United Airlines splits family and friends during boarding

Getting passengers on and off planes in an orderly fashion can be a nightmare for flight attendants.

With everyone pushing and shoving and trying to get their bags in the overhead lockers, it can turn what should be a smooth process into chaos.

However, airlines are coming up with ways in which they can get people on and off their planes faster, with less fuss.

One method that is being used by United Airlines splits up friends and families for the boarding process, but has proven to be at least partially effective, The Sun reports.

The system is being used for economy class passengers, where the highest number of people are squashed into a smaller space.

It involves bringing window-seat passengers on board first, followed by middle seat passengers and then those sitting in the aisle seats.

The airline claims that this boarding technique can save up to two minutes per flight, which can add up over a day, particularly at busier airports.

Jason Steffen, an associate professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, claims that getting passengers to put their luggage away quicker is the key to increasing boarding speeds.

He told Euronews: “It spreads people out along the aisle of the airplane so that more people can put their luggage away at the same time.

“That’s the main thing that speeds up the boarding process.”

Other airlines have trialled using both front doors to try and get people on quicker, including budget American airline Frontier. This was able to shave as much as ten minutes off the flight turnaround time, according to the carrier’s CEO Barry Biffle.

Whether or not the system will catch on and be used by other airlines remains to be seen.

However, it may prove unpopular, given it would briefly separate friends and family due to sit next to one another for the flight they’re boarding.

For now, United seems to be the only carrier implementing the method.

Elsewhere, other airlines have trialled methods to get people off planes quicker.

In 2022, India’s largest carrier IndiGo introduced a third door for passengers, meaning they could alight the plane from both the right and left at the front and the left at the back as well.

The airline claimed it can almost halve the time it takes to get passengers off the plane.

“The new three-point disembarkation process will be carried out from two forward and one rear exit ramp, making IndiGo the first airline to use this process,” a spokesperson told India’s Hindustan Times after it was first introduced.

There are ways in which passengers can speed up their route through the airport on the way to their plane.

Flying at certain times

One of the best ways to avoid crowds at airports is to fly either first thing in the morning, or late at nights.

Fewer people travel at those inconvenient timeslots, meaning your flight will likely be less full too.

Limit your luggage

By only flying with carry-on, you’ll avoid having to check-in bags, which takes up time both before and after flights.

Taking just one small bag will also speed up time at airport security too.

Dress for speed

Wearing clothes that can easily be removed and put back on at airport security will make it much easier for passengers to be scanned.

Passengers are advised to not wear jewellery or shoes that are difficult to take off or put back on.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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