Who says that innovation requires fancy new technology? Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist, figured out a much faster way for passengers to board an airplane. OK, so he did use a computer to model the problem, but the solution is elegantly simple.
Have a look at this demo in a 72-seat fuselage:
This article reports his modeling showed that even random boarding is faster than block boarding, something Southwest figured out a long time ago. Mr. Steffen estimates that his faster method of boarding could save a carrier more than $100 million a year, presumably from more efficient use of aircraft and less ground and crew time.
Hat tip to Frank Schnur for noting this on his LinkedIn page.