Why airlines aren’t boarding planes the most efficient way

When flying, you must pack, get to the airport, go through security, find your gate, and board the plane before you can relax and enjoy your trip.

“Boarding is one of the most difficult parts of air travel and frustrating to a lot of passengers,” said CNBC airline correspondent Leslie Josephs.

Southwest Airlines' average turn time from gate to departure was 10 minutes in the 1970s. Today, it takes 45–55 minutes.

“We had smaller aircraft, only 122 seats on those original 737-200s,” said Southwest innovation director Chris Parks. 

Flight delays cost airlines and passengers $33 billion annually, according to government figures.

 Since airlines have monetized everything, experts believe speeding up boarding is not a priority.

Josephs added, “The major airlines have raised billions of dollars off of their loyalty programs, so they must keep them appealing enough for customers.

“The different boarding groups that we see today have emerged because people value their priority in boarding,” said Kerry Philipovitch, former

American Airlines senior vice president of customer service. “Airlines use that to increase revenue and reward their best customers.

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