05 September 2011
Is Airline Boarding Rocket Science?
I have written before about Jason Steffen's attempts to get rationality into airline boarding. Much to be applauded.
The Economist published an article on how his theories have progressed.
However I believe that in the real world - there are different ways to address this.
Randomized allocation of boarding groups is one simple way (as AA is doing now). Southwest's funnel method - feeds traffic into the jetway fast. Ryanair's staged boarding - seems to work the fastest from my observation.
The basic issue remains that the hydraulics of the flow into an airline cabin will never become efficient unless there is a way to address the basic human interaction and the physical size of the passengers. For example domestic Mexico and intra Asian flights with less portly Americans can actually process faster because smaller nimbler people can share the same physical space.
End of the day. Random wins. But take away a major component such as TRUE limits on bags on board as exists in Europe and boarding works way better. Perhaps Spirit has it right for charging for overhead bin usage.