We Are Boarding Planes The Slowest Way Possible

There are many ways to board a plane, with “back-to-front” — the chosen boarding process of most U.S. carriers — the slowest. It is so ineffective that timed research shows that simple random boarding ends up being faster.

One possibility is that airlines have no incentive to improve the process. As long as it remains terrible, they can sell early boarding privileges. Southwest, for example, charges $40 to be among the first 15 to board. Consider the indignity: The stress of boarding is so bad that people are willing to pay money to wait in the plane, rather than outside it — and they pay money to the very company causing that stress.

Oh I have considered the indignity, Businessweek. Many a time.

The article also points out that charging to check bags only incentivizes people to carry on MORE shit, which slows down the process even further — while also making passengers more willing to pay extra to board early.

Personally, I would always rather wallow in my indignity than pay money to sit on a plane first.

Photo: david bailey

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.