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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 Jun 15, 18, 3:28 am
  #736  
 
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Flew from LGW-GLA last night. Gate was due to be displayed at 18:35 but instead we got a "Please wait" message which was shown for 40 minutes. When we finally got to the gate we were held in the usual cattle pen until we boarded. The GA announced that Groups 1,2 and 3 should board. On such a flight this must have meant almost the entire flight could board in the first group. Farcical.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 3:44 am
  #737  
 
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MAN-LHR on BA 1395 yesterday was groups 1,2 and 3 in one lane and the rest in another, there isnít al lot of space to do much else around the gate to be honest. It all seemed to work well.

LHR-SIN on BA 11 group 1 called then 2 and 3, we were in group two being in J so didnít see anything after that but it seemed quite calm around the gate.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 4:30 am
  #738  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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MAH-LGW yesterday morning.

Ambling across the (small !) concourse towards the gate area for my flight, I could just about hear the initial “ ........is now ready for boarding” (around eight minutes earlier than stated on BP), followed by “we will be boarding by group number shown on your boarding pass ........ if you do not have a number, please board in the last group”. And then “....will families with young children please come forward .....”

There was something in the half-hearted, automated, tone of the GA’s voice which told me that it was highly unlikely group boarding would actually be enforced in any way. And so it proved. Families were (unsurprisingly, for a near-100% leisure route) a substantial proportion of the total passenger load ; but even so, solo pax and couples with no children decided to all line up together, mixing in with ‘families’, and it was very clear that once boarding began, nobody was being turned away.

I suspect the ground staff probably thought to themselves they’re all on their holidays, so hey ho what does it matter ; which, in turn of course, means that any once-a-year flyers who may have been hearing mention of ‘group boarding’ for the first time will assume it is of zero relevance, and will take no more notice of such announcements on their next trip than they did yesterday.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 4:37 am
  #739  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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I just checked in for a flight to KBP tomorrow and this is the first time I've had other people on the PNR who are also not GCH. It shows myself and my wife (also GCH) as Group 1 but our two friends with no status it shows as Group 4. I had assumed the fix for granting the same group to the whole PNR would have gone in by now but I guess not. Am I right in assuming that the wiki is still current and they can still board with us in Group 1?
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Old Jun 15, 18, 4:43 am
  #740  
 
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@djb61 - if you get the same sort of ground staff as I had yesterday (see above), then no worries. Everybody on the flight is Group 1
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Old Jun 15, 18, 5:22 am
  #741  
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Originally Posted by djb61 View Post
I just checked in for a flight to KBP tomorrow and this is the first time I've had other people on the PNR who are also not GCH. It shows myself and my wife (also GCH) as Group 1 but our two friends with no status it shows as Group 4. I had assumed the fix for granting the same group to the whole PNR would have gone in by now but I guess not. Am I right in assuming that the wiki is still current and they can still board with us in Group 1?

This is of course going on the assumption that BA would do something that A. works and B. is effective in a good way. I think we all appreciate that when it comes to IT this is not BA's fortay

Although you've checked in already go to the 1st check in and explain to the staff there. From feedback within the thread it seems to be something they are at least happy to look at for you so hopefully the rest of your party will be shifted to the same boarding group. Of course if the new policy isn't adhered to then it could all count for .....

The alternative of course is to take your friends to the lounge as your guests and all hang out there turning up when it suits you and then who cares anyway as you'll most likely be able to just saunter on to the flight at your own pace. Although a lowly Blue at present after recently switchin to BA I've found this is by far the best way to do things if the lounge is of a decent standard.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 3:02 am
  #742  
 
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BA1386 LHR-MAN today (Gate A7)

Well organised, good signage, proactive BP check - one lady in G1 line sent away to G4

Auto gates switched on promptly but then I got bounced for being in an exit row - no issue though, sorted in seconds and still within the first 10 to board...

