Why always the left?

So this is either a stupid question or it is what we are all thinking but never ask or say.

Why do we always embark and disembark on the left?


What do you mean?

Why the left always :p

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Oh, I see!

I don’t know… ¯/(ツ)

But this an interesting question. Maybe its the setup? Maybe its easier? I honestly just don’t know!


If someone can answer it I’ll give them a virtual cookie XD


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I don’t know if you have noticed but

  1. Gates are always on the left.
  2. Catering and loading is always done on the right.
  3. B737’s have their own stairs on the left.

You may have also noticed on pushback the right/starbourd engine is started first.

Because they can…( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


I think historically it goes back to the loading of ships and once a standard was set you can’t really change it. Plus the interior of the planes are designed that way also.


Why do some read from left to right? Why do some drive on the right and others on the left? There isn’t a fixed answer I’m afrraid.

I’m assuming it’s because it’s a mandatory system, just to keep things simple and universal for all passengers.

So it doesn’t look like its backwards.

Because sometimes destination A is left lane only and destination B is right lane only.

These are just guesses.

I think partly due to tradition…ships used to moor to a quay port side too ( left).

But I think it relates more to early days of aviation where as the pilot always sits on the Port said of the aircraft, because majority of people are right handed and use their rand hands to control the throttles and so was easier to park the aircraft with the services ( steps ) on the right hand side where the pilot and later captain when two men crew, could easily see.

Not sure why they always start starboard ( No2) engine first though…be interested to find out!

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No, Completely depends. English drive on the left, French drive on the right. English read left to right, Arabic read right to left. You’re swaying off topic :)


I’m pretty sure it’s just a standard that has been kept.

Yeah, sorry about that.

Not always. It’s mostly because of traffic. If every aircraft was right and left than there would be a collision.

I did realise but Jetways were not invented at the start of aviation. I don’t know wether you noticed that planes in the 1940’s didnt have terminals.

but the question is why left why not airport specific whether they say LHR boards on the Right and LGW on the Left

This is probably the solution