London’s Gatwick Airport Is Testing A Faster Way To Board
By Parker Diakite
Getting on a plane is slower and more complicated than ever. From the long wait times at security checkpoints, then [typically] gunning it across the other side of the airport to your gate, to the next line of actually boarding your flight, the process of making it to your seat is at least a 1.5-hour process.
But there’s some good news for travelers going through London’s second-largest airport.
Officials at London’s Gatwick Airport have announced that they are testing new technology aimed to get passengers that if proven successful, will cut boarding times.
As part of a two-month experiment that began mid-October, the airport will begin testing different boarding sequences on budget airline EasyJet.
The goal is to make the boarding process quicker and less stressful for passengers, with a statement from Gatwick suggesting that the new techniques could cut boarding times by as much as 10%.
The trial includes boarding people from the back row to the front by combining digital displays with new boarding sequences based on seat number. Window seat passengers boarding first, followed by middle and then aisle seats, according to CNN travel.
A Gatwick spokesperson told CNN that in the first week of the trial a flight of 158 passengers boarded in 14 minutes, which is approximately two-to- three-minutes faster than normal.
Passengers with priority bookings, those who require special assistance and those traveling with young families would still be allowed to take their seats first under the new system.
“Early indications are that this new technique has the potential to reduce the overall boarding time,” Abhi Chacko, Head of Enabling Technologies and Digital Innovation at Gatwick, said in a statement. “By communicating to passengers better and boarding passengers by seat number, we also expect to make the whole boarding experience more relaxing and, potentially, prevent large numbers of passengers rushing forward at any stage.”