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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 11, 18, 10:06 pm
  #376  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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A10e this evening - obviously onto a bus.

Two things of note:

1) Group boarding was done - but the signs were the old ones. Confused everyone who was already queuing for priority and I had to push through as a group 1.

2) There was a guy on the bus directing people left and right to spaces and seats. He was basically stopping people gathering by the door and the inevitable "PLEASE MOVE DOWN" call. It didn't stop them crowding people on the bus - but it was all groups 1 and 2 on the first bus.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 12:47 am
  #377  
 
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Geneva - London Gatwick 11th Feb

Group boarding was implemented from C55 (bus gate). There was only one chap running the boarding and there were no barriers or signs. However, people do seem to respond to numbers better than the old system. Everyone remained seated until he called group one, followed by 2 etc. I held out to see groups 4 and 5 which were also quite civilised.

What amazes me is that this is effectively the same system as before, which wasn’t complicated in my opinion, however it was clearly too much for a lot of (non ft) people!
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Old Feb 12, 18, 1:35 am
  #378  
 
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BA703 from Vienna yesterday

"Club, Gold, Silver, Emerald, Sapphire" (all at once)

Then ET by row number. No mention of Bronze / Ruby.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 1:37 am
  #379  
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BSL on Feb 10th: group boarding
T3 yesterday (gate 9): No group boarding.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 7:20 am
  #380  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Thanks for your post Danish Ghauri. The group boarding seems to work well when the ground staff do it properly so it is great to hear this. I shall be at CPH next Sunday so look forward to seeing the process in action there myself
You are welcome. And yes that is also my experience that Boarding is now quite more smooth.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 7:26 am
  #381  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Many thanks for posting that. From a few chats with T5 colleagues it appears that after some initial sceptical doubts, many of them are won over to the new way of doing it since the first few groups seem to board fairly quickly and problem cases can be dealt with later in the process without a mass of people trying to get through. Now CPH has a few constraints with the front desk at the entrance, and a fairly restricted waiting area / queuing area, so it's good to hear of you trying to implement this. The one feedback I would give is that I'm not too keen on being held on the airbridge waiting for boarding through the aircraft door to start, but that's a Nordic trait I think!
Exactly, i love it . Yes at the moment some challenges with the limited waiting area in the gate lounge, but hopefully soon we will see the gate being refurbished in same style as the new C gates in CPH if you have seen that.
I fully understand, but on the very tights turnarounds you really need the minute or two it gives you to ensure the ontime departure
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Old Feb 12, 18, 9:06 am
  #382  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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MAD last night:

Gate set up with Group 1, Group 2-3 and 4-5 lanes.

Announcement that boarding would be done by group and for everyone to stay seated until their group was announced. Everyone totally ignored this and got up and queued anyway. They checked the group 2-3 lane for eligibility (but none of the others as far as I could see - and definitely not the Group 1 lane), guy at the front of the 2-3 lane was almost thrown out but then said quite loudly "Bronze" so was allowed to stay at the head of the queue. He also had a bit of a DYKWIA moment with his travel partner, saying shortly after that he "should be in that line" pointing to the Group 1 lane and that he didn't understand why it's being done differently this time. Better get used to it buddy...

Group 1 lane called forward first, and once on board, the guy at the head of the queue throughout was sat in the row in front of me - took a look at his boarding pass that he'd left on the seat, and had Group 2 on it. So clearly not much in the way of enforcement there.

If only the ground staff were as diligent as checking group numbers as they were at putting yellow tags on every single bag in sight..
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Old Feb 12, 18, 9:24 am
  #383  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Flew to DEN on 29/1 from T3 where they had group boarding in place. Timed our arrival at the gate perfectly as they announced group 1 so we were in the first group on the plane. Group boarding in place for the return flight from DEN on 7/2 and seemed pretty efficient. Group 2 for us this time and people were queuing nicely. We were told that WT was pretty much empty though so on a full light the gate area may have been busier
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Old Feb 12, 18, 9:42 am
  #384  
 
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Recent AR to LAX on BA0268 then BA0283. Group boarding was implemented both ways, i.e. even at LHR.
Both times it was a very positive experience at LHR in particular where lanes were clearly marked for each group (with group 4-5 together). I was group 3 as I am Bronze/Ruby.
No clogging the lanes, boarding was organized, at least until I boarded myself, and fast both times. if someone tried it on that got away with it as I didn't seen anyone being turned back.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 9:56 am
  #385  
 
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post
What amazes me is that this is effectively the same system as before, which wasn’t complicated in my opinion, however it was clearly too much for a lot of (non ft) people!
Appreciate this is the experience thread - but while we might not perceive the old BA system as complex - it was to people who don't travel regularly or who's first language wasn't english. If you can tell me what Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby are in a language you don't really speak off the top of your head - I'd be very impressed and that's the challenge for an airline. Where as "Group 1" can be represented in so many different ways other than just the english "one" - you've got numerals, the overhead signs, even just raising the number of fingers to make clear which group is being boarded.

Not to mention of course the clarity of announcements at some locations isn't fantastic. So again - hearing a list of "Club Europe, Gold, Silver, Bronze, OneWorld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members" isn't the easiest - even in English at some of the outstations. Heck - in New York a few weeks back they announced (something along the lines of - we're not sure because it was very garbled) - "customers who require extra time and those who are entitled to priority" ... no one was queuing anywhere, no signs or division on the lanes, and myself and one other guy made 3-4 steps toward the gate looking apprehensively, did he really call priority at the same time as pre-boards? Did he call all priority together? Even the gate agent I saw shrugged when I asked.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 12:09 pm
  #386  
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Last week. LHR-WAW, no group enforcement with the usual priority boarding horde. WAW-LHR was instead enforced and I was quite pleased by it.

There are some flights where ruby/sapphire and emeralds match the amount of people in general boarding. It was about time their loyalty was rewarded at boarding. I often had to stand up at priority boarding to hold my place in order to get what I now get simply by staying seated up to when boarding commences.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 4:57 pm
  #387  
 
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At CPH yesterday afternoon it was handled quite well. BPs were checked once group 1 was announced, though the numbers should really be a bit bigger on the mobile passes. It should be a lot clearer so the person checking can easily see it.

A big improvement when done correctly.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 7:07 pm
  #388  
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Gate 7 Terminal 3 this afternoon to LUX.

Everyone had been nicely corralled into the three cordoned off lanes in the corridor before the pre departure lounge. Group 1 called first followed by the other groups in order. We all emptied into the unsegregated pre boarding lounge and sat down having mingled back together. Again, an example where the gate staff hadn't thought through their actions.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:28 am
  #389  
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ARN (Stockholm) now. Group 1. Still usual people with group 2 and 4 etc going through some sent back. Over all not too bad
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:15 am
  #390  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by MPH1980 View Post
Appreciate this is the experience thread - but while we might not perceive the old BA system as complex - it was to people who don't travel regularly or who's first language wasn't english. If you can tell me what Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby are in a language you don't really speak off the top of your head - I'd be very impressed and that's the challenge for an airline. Where as "Group 1" can be represented in so many different ways other than just the english "one" - you've got numerals, the overhead signs, even just raising the number of fingers to make clear which group is being boarded.
+1
It's also simpler for staff on the ground to enforce. The best example is Aer Lingus AerClub status members booked on a DUB codeshare under EI code. IAG carrier with Avios as currency, but not oneworld, yet can use lounges in London.
Does anyone really know if they were allowed Priority Boarding?

At least now, this is very clear, so more likely to be applied correctly.
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