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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
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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:
Middle East
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:
Central America
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
30 minutes prior to departure - Domestic on these aircraft types: A319, A320, A321T, E190, S80, B737
Within the 48 contiguous states
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 Jun 15, 19, 5:27 am
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: AA - PlatPro, HHonors - Diamond, IHG - Plat, Marriott - Gold, National - Executive, NEXUS
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Board in the lowest group number assigned to anyone with your group. Any companion "travelling on the same flight" as the policy reads is permitted to board with you in a lower group. All it takes is "He/She is with me." Any GA that refuses is in the wrong (for what little that's really worth in an argument).

On more than one occasion, I've run into a colleague at the gate for a flight and boarded with them in their lower group. I've also dragged colleagues higher than my Group 3 up with me for boarding.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 3:10 pm
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I've noticed agents calling Groups 2,3,4 together especially on smaller planes recently. I know this is silly but I like Group 2 boarding as part of my EXP benefits and I wish they would wait for Group 2s to board before calling 3 and 4 which are usually much larger groups.
Even worse, Ive had them omit Group 2 and call for 3 and 4.
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Old Jun 19, 19, 4:37 am
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Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
For an all Y plane then it would be Pre-board/Mil/CK, Group 2 (EXP), then Group 3. Even though there is no first they don't re-order group numbers to shift everyone up and just start with Group 2 after CK and no one has Group 1 since there is no FC cabin.
In my experience most GAs still call Group 1 even though no one on the aircraft can have that boarding number.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 12:57 pm
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I'm boarding a JFK/MIA flight yesterday and when Group 1 was called this couple starts to shove in front of everyone screaming we have "paid for priority" waving around BPs that had Group 5. I explained to the couple that "Priority" doesn't mean you go before Group 1, you're Group 5. The woman says we were told we have "priority over all other paxs" to which I replied "you got ripped off if you were told that." So we just let them go ahead but when they got to the card reader the GA sent them away telling them to board when Group 5 was called. I thanked the GA for doing so.
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