Nearly every aspect of air travel is unpleasant these days, beginning with the boarding process. Here is a story about a Fermilab physicist who claims to have discovered the optimal method of boarding. If you read his paper, you’ll see that it involves boarding the rear window seats first, in alternating rows.
It’s nice to see Fermilab doing some practical research, but to my mind the paper seems to assume a lot, and involves a fair amount of hand waving. You be the judge. It made me wish for a piece of software that would allow me to vary parameters and do my own simulations.
Here is a website that pulls together a lot of research on the topic. There are simulations of various methods, links to papers, and links to the websites of researchers who are working on the topic.