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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 Feb 25, 20, 12:39 am   -   Wikipost
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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

*Eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers (on American Airlines flights) include:
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World EliteTM Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World EliteTM Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® American Express® Card
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Visa Signature
  • AAdvantage® AviatorTM Silver Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage® AviatorTM Business Mastercard®

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:="4"%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:="4"%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="4"%Within the 48 contiguous states
Alaska
Canada

30 minutes prior to departure - Domestic on these aircraft types: A319, A320, A321T, E190, S80, B737="4"%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 prior to 1 Mar 2017 may be read here.


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Old Feb 7, 15, 9:26 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,733
Arrow GUIDE: AA Boarding Priority, Order and Related Issues (as of 2018)

Guide to AA Boarding Priority, Order and Times including minimum gate arrival time to board.

Shown in boarding pass sample from Antarius (post no. 70).
Attached Images    

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 30, 18 at 5:47 pm Reason: Updated with aa.com boarding priority chart 30 Apr 2018
JDiver is offline  
Old Feb 28, 17, 8:55 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: STL
Programs: USair BA DL AA
Posts: 95
Thank you for contacting AAdvantage® Customer Service.

We have great news! Your boarding priority as an AAdvantage Gold member
has not changed. We are very sorry if our recent enhancements have
caused you any concern.

All passengers are boarding in the exact same order you've become
accustomed to. We?ve simply added a group number to our premium cabin
and elite passengers who didn?t have one before. Rather than calling a
long list of eligible passengers to board, all passengers have now been
assigned a group number. We anticipate this change will simplify the
boarding process and reduce confusion at the gate.

We are thrilled at the prospect of making your travel experience more
pleasant. We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to welcoming you
aboard soon.

Finally, let me say how much we appreciate your business as an
AAdvantage Gold member. Thanks!

Regards,

Jana G.
AAdvantage Customer Service
American Airlines

My response.....

I'm sorry but this simply is not true. During the old boarding process
Gold elite members boarded before credit card holders and elites from
other airlines like Alaska MVP. Under the new boarding order the Gold
elite members may be listed on the chart above these groups they are
both listed as "Group 4" so unless the gate agent is going to announce
"Gold Group 4 members" before the other "Group 4" passengers then it
lumps them all together as simply "Group 4".

Second AA response.......

Dear Daniel,

First, on behalf of all of us here at AAdvantage Customer Service, thank
you for being one of our valued AAdvantage Gold members.

We've found that we best solve these issues via conversation. To that
end, I tried to call you today at XXX-XXX-XXXX around 9:35am Central
Time, but I was unable to reach you.

So that we can speak with you directly and address your concerns, please
call AAdvantage Customer Service at 888-697-5636. We're open Monday
through Friday from 8:00-7:00 Central Time and any representative will
be happy to assist you.

Outside the United States and Canada, please visit www.aa.com/phones to
find the telephone number in your country or refer to the bottom of this
website for instructions on how to call our United States telephone
number.

Have a good day!

Regards,

Jana G.
AAdvantage Customer Service
American Airlines
daninstl is offline  
Old Feb 28, 17, 10:03 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: BWI
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 82
Waiting for my delayed flight in DCA and just got to watch them change out the new boarding lane signs. (Phone posting so sorry in advance if this is huge)
Attached Images  

Last edited by JDiver; Mar 1, 17 at 3:17 pm Reason: Redacted oversized image
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Old Feb 28, 17, 10:26 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by ssbmoro View Post
Waiting for my delayed flight in DCA and just got to watch them change out the new boarding lane signs. (Phone posting so sorry in advance if this is huge)

Wow; that signage is actually very clear. Maybe this will even be simple enough so that most passengers understand what's happening! ^

Last edited by JDiver; Mar 1, 17 at 3:15 pm Reason: Deleted duplicated image
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Old Feb 28, 17, 10:36 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: BWI
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by ashill View Post
Wow; that signage is actually very clear. Maybe this will even be simple enough so that most lassengers understand what's happening! ^
Last month I was boarding a flight when they called for first class. A couple next to me said "oh, its priority boarding, that's us". I glanced at their ticket and they had paid for priority boarding, economy class and no status. With the new system, they'll board in group 4 which is an easy to understand number compared to "priority" when there's an entire lane dedicated to "priority". I don't see how this new system is a negative for anyone except Citi/Barclay who went from selling Group 1 to Group 5 for $95 a year.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 12:00 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Amb Elite & LT Titanium, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by ssbmoro View Post
Last month I was boarding a flight when they called for first class. A couple next to me said "oh, its priority boarding, that's us". I glanced at their ticket and they had paid for priority boarding, economy class and no status. With the new system, they'll board in group 4 which is an easy to understand number compared to "priority" when there's an entire lane dedicated to "priority". I don't see how this new system is a negative for anyone except Citi/Barclay who went from selling Group 1 to Group 5 for $95 a year.
Actually Plat's now are behind EXP, as opposed to being officially in the same boarding group prior to this day.