Good job today, BA !
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Old Jun 23, 18, 3:35 pm
  #743  
 
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Edinburgh was the usual mess tonight... one queue for groups 1-3 and then group 1,2 and 3 called in quick succession...
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Old Jun 23, 18, 5:18 pm
  #744  
 
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Originally Posted by bermudasun View Post
Edinburgh was the usual mess tonight... one queue for groups 1-3 and then group 1,2 and 3 called in quick succession...
The workaround at gate 10 for group 1 boarding is not to join the queue and move forward directly to the gate when called. Otherwise it is impossible to board with the group 1 call.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 12:53 am
  #745  
 
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LEI (Almeria) yesterday. Group 1 called, even though incoming flight not disembarked. Everyone allowed to go forward, then all held in a second queue outside the terminal building (no seats, etc.) for something like 30 minutes, followed by a disorganised scrum at the aircraft (walk to plane, guess which stairs to use, some boarding at front for row 25, some at the back for row 10.....)
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Old Jun 24, 18, 1:52 am
  #746  
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Recent trip JER-PHX in CE (Group 1), the BA sectors yielded the following:

JER-LGW - immaculate. Called from Lounge to Get 10 holding room, and boarded a couple of minutes later.

LHR-DUB - Decent signage and seemingly well controlled.

DUB-LHR - A bit untidy with late inbound and bags being taken to go in the hold. Worked fine for Group 1.

LGW-JER - Again no problems, worked fine.

(All 4 AA sectors were immaculate, as usual!)
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Old Jun 24, 18, 2:07 am
  #747  
 
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Recent flight LHR-OSL had a group 1 lane, a group 2&3 lane, and a group 4&5 lane.
However when boarding was called, the gate agent asked for groups 1 and 2 together. In what world does that make any sense or help the situation?
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Old Jun 25, 18, 4:55 am
  #748  
 
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Recent experience:

LHR–CPH 15/6: Gerenally worked OK with queues for each group at A23. Slight delay as one member of gate staff accidently tried to use domestic procedure and wondering why system would not check people's picture until a colleague came to her rescue and got her onto the international system.

CPH–LHR 18/6: All loaded into the same pen at the gate but called forward by individual group numbers which was enforced. Quite efficient.

LHR–KRK 23/6: Gate A6 with tensabarrier lanes for different groups open so people lined up. Person then came and told everyone to get out of there and wait for gate staff to validate documents before we could go back into lanes. Once there, things were fine going through automatic gates. But they really need to sort out the way they process people at those gates!

KRK–LHR 24/6: Three lanes available. Group 1–2–3 sign put up at first lane and Group 4 sign at second lane shortly before boarding opened. Not allowed to enter lanes so people queuing to get into the lanes quickly blocked very narrow passage around gate area. Group 5 sign on back of group 4 sign causing some confusion for 4&5 passengers. Strict enforcement of group numbers – so you got the privilege of boarding the bus first. Where you could then wait until it was full (including group 4 and 5 passengers) and then wait to get onto the totally full plane because of the way the bus took to the aircraft causing you to be at the further possible place in the bus from the front entry door. Utterly pointless.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 5:42 am
  #749  
 
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LHR-MXP:

Gate A6, so one of the auto gates. Iím in two minds about this one. As it was an auto gate, passports needed to be checked before entering the main pen area. I was one of the first, and was directed to the group 1 line. However, if you arrive at the gate later, then there was a massive queue to enter the holding pen.

When boarding did commence, it was enforced pretty well - group 1 invited first, and as the person at the head of the group 2 line tried to chance it, they were told to wait until everyone from group 1 had boarded.

The return from MXP however:

Two signs up, one for group 1,2 and 3, the others for 4 and 5. Around a minute before boarding was announced, the gate agent took them down, quite literally threw them under the desk and then it was basically ďall aboardĒ.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 5:58 am
  #750  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Out station interpretation of the Group Boarding process is pretty shoddy at best.

LUX-LHR last weekend, they called group 1-3 which caused quite a skirmish (I think the mob mentality even meant that 4 & 5 were also piling in) and as it was a B2B I witnessed the carnage first hand (albeit sitting back waiting until last to stroll on to my 1A seat that I'd left 20 minutes earlier)

MUN-LHR on Saturday evening was another mess, a huge queue formed at the gate even when told to take a seat, and when Group 1 was called the queue just surged forward and crowded out the desk area. I'd always thought Germans liked queuing more than the English ?!?
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