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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 7, 18, 3:33 am
  #316  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I think it's non status HBO (Basic) fares. It may be non status lower fare buckets (which in way would be fairer) but either way there could be perverse outcomes
Could also have something to do with seat number on widebodies. E.g. Trying to have passengers in the back board in group 4 rather than having people in the forward economy sections block the aisle why they are stowing their things.

---
Someone must have flicked the switch. Two days ago, no group showed on my BA417 (LUX-LHR) BP. Checked in for tomorrow and it does now reflect the correct boarding group.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 7:10 am
  #317  
 
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
On the other hand, as they're being separated from their bags, the main reason for wanting to get on before them (overhead space) is removed from the equation. And if they're HBO and without status they're likely to be at the back so not getting in the way. So in practical terms it's not really a problem.
Except I've seen on numerous occasions people who gate-check and board first then place their smaller bags or coats up in the lockers, they seem to think that as they are boarding an empty plane they can take up as much space as they want - and the cabin crew never do anything about it
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Old Feb 7, 18, 8:55 am
  #318  
 
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Originally Posted by cosmo74 View Post
Except I've seen on numerous occasions people who gate-check and board first then place their smaller bags or coats up in the lockers, they seem to think that as they are boarding an empty plane they can take up as much space as they want - and the cabin crew never do anything about it
True, but the smaller bags and coats tend to get squished around other things as the boarding progresses, and I've often seen FAs juggling locker contents or even removing items they can attribute to people foolish enough to claim knowledge of them. There's still plenty of space available for the status passengers, and to be perfectly honest even in group 5 on United I've always managed to find space in an overhead. I think the irritation that people might be gaming the system to save on checked bag costs is more psychological than anything.

Mind you, my cool, detached attitude changes when I'm actually at a gate, and I'll gladly gate lice myself onboard with the best of them. I remember being very irritated when in CW from Chennai that the priority pre-boarding was essentially everyone in Y who all had at least one small child or an elderly auntie. Rationally that made no difference to me at all, they weren't taking my overhead space, they weren't even in the same part of the cabin as me, and it only took 15 minutes maximum. But at 6am or whatever ungodly time the flight was at, I was puffing up to a minor DYKWIA and may even have uttered the words "why do we pay extra for priority boarding, harrumph" as I passed the GA.

But we digress - first flight under the new system is on Friday, all being well, and will see how it works first hand.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 9:04 am
  #319  
 
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BA1402 LHR -MAN ( Monday )
Gate A8
Gate had just come up on boarding pass so made my way from GF to gate seating - everyone sat down except pictured.

Gate agent dealt with the walking wounded etc.. then stated boarding by group - called Club and Gold , I went through priority 1 all seemed ordered no one rushing.

Flight loading complete early and off.

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Old Feb 7, 18, 9:21 am
  #320  
 
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Is that Gary Neville?
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:20 am
  #321  
 
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BA 578 to VCE his morning from A13. Some announcements about groups etc that definitely seemed to reduce the number of people hanging around the gate. But then during boarding the agent beckoned forward the first person in the Group 2/3 line after only two people in Group 1 had been processed. Ultimately not a big deal but what's the point of having separate lines if you're going to ignore them because 'you've been waiting there a long time'?

Lets see where this is in six months time. I hope it's still being enforced consistently, but that's hope rather than expectation.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:23 am
  #322  
 
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
.....................................

Mind you, my cool, detached attitude changes when I'm actually at a gate, and I'll gladly gate lice myself onboard with the best of them. I remember being very irritated when in CW from Chennai that the priority pre-boarding was essentially everyone in Y who all had at least one small child or an elderly auntie. Rationally that made no difference to me at all, they weren't taking my overhead space, they weren't even in the same part of the cabin as me, and it only took 15 minutes maximum. But at 6am or whatever ungodly time the flight was at, I was puffing up to a minor DYKWIA and may even have uttered the words "why do we pay extra for priority boarding, harrumph" as I passed the GA.

..........................
I can certainly relate to the picture you paint here.

I think its one thing to have pax with very small children, and anyone who might have significant mobility issues, board first. But when a whole host of interlopers take it upon themselves to join in, it can become difficult for GAs to actually determine who is who (in terms of true need) amidst the resultant mle. And of course if the GAs arent even interested in trying to exercise control, then it inevitably descends into a free-for-all - to the irritation of many of those wishing to play to the rules.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 11:57 am
  #323  
 
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Boarded just now from a C gate to CPH. I now know that the system seems to work pretty well so I now sit down and wait for boarding to be called, rather than joining a queue if one forms quickly. I know that as a Group 1, I will be able to find space for my bag (the only reason to board early) - but even now there are still 3-6 people who insist on standing, not in the Group 1 queue, but blocking the entrance to it before boarding is called.

