In this photo taken May 8, 2013, in Chicago, groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight in separate numbered lanes at O'Hare International Airport. Industry w

 

              In this photo taken May 8, 2013, in Chicago, groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight in separate numbered lanes at O
In this photo taken May 8, 2013, in Chicago, groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight in separate numbered lanes at O'Hare International Airport. Industry wide boarding passengers on flights vacillates between a social science and a financial quandary. There’s an economic cost for airlines that run late. Researchers from Northern Illinois University said that at one major airline, which they didn’t identify, said every extra minute at the gate costs $30. To cut overhead, United reduced the number of boarding groups from seven to five while adding lanes in gate areas _ from two to five at big airports. That’s designed to eliminate “gate lice” _ the name road warriors use for those anxious passengers with big carry-ons who cause a traffic jam by creeping forward long before their group is called. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)