Southwest Airlines gets a lot of attention for its “cattle call” boarding procedure that people either love or hate, but now the airline is testing a plan to speed up the process of unloading passengers.
It could save a lot of time for people who are the last to deplane — typically those seated in the back.
Southwest tests new way of unloading passengers
According to the Los Angeles Times, Southwest has started using both the front and rear exits to empty planes. The test began June 1 at Sacramento International Airport and San Jose International Airport.
Passengers in the front of the plane exit into jetways, while travelers leaving from the back take a staircase to the tarmac.
“When you leave from the front and the back of the plane, you eliminate that bottleneck where one person has trouble getting their bag down and holds up everyone else,” Clark said. “Where it normally might take seven or eight minutes to get off the plane, it only takes about two.”
This isn’t actually a first for Southwest. A spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times the method has previously been used in Sacramento, San Jose, Burbank and Fort Lauderdale.
If this latest test is a success, Southwest said dual door deplaning could be expanded to other airports.