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Old Dec 8, 14, 7:33 pm   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]
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Last edit by: diburning
Source: https://hub.united.com/en-us/News/Co...g-process.aspx

Pre-Boarding
  • Customers with Disabilities
  • Global Services
  • Uniformed Military Personnel

Premier Access Boarding
  • Group 1: Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, premium cabins
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver*, MileagePlus Presidential Plus and Club cardholders, MileagePlus Explorer and Awards cardholders, purchased Premier Access

*A Star Alliance Silver who is not a Premier Silver is not eligible for Premier Access boarding.

General boarding via WilMA (Window Seats, then Middle Seats, then Aisle)
  • Group 3 - Window Seats
  • Group 4 - Middle Seats (skipped on UA Express flights)
  • Group 5 - Aisle Seats

Note: If you’re traveling with a companion and one of you has a higher boarding status, you both may board with the earlier group.

Note: Self Boarding Gates are being tested at the following gates...
  • IAH - Gate C25/C26 - See Post 2960, Includes YouTube video from CO777DAL
  • IAH - Gate E4 - Old test from pmCO days, See Thread Here
  • BOS - All United Gates - These appear to be permanent and not a test.


sUA Boarding Times by Aircraft (AFA)

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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:08 pm   #1
Company Representative - United Airlines
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in between
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United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]

Hi Everyone,

We know the topic of boarding is one that you care about, and we wanted to provide you with an update on further changes we will be making to address the frustration that many customers – including many of you – have expressed.

Over the next several months, we’re going to be making several changes to address crowding and consistency and, frankly, to help you just understand where you should stand as you wait to board. Over time, we’ll also make physical changes to our gate areas, deploy better directional signage, and enact changes to the boarding process itself.

Bear with us as these changes roll out over a period of months. Here is a brief overview of what you will see:
  • Simplified Boarding Groups (January 8-9, with full implementation January 10): Starting late tomorrow, we plan to reduce the number of boarding groups from 7 to 5 (plus pre-boarding). The new boarding group priority will be:
  • Pre-Boarding: Customers with disabilities, then Global Services and uniformed military personnel
  • Group 1: Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, premium cabins
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver, Star Silver, MileagePlus Presidential Plus and Club cardholders, MileagePlus Explorer and Awards cardholders
  • Groups 3-5: General boarding
Worth noting: If you are traveling on January 9 or 10, and checked in to your flight before we made the change, you can refresh your online boarding pass to see your new boarding group. You can also go to a kiosk to reprint your boarding pass.

  • Revised Gate Layout with Premium Bypass Lanes (March/April): We will add more boarding lanes – in many cases, one for each boarding group. At nearly every gate, our Premier Access boarding will be comprised of two separate lanes – enabling a dedicated line for groups 1 and 2 respectively. Some of you have already seen this concept, as we are testing this new layout at several gates (in many cases with temporary signage). Below are some of the gates where we are testing this layout:
  • Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) – B8, C16 and C18 (adding two more at a later date)
  • Cleveland (CLE) – C27 and C3
  • Denver (DEN) – B23 and B32
  • Houston (IAH) – C40 and E2
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – 70B and 73
  • New York/Newark (EWR) – C123 and C131
  • San Francisco (SFO) – 73 and 80
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) – C19 and D7
We’ll have more information to share in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your patience – and especially your feedback – as we work to make our boarding process better.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:16 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Boy am I glad I made Plat this year ... If I were still a Gold and had to fight in the same group with the Explorer card holders, I'd be furious.

Great upgrade for cardholders, big downgrade for Gold & Silver.

.. And I do relish that the 1K's have to deal with us Unclean Plats.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:17 pm   #3
 
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A move in the right direction! Thanks, Shannon.
Is there a chance that the premium line stays "alive" / reopens for late arriving pax, once the general boarding line is open?
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:20 pm   #4
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GS is on the list twice I'm assuming preboard is GS not group 1?

I hope to get to check out the test setups on my trip this weekend. Is the extra special prioty boarding lane going to be closer to the BP scanners?
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:23 pm   #5
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Group 1 boarding (especially on a 747) is a disaster and I don't see this improving at all with this new procedure. I guess i'll see it with my own eyes in a few weeks.

I agree in that they have to reduce the number of groups but also reduce the number of people in those groups!
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:30 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmurphynj View Post
Boy am I glad I made Plat this year ... If I were still a Gold and had to fight in the same group with the Explorer card holders, I'd be furious.

