Virgin America considers new boarding: baggage-free passengers first

It happened to me the other day. I had my plane ticket in hand and stepped aboard the soon-to-depart airplane, but couldn’t sit down. Why? Because of the 15 people in front of me who needed to find spots in overhead bins for their carry-on suitcases.

We all know that the boarding process has slowed down because of baggage fees. More people are opting to stow their suitcases as carry-ons rather than check them.

Virgin America is testing a way that might speed up the entire process.

It would mean that anybody without carry-ons would board first. Then, everybody with carry-ons would board second.

I think it’s brilliant. Fewer people would be in the aisles, meaning that the folks with bags might be able to find overhead space more easily. And hey, fewer people would be annoyed. It has the potential to work, and I’m glad to see that an airline has the foresight to consider it as an alternative to the norm.

That said, I might personally choose to stall, if given the choice. I usually prefer to be one of the last people on the plane (I’d rather spend my time standing in the airport than sitting on the plane). If others rationalized the delayed boarding in the same way, would that just negate all of the positive aspects of this new system?

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