There’s a better way to board planes — but here’s why the process will never change

Plane boarding

Turns out, we are both boarding and deboarding planes wrong.

In the horror that is plane travel these days, every minute counts. Various studies, both by the guys from Mythbusters and universities like Northwestern, have found that boarding and deboarding planes by column rather than row is most effective — it could cut deboarding times by more than 35%, according to Northwestern.

What this means is that rather than boarding by group number, we should be boarding window seats, followed by middle seats, followed by aisle seats.

And same holds true for the way we exit the plane: Rather than deboarding by row, we should be deboarding aisle seats, followed by middle seats, followed by window seats.

However, don’t get too excited at the prospect of streamlining air travel: there are major problems facing this method.

Boarding and deboarding ahead of the rest of the masses has always been a perk. People in First Class will not be pleased at paying exorbitant amounts for tickets, and then having to get on and off the plane like all the other schmucks. Same goes for frequent flyers that have built loyalty to a certain airline, thus getting better boarding groups as preferred travellers.

The real problem, however, lies with groups and families. Boarding and deboarding by column is not feasible in real life, as it would split up families and groups, which make up the majority of travellers. Having a small child board or deboard alone is likely to waste more time than it saves.

Our suggestion? Use both doors.

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