Coronavirus is going to change the way we board planes at the airport forever

The coronavirus pandemic is going to change every aspect of our lives. It’ll be a long time before anyone feels comfortable crowding into a airliner for a long-haul flight, but sooner or later the package holiday companies will start up again.

And when they do, boarding might be very different. On budget flights, especially, there’s a bit of a mad scramble for the better seats.

But in future, thanks to the social distancing measures that we can probably expect to remain in force for the next year at least, airlines are having to rethink the way passengers get to their seats.

In the US, Delta Air Lines has already improved its boarding process.

Now, passengers with seats in the rear of the aircraft are allowed to board first, so they don’t have to fight their way through a crowd of other passengers who are trying to stuff coats and bags into overhead lockers.

A statement from the Atlanta-based airline reads: “All flights will follow a back-to-front boarding process to support social distancing and reduce the instances of customers needing to pass by one another to reach their seat”

Today's Top Stories

  • Meghan fires back at comment
  • Warning about Spanish holiday bars
  • Harry and Wills finalise 'divorce'
  • Girls' fast-spending booze record
  • Delta adds that all aircrew will be provided with face masks, and that the new precautionary measures will remain in force until at least June 30.

    The statement goes on: “The airline is blocking middle seats in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select across all flights, reducing the number of customers on each flight, and managing Medallion Complimentary Upgrades at the gate to promote a safe flying experience.”

    • British Airways crew boss dies from coronavirus next to recovering Boris Johnson

    While boarding passengers row-by-row starting from the back is a major improvement on the current system, there’s an even better way.

    Astrophysicist Dr Jason Steffen used a computer simulation to develop a new method for getting passengers onto airliners in 2008. He measured the ‘start at the back’ method against its opposite, and found that there really wasn’t much difference.

    "The difference was basically how long it took to walk from the front of the aeroplane to the back," he said.

    At first he thought he’d made a mistake: ” I was like, 'There's something wrong with my code', so I checked my logic to make sure it was working.”

    In a real-world test, Steffen’s method halved the time it took to get everyone in to their seat. No airline has yet taken his solution up though.

    For the next few years at least, keeping passengers apart will be more of a priority than getting them on board quickly, but maybe computer simulations like Steffen’s will help there too.

    Source: Read Full Article