Window seats first: Gatwick Airport trials new boarding system

The UK's second biggest airport, Gatwick, is trialing a new system for boarding passengers on planes - with those sitting next to windows getting on first.

The two month trial aims to test a variety of ways to get passengers into their seats, to find out which is quickest and gives the best experience for passengers.

The first week of the trial, which involves a small number of Easyjet flights, has seen the average time taken to fill up the plane cut from 18 minutes to 15 minutes.

An airport spokesman said: "That might not sound like a big difference, but over the course of a day it all adds up."

As part of the trial, the seat numbers of those who can board are displayed on a digital display rather than called out over a tannoy.

Passengers who have paid extra for priority boarding continue to get on board first, as do families with young children.

Abhi Chacko, head of digital innovation at Gatwick Airport, said: "By communicating to passengers better and boarding passengers by seat number, we also expect to make the whole boarding experience more relaxing and, potentially, prevent large numbers of passenger rushing forward at any stage."