Absent-Minded Passengers

  title={Absent-Minded Passengers},
  author={Norbert Henze and Gunter Last},
  journal={The American Mathematical Monthly},
  pages={867 - 875}
  • N. Henze, G. Last
  • Published 26 September 2018
  • Mathematics
  • The American Mathematical Monthly
Abstract Passengers board a fully booked airplane in order. The first passenger picks one of the seats at random. Each subsequent passenger takes his or her assigned seat if available, otherwise takes one of the remaining seats at random. It is well known that the last passenger obtains her own seat with probability 1/2. We study the distribution of the number of incorrectly seated passengers, and we also discuss the case of several absent-minded passengers. 

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