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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 26, 18, 10:04 am
  #436  
 
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LHR on A and B gates - so far excellent! It is working wonderfully - a great improvement on the past.

BRU - operational teething troubles at the moment, especially with the lack of lounge / gate coordination.

The lounge is only 2 minutes walk from the usual departure gate, but so far when the agent in the lounge announces that the aircraft is ready for boarding, by the time you get to the gate all other passengers have already passed through the boarding ticket check! At BRU, usually you are held in a long holding corridor zone waiting for the automatic door to open before actually going down the air bridge to board the aircraft. Therefore effectively, virtually all of the Group 1 and Group 2 passengers are stuck at the end of this holding queue behind all the Group 3,4,5,6 passengers. Just a little better coordination between the lounge and the gate would hopefully remove this issue.

As for the actual boarding process at BRU .... no idea .... i'm always late to see it happen!
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Old Feb 26, 18, 11:53 am
  #437  
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Flew MAN-LCY and they just did 1-3 at the same time. Only 8 people came forward.
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Old Feb 26, 18, 1:27 pm
  #438  
 
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Originally Posted by ReynoldsNumber View Post
As for the actual boarding process at BRU .... no idea .... i'm always late to see it happen!
I was at BRU last week and they simply called 1, 2 & 3 together which somewhat defeats the point on such a status heavy route.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 8:20 am
  #439  
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LGW, Gate 13. Yesterday, BA2263 to KIN in CW. An absolute uncontrolled farce.

Group 1 on our BPs, of course, And at the entrance to the holding pen are 3 desk Agents checking documentation - one for the ‘Priority Gang’. So far so good. However, we then enter this VERY large holding area with no signage whatsoever. We position at the far end (near the door to the airbridge) and wait.

The speakers at this end of the pen aren’t working properly, and cut out after the first words from the Agents back there where we entered. But we know the script!

Eventually one Agent comes to the boarding end of the holding area, opens the door to the airbridge and ushers through the small handful of assistance pax. She then heads back to the entry area, leaving the door open and, of course, unattended. After a couple of minutes, a handful of pax decided this must be their opportunity to start boarding, so they head off down the airbridge. Cue everyone (J, Y, W, Gold, Silbver, Bronze, Blue and Nil) just self-boarding en masse.*

No announcements, no signage, no control, no priorities ... just simple chaos. Disgraceful, IMO.

* We anticipated the scenario, and self-boarded in the first dozen or two
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Old Feb 27, 18, 8:58 am
  #440  
 
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
LGW, Gate 13. Yesterday, BA2263 to KIN in CW. An absolute uncontrolled farce.

.................................................. ............

.................................................. ..........

No announcements, no signage, no control, no priorities ... just simple chaos. Disgraceful, IMO.
And all this at the airline’s second largest base ; one that we’re told they wish to develop / expand even further.

Assuming BA ground personnel actually receive any training ( ), are they then free to do precisely as they wish ?

Unreal.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:25 am
  #441  
 
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Uncle T, please write in and complain. It's the only way we have of alerting BA management to staff failings and perhaps slightly pressuring them to act !!
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:31 am
  #442  
 
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LHR-VIE Friday VIE-LHR Sunday, 3 of us group 1.Both LHR T3 and Vie was nice and orderly. Went on at the start of boarding so not sure what happened later but the new system seemed to work well.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 11:07 am
  #443  
 
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Due to fly BA out of LHR T3 tomorrow and JFK T7 in a couple of weeks so will report back...
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Old Feb 27, 18, 12:43 pm
  #444  
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
LGW, Gate 13. Yesterday, BA2263 to KIN in CW. An absolute uncontrolled farce.

Group 1 on our BPs, of course, And at the entrance to the holding pen are 3 desk Agents checking documentation - one for the ‘Priority Gang’. So far so good. However, we then enter this VERY large holding area with no signage whatsoever. We position at the far end (near the door to the airbridge) and wait.

The speakers at this end of the pen aren’t working properly, and cut out after the first words from the Agents back there where we entered. But we know the script!

Eventually one Agent comes to the boarding end of the holding area, opens the door to the airbridge and ushers through the small handful of assistance pax. She then heads back to the entry area, leaving the door open and, of course, unattended. After a couple of minutes, a handful of pax decided this must be their opportunity to start boarding, so they head off down the airbridge. Cue everyone (J, Y, W, Gold, Silbver, Bronze, Blue and Nil) just self-boarding en masse.*

No announcements, no signage, no control, no priorities ... just simple chaos. Disgraceful, IMO.

