« Ghosts | Main | 'Still' Life: The long autumn of Roger Federer »

August 31, 2011

Brilliant New Method of Seating People on Airplanes

The Steffan Method -- Full PDF HERE

Seating order:


Posted by Vanderleun at August 31, 2011 12:09 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

OK. I'm a 2-decade plus airline pilot, and I'm going to look at the other side of the coin here.

Believe me--every airline has tried all sorts of different methods to minimize the time required to board (and Dr. Stephan recognizes 5 in his paper). Dr. Stephan's method is a good one. But here's the thing--it requires the passenger to do what he doesn't always want to do: Board when he, and not the airline, wants him to.

Some passengers want to board as early as possible...for example, to have first crack at that valuable overhead real estate. When that person also happens to want to sit on the aisle, then Dr. Stephan's method falls apart. Other folks want to both board late and to sit at a window seat. Still others are parties of two or more, which by definition, take more time to seat than do two individuals separated by Dr. Stephan's method. Dr. Stephan ignores these concerns.

Also, it appears that Dr. Stephan "starts his clock" so to speak when the first passenger boards the plane. But he requires that the passengers line up before they board in the order he suggests, before he begins to time. The passengers will begin their clocks when they're told to line up in order, and not just when they enter the plane. BTW, I think the last time I lined up this way was when I was coming in from recess at elementary school.

Finally, Dr. Stephan has a position at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics. While I wouldn't want to dismiss any idea from any quarter--even a very smart guy--doesn't he have more important Physics stuff to do?

Posted by: azlibertarian at September 1, 2011 10:35 AM

Great points. The human element is always screwing up the perfect plan, isn't it.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 1, 2011 12:15 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)