Airlines want to keep planes in the air as long as possible because a plane on the ground doesn’t earn any money. They’ve forever tried to figure out the most efficient way to board passengers in order to avoid a delayed departure.
I’ve flown airlines that board folks with seats in the back first, followed by everyone else. Or everyone with window seats boarded followed by middle seat and then aisle seat passengers.
Dr. Jason Steffen works as a scientist at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, and he decided he wanted to figure out the ultimate answer. He created a computer model of passengers boarding with luggage, and he learned the least efficient way to board was back to front. Even though it sounds logical, only one passenger can put their luggage away in the overhead at a time, so you have one passenger stashing his luggage while another several wait.
So what’s the most efficient way?
Dr. Steffen says sending passengers in so adjacent passengers in line are seated two rows apart. That way, the most passengers can get situated at the same time without bumping into others. Now you know.