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Block or zone

Delta Air Lines, like most, boards first-class and elite passengers first. Then it uses a simple block method, filling the back one-third of the main cabin as a large group, then the front two-thirds as a group. "We just find that if we go with the aft third before those seated in front, it just seems to go a little bit better," said Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant. Delta recently implemented a procedure that allows those sitting in an exit row to board first, allowing flight attendants to get a jump-start on giving those passengers an additional safety briefing. "That was part of an ongoing initiative this summer to help with our on-time departures," Durrant said. An example of a "rotating block" would be filling a group of seats in back, then in front and then in back again, working toward the middle. Again, the idea is to keep passengers out of each other's way.