You might think it’s front to back … but that is wrong. The best method is window seats first, then middle, then aisle–the “inside-out” method. Jason Steffen’s paper “Optimal boarding method for airline passengers” applies the experimental method to this problem and explains why the inside-out method is the fastest way to board a plane. Steffan is a physicist (i.e., a real scientist), so why don’t more of his “social science” colleagues try to solve practical problems like this one? Is the real world beneath them?
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