Airline Boarding Spreads Germs

Randomly boarding airline passengers in two sections, instead of boarding them from the front of the airplane to the back, could cut down on the spread of infectious disease, according to a study by researchers at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, News.Com.Au reports.

The current boarding system leads to passengers clustering in the aisles as they wait for others to find their seats and stow their luggage, and this crowding helps spread germs, the researchers explain. They suggest splitting the plane in two sections and randomly boarding passengers in these groups, preventing passenger bottlenecks in the aisle.

Using a hypothetical Ebola outbreak as an example, the researchers say the current boarding system would lead to a 67 percent chance of causing 20 or more cases of air travel-related cases of Ebola per month. The risk would drop to a 40 percent chance of spreading an infectious disease to 20 people by using a two-section boarding model.


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