Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Wired News: Airlines Try Smarter Boarding

Here's and interesting article about how Wired News: Airlines Try Smarter Boarding. What I found humorous is that their example of efficentcy was American West Airline, which I just flew to San Jose. I found them to be no more efficent than my preferred airline, Southwest (who was also mentioned).

American West was using a new boarding process they called "reverse pyramid". Southwest uses chaos theory. Pyramid says load back seats first, starting at the windows. The Southwest system is based upon the theory that if you tell a hundred people to get on the plane, as fast as possible, that they will adjust their movements to accomplish the task. As long as everyone's goal is the same (fly), everyone will work collectively (think ants).

What distressed me is that no one identified the actual problem with boarding, which is passengers loading carry on luggage in the overhead storage. The good news is that many airlines are beginning to enforce carry on regulations: one item, limited size. Before long, they take a page from the cargo services-- all carry on must be in a uniform box, of a specified size. No more fumbling in the aisles, as the box will fit in your alloted space.

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