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Group Boarding 2018 - first hand experiences

Group Boarding 2018 - first hand experiences

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Old Mar 30, 18, 3:52 am   -   Wikipost
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Please use this thread to document experiences of the new Group Boarding process in airports. I think it's well known how the previous boarding system works, so just the new process please, so that other travellers can gauge its effectiveness.

For discussion, conjecture and speculation about the scheme, please use this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...iscussion.html
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Old Feb 5, 18, 7:12 am
  #286  
 
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Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
On this tomorrow. Will report back...
BA417 this morning. No boarding group on the BP and the old signs at the gate. The gate agent did however her best in enforcing the priority order (passengers with infants, CE/Gold, Silver, Bronze, the rest) but the passengers made a mess of it. Due to gate lices standing in the priority lane (and thus blocking it), Golds only got to the front by the time they were calling Silvers.

The GA did enforce quite strictly though some still managed to slip through which prompted one passenger to loudly complain why they wouldn't let him through but let his friend on the same booking through.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 7:23 am
  #287  
 
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Originally Posted by Lord_of_the_wings View Post
BA416 to LUX. Just a free for all type of boarding.
I fly this weekly, they have two lanes at the gate but you just empty into the holding pen and it's free-for-all once boarding actually begins. 50% of the time the Lux flight depart from a bus gate
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Old Feb 5, 18, 7:59 am
  #288  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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First time poster....very long time lurker of this forum. Though I thought I would share my experience of group boarding

BA1488 LHR - GLA 26JAN18 - Gate was rammed full. Boarding had yet to be called and the gate agent began to shout at the man standing in boarding Group 4 lane, that "Boarding wouldn't begin until he stood out back from the barrier" Boarding began as usual with 1-3 and when 4-5 were called, a mad rush ensued whereby people filled the priority queues from group 4-5 and then boarding was halted as the gate agent had noticed this had happened. It was completely disorganized and a few people were becoming heated towards the gate agent because of this.

BA1488 LHR - GLA 04FEB18 - Again another full flight, announcements had been made offering pre boarding for passengers who wished to check their luggage. I was flying Club Europe and there were some disgruntled noises being made about not being able to board first from other Group 1 passengers. Group 1 were called and the automatic boarding gates decided to break, so had to manually board, but the gate agent then announced group 2&3 boarding, which caused a mess with three groups boarding at the same time.

Overall my experiences (there are many more) haven't been positive as its mainly been a chaotic experience. Having experienced group boarding on AA at both LHR and DFW, they seem to have a good handle on this. But with space limitations at T5, it will always be a persistent, slight chaotic experience.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 9:04 am
  #289  
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Originally Posted by Jambon87 View Post
First time poster....very long time lurker of this forum. .
Well, nearly a first time poster, the FT collective memory being what it is, but a good excuse for me to welcome you back again Jambon87, I hope that you will continue to post here.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 12:00 pm
  #290  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Well, nearly a first time poster, the FT collective memory being what it is, but a good excuse for me to welcome you back again Jambon87, I hope that you will continue to post here.

Yes...you got me! Looks like I was a first time poster quite a few years ago (had forgotten about those)...but thanks for welcome back.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 12:28 pm
  #291  
 
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I completely missed the fun on my last flight. Got to the gate at 25 mins before the flight and everyone had already gone through.

Oh well.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 2:29 am
  #292  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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BA1479 06/02/18.

Group boarding conducted excellently this morning. Someone standing at the entrance of the Group 1,2&3 boarding lane (which was originally cordoned off thereby stopping anyone entering) and announcing ONLY group 1 to enter the lane. Exactly how it should be done.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:42 am
  #293  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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How is Group Bording meant to work when two people on a ticket traveling in Y - one is a GCH (so gets Griuo 1) and the other isn’t so gets a different Group. Can they both board in Group 1?
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:44 am
  #294  
 
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Originally Posted by ibbitsc View Post
How is Group Bording meant to work when two people on a ticket traveling in Y - one is a GCH (so gets Griuo 1) and the other isn’t so gets a different Group. Can they both board in Group 1?
Currently yes as the gate staff have been asked to let it happen however the next software update from Ba is comfirmed as having this built in if on the same PNR.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:52 am
  #295  
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Originally Posted by ibbitsc View Post
How is Group Bording meant to work when two people on a ticket traveling in Y - one is a GCH (so gets Griuo 1) and the other isn’t so gets a different Group. Can they both board in Group 1?
They won't have group 1 on their bp but they will be able to board with you. The advice given by BA on travel support site states:

https://www.speedbirdclub.com/mediaL...-27Nov2017.pdf

Please note that priority boarding will not be reflected for any other people travelling with an Executive Club Member on the same booking at the moment, but will be introduced in the coming months. In the meantime, the whole party can use the priority boarding lane and our staff will endeavour to board everyone together.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:08 am
  #296  
 
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It seems to be improving all the time however the queue "group" allocations are annoying. Group 1 on it's own makes sense, but Group 2-3 signs clump both groups together. I always board last so I've watched it on a couple of occasions, at T5 they called Group 2 after Group 1, so Group 2's had to push through the Group 3's all stood in the Group 2-3 queue. Another time the whole 2&3 group was released together.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:52 am
  #297  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
They won't have group 1 on their bp but they will be able to board with you. The advice given by BA on travel support site states:

https://www.speedbirdclub.com/mediaL...-27Nov2017.pdf
How can this take several months?
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Old Feb 6, 18, 6:04 am
  #298  
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BA794 yesterday, complete free for all, riff raff all around me boarding pushing shoving, like the 5th circle of hell....
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Old Feb 6, 18, 6:12 am
  #299  
 
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Originally Posted by florens View Post
How can this take several months?
Easy - and this is a 'possible', not a 'certain' - but go with me:

Supplier has to make a change in their software system - they are on a regular release cycle - change is requested at the beginning of said cycle. Assume it's software as a service, assume a 6-8 week release cycle - we're down 2 months already and that's assuming the change is made at the right moment of the cycle and is included in that release.
Customer (in this case BA) has to wait for the change to hit production ... now assuming it's SaaS and there's no requirement for BA to deploy on their own hardware ... BA will then want to test the change in their QA/sandbox environments. Now you have to assume this particular change isn't top of BA's pile of to-dos ... so chances are that once the release goes in - there'll be at least a week or two's lag before the QA/whoever team get around to trialing the change. Once they've run through their 20-30 testing scenarios (assume one person on it - so a week) - it'll then go to change control to get permission to alter in production. So assume we're at 3 months by now.
That'll be a weekly committee or so and chances of getting the QA to end right the day before the committee is virtually 0 - so instead assume you have to wait a week ...
Then it'll get included in a change set ... so maybe a week after that.

Low and behold we're at 4 months and we're on a happy path.

If it's running on BA's own hardware you have to wait for the upgrade in a test environment, full regression to make sure nothing else is broken, a perf test (if they are sensible) before it's promotion to a production environment. You could easily add 2 months onto that cycle just for that.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 7:26 am
  #300  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
They won't have group 1 on their bp but they will be able to board with you. The advice given by BA on travel support site states:

https://www.speedbirdclub.com/mediaL...-27Nov2017.pdf
I had a chat to the staff at the boarding gate in T5 on Saturday. They were really clear that it was OK for me to have 2 guests in Group 1 (I had a Group 2 and a Group 4 with me on the same PNR) - and then they specifically asked us to form the line in Group 1, which then filled up very quickly behind us.

They said that the new system was much more popular in their experience with both staff and most passengers as it was a clearer process for all.
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