Roya Wolverson explains in this short essay why boarding a commercial airplane “feels unfair and chaotic”:
If your aircraft boarding experience feels totally random, that may be because it is. Random boarding is a scientific method (pdf) invented in 2008 by a frustrated Illinois-based astrophysicist named Jason Steffen who, after waiting too long in a boarding line, vowed to find a faster way to herd people onto a plane. After testing a bunch of algorithms in a simulated airplane cabin …, Dr. Steffen found that the boarding path taken by most airlines, of boarding blocks from the rear, was the slowest method of all. He tested the timing of boarding back-to-front, window-middle-aisle, boarding in four-row blocks and his own method, which involved seating people in alternate rows of windows seats, middle seats and aisles. The fastest solution, he found, was to board passengers in no particular order …
For her part, Ms Wolverson proposes an alternative method for boarding an airplane:
There’s a simpler, and arguably more lucrative, way to speed boarding along: clear the aisles of passengers fussing with overhead bags, either by charging them for the privilege or giving priority to passengers who board without.
So, which boarding method offers the fastest way to board an airplane, and (equally importantly) which method is the easiest or cheapest to administer? (For example, how would we implement Ms Wolverson’s alternative method? Doesn’t she commit the common fallacy of failing to consider the administrative costs of her method?)
Reblogged this on uf82's Blog.
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