Now Here's A Crazy Way To Board

Could a change in carpet at the gate be the key?


We’ve written before about the vexing problem airlines face to get passengers aboard in a timely fashion. Whether it's “random," ”kids first," "PAX with carrying-on bags first," "no carry-ons allowed," or the basic “back-to-front,” the airlines are always searching for a better way to get everyone in their seats for the simple reason that each minute spent at a gate can cost $30.

But here’s one way we came across that certainly sounds like the oddest as any method freely labeled as “The Flying Carpet” (patent pending, no  less) could be.

According to Gulliver, a business travel blog from The Economist, it features a “scaled-down replica of an aircraft seating plan, which is put on the floor of the departure lounge near the exit to the plane. The first passengers ready to board stand on the carpet on the spot that corresponds to their seat. There's room for about 30 people dotted around the carpet before it fills up. They then board as a group, rear row first, and thus should be spread throughout the plane when taking their seats. While they're doing this, another group arrange themselves on the carpet before they go on the plane. And so on.”

We’ll agree with Gulliver’s assessment that this could be “a” solution rather than “the” solution. Still, the inventor, an Australian design engineer, claims the method cuts boarding time in half. To check out more, here’s a link to the inventor’s site, which also includes a video of the whole process.