Great upgrade for cardholders, big downgrade for Gold & Silver.

.. And I do relish that the 1K's have to deal with us Unclean Plats.

Just as I made Silver, I got downgraded to the Explorer card.

Not amused to see that getting Gold this year will make zero difference.

(Disclaimer: I already had the Explorer card.)
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:30 pm   #7
 
Join Date: May 2010
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This is great! All I need is a cheapo UA credit card and I will be able to "gate Louse" and be the first in the Group 2 boarding queue :-)
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:34 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Listing GS under group 1 as well allows for most GAs to continue what they are doing and not per-board GS at all, or call with a nanosecond break before calling group 1.
Having Global First passenger to line up potentially behind Plats must be the worst international FC treatment in the entire Star Alliance.

Shannon, I hope enforcement is part of that plan.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:35 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Syd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone,

[/list]
  • Pre-Boarding: Customers with disabilities, then Global Services and uniformed military personnel
  • Group 1: Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, premium cabins
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver, Star Silver, MileagePlus Presidential Plus and Club cardholders, MileagePlus Explorer and Awards cardholders
  • Groups 3-5: General boarding

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines
Shannon....

On my rather frequent SYD->USA flights
This means that Group 1 == 100 people and Group 2 == 100 people
so you packing half the plane in just the first 2 groups
I can see this working 1000x better on a RJ where 7 groups made no sense

Would you please please please consider doing aircraft based groups?
747/777 = 7 groups
767/787/757-3 = 6 groups
757-2/737/A3xx = 5 groups
Regional 70+ = 4 groups
Regional 50 or under = 3 groups

I can totaly understand the desire to standardise on something...
but trying to have the same policy for a 747-400 and a EB120 DONT WORK


Also... to confirm.... "remium Bypass Lanes"
means that a 1k can walk up anytime after group 1 is called and walk over to a seperate lane and bypass anyone in groups 3-5?
(Old sUA red/blue process)
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:35 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAFlyer View Post
This is great! All I need is a cheapo UA credit card and I will be able to "gate Louse" and be the first in the Group 2 boarding queue :-)
For all practical purposes, that's what happens today.

I was in line to board as a Gold - Group 2 - and was behind two Explorers. One told they other to just ignore that group number, nobody will care. When the GA let them on (ahead of me, a 'proper' Group 2), he said to her 'See, I told you. Just ignore it.'

With behavior like that, I'd prefer a scrum to any boarding 'process'. The simple fact is that if the GA's tolerate that kind of behavior, it doesn't matter how many groups you have.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:37 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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I have lost track of how many times boarding has changed since the tie up ( 4, 5???) but I would be pissed if I was still Gold and was bunched together with CC holders.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:40 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordTentacle
Also... to confirm.... "remium Bypass Lanes"
means that a 1k can walk up anytime after group 1 is called and walk over to a seperate lane and bypass anyone in groups 3-5?
(Old sUA red/blue process)
Actually, I had MUCH better luck with this on pmCO than pmUA. As a pmCO Gold, I had no trouble walking up to the EliteAccess carpet and bypassing the general boarding if I were 'late' to the gate.

With pmUA, they had this fetish for roping off both the front and rear of the Carpet (so important it must be Capitalized!) once they finished the Premier boarding. That meant that if I were 'late', I'd be stuck in general boarding.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:40 pm   #13
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Interesting. I'm unsure how this will make the boarding experience better (it sounds like it'll make it worse), but I'll withhold judgment until I see it in action on Sunday.

The photos I've seen over on http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...13-thread.html sure make the new boarding lanes look overly confusing. But again, I'll withhold judgment.

How about programming the GIDS screens to show the current boarding group? Alaska does that at their gates in such a simple display that it's impossible to misunderstand:

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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:41 pm   #14
 
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Picture a rug (a blue premier access rug if you wish).

Now picture a gold (or even silver member) on that rug.

Now picture someone pulling that rug from under their feet.

Thanks UA.

('At least' group 2 doesn't include E+ as alluded in the consolidated boarding process thread)

Edit: Agree in principle with LordTentacle, but can't even begin to imagine the hassle that would be to implement.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 7:41 pm   #15
 
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Ugh just made Gold this year. I should've skipped my MRs and been happy with my Explorer card.
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