in his aisle seat, buckles up and then looks very annoyed when the other two passengers in the same row (for the window seat and middle seat) asking him to get up for them to be seated. Very cranky and troubled he or she will stand up, if you’re lucky, to let them pass. If you’re on a long distance flight this is a great start with your neighbor during the flight. However, don’t panic, you could also meet the love of your life on an airplane!