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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 Apr 16, 18, 7:54 am
  #616  
 
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Group boarding (at least Group 1, didn't see the rest) being enforced ruthlessly at JFK a few days ago. Tensa barriers in place, though not sure there were signs for all the group numbers. Some typically abrasive and amusing NY attitude dished out by the gate agent to a couple of people trying to promote themselves from other groups, after they failed to comply with more polite requests to stand aside.

Some other recent experiences:

TXL - quite chaotic. The space doesn't lend itself well, but keeping the old "priority / general" boarding signs, then calling multiple groups simultaneously and having people charging from both queues didn't really help.

PMI - no barriers, but clear announcements and fairly smooth, group 1 called separately to other groups.

LGW (long haul) - no tensa barriers, but seemed fairly organised though the number of families meant a rather lengthy pre-board.

LHR gate A4 (bus gate) - again the space doesn't lend itself well, but the announcements were sparse and also all quite chaotic, with the gate agents more focused on gate checking hand luggage..

Overall a mixed bag but seems to be improving. Also had a few domestic flights in US with DL recently, where I saw more of the boarding process through not always being in the first group. Impressive efficiency and clarity.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 9:06 am
  #617  
 
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At SIN, boarding the BA11 (A380), staff did their best to enforce Group Boarding but the gate lay-out does not have space for tensa's or similar so a large crowd of passengers moved forward when announcements were made making it difficult for Group 1 - and then Group 2 - to physically get to the counters.

So a general mess frankly with lots of pushing and shoving and the appearance of general chaos.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 11:19 am
  #618  
 
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MAN-LCY

No signage barriers or anything at the gate. Called group 1, 2 and 3 all at once - which seemed to be virtually everyone. As we were then left stood on the jet bridge for a few minutes, I was able to hear the next announcement of "all remaining passengers can now board".

Fed back to BA on Twitter, but it was met with a pretty poor excuse for a response:

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Old Apr 16, 18, 1:34 pm
  #619  
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Originally Posted by jwhite9185 View Post
Fed back to BA on Twitter, but it was met with a pretty poor excuse for a response:
Dreadful! I'd respond back reminding them that domestic flights use the same aircraft as the rest of the shorthaul network, including 767s, and that group boarding when done properly is actually very different.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 3:59 pm
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Can anyone tell me how group boarding works when two passengers are on the same booking but one has status and the other doesn’t, does it allocate both passengers the higher group of the status passenger since they are travelling together?

Thanks,
Anthony
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Old Apr 18, 18, 4:03 pm
  #621  
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Originally Posted by antuk View Post
Can anyone tell me how group boarding works when two passengers are on the same booking but one has status and the other doesn’t, does it allocate both passengers the higher group of the status passenger since they are travelling together?

Thanks,
Anthony
each persons bp group will reflect their own status & cabin. However BA have advised:

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 Apr 18, 18, 11:19 pm
  #622  
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Originally Posted by antuk View Post
Can anyone tell me how group boarding works when two passengers are on the same booking but one has status and the other doesn’t, does it allocate both passengers the higher group of the status passenger since they are travelling together?

Thanks,
Anthony
No, each BP reflects the status of the passenger. But based on my experience it is not an issue to let the lower status pax board with the higher one.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 1:02 am
  #623  
 
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Originally Posted by antuk View Post
Can anyone tell me how group boarding works when two passengers are on the same booking but one has status and the other doesn’t, does it allocate both passengers the higher group of the status passenger since they are travelling together?
I flew as a Gold with my wife (silver) on the same booking last week and we were both Group 1. Previously she had been Group 2 on the same route a couple of weeks before and this maybe due to the IT update that BA had mentioned a few months ago that was "coming soon" to sort out this very issue.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 1:10 am
  #624  
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Originally Posted by sunshinebob View Post
I flew as a Gold with my wife (silver) on the same booking last week and we were both Group 1. Previously she had been Group 2 on the same route a couple of weeks before and this maybe due to the IT update that BA had mentioned a few months ago that was "coming soon" to sort out this very issue.
I was told it would be done in April - swallows and summer and all that, though there is plenty of both here in LEI, so any other reports would be good.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 1:27 am
  #625  
 
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LHR Gate A1 on Tuesday morning this week which has the auto-machines. Pre-checking of BPs and passports by group done outside the tensa-barriers, and pax put neatly into Group 1, Group 2 lines. Then boarded strictly by line through the e-gates, enforced by tensa-barriers. Seemed pretty good to me.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by sunshinebob View Post
I flew as a Gold with my wife (silver) on the same booking last week and we were both Group 1. Previously she had been Group 2 on the same route a couple of weeks before and this maybe due to the IT update that BA had mentioned a few months ago that was "coming soon" to sort out this very issue.
That's interesting thanks. Just for the avoidance of doubt, was everything else the same (e.g. you weren't travelling in CE the second time, which would have put your wife in Group 1 by virtue of cabin rather than status)

If it is filtering through, presumably this would mean the definition of "travelling together" will be tightened to mean on the same PNR, rather than presently where it is effectively self-defined?
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Old Apr 19, 18, 1:50 am
  #627  
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Originally Posted by BertieBadger View Post
If it is filtering through, presumably this would mean the definition of "travelling together" will be tightened to mean on the same PNR, rather than presently where it is effectively self-defined?
I think we were told two things: firstly that the boarding group would show the highest Group number of anyone in the PNR - that seems a relatively easy software change; secondly that if the PNRs were linked, the same thing would apply - which strikes me as implausible, but I would like to be proven wrong there. However except perhaps at GVA, AMS, DUB, I would imagine the "s/he is with me" will continue to work.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 2:58 am
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Could it be dynamic based on a) cabin loads and b) status loads?Just last week I did LGW-BGI-LGW with my 10yo and on both legs I was Group 1 and she was Group 2. Despite being 10 she is Silver at the moment. We were WT out and WTP in. Both flights were rammed. I was surprised to see we had different groups actually, but nobody was ever going to split us up so it made no difference.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by sunshinebob View Post
I flew as a Gold with my wife (silver) on the same booking last week and we were both Group 1. Previously she had been Group 2 on the same route a couple of weeks before and this maybe due to the IT update that BA had mentioned a few months ago that was "coming soon" to sort out this very issue.

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I was told it would be done in April - swallows and summer and all that, though there is plenty of both here in LEI, so any other reports would be good.
JFK-LHR with the family a few days ago in CW, Mrs O and myself in Group 1, the junior O's in group 2 (same PNR). No problem boarding together in group 1, same situation prior to that on the outbound.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 5:17 am
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Oh no... first CPH fail today 😩 1&2 called together.. what’s the world coming to?? 😀
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