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GUIDE: AA Boarding Priority, Order and Related Issues (as of 2018)

GUIDE: AA Boarding Priority, Order and Related Issues (as of 2018)

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Old Jun 14, 19, 9:51 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
Guide to AA Boarding Priority, Order and Times
including minimum gate arrival time to board

Link to "Boarding Process" page on aa.com

See the current charts in Post #1.

CURRENT Boarding process as of Apr 2018

(NOTE: The archived thread discussing the announcement, etc. can be read here: ARCHIVE: AA announces new boarding policy effective 1 March 2017

NOTE: Changes have been implemented 01 March 2017, as tweeted by JonNYC. See American Airlines announces new boarding policy effective 1 March 2017

Link to March 1 boarding process on aa.com.

On March 1, 2017, American Airlines will launch a new, simplified boarding process. In the future, all customers will be assigned a group number (1 through 9) based on their ticket type, elite status level and priority. We will call the group number in our announcements rather than all customer types. The boarding order will be the same, with only minor exceptions. The change is in how we refer to each group on boarding passes and announcements. Our ConciergeKey members will be invited to board prior to general boarding.
  • Preboard: Pax requiring assistance, ConciergeKey (+ Five Star customers)

  • Group 1 - First class or 2 cabin international Business class / Active duty U.S. military with military I.D. link(Business on a 2-class international plane)

  • Group 2 - Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald / 3 Cabin Business class

  • Group 3 - Platinum Pro / Platinum / oneworld Sapphire

  • Group 4 - Gold, oneworld Ruby, Air Pass, Premium Economy, Executive Citi credit card, purchased Priority Boarding

  • Group 5 (preferred boarding) - Main Cabin Extra (excluding Basic Economy), Eligible corporate travelers**, Other AAdvantage eligible credit cards*

  • Group 6 - 8 - Coach Groups, Basic Economy on longhaul transoceanic

  • Group 9 - Basic Economy within the U.S., Canada, Mexico & Caribbean

NOTE: AA recent policy has included "Should you arrive at the gate after Priority customers have been called, you may bypass the General Boarding lines and enjoy the convenience of boarding anytime via your new dedicated boarding lane." (American Airlines policy.)

See Ben Schlappig / Lucky's blog here.

Boarding times See chart in first post.

NOTE: AA gate agents seem to often and unpredictably begin boarding earlier than the scheduled times mentioned below.

50 minutes prior to departure From/To the United States and:
Europe
Middle East
Asia
South American destinations: Asuncion, PY; Brasilia, BR; Belo Horizonte, BR; Curitiba, Br; Buenos Aires, AR; Rio de Janeiro, BR; Sao Paulo, BR; Lima, PE; Montevideo, UY; Porto Alegre, BR; Recife, BR; Salvador, BR; Santiago, CL; Sao Paulo Viracop, BR
45 minutes prior to departure - From/To the United States and:
Caribbean
Central America
Hawaii
Mexico
South American destinations: La Paz, BO; Santa Cruz, BO; Maracaibo, VE; Caracas, VE; Bogota, CO; Cali, CO; Medellin, CO; Guayaquil, EC; Quito, EC
35 minutes prior to departure - Domestic on these aircraft types: A321, A321S, A330, B757, B767, B787, B777
Within the 48 contiguous states
Alaska
Canada
30 minutes prior to departure - Domestic on these aircraft types: A319, A320, A321T, E190, S80, B737
Within the 48 contiguous states
Alaska
Canada
At the Gate prior to boarding

Conditions of Carriage (Link

"Arrival at Gate
You must be at the gate and ready to board the aircraft:

15 minutes prior to scheduled departure for flights departing from points -within- the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands

30 minutes prior to scheduled departure for flights departing from points -outside- the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, i.e., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Central/South America, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda"

For gate arrival, AA states: "Recommended before your flight: Link

30 minutes

Be at the gate, ready to board. Doors close 10 minutes before departure once they close you'll be denied boarding."
The posts made priorbto 1 Mar 2017 may be read here.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 7:52 am
  #271  
 
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
But my bp had me in Group 2, so who would have been assigned (by booking system) to Group 1?
There can easily be flights here and there where no passengers happen to be assigned to a particular group number. But of all the things the GAs are working on before a flight, I doubt they are reading over the manifest to see what passengers are in what groups to see if they need to call that group number or not, etc. They typically just run down the list from 1-9, if no pax are in a group then they move on to the next.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 7:52 am
  #272  
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
Active military.
(1)Active military are called separately
(2)When you book an itn with AA, they don't ask if you are AM, so the (computer) system can't/won't assign you a special (priority) Group 1 number.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 7:59 am
  #273  
 
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No one would have group 1. I would say that the gate agents generally call all boarding groups out of habit.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 7:59 am
  #274  
 
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American feels otherwise.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 8:23 am
  #275  
 
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Interestingly enough, in markets where it is offered, premium agents with FSS (Five Star Service) will ask F/J customers if they wish to board first or last and in the case of the former, they will board their charges ahead of Concierge Keys so Group 1 can sometimes feel third place and Concierge Keys can feel like the sky is falling.

Who knew that there is a way to waddle on before CKs? That's Tuesday tidbit for today.
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Old Jul 10, 18, 8:31 am
  #276  
 
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
(1)Active military are called separately
(2)When you book an itn with AA, they don't ask if you are AM, so the (computer) system can't/won't assign you a special (priority) Group 1 number.
There are a number of ways to board in advance of the displayed group # on a BP, and this is one of them. You are correct that active duty military get assigned a group notwithstanding their military status.

