Northwest tries first-in-line boarding: You may think this has nothing to do with being a geek, but it’s actually pretty algorithmic. There was a whole article about it in Wired a few months ago — I’m sure some logistical scientists somewhere have spent years on this problem.
Now, passengers on the USA’s No. 5 airline simply line up and take their assigned seats in no particular order.
By shifting to random seating, the carrier has junked the back-to-front boarding system still in wide use in the airline industry. Several airlines have been experimenting with better boarding, and Northwest believes it’s found something it can live with.
That Wired article has a great Flash animation explaining the different methods. In the end, humans are a lot like atoms — we bounce in ways that are fairly predictable in the aggregate.
Is there a name for the science of…”people flow”? Does anyone know? Kind of like ergonomics, maybe?