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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 14, 18, 9:12 am
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: London, UK.
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 136

A13 at TXL today, groups 1-3 called together. This was also displayed on the screens, so it looks like the usual modus operandi -- which is probably unavoidable given the lack of seating (there was also a flight leaving from A12 around the same time) and how the area towards the desks is funnel shaped and would be difficult for wend your way through when crowded.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 9:19 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London, CPH, ARN or HEL
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Originally Posted by Danish Ghauri View Post
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
Looking forward to tomorrow evening's 20:10 departure from CPH then!

It was good last week right up to boarding, where there didn't seem to be checks when called - but I am sure all passengers behaved
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:03 pm
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA Gold, Hilton, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
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Group boarding two experiences.
Monday morning LHR T5 to Paris. For some reason a number of group 1s decided they needed to queue - quite bizarre. Call to line up and board. Lots of preboarders (disneyland paris) then group 1, other groups being called to stand in line. No issues given the flight was absolutely full. About 10 group 1, 30 group 2,3

Tuesday evening Paris to LHR T5. Sauntered down from Cathay lounge to gate 45 when boarding called. Fair number of people people milling about at the gate, passenger service agent when asked quite clearly said "we are boarding group 1 only at the moment". Walked straight up to the desk and onto the plane.

All the staff seemed well organised. Due to my own boarding group didn't see anyone sent back on the walk of shame...
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:32 pm
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: A hop, skip and jump away from MAN.
Programs: BAEC (busted back down to) Silver, ex-VS Gold, ex-UA Gold, Premier Inn Platinum-Iridium
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Had 4 BA group boarding experiences recently.

MAN - 1-3 are a single line here (basically the old "Priority" method), because that's all there's space to do in the corridor. The Group 1-3 line had already cleared when I got to the gate. They hadn't started letting the Group 4+ line through yet though, as the jetway wasn't clear, so I just joined the short queue on the jetway.

LHR T5B: Groups 1-3 have seperate lines, and then everyone else. Boarding already in progress. Straight into the Group 2 line for me, a short wait, two agents were serving the 1-3 lines. If Group 1 was empty, that agent would service the Group 2 line until a Group 1 passenger arrived, then served them next. The other agent would alternate between the Group 2 and 3 lines. Moved quickly. No-one seemed to be trying their luck in the empty Group 1 line.

DFW: Not really enough space, plus the gate arrangement, and a flight that was late boarding due to a late inbound meant a bit of a scrum with people getting to the gate before boarding had got going. The separate Group 1 and 2 lanes were arranged facing the gate, while the group 3+ lanes (there were another 3) were perpendicular to the gate. The Group 1 and Group 2 lines were blocking the way through to the higher group lines. This meant people kept joining the Group 1 & 2 lanes and had to keep being re-directed to the right spot by staff. A massive amount of folk in Group 2, but this was an 86J 744.

LHR T5A Domestic (Auto-Gates): Clear signage, no-one seemed to be queueing in the wrong lanes. Boarding already in progress, walked straight up through the Group 2 line to an e-gate.

My opinion is that it seems to work better. Less scrummage, and clarity on who boards when because it's clearly marked on the Boarding Card.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 2:18 pm
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New Zealand
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 97
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:


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.
B34 at Geneva this evening (GVA-LGW) travelling with my parents (both blue), all on the single HBO booking. As expected groups on BPs showed up as 2 for me and 5 for my parents. Boarding was called as 1, then 2 and 3, then 4 and 5, with right hand lane for 1, and then also 2 and 3, and the left hand lane for 4 and 5. We arrived as 4 and 5 were called, but went to join the right hand lane for 1, 2 and 3, but on reaching the front my parents were kicked back to join the 4 and 5 queue and were not allowed to come through with me, and so we all ended up traipsing back to join the 4 and 5 queue.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 2:35 pm
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Here's my most recent 5.

LHR - CDG 14/12/17 - BA0316 - Boarded Group One with CE ticket. Very short Priority queue for this one, only 4 rows of CE, BCH boarded right ahead of me with no problem when they called group one, not so impressed.

CDG-LHR 20/1/18 - BA0303 - Boarded Group One with CE ticket, lots of people boarding at once that definitely weren't CE or GCH.

LHR-IAD 20/1/18 - BA0217 - Boarded Group One with a F ticket, 5 of us in the cabin including 2 GCH, they were rejecting silver members and J travellers who tried to go anyway. Massive Priority queue (probably bigger than the regular one. Very rude American J traveller attempted to tell me to get to the back, aside from that, quite a nice experience, made that much sweeter by the "damn that queue was long" as I walked past him to the gate.

JFK-LHR 24/1/18 - BA0182 - Boarded Group One with F ticket again, not much control, they called priority boarding, I was right near the front again so I'm not sure if they rejected anyone.

LHR-CDG 24/1/18 - BA0316 - Boarded Group One with CE ticket, this time they had about 5 lanes for the different groups, people didn't have a clue where to go (it's not that difficult right). About 6-7 people got turned away for being in the wrong queue ahead of me.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 8:16 am
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: a £30 taxi to LHR
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Nice start to the group boarding experience with only myself in group 1 for BA277 to HYD today. First on even before the pre boards, with a nice chat with one of the gate agents to how things were going.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 1:39 pm
Join Date: Mar 2017
Programs: BA GGL, CCR
Posts: 65
ZRH shambles

ZRH to LHR BA0707 15/02/18

The usual utter shambles at ZRH tonight.