After CK boards, the GA announces: "Active duty military with ID may board at any time during the boarding process. We now welcome Group 1 to board through the Priority Lane."

Obviously, nobody will get a Group 1 indicator on their BP on a single-class plane, but Group 1 is still called to give active duty military a chance to board, in their rightful place before Group 2.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 12:26 am
  #277  
 
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Gate closing time for int'l flight?

I have exactly 60 min to connect from American Eagle flight to AA int'l flight (LAX-PVG).

Wiki seems to imply gates close 10 min before departure - really??

Will they hold the flight if they see I'm a bit late coming in?
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Old Oct 29, 18, 8:39 am
  #278  
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Originally Posted by eethan View Post
I have exactly 60 min to connect from American Eagle flight to AA int'l flight (LAX-PVG).

Wiki seems to imply gates close 10 min before departure - really??

Will they hold the flight if they see I'm a bit late coming in?
This MAY BE a very tight connection. Many Eagle flights (most? or even all?) arrive at a remote terminal. So you need to get off your plane and walk to a line for a bus to the terminal. Sometimes the bus is sitting at the door, practically empty, and it leaves right after you step on. Sometimes the wait can be 5-10 minutes (feels like a longer time). The actual bus ride ranges from about 4 minutes to about 10 minutes depending on how many airplanes you need to stop for and how many other buses are waiting to unload. Then you need to walk from the middle to Terminal 4 to the Bradley International terminal (unless you are lucky and your flight is departing from Terminal 4 - unusual, but it happens). Then you need to walk to your gate.

Regarding the timing of the door closing, the answer is that if the flight is leaving on time the doors will almost always be closed 10 minutes before. And, while there are exceptions, you should assume (98%+) that they will NOT hold the flight, even if you are just 1 or 2 minutes late.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 10:24 pm
  #279  
 
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
This MAY BE a very tight connection. Many Eagle flights (most? or even all?) arrive at a remote terminal. So you need to get off your plane and walk to a line for a bus to the terminal. Sometimes the bus is sitting at the door, practically empty, and it leaves right after you step on. Sometimes the wait can be 5-10 minutes (feels like a longer time). The actual bus ride ranges from about 4 minutes to about 10 minutes depending on how many airplanes you need to stop for and how many other buses are waiting to unload. Then you need to walk from the middle to Terminal 4 to the Bradley International terminal (unless you are lucky and your flight is departing from Terminal 4 - unusual, but it happens). Then you need to walk to your gate.

Regarding the timing of the door closing, the answer is that if the flight is leaving on time the doors will almost always be closed 10 minutes before. And, while there are exceptions, you should assume (98%+) that they will NOT hold the flight, even if you are just 1 or 2 minutes late.
I think right now AA does not use TBIT gates as much for international flights. LAX-PVG has very high chance departing from Gates 41/43, sometimes from 48B. This could save 5-15 min walking to TBIT. As far as inbound does not arrive at gate too late (yes, you might need to wait for a gate at the eagle's nest depends on specific time frame) and bus isn't taking forever you can make it.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:08 am
  #280  
 
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+!

Very tight and stressful but you might make it - depends on how you handle stress!
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Old Oct 31, 18, 12:33 am
  #281  
 
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
This MAY BE a very tight connection. Many Eagle flights (most? or even all?) arrive at a remote terminal. So you need to get off your plane and walk to a line for a bus to the terminal. Sometimes the bus is sitting at the door, practically empty, and it leaves right after you step on. Sometimes the wait can be 5-10 minutes (feels like a longer time). The actual bus ride ranges from about 4 minutes to about 10 minutes depending on how many airplanes you need to stop for and how many other buses are waiting to unload. Then you need to walk from the middle to Terminal 4 to the Bradley International terminal (unless you are lucky and your flight is departing from Terminal 4 - unusual, but it happens). Then you need to walk to your gate.

Regarding the timing of the door closing, the answer is that if the flight is leaving on time the doors will almost always be closed 10 minutes before. And, while there are exceptions, you should assume (98%+) that they will NOT hold the flight, even if you are just 1 or 2 minutes late.
Thanks for all the tips! I'll look for the dedicated bus going from remote terminal to T4. Even if my inbound flight is 15 min late, I should still be able to make it to the gate before it closes 15 min before departure.
The handful of times I've flown this route over the years, they've never departed from TBIT. Hope they stick to T4 on my travel day - otherwise, I'm looking at a 1k run.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 11:01 am
  #282  
 
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It still bugs me why AA doesn't give the same priority as the highest status passenger in the same PNR.

My wife's DL gold and when we travel together on DL, I inherit her status and get SkyPriority security and Zone Sky.

With my AA Exp, when we travel together on AA, they put us in a separate group & separate security.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:39 pm
  #283  
 
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
With my AA Exp, when we travel together on AA, they put us in a separate group & separate security.
For the last couple of years when Mrs. isle-hawg traveled with me on AA she got the same TSA precheck that I have. She has no status with AA nor TSA precheck on her own.

Last edited by isle-hawg; Nov 27, 18 at 2:49 pm
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:45 pm
  #284  
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That chart does not seem to include Group 4 including those who are priority because they are traveling with an Elite.
Of course, the boarding pass says Group 4, but my guests have always boarded when I did.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:47 pm
  #285  
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
It still bugs me why AA doesn't give the same priority as the highest status passenger in the same PNR.

My wife's DL gold and when we travel together on DL, I inherit her status and get SkyPriority security and Zone Sky.

With my AA Exp, when we travel together on AA, they put us in a separate group & separate security.
Are you talking about priority security or TSA
In my experience as LT PLT, I am in group 3, my wife gets 4 with a priority labeled BP
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