Impact of Boarding Method on Airplane Turnaround Time

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You should have a minimum of 10 sources half should come from the library, half online. You do not have to keep annotating each source


In 2007, domestic flight delays were found to cost the U.S. economy $31.2 billion. There are many different factors that can contribute to a flight delay, but because passenger boarding is the major metric in turnaround, it is my understanding that boarding methods can greatly reduce delays. This burden falls on the airlines, customers and can also be seen as forgone GDP of the US economy. Passenger boarding time, and therefore cost, are an aspect of flight turnaround which can cost for upwards of $77 per minute for an airline. Boarding time refers to the time between the first passenger entering the main door and the last passenger occupying the seat (Liang, 2016) and I believe that an optimal boarding method could potentially save the airline industry millions of dollars each year.

For this paper, I will be focusing on low cost carriers. Today, all low cost carriers are able to provide comparable services, share the same routes and convenience all at the similar airfare. One way for an airline to remain competitive and improve profits is cost reduction, mainly through turnaround time. According to recent studies, an average boarding time reduction of 1 minute would lead to cost savings of more than 50 million dollars per year (Jaehn, Neurmann, 2015).

This paper will introduce different boarding methods and addresses the impact of how each boarding methods can reduce turnaround time, resulting in a decrease in flight delays. Based off the provided evaluation, I will determine the optimal method for passenger boarding.

Research Question:

How will a change in passenger boarding method influence airplane turnaround time, which in turn will help reduce cost for U.S. low-cost airlines?

Annotated Bibliography:

Liang, Yuhang, and Massoud Bazargan. “A Simulation Study on Boarding and Deplaning Utilizing Two-Doors for a Narrow Body Aircraft.” International Journal of Aviation Systems, Operations and Training, vol. 3, no. 2, 2016, pp. 25–35., doi:10.4018/ijasot.2016070103.

This journal talks about developing efficient strategies to reduce boarding time. It focuses on two-doors narrow body aircraft for is evaluation of boarding time. Different boarding and deplaning strategies are studied in this research. Boarding and deplaning for two-door jet bridges compared to current one-door practices, this strategy provide flexibility to board passengers through two doors.

Notomista, Gennaro, et al. “A fast airplane boarding strategy using online seat assignment based on passenger classification.” Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 53, 2016, pp. 140–149., doi:10.1016/j.jairtraman.2016.02.012.

This journal talks about the minimization of the turnaround time by speeding up the process of boarding passenger. Using optical sensors, a measurement is assigned to each person to characterize the size of the carry-on bag, reserved seat and other constrains. The boarding methods used in this journal are, back to front, outside in and reverse pyramid.

Qiang, Sheng-Jie, et al. “Reducing airplane boarding time by accounting for passengers individual properties: A simulation based on cellular automaton.” Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 40, 2014, pp. 42–47., doi:10.1016/j.jairtraman.2014.05.007.

This reading talks about a time saving boarding strategy is required to reduce airplane boarding time. To accomplish this strategy, assigning individual passengers to seat based on the number of carry-on baggage, passenger with the most baggage board first.

Steffen, Jason H., and Jon Hotchkiss. “Experimental test of airplane boarding methods.” Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 18, no. 1, 2012, pp. 64–67., doi:10.1016/j.jairtraman.2011.10.003.

This report talks about a comparison between airplane boarding methods. 5 methods were tested using B757 single aisle. These methods are, back to front, block boarding group, Wilma boarding group, Steffen method and random method boarding group.

Key challenges:

The main challenge that I will tackle in this paper is the determining a solution that can be used on any type aircraft regardless of size. Another factor that must be taken into consideration is airport congestion and its relation to causing flight delays. It is also my assumption that carry-on baggage will have a sizable effect of passenger boarding time and should also be accounted for in any simulation. Finally, the system of priority boarding for certain groups or members of a rewards clubs will also need to be taken into account, especially “families with small children” that may be carrying strollers, baby bags and other personal items that may slow down their boarding time.

you can write whatever you want but this is just an example

  • Discussion
    • Introducing all alternative boarding methods
      • Back to front
      • Front to back
      • Isle to window
      • Window to isle
      • Groups
      • Random
    • Assumptions
    • Findings
  • Analysis
    • My review of each method
      • Pros and cons of each boarding process
  • Conclusion

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