Alaska Airlines Tests Dual Boarding Process

Being stuck in the rear of an aircraft while waiting for people to exit can be a frustrating experience for many travelers. Alaska Airlines understands this and is developing a way to speed plane exit times, and save the company money.

Alaska Airlines is looking at entering and exiting Boeing 737s by front and aft doors, the latter down a ramp or stairs to the tarmac. The airline calls it “dual-boarding.”

Alaska has been experimenting with variations on the technique at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, San Jose and Long Beach airports .

The airline reports they are findingng that letting people leave out the back can cut unloading time by eight to 10 minutes, while it currently takes 13-17 minutes to deplane and 22-27 minutes to load an Alaska Airlines 737, and 40 minutes between landing and the next takeoff.

The airline is also testing a “solar-powered boarding ramp,” which uses solar-powered electric motors to position itself next to the aircraft.