Gate lice. For the uninformed, it’s the nickname for when people queue at the gate before it’s anywhere near their turn to board. There’s even a meme about it:
Gate lice are one of airline passengers’ biggest pet peeves (here are a bunch of other things travelers hate when they fly). Besides being annoying, the “clumping” of people also potentially dangerous during the age of COVID. So anything that will deter it is welcome.
Something just did.
A Tiktok video was posted a few days ago, and it shows a streamlined and easy way for passengers to know when it’s their turn to get on the plane. Take a look:
The system shows the passengers’ respective seat numbers on the floor via projection, and they follow the projection as it moves. This helps make an orderly procession from the departure lounge to the plane, hopefully without people from Group 9 waiting nearby while First Class is loading (and yeah, I know…dream on, Sharon LOL!).
Anyway, the video was from an airport in the Netherlands but the company that’s rolling out the innovation is Brazil-based Azul Airlines. They announced their “Blue Carpet” projections last year, when it was implemented at Curitiba Afonso Pena Airport in Brazil. It’s since been rolled out at 17 other airports served by Azul.
Blue Carpet uses Pacer Tecnologia’s WaveMaker technology, which allows customers to board in waves, while remaining socially distanced. They claim their technology reduces boarding time by up to 60%.
From their website: “The PACER Wavemaker system uses the patented wave boarding method. It intelligently groups passengers in a way that they can board the aircraft without conflicting with other groups that are generated in each new wave. This results in much more comfortable boarding process, with passengers spending less time both standing and seated waiting for takeoff.”
Of course, there are always naysayers for any new technology. But if nothing else, I love how it potentially could stop gate lice.
Feature Photo: N509FZ / Wikimedia
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary