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The madness could one day cease. Letting slower boarders go first is a step in the right direction, but there’s an actual mathematical solution to living our best plane lives, and airports are trying it out.

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  • Another variable here is the space in the overhead bins. A lot of times people do not get space to place their carry on close to their seat. Therefore, they need to either try to find a space ahead or behind, creating more traffic.

  • I hate to suggest it but eliminating overhead storage for passengers ( a major cause of delay) and eliminating reassigned seats and loading back to front would certainly speed things up. The speedsters could run unimpeded to the rear and the slow could flow gently bringing ip the rear.

    Passenger comforts

    I hate to suggest it but eliminating overhead storage for passengers ( a major cause of delay) and eliminating reassigned seats and loading back to front would certainly speed things up. The speedsters could run unimpeded to the rear and the slow could flow gently bringing ip the rear.

    Passenger comforts are already sacrificed to minimize costs and maximize revenue so treating customers like livestock is the logical progression.

  • I think the easiest way to fix this is to redesign how we board while also redesigning where carry on bags are placed. If each seat had a storage space under the seat for each person. No confusion, no stress to get more space. If you have a seat, you have space! Remove the overhead struggle and reduce passenger stress

  • Mathematics & operational research theories aside, airplanes are a microcosm that displays society’s best and worst trends when people are surrounded by perfect strangers competing for finite resources... add the inherent sense of “priority” that comes from those (like me) who travel a lot and have “status”..

    Mathematics & operational research theories aside, airplanes are a microcosm that displays society’s best and worst trends when people are surrounded by perfect strangers competing for finite resources... add the inherent sense of “priority” that comes from those (like me) who travel a lot and have “status”... and there you have it - a social experiment in the making.

    As some pointed out - eliminating overhead space would not solve the problem, business people or those who travel light would not want to check bags. Perhaps if airlines reversed their policy: checking bags is free. Bringing a roll-aboard carry-on will cost you...

    But until the sense of resource constraint is removed, we will continue to have the people dynamics of “gate lice” as the article mentions, and of people looking to place their bags wherever they can...

  • Having been in an industry that involved regular travel, I'd say the method might work if robots were being loaded, not people. Loading back to front was once done by a number of airlines in the past, you just have to be older than 30 to know that. People seated farther back would often put their luggage

    Having been in an industry that involved regular travel, I'd say the method might work if robots were being loaded, not people. Loading back to front was once done by a number of airlines in the past, you just have to be older than 30 to know that. People seated farther back would often put their luggage forward, above seats that were not their own. This causes a domino effect of problems when others arrive to their seats only to realize they have to find someplace else to place their luggage, and so on. Once upon a time flight attendants tried to stop this from happening because they actually helped people board the plane. This overhead storage issue happens regularly (like to me 3 weeks ago, and 2 flights before that) and flight attendants just stand and watch. Add to that the various classes of seating where one is actually paying to board sooner rather than later. Another reader mentioned that overhead storage should end altogether, but I don't agree. It adds another half hour waiting for your bags and there's a chance that bag will get lost. If you're flying for business you don't want to add extra time waiting on a bag or having it lost. The same for vacationers. Getting through an airport is hassle enough. If this proposed mathematical method is to work, flight attendants and baggage handling are going to have to work too. Service in the airline industry has become worse over time despite how friendly the people might be. Another factor would be that everyone who is boarding the plane is at the gate on time and that there's no one on standby. These mathematics don't take passenger behavior or lack of help from onboard staff into consideration.

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  • Sorry , I find this pretty comical, your headline here makes this sound like this is a sooooper complex issue & the beat goes on & on? Human nature is such that a percentage of us show up early ( let them board) then again “ human nature” dictates the crowd that’s right on time ( let them board) then

    Sorry , I find this pretty comical, your headline here makes this sound like this is a sooooper complex issue & the beat goes on & on? Human nature is such that a percentage of us show up early ( let them board) then again “ human nature” dictates the crowd that’s right on time ( let them board) then your “ almost late” crowd , let em on, would just like to see an Airline try it , let people on that are there early & politely encourage them to help the next wave, I’m certain it would flow, also stewards & stewardess’s could change their mindsets , be fast at quickly helping out as people start loading in the bins.