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Good News on the Plane-Boarding Front

Newark airport

If you’ve ever flown on a crowded jet, you’ve probably experienced the near chaos that occurs during the boarding process. Most airlines fill their planes with those in first class, then either fill the plane from the front to the back or window seats to aisle seats. Some have even tried to board people without carry-on baggage early.

No matter what the method, though, it always seems like boarding a plane is more of a frustration than it needs to be, and slow boarding can lead to delays and extra costs. In an article by The Dallas Morning News, it says that researchers from Northern Illinois University have found that every extra minute that a plane stands idle at the gate is 30 more dollars in costs.

That’s why this summer, Delta Airlines is experimenting with a new boarding process to make the process smoother and to save on costs. On some flights, the U.S. airline plans to pre-load carry-on bags above each passenger’s seat before allowing passengers to board. This will give airline employees the opportunity to load the bags instead of the passengers, which may be a faster method.

Delta tested this method a few times in Los Angeles and Atlanta and noted that it was successful, so this summer, they’re implementing the process in many of their busiest airports.

In addition to Delta, Southwest Airlines will be experimenting with a new family boarding method. Right now, the airline doesn’t allow you to pick your seats, so it’s not always a given that you’ll sit with your family members on your flight. The new method hasn’t been defined yet, but Southwest members are surveying customers and are working on it.