Queueing Theory Lesson Needed for Mumbai Airport

One of the first things I learnt during my first Communications course at Columbia University during my Masters was the M/M/1 Queue Model. Simply put, it states that it is much more efficient to have a single queue when there are multiple servers.  The person at the head of the queue goes to the first free server. This optimises (minimises) wait time for every one.

The security check at the new terminal in the Mumbai airport  (amongset zillions of other places) does exactly the opposite. There is a separate queue for each combo of baggage screening machine and the security personnel who check you. On a recent Monday morning, I happened to be stuck on one of the slow moving lines and couldn’t help wondering about a lesson I had learnt more the two decades ago!

There are times when I wonder why we need to reinvent solutions to problems the world has figured out and solved. We have enough other problems to worry about than trying to be creative with wrong solutions. Or, is it simply our TII (“This is India”) Syndrome?!

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.