We’ve seen a million different boarding schemes over the years. First there was boarding by rows, then came group boarding, and now many are going to the all-at-once cattle call strategy. But Virgin America is trying something different. They want to let you board first if you don’t have a carry-on. Smart idea, but something tells me the execution is going to kill this one.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a systemwide policy yet, but rather a test. According to spokesperson Abby Lunardini:
We’ve actually advised the teams in certain airports to adopt the ‘board without carry-on first’ approach to see if it makes the boarding process more smooth. We’ve not officially adopted this as a standard practice, but we’ve begun to explore it selectively.
I like the idea. Those without carry-ons can board quickly and not get stuck while others clog up the aisle while they try to stuff their worldly belongings into the overhead bins. Theoretically, it should speed up the boarding process. I say “theoretically” because I just can’t see it working considering customer behavior. And those people with carry-ons will be pissed.
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