Researchers have finally worked out the fastest way to board a plane, which was tested on the British TV show 'This vs. That' (video below). The 'Steffen Method' is named after American astrophysicist Jason Steffen who created the technique in 2008 after getting stuck in a long line to board a plane.
Rather than the traditional back to front approach, researchers say that airlines should put passengers by the window in an alternating pattern. The first passenger would take the seat at the back left of the plane.
The second passenger would go two rows in front of them so they would have more room to get on and arrange themselves. This ‘every other row’ approach would go down one side of the plane and repeat on the other side before returning to the first row to fill in the empty seats.
'This vs. That,' producer John Hotchkiss contacted Steffen and offered to test his theory using a mock-up of a Boeing 757 airplane and 72 volunteer passengers with luggage.
Hotchkiss tested five different approaches to boarding, but the fastest was the 'Steffen Method.' Dr Steffen said that the results for the most part were exactly how he predicted in 2008. “As far as the actual amount of time it took to fill the plane, the times didn't agree, because I didn't know how long it took people to put their luggage away and walk down the aisle,” he told BBC News.