* We anticipated the scenario, and self-boarded in the first dozen or two
Sounds like a poor experience but has LGW actually started the new group boarding system yet? Was there Priority Entry/Boarding at the initial check?

Reading through the thread there seems to be no Group 1,2 3 signs etc at LGW and I can't see many reports on here or LGW in the Wiki where the airports are listed.

Sounds like the staff didn't have proper control by leaving a door open all you need is a few to go and like sheep........ people will follow. As others have said the only way they can improve things until it's all across the board is to report it back to BA.

Your sense of anticipation was good though
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Old Feb 27, 18, 2:26 pm
  #445  
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Three lanes on entry to the Gate area, one for Priority and 2 for the rest ... then nothing. Which is fair enough if someone controls entry to the airbridge. IME they son’t often do that! Our first even KIN ex-LGW was just the same ... door left open, no Agent, so a mass charge. In fact the same on our very recent LGW-JER too, from Gate 12(?) ... door left open, Agent headed back to desk to make the boarding announcement.

The design of LGW(S) doesn’t seem to lend itself to controlling boarding.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 2:43 pm
  #446  
 
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Originally Posted by PETER01 View Post
Sounds like a poor experience but has LGW actually started the new group boarding system yet
From my experience, yes ... ish.

On BA2279 to OAK last Saturday from gate thirty-something (i.e. in the rotunda), there was a Tensa barrier ahead of the main gate agents, staffed by G4S. An announcement was made that boarding would be made by group number, and then groups 1 and 2 were called forward to the G4S staff for their BP to be checked and the usual questions about purpose of visit before being passed onto the BA gate agents. I don't know much about what happened after groups 1 and 2, but it was definitely called by number rather than status (ditto for the return from OAK on Monday, but there can't have been more than 40 people on the entire flight when they called 1, 2 and 3 together).
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Old Feb 27, 18, 4:05 pm
  #447  
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Three lanes on entry to the Gate area, one for Priority and 2 for the rest ... then nothing. Which is fair enough if someone controls entry to the airbridge. IME they son’t often do that! Our first even KIN ex-LGW was just the same ... door left open, no Agent, so a mass charge. In fact the same on our very recent LGW-JER too, from Gate 12(?) ... door left open, Agent headed back to desk to make the boarding announcement.

The design of LGW(S) doesn’t seem to lend itself to controlling boarding.
Thanks for that T8191, sounds like a staffing issue with no one to 'guard' the door. It was similar on AA from LHR to LAX last year when I went there. Into a really hot big pen and then one double door for everyone to go through although it was CK, Group1 etc and a poor experience there for me and I wouldn't do it again to be honest.

Originally Posted by internetplumber View Post
From my experience, yes ... ish.

On BA2279 to OAK last Saturday from gate thirty-something (i.e. in the rotunda), there was a Tensa barrier ahead of the main gate agents, staffed by G4S. An announcement was made that boarding would be made by group number, and then groups 1 and 2 were called forward to the G4S staff for their BP to be checked and the usual questions about purpose of visit before being passed onto the BA gate agents. I don't know much about what happened after groups 1 and 2, but it was definitely called by number rather than status (ditto for the return from OAK on Monday, but there can't have been more than 40 people on the entire flight when they called 1, 2 and 3 together).
Thanks for that data point internetplumber

Seems the OAK flights are very lightly loaded sometimes and plenty of seats!
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Old Feb 28, 18, 7:35 am
  #448  
 
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BA209 LHR-MIA

Group 1 《30 sec pause》
Groups1&2《30 sec pause》
Groupsn1&2&3&4&5

Not a big deal though - I was SSSS today and still found plenty of room in the overheads when I boarded with 1&2&3&4&5...
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:11 pm
  #449  
 
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Flew home earlier to LHR. There were still only two lines at the BA gate at the outstation, one for groups 1-3 and another for groups 4-5, so the first line was clogged with 2-3s when group 1 was called to board. The customary scenario then developed as polite 1s held back for fear of rudely overtaking other 1s, only to be themselves rudely overtaken by queue-barging 1s etc. etc. But then miraculously a train of polite 1s crystallised into a mini-queue that snaked its way to the front, and all was well with the world. Until at least when the gate agent called group 2 to board, even though it was obvious to every human being in the room except apparently her that there were lots of 1s still moving forward. So in summary It was the least terrible I have ever seen boarding at an outstation, but still terrible.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:14 pm
  #450  
 
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At EDI on Monday, I (Group 1) was caught up in the queues and missed the G1 call. They then called G2 so I made my way to the front, knowing full well I was G1 and should already have boarded. Somebody behind shouted to imply I had queue jumped. Yeah whatever :-)
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