Boarding times slashed by 10% in airport experiment

Trial in Gatwick sees passengers with window seats board first to reduce boarding time by around 3 minutes
London Gatwick, Airport Passengers, Passengers, Boarding system, Delay, Flight delay

Passengers have been able to board planes 10% quicker in a new trial at London Gatwick airport.

The airport is working alongside EasyJet to experiment with new methods of getting passengers aboard planes more quickly.

Some of the methods include getting people with window seats at the rear of the plane to board first, followed by the middle and then front.

According to a report by the BBC, Gatwick is seating groups of people, like families, in rows at the back. Individuals travelling alone will be seated closer to the front.

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During the two-month trial, which has already begun, one plane of 158 passengers managed to complete boarding in 14 minutes, which is around 3 minutes quicker than average.

Operators at Gatwick are also trialling new methods of announcing boarding. Digital screens informing passengers of which seats are ready for boarding, replacing the traditional audio announcements.  

A spokesman for Gatwick told the BBC: “One challenge in any controlled boarding process is our ability to communicate the pattern to passengers and the willingness of passengers to comply. It is almost impossible to do that effectively through audio announcements.”

“Passengers can be seated until their seat number comes up on the large screen and then board the aircraft without queuing.

“Some even appear to enjoy it and are calling it 'bingo boarding'.”

While the trial is currently being run alongside EasyJet, it is expected to be rolled out to other airlines if successful.

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