The window seat has now been enhanced as part of this airline’s newly implemented and proven policy.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
An American airline will commence the boarding process by prioritizing passengers with window seats starting next week in an effort to minimize the time spent by planes on the ground.
United Airlines, in an internal memo, announced the launch of a revised seating arrangement for economy class customers on October 26.
The seating system, known as Wilma, categorizes seats into window, middle, and aisle, and was subjected to testing at multiple locations, with results indicating a reduction in boarding time by two minutes.
Variations of the Wilma approach have existed for numerous years.
“It distributes passengers throughout the plane so that more individuals can stow their luggage simultaneously. This is the primary factor that expedites the boarding process,” explains Jason Stephan, an associate professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
After experiencing long waits during the boarding process, Stephan created his own boarding model a decade ago.
Which passengers will be subjected to the new boarding plan?
The change will be implemented starting from the fourth boarding group.
There will be no changes for first class and business class customers in their daily routine. Additionally, passengers with priority boarding privileges and disabled passengers, unaccompanied children, active-duty military personnel, and families with children aged 2 or younger will not be affected.
United, which is based in Chicago, stated that when multiple customers are part of the same economy reservation, such as a family, they will be permitted to board together.
The new policy will be applied to domestic flights and select international flights.
Discovering the Optimal Onboarding Process
Airlines have long been in search of the perfect boarding procedure. Even Orville and Wilbur Wright flipped a coin to determine who would occupy the solitary seat on their flying machine.
United asserts that the average boarding time has increased by two minutes since 2019, and this is why changes are now being made.
Tampering with the boarding process has intensified since airlines began imposing charges for checked bags over a decade ago. These fees promote passengers carrying carry-on bags, which are generally still provided free of charge in the US, except for low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier.
“Whenever you struggle with luggage above your head, it hampers the speed of the process,” said Stephan.
Airlines prioritize early boarding
The endeavor to expedite the boarding process is further complicated by airlines’ inclination to sell early boarding or offer it to elite members of their frequent-flyer programs.
Only after these individuals are seated, usually near the front of the plane, can the other passengers board, passing priority customers along the way to reach their seats at the rear of the cabin.
“Prioritizing boarding is a revenue-generating technique. Up to a certain extent, that revenue outweighs the concern of boarding three minutes earlier each time,” said Seth Miller, who specializes in writing about the travel experience at Paxex.aero.
Two minutes may not make a significant difference on a transatlantic flight, but on short routes with significant traffic, such as those between the Hawaiian Islands, delays accumulate and lead to delayed flights.
If some passengers hesitate while stowing their bags and finding their seats, it could be the difference between an on-time or late flight, as per official government data.