Why You Don't Ever Want To Be One Of The First People On A Plane

By Dave Basner

June 9, 2019

Being one of the first people to board a plane has some benefits - you're assured space for your overhead baggage and you don't have to squeeze by too many people - but research has shown you might be better off waiting a bit before you take your seat. 

It turns out, boarding early significantly increases your chances of getting sick. 

Researchers at Arizona State University looked to see how diseases like Ebola would spread if just one person on a plane was sick with it. It showed that because of how most airlines board, a lot of people can get sick, especially those on the plane first.  

Because flights fill up by zones, like with the first class passengers getting seated before others, those early boarders are at risk. All of the people an infected person passes as they go to their seat are susceptible to contracting that person's illness.  

So if everyone is seated and a sick person with a seat in the last row gets on, the whole plane has a much higher likelihood of getting what the sick person has. 

The solution - a two-zone boarding process where half the plan boards from the rear and the other half from the front, which would lessen the chance of passing sicknesses by 27%.

Photo Credit: Getty

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