MythBusters debunks dilemma of how airlines board planes

The Way We Board Planes Is The Worst Possible Method
The Way We Board Planes Is The Worst Possible Method

Air travel can be annoying, and the Mythbusters looked into one reason why.

Turns out the way that most planes are boarded now - from back to front - is the worst!

The team set up a boarding area and even airplane seats to test out its effectiveness.

"There's a backlog of passengers on the gangway. Passengers in aisle seats having to get up to allow access to the middle and window seats."

"The method in use by the majority of airlines is simply not the best available."

The guys used about 200 volunteer passengers to test several methods of boarding. Back-to-front took the longest - almost 25 minutes - and was rated the worst by the passengers.

Other methods proved better - like boarding the window seats first, then the middle, then the aisle. So - why don't airlines do that?

BusinessWeek looked into this in April - and suggested airlines don't have any incentive to improve boarding processes - they profit off them!

Yeah, lots of airlines do let you board first, for a fee.

BusinessWeek also points out that some airlines give priority boarding as a perk to passengers who fly with them frequently or use their airline credit cards.

It's a cheap way to keep customers happy.

A few years back an astrophysicist even developed a super-fast way of boarding that involves alternating rows, but airlines haven't implemented it.

Check out the Mythbusters website for more on this myth, though you might just get even more frustrated.