Northwest Airlines is changing the way the passengers board its flights. Instead of boarding back-to-front, it will be a free for all. Anyone can board at any time (after families with children and elite members). While this seems like a recipe for chaos, it apparently knocks 5-10 minutes off the boarding process (who knew?). I once flew on a 747 that was boarded all at once and it was complete mayhem as people pushed to get in line. Northwest’s spokesperson admits that he was skeptical of the new plan as well, until he watched it in action. Apparently it actually works.
In case you were wondering, according to the article, there are professors who study the best way to board airplanes and they say that United’s method — window seats, middle seats, aisle seats — is the fastest way to fill a plane.