Let’s see… how to board an airplane, let me count the ways:
**Board by rows, starting at the tail. ** That’s how they boarded when my grampa flew, so dadgummit, it should still work!
Board by sections - what’s the difference? Perhaps they figure people can’t decipher that “SEAT” number on their boarding pass and figure out that “37B” means they have a nasty middle seat next to the aft lav?
Board by seat type - window, middle, aisle. If they could make it work, it would be wonderful, but everyone would need to be there all at once. Any late-comers would screw things up. And do you really think pax would understand “Now boarding Seats 20 through 25 A and 20 through 25 F … Now boarding seats 20 through 25 B and 20 through 25 E”
Treat it like a city bus. Southwest does this with the minor refinement of boarding by groups based on when you checked in. Alaska’s “TANGO” appears to be similar.
All of these have one big downfall - No matter where a person is sitting, they’re going to be a Bin Hog and stuff their oversize roller bag that should have been checked as baggage at check-in into the first overhead bin they see - typically at row 5 or so, leaving no space for row 5’s pax and leading to the flight attendant’s “Is there space in this bin?” dance, usually leading up to the dreaded Gate Check for anyone unfortunate to be among the last to board.
Honestly, the “just find a seat that doesn’t have a spring poking out and put your butt in it” schemes seem to work better than assigned seating. Of course, prohibiting carry-on of anything large or heavy enough to need wheels would help immensely. Last week, I was on a flight using a Bombardier jet that had itty-bitty bins that roller bags don’t fit into, so they basically had to gate-check something for everyone except me and my small bag that actually fits under the seat. Talk about a big ol’ cluster-bang. :mad:
One final thought - why do they “pre-board” first class pax? They get on the plane first, but then have to endure the unwashed hordes passing by them. Why aren’t they left for last? If I had the option to spend as little time as possible on the plane, I think I’d take advantage of it.