Enplaning and deplaning is a fascinating example of how human beings interact. It seems like many passengers boarding a flight want to get on the plane as soon as possible. Whatever their specific reasons, this tendency has probably been exacerbated by baggage fees that have increased the amount of baggage brought on board and the high demand for the very limited amount of space for said baggage.
So everyone jockeys to get on the plane first, dragging countless bags, purses, and strollers. In my experience flying and boarding early, I have never made it down the jetway without having to wait in line. Strollers are left at the door, to be taken down and placed in the belly of the plane. Often times, a bag or two that just won’t fit gets bumped as well.
After all of this, the line starts moving like a traffic jam that doesn’t really exist. But wouldn’t you know it, some poor passenger can’t lift their oversized, overweight bag above their head and into the overhead bin. A stronger passenger comes to their assistance, and fails to fit the bag. Sometimes, by pure luck, it fits.
And you guessed it. That line of passengers has stopped again, watching this all happen as they can’t pass by due to the narrow width of the aisle. After that, there’s another passenger down the way, folding his suit coat and putting it in the overhead bin (using that limited space) with his back to anyone trying to pass by.
After hearing a number of advisories from flight attendants for passengers to please clear the pathway so other passengers can get to their seat so the plane can make an on-time departure, one finally gets to the back of the plane, where their seat is.
And then one considers why one boards early. Perhaps having waited until the last minute, all of this could have been avoided.
I will save you from what happens after arriving at the destination. In short, everyone pushes their way into the aisle before the seat belt sign is turned off and the doors are opened. Everyone stands, waiting, eager to get off. People will try to fill any void and prevent others still sitting from exiting row by row. And if you’re in the back, the plane takes forever to empty as you start to breathe heavily, the air conditioning having turned off long ago.
Maybe one day the airlines will figure out how to efficiently board everyone. Apparently the passengers can’t.