The move, the Independent reports, is due to take effect next month, and will see those holding the cheapest tickets board last.
In a move that the carrier says will “improve the airport experience” for passengers, it has been revealed that British Airways (BA) will be introducing a new boarding procedure for travelers on its European routes as of next month. The Independent reports that this system will see those who opt for the cheapest fares boarding last.
According to the paper, these changes are due to take effect on December 12 and echo the boarding procedures used by BA’s low-cost competitors. As part of these new procedures, passengers, says the paper “will be assigned a group numbered between one and five.” This number will then be displayed on a traveler’s boarding pass.
In line with this new system, passengers with lower numbers will be allowed to board first while those who have higher numbers will board last. Not surprisingly, the Gold members of the carrier’s Executive Club as well as first-class passengers on long-haul routes and members of its Club Europe program on short-haul flights will be entitled to board first.
On long-haul flights, these passengers will be followed by Club World travelers as well as the carrier’s Silver members. The third group will include those traveling as part of the airline’s premium economy class and its Bronze Executive Club members.
Finally, those who aren’t traveling as part of any of the carrier’s status-based programs will be included in the fourth and fifth groups on BA’s European routes. These travelers will be those who have purchased the carrier’s lowest, hand-luggage only fares.
However, the outlet reports that those with mobility issues or children will still have boarding priority.
The carrier outlined these changes in an internal newsletter, saying, “This method has been used all around the world by many airlines and aligns BA with partners American Airlines and Iberia. Group boarding simplifies the process, making it easier for customers to understand the boarding sequence at the gate.”
A spokesperson for the carrier commented on the new procedure, saying, “This method has been used by airlines around the world for a number of years, including by our partners American Airlines, Iberia and Qatar.”