Elite members of WorldPerks will soon have a straight path to their seats as the carrier introduces special “no waiting” boarding lanes. The service is available for first-class customers and elite members only.
The boarding lanes are part of an overhaul of the back-to-front boarding process. Menkes van den Briel, a researcher at Arizona State University who studies aircraft boarding (somebody’s gotta do it), told USA Today that Northwest’s approach is “certainly better than (boarding) back to front.” The new Northwest method disperses people into larger areas of the aircraft, he says.
Of course, the process can lead to some inconveniences, including aisle-seat passengers having to accommodate late-coming seatmates, and more jockeying among passengers. Still, Northwest thinks the new procedure cuts loading time, and may save money.
Northwest has introduced the no-waiting lanes in Detroit, Bismarck and Fargo, N.D. All Northwest gates in the U.S. will have the lanes, with special signs and carpeting, within the next month.