Why is this?? Either form the queue between the tensabarriers or don't form a queue - don't block the entrance if you're eligible to use that row

Anyway, the boarding was clearly explained and well executed again!
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Old Feb 7, 18, 1:05 pm
  #324  
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Miami set up for the A380. Gate 24 and 25 were used which are right next to each other. The photo below was 24 which I saw worked very well (Gate 25 is to the right of this for the UD and marked with the row numbers)

Despite the The Gate Agent at 25 asking for everyone to remain seated several times about 15 people went forward near to the gate 25 G1 entrance. She then called group 1 and people went forward to the entrance with a few turfed out.

Then she called group 2 but the group 2/3 sign and the group 4/5 sign remained in place at the entrance with the tensa barrier closed at the other end so wasn't/couldn't be used.

Therefore everyone went into the group 1 lane which was the only one open and it was a bit chaotic. It seemed the agent couldn't actually physically move the big sign as she tried to with her feet after group 1 had went through and she then trundled off to the inside of the barriered area scanning peoples BP's.

Could have been better but hopefully through time it can be honed. From what I have seen so far GA's really need to keep everyone back by ushering them away from the actual entrances. Just my 2c worth.



Last edited by PETER01; Feb 8, 18 at 1:02 pm
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Old Feb 8, 18, 5:43 am
  #325  
 
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Connected from QR to a flight to Aberdeen. By the time I got to the gate which was set up for group boarding there were only a few people left to board so got straight through.
What i am wondering is because my QR issued boarding pass has no group number shown, Would this have caused problems if I had arrived earlier and tried to board when group 1 called?
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Old Feb 8, 18, 6:14 am
  #326  
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Originally Posted by PETER01 View Post
... From what I have seen so far GA's really need to keep everyone back by ushering them away from the actual entrances. Just my 2c worth.
Yes, the crowding and queues at the gate are preventing this new problem prices from being completely effective, especially when there are only 2 lines Groups 1,2,3 and Groups 4, 5. At AMS this week there was a line of about 35/40 people in the Groups 1,2,3 lane, Group 1 was called but those in Groups 2 and 3 remained in the line blocking access to Group 1 passengers.

The entrances to all lanes should be completely clear of passengers, and passengers told to move back before Groups are called.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 6:15 am
  #327  
 
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post


Yes, the crowding and queues at the gate are preventing this new problem prices from being completely effective, especially when there are only 2 lines Groups 1,2,3 and Groups 4, 5. At AMS this week there was a line of about 35/40 people in the Groups 1,2,3 lane, Group 1 was called but those in Groups 2 and 3 remained in the line blocking access to Group 1 passengers.

The entrances to all lanes should be completely clear of passengers, and passengers told to move back before Groups are called.
In fairness - at A19 in T5 this morning - the gate staff actively threw people out of the group 4/5 line (1 and 2/3 were empty at this point) prior to inviting groups 1 and 2 to stand in their respective queues.

Group 1 had the longest line though - about 20-30 people in it with just 3 standing in group 2.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 6:18 am
  #328  
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Just got my first boarding pass under the group regime. 1 gold 3 silver on same PNR all in ET and I got group 1 the rest got group 2. Just mad but so BA.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 6:29 am
  #329  
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Originally Posted by binman View Post
Just got my first boarding pass under the group regime. 1 gold 3 silver on same PNR all in ET and I got group 1 the rest got group 2. Just mad but so BA.
Yes group number currently only reflect the individual's status and cabin with no reference to others on the same PNR. This will change at some point in the next few months. They will be able to board with you though, and 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 8, 18, 6:53 am
  #330  
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Originally Posted by PETER01 View Post
From what I have seen so far GA's really need to keep everyone back by ushering them away from the actual entrances. Just my 2c worth.
Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
Yes, the crowding and queues at the gate are preventing this new problem prices from being completely effective, especially when there are only 2 lines Groups 1,2,3 and Groups 4, 5. At AMS this week there was a line of about 35/40 people in the Groups 1,2,3 lane, Group 1 was called but those in Groups 2 and 3 remained in the line blocking access to Group 1 passengers.

The entrances to all lanes should be completely clear of passengers, and passengers told to move back before Groups are called.





From what I have seen that seems to be what's happening here and there and ushering people back from the actual entrances would have a good effect.

Gate A4 (bus gate) yesterday was quite good. A few people sent back and a few late chancers, queue jumpers also refused. BA staff were proactively ushering people from the priority queue into the non priority queue, only 2 queues and group numbers were being called, as due to the very narrow layout there isn't really the space for all the groups.

Higher signs well above eye level are needed in my humble view as they seem to vary in different places/terminals.

Overall though I think it is working well at this very early stage and it's a culture change too. I have 8 BA flights next week so I'll add my tuppence worth here once they're all done.
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