Fastest way to board plane revealed

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Sep 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

    Messages:
    50,181
    Likes Received:
    133,438
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Fastest way to board plane revealed:)






    By Edward Bovingdon

    [​IMG]

    A new study has found that the most commonly used method of boarding passenger planes is actually one of the least efficient.

    The tests compared the popular ‘boarding from the rear’ practice or ‘block boarding’ used by the majority of airlines, with other approaches including the Wilma Method and Steffen Method.
    The Steffen Method triumphed in the test - nearly doubling boarding speed.

    Named after Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Fermi National Laboratory in Illinois, the method involves boarding in alternate rows, window seats first, progressing from the rear forward.

    For example, allowing seat number 26A followed by 24A, 22A and so on, then returning for 25A, 23A, 21A, 19A etc. The middle and aisle seats would then be filled in the same manner after all window passengers were seated.

    The idea behind this new approach is to avoid passengers struggling to use the same physical space at the same time.

    Watch a video of the Steffen Method:

    http://uk.travel.yahoo.com/p-promo-3361535
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I'm not sure it's right to call this the Steffen Method because he did a few badly-conceived experiments. Similar schemes have been proposed and studied before, although perhaps not his exact sequence of seats. I think I remember something starting from windows that picked every row starting from the rear. IIRC it's already been pointed out in some literature that methods along these lines are better, although I don't know whether anyone ever did the obvious combinatoric exercise of examining all possible boarding sequences (after discarding the obviously inferior ones) and finding the optimal one. Of course, a big problem is that human behavior can destroy assumptions and theoretical results.

    It's not clear that airlines do or should necessarily pick the fastest boarding method. They need to balance time on the ground and staff time versus customer satisfaction, especially the concerns of their elite customers. They're here to make a profit--or more precisely, maximize the market value of their stock--which is related to but not necessarily equivalent to turning planes around as quickly as possible.
     
    uggboy likes this.
  4. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,764
    Status Points:
    20,020
    He is the first I've heard of to suggest this particular approach so no harm in him claiming the name for it in my mind. Claiming that it would actually work in a real world situation, on the other hand, is definitely something I'd dispute. Unless you have everyone lined up and ready to go in order before boarding starts the whole thing falls apart. And if you add in the time to get everyone lined up and in order then you've lost the efficiency of the boarding time by simply moving it out into the terminal. Not so beneficial for the customers.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.

Share This Page