Brilliant Way To Board A Plane Solves Social Distancing – And Gate Lice

An airline boarding process video has gone viral – it’s been viewed nearly 4 million times on TikTok and been reposted several times on Instagram. The reason the video has drawn so much attention is because it’s a boarding process most people have never seen before. It’s socially distanced and orderly, and it involves moving blue lights projected on the ground that seem to force passengers to behave the way they’re supposed to.


Lets Board the Plane. #airline #airport #traveltheworld #fy #avgeek

♬ Originalton – Crosscheck_de

Brazilian carrier Azul projects a ‘blue carpet’ for boarding that moves, showing the distance passengers should stay away from each other and when they should proceed. Each passenger follows their seat number.

The company has pioneered a new boarding method called “The Azul Blue Carpet”. A technological innovation that eliminates the stress from the boarding process. Projectors and screens around the boarding area create a moving carpet visual on the floor allowing customer to simply follow this projected carpet when their row or group is called. On average this innovation reduces boarding times by 25% while maximizing customer health and safety.

What’s great isn’t just that everyone has clear instructions without a single spoken word – there’s no rushing the gate, no cutting in line, just orderly and fast boarding. This is great for passengers and for the airline looking to achieve an on-time departure.

Of course people have to be paying attention, and have to be at the gate when their turn to get in line comes. Southwest Airlines passengers manage this for the most part, because boarding order determines what seat you’ll have on Southwest. Without that, I’m not sure how well it would work in the U.S.

Here’s how the airline promotes the practice:

Would you follow the blue light?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Until you can make a magic light that makes people put their crap in the bin, get out of the aisle, sit down, and shut the hell up when they get on board…..this is completely useless.

  2. That’s really clever, almost like something Disney would come up with. Bet Azul could make some money licensing their moving carpet tech to other airlines.

  3. hey, if they can do these graphics for sports (golf, football, etc.), why not? brilliant!

  4. works great in theory, but then you involve real people and it all falls down, what with people that are not there on time but then try to jump ahead, or those who are not paying attention. I could even see rows break out over who really is in seat 23A

  5. It could get a little creepy for women to have their seat announced to everyone. Except for that it sounds great.

  6. If someone isn’t paying attention and misses their number when it passes, they won’t get their boarding pass scanned, so the system will know they haven’t boarded and will offer them another opportunity when it recalculates positions on the next pass.

  7. “Of course people have to be paying attention,” That alone dooms it. Most people do what they want. They’ll still block the gate.

  8. Cool TikTok bro.

    Seriously this is neat but boarding a plane involves actual people. Many who don’t listen, are on the phone, don’t care, selfish, want to cut in line, etc.

  9. Airlines could incorporate a laser pointer so emotional support animals like dogs and cats could follow the illuminated dot to their seat.

  10. This is a nightmare from an accessibility POV. Moving lights can trigger seizure disorders, migraines and more. It can also be very disorienting for visually impaired people. I debate whether or not I should request assistance. The assisters often do not know how to help visually impaired people well. I’ve been glad I’ve done so more times than not though. Some of the pretty airport lighting schemes, like O’hare’s pretty rainbow light thing have proven disorienting and some of them cause me to become dizzy.

  11. Call it a Blue Light Special. Also, it would be nice if Azul gave me my United FFMiles for flying them, that would be great, if not, I won’t fly them again.

  12. I have used it many times and works great. If you miss your row number, you can just get in line and keep moving along. But most people don’t miss it because everyone wants to get into the aircraft.
    AZUL has used this system for at least a year or more, if I remember correctly. By the way, they have live TV on their flights free of charge and great customer service.

  13. They can speed up boarding and make more money by checking bags free and charging $65.00 for morons to bring the roller board thing into the airplane. You need a drivers license to drive a car, you should need a roller board license to bring those things on the plane.

  14. They can speed up boarding and make more money by checking bags free and charging $65.00 for morons to bring the roller board thing into the airplane. You need a drivers license to drive a car, you should need a roller board license to bring those things on the plane.

    I wish! I’m short, have no peripheral vision and no depth perception. Fitting a roll aboard in the over head is super fun. Unfortunately, I find myself in a lot of situation where the checked bag fee is prohibitively expensive.

  15. Boarding was a lot quicker in the 70’s when boarding was from the back of the plane rather than random groups with seats all over the plane. Boarding from the back eliminates the “blocked aisles” from people who are slow putting their bags overhead, who are busy taking off their jacket or assisting small children while the boarding line backs up and it also helps with social distancing because people are not standing in the aisle next to people who are already seated.

  16. What happens to your overhead bin space? Too many people take up too much space and lots of them deposit their bags forward of their seat. Good idea, but it would require personnel to make sure people don’t ‘steal’ others bin space. Take away baggage fees and the problem might be solved.

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