Is There A Perfect Way To Board A Plane? Researchers Say Yes

It’s little surprise that China is crowded. Given a booming population that can afford to fly – and without an equally booming plane population – researchers in Beijing have been examining ways to make boarding planes most efficient.

The idea is to accommodate the heightened Chinese flying demand and relative scarcity of planes. Western Australia’s ScienceNetwork reports that researchers are doing something new by looking into boarding patterns, as opposed to just luggage congestion and takeoff scheduling.

The findings? Move over, screaming children and slowpokes.

The researchers found that there is an “optimal” way to board a plane, and it involves categorizing passengers by their “individual properties.”

Under our current model of assigned seating, passengers at the front can reach their fastest possible boarding speed, but after that things slow down. The “optimal” system would categorize you by your luggage type, timeliness at the gate and other factors, and sort you into boarding order that way.

Although this is nice in theory, there are some obvious problems. Math can’t, after all, account for factors like passengers’ personalities, how distracted they are or even how large they are. Oh, and the fact that humans aren’t generally as predictable as variables in an equation.

[Image credit: Flickr user Reuben Whitehouse]