A new method developed by an American astrophysicist could speed up the boarding process on jetliners.
The Steffen Method, named after Dr. John Steffen, was tested on a Boeing 757 using 72 volunteer passengers for a British TV show.
Here’s how it works:
Passengers board from the back, with each person taking a window seat in every other row. Doing this gives everyone more time to stow their bags in the overhead compartments. This method continues down one side until every other window seat is full. Then, do the same on the other side of the plane.
Next, the remaining window seats are filled.
Then, start the process all over with the middle seats and then the aisle seats.
The test done on the British TV show "This vs. That" boarded all 72 passengers in 3.5 minutes. When they used the standard method of boarding – blocks of passengers from the back of the plane to the front – it took twice as long.
Dr. Steffen created the method in 2008 after he got stuck waiting for a long time to board a plane.
There’s no indication that any airports or airlines plan to adopt the Steffen Method.