So glad this day is here where I no longer have to push and shove with Plats boarding with EXP's.
deac83 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 17, 2:40 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: FNT, but DTW if I can't help it
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Posts: 757
Originally Posted by ashill View Post
Wow; that signage is actually very clear. Maybe this will even be simple enough so that most lassengers understand what's happening! ^
I wish the signage had arrows or text like "Left Lane" and "Right Lane" on it. I don't know why, but it doesn't seem clear to non-frequent travelers that there are actually two lanes.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 2:45 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: BWI
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by deac83 View Post
Actually Plat's now are behind EXP, as opposed to being officially in the same boarding group prior to this day.

So glad this day is here where I no longer have to push and shove with Plats boarding with EXP's.
I think that actually already changed on January 1st, Plat Pro was introduces and PLT is grouped with them, while EXP was grouped with business class. Still a nice change though.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 8:06 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SAN
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Posts: 635
This was a mess this morning at SAN. Everyone who checked in yesterday has the old group numbers so about a quarter of the plane boarded when Group 1 was called. Then Group 2 was skipped and they went straight to Group 3 so EXP who actually followed the order got shafted. Eventually it may be an improvement but so far the rollout has been less than impressive. And hopefully training can be provided to the gate agents on how to count to 10.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 8:26 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3
CLT-DCA

first time caller, long time stalker..

just now at CLT they called preboarding for CK, then first & military, then groups 1-4 at the same time!

that's about half the plane..

not sure how calling groups 1-4 at same time is going to make boarding easier, but certainly makes it simpler for GAs

So for those hoping for higher tier (groups 1-3) separation.. that's not what I just experienced.

Last edited by macf4n; Mar 1, 17 at 8:30 am Reason: Correction
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Old Mar 1, 17, 10:03 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New home in BOS
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 21
It seems like this is only going to be a problem for a day or two. I'm flying out later today, when I checked in last night my boarding pass said PLT in the corner. I was curious, so I went back and looked again today, now it says group 3.

Hopefully this is only one or two days of chaos... in hopes for the better long term solution.
chewyinla is offline  
Old Mar 1, 17, 11:20 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by IggySD View Post
This was a mess this morning at SAN. Everyone who checked in yesterday has the old group numbers so about a quarter of the plane boarded when Group 1 was called. Then Group 2 was skipped and they went straight to Group 3 so EXP who actually followed the order got shafted.
That seems to me like the definition of a first-day glitch, not a cause for concern (if annoying today). After today, there won't be anyone with boarding passes printed before today (duh), so the group numbers should be correct.

Originally Posted by macf4n View Post
first time caller, long time stalker..

just now at CLT they called preboarding for CK, then first & military, then groups 1-4 at the same time!
That's a bit concerning, though they already do that sometimes. With flights on small planes with few elites, it even makes sense; no need to call nine different groups on a 50-seater (about 5 passengers per group, on average, if evenly distributed)! But this problem isn't restricted to 50-seaters.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 2:36 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sacramento - SMF
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Posts: 68
Originally Posted by PHTX855 View Post
I fly out of DFW every Monday morning and my experience has been pretty consistent. With what looks to be clearly 15 exps and god only knows how many platinums the GA will announce EXP with Platinum and a melee always ensues. I hate it and am glad this change is happening. Now we need a solution for the crowds!
I recommend an electrified fence!
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Old Mar 1, 17, 2:50 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by chewyinla--It seems like this is only going to be a problem for a day or two. I'm flying out later today, when I checked in last night my boarding pass said PLT in the corner. I was curious, so I went back and looked again today, now it says group 3.
Hopefully this is only one or two days of chaos... in hopes for the better long term solution.

Same here--"P" last night, "Group 3" tomorrow morning. Should be fun.
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Old Mar 1, 17, 3:19 pm
  #15  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
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Bump.

This thread continues to be the GUIDE thread to boarding order, but has been reconfigured to "fit" the new boarding order as of 1 March 2017.

Links to archived posts and threads are in the Wikipost.

/Moderator
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