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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 28, 18, 9:01 am
  #661  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL (90% to Lifetime Gold), SPG convert from IHG (and Marriott hater now!)
Posts: 4,475
Originally Posted by TravellerFrequently View Post
A bit of a shambles to board to OTP at Gate 7 yesterday.

Only one entrance to the area, which was blocked with people. The Group 1-2 was pointing away from the entrance. A staff member checked everyone, but once the line for 3-5 stretch back to the entrance, she stopped. I mentioned I was in Group 1 and managed to get through, but not great. I gave some gentle customer feedback....
had this at A5 yesterday, will try to be positive and say that they’re trying - but need to improve.

and to prove the grass isn’t always greener my boarding for QR at ARN last night was pretty poor - once in boarding lounge there was basically no control, they announced business boarding but so many people had congregated around the narrow entrance to airbridge it was almost comical...
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Old Apr 28, 18, 9:21 am
  #662  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 799
Just completed a couple of days ago a ARN HEL LHR JFK LAX SFO and return. Boarding the AA flights was very straight forward and organised. Far and away the worse boarding was the final positioning after the above from ARN back to LHR. The whole access to the lane was clogged by non group 1 people, when group 1 was called. They call group 1, and lots of people close to the barrier sort of shuffle without actually attempting to enter the lane to the gate staff. You end up not wanting to be a DYKWIA, but anything less than pushing through means the group system is failing. It was BA0781 which was a 767, on Tues 24th. I think an emergency exit had failed and people in the exit row had been moved, this further ruffled feathers which the crew had to deal with.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 9:29 am
  #663  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PWA
Programs: BA Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 678
BA1340 LHR-LBA 27 Mar 18, the Group 1 queue was actively policed by the gate agent checking boarding passes. Everything went quite smoothly.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:14 am
  #664  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 1,967
Just wondering what the deal is now when there is one status holder on a PNR with others. My wife (Silver) is flying to DUB tomorrow in ET with her mum, two sister and nephew. She has group two on her BP, and the others have group 5. Can she take any of them through fast-track and/or priority boarding? Obviously it's just one for the lounge.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:17 am
  #665  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,603
Originally Posted by gustavmahler View Post
Just wondering what the deal is now when there is one status holder on a PNR with others. My wife (Silver) is flying to DUB tomorrow in ET with her mum, two sister and nephew. She has group two on her BP, and the others have group 5. Can she take any of them through fast-track and/or priority boarding?
Yes, she can.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:18 am
  #666  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA, Hilton
Posts: 775
Originally Posted by gustavmahler View Post
Just wondering what the deal is now when there is one status holder on a PNR with others. My wife (Silver) is flying to DUB tomorrow in ET with her mum, two sister and nephew. She has group two on her BP, and the others have group 5. Can she take any of them through fast-track and/or priority boarding? Obviously it's just one for the lounge.

Thanks in advance.
It will be +1 for the lounge (as you recognise), +1 for fast track, and entire party can board as Group 2. BA have clearly indicated that the entire party can board as one, and I've had no issue with this in the past, even with friends on different PNRs.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:19 am
  #667  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 1,967
Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
Yes, she can.
Thanks. Can she take them all through? Fast track is only printed on my wife's BP, so would they be able to go through the auto-gates? If they all go in the group 2 queue, would that cause problems?
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Old May 1, 18, 3:22 am
  #668  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA, Hilton
Posts: 775
More specifically, the advice is contained here (hat tip to whoever posted this first? KARFA?)

https://www.speedbirdclub.com/mediaL...-27Nov2017.pdf

Quoting from same:

Executive Club priority boarding Boarding priority for Executive Club Gold, Silver or Bronze Members or oneworld® equivalents, will automatically be reflected in the group number given on their boarding pass. If they arrive after their group has been called, they can use the priority boarding lane to go through before the flight closes. 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.
In fairness, they say "will endeavour" but I've never had issues.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:25 am
  #669  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA, Hilton
Posts: 775
For fast track, assuming she is starting at LHR (?), I'm afraid it is +1 only. See:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...rt/heathrow-t5

Fast Track security lanes are available to:
  • customers travelling in First, Club World or Club Europe (plus one guest)
  • Executive Club Gold and Silver Members (plus one guest)
  • oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (plus one guest)
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Old May 1, 18, 3:30 am
  #670  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 1,967
Originally Posted by BertieBadger View Post
For fast track, assuming she is starting at LHR (?), I'm afraid it is +1 only. See:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...rt/heathrow-t5
Thank you - that's really helpful.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:31 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: London, Strathaven
Programs: BA (Gold). Various other statuses
Posts: 1,439
Very well organised at Gate 19 at Glasgow on Sunday. Individual lanes for Groups 1,2 and 3 and one lane for 4 and 5. Gate agent made it quite clear which was which and the boarding announcement also made it clear. The only downside was for disembarking passengers on the inbound flight as they all had to exit via lane 2 which was quite narrow, made worse by people (legitimately) sitting there.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:40 am
  #672  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,603
Originally Posted by gustavmahler View Post
Thanks. Can she take them all through? Fast track is only printed on my wife's BP, so would they be able to go through the auto-gates? If they all go in the group 2 queue, would that cause problems?
Sorry, I thought you were asking just about priority boarding. I'm not sure about fast track, I think there is a limit on the numbers of people you can guest.

As far as priority boarding is concerned, they will be fine.
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Old May 2, 18, 10:23 pm
  #673  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: London - SW4
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 320
Today the BA 293 to Washington - offered pre-boarding if checked one's (oversised) hand baggage... another gentleman jumped the group 1 queue, told to go back, just stood at the front with nothing mentioned. A bit frustrating, which multiple fellow members of the group 1 queue expressed.
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Old May 3, 18, 1:22 am
  #674  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Berlin
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 665
Group boarding has now been implemented at London City - previously, there was priority boarding for CE and Gold only.

Due to lack of space at the gates, there are only two lanes. The first says "Group 1 followed by Groups 2 and 3", with the "followed by" in quite small type, leading to inevitable crowding; the second says "Groups 4 and 5". The gate agent's announcement, however, was quite clear and explained the boarding process. (Gate 10 to TXL, 02/05/2018).
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Old May 9, 18, 11:18 am
  #675  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Silver, Alitalia Freccia Alata Plus
Posts: 731
OSL-LHR on May 7th. First time both OH and I had Group 1 on our boarding cards. However there was no attempt to prioritise passengers by status, class of travel or group number. Basically just a single boarding announcement followed by a free-for-all, with no checks on size or number of carry-ons. I felt a bit aggrieved to hear an announcement, once on board, for everyone to remove smaller items from the overhead lockers so larger ones could be put in first, then try to fit the smaller ones above or around them. Maybe the woman with two large cases plus a handbag and shopping is a frequent traveller on the route and knows she can get away with it.

There seems little incentive to play by the rules.

CE felt like cattle class compared to flying QR earlier in the day.
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