Only one sign set out, indicating Groups 4 & 5. The other signs were on a trolley, having been pushed over from another gate, but were not used. The solitary gate agent was sat quietly doing nothing.

First, an announcement that boarding would be by group and asking for the gate area to be kept clear. On cue, a huge crowd surged around the gate.

Then an invitation for those requiring assistance to come forward. Various families pushed to the front of the crowd. Then, without any further announcement, the gate agent just started scanning BPs of anyone else who came forward. After about ten obviously single business travellers had been scanned, an announcement that group 1 would now be boarding. I walked forward and got shouted at by a family who told me I was pushing in. I let them pass, full of indignation and self righteousness. Eventually I made it to the gate and noticed the guy in front of me was group 4. I asked the gate agent (a second one who appeared after boarding started) why she wasnít enforcing the group boarding and she laughed.

ZRH has always been a boarding mess with the high number of Bronzed Up business travellers but it is now much, much worse.

Last edited by HFHFFlyer; Feb 15, 18 at 4:27 pm Reason: Updates and errors
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Old Feb 15, 18, 1:47 pm
Join Date: Sep 2013
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@HFHFFlyer - one of the worst I’ve read about since the thread began.

I can imagine somebody will be inclined to video one of these pathetic shambles one day - and post it on BA’s twitter a/c (not that it would bother them at all)
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Old Feb 15, 18, 1:52 pm
Join Date: Mar 2017
Programs: BA GGL, CCR
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
@HFHFFlyer - one of the worst Iíve read about since the thread began.

I can imagine somebody will be inclined to video one of these pathetic shambles one day - and post it on BAís twitter a/c (not that it would bother them at all)
Next time Iím in ZRH i will do just that.
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Old Feb 16, 18, 4:11 am
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DCA
Programs: AA Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist
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BWI to LHR on 15 February:
  • Check-in agent made a point to say that my partner (OW Ruby) could not join me in group 2 and should board in group 3. We ignored that and boarded together with no issues from the gate agent.
  • Signs posted at the gate but not visible until you turn the corner. Staff used to drag the large signs out into the walkway giving people a better sense of where to go as they approached the gate.
  • Lounge staff announced boarding and those in the lounge proceeded directly to the gate and boarded with no delay.
  • The line for groups 1 and 2 was a strange story. There was a single sign that sort of implied group 1 to the left and 2 to the right but upon closer inspection is says groups 1 & 2. Staff made no effort to take group 1 first so people alternated from each line.
  • Groups 3+ were indeed prevented from boarding while the 1 & 2 line was boarding. Pretty orderly.
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Old Feb 16, 18, 5:23 am
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: BA Silver
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LGW - SVQ. We had Group 1 BPs. We ambled to the gate as the signs said 'go to gate' rather than 'boarding'. When we got there, boarding was well underway, with a mob of people surrounding the desks.Tannoy said something about boarding Groups 1 2 and 3. No obvious priority lanes, signage or tensas at all. We joined the left hand side of the crowd, where I guessed the Group 1 lane should be and were through fairly quickly.

SVQ - LGW with Group 2 BPs. Arrived at gate in plenty of time. We were told to join the middle line, but we then noticed there were only 2 lines formed in Tensa-lanes, so we loitered by the left-hand one. No signage at all. Group 1 called and started boarding from the left lane. Group 2 and 3 called, and we shot through the now-empty left hand (I assume Group 1?) lane.

Should be a good system but needs a bit of work!

Last edited by fruitcage; Feb 16, 18 at 6:07 am
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Old Feb 16, 18, 5:26 am
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Gold
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BA0849 Zagreb to LHR. Checkin agent made mention of the new boarding process and said as Group 1 I would be boarding first.

At the gate gate a small line had formed behind the group 1-3 sign, there was a long announcement in Croatian and then English calling for Group 1 only.

Only a few boarded ahead of me and I didnít see anyone rejected or do the walk of shame. A lot of beeping though as it seemed J had a lot of space, many upgrades including yours truly.

A thumbs up to the outstation staff at ZAG. Well handled.

Last edited by Quarky Quark; Feb 16, 18 at 5:33 am
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Old Feb 16, 18, 5:49 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London, CPH, ARN or HEL
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CPH was very good last night with clear instructions and BP checks on boarding.

They're tight for space though and when Group 1 was called, it must have taken at least 30 seconds to work out that nothing was moving due to the gaggle of Group 2s blocking access to the airbridge - and Group 1s being very polite not pushing through....
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Old Feb 16, 18, 12:37 pm
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Kent, UK
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Posts: 214

After a promising start, BA797 turned into a free for all. Pax with infants invited to board - which seemed to consist of any family with children up to the age of 15. Then boarding seemed just to morph into general free for all. Eventually gate agents called groups 1 and 2 together (why?) but the queue consisted of pax of any group. Four G4 in front of me. No challenge from gate agent.

Not BAís finest hour just a few weeks after introduction. And yet ARN got it absolutely right last Sunday.
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