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Title: Experimental test of airplane boarding methods

We report the results of an experimental comparison of different airplane boarding methods. This test was conducted in a mock 757 fuselage, located on a Southern California soundstage, with 12 rows of six seats and a single aisle. Five methods were tested using 72 passengers of various ages. We found a significant reduction in the boarding times of optimized methods over traditional methods. These improved methods, if properly implemented, could result in a significant savings to airline companies. The process of boarding an airplane is of interest to a variety of groups. The public is interested both as a curiosity, as it is something that they may regularly experience, and as a consumer, as their experiences good or bad can affect their loyalties. Airline companies and their employees also have a stake in an efficient boarding procedure as time saved in the boarding process may result is monetary savings, in the quality of interactions with passengers, and in the application of human resources to the general process of preparing an airplane for departure. A recent study (Nyquist and McFadden, 2008) indicates that the average cost to an airline company for each minute of time spent at the terminal is roughlymore » $30. Thus, each minute saved in the turn-around time of a flight has the potential to generate over $16,000,000 in annual savings (assuming an average of 1500 flights per day). While the boarding process may not be the primary source of delay in returning an airplane to the skies, reducing the boarding time may effectively eliminate passenger boarding as a contributor in any meaningful measure. Consequently, subsequent efforts to streamline the other necessary tasks, such as refueling and maintenance, would be rewarded with a material reduction in time at the gate for each flight.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  2. Hotchkiss Industries, Sherman Oaks, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1023973
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB--11-402-AE
Journal ID: ISSN 0969-6997; arXiv eprint number arXiv:1108.5211
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Air Transport Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0969-6997
Publisher:
Butterworth-Heinemann
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; MAINTENANCE; OCCUPANTS; PERSONNEL; AIRCRAFT