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New boarding method slashes waiting times


Published on Sep 5, 2011

The Steffen boarding method can cut conventional boarding times by 40%...

A fresh approach to aircraft boarding procedures can cut boarding times by 40%, offering the potential for significant airline savings.

Conventional boarding techniques have proven to be the least efficient way of doing things in recent tests, while boarding passengers in window seats first is found to cut waiting times by nearly half.

There are two variations on this approach, the Wilma and the Steffen methods. The Wilma method recommends boarding passengers in window seats first, followed by middle, then aisle seats. The Steffen method takes this approach a step further, breaking it down another level by boarding alternate rows in the same pattern from front to back – i.e. boarding passengers in seats 20A, 18A, 16A… etc, followed by passengers in 19A, 17A, 15A.  Essentially what this method avoids is ‘space conflict’ whereby passengers are trying to use the same space at the same time.

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