What's this Group 1-3 boarding shambles?

Old Aug 10, 2023, 6:29 am
  #1  
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What's this Group 1-3 boarding shambles?

Over 30 minutes to board A321 from LHR to GLA. Nothing for business class or status pax just Groups 1-3 with an arrogant person being frankly rude monitoring well a shambles. What has BA be come. It seriously reminded of low cost but worse. Yes I have not flown BA for a while and being Aussie based I am doing my 4 sectors but having just flown Malaysian and Finnair who respect priority and status I just can't see the attraction of BA. But having said that 53 pax I believe in biz!
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 6:36 am
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My understanding has always been that it should be Boarding by single Group numbers sequentially, but I suppose it is ultimately down to the discretion of the gate agent. Like most things BA related these days, it's a bit of a lottery. In my experience they often lump group 1-3 together, which often makes it the least exclusive boarding group going! I imagine that on an LHR-GLA sector, at least 50% of pax will be in Groups 1-3, if not more.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 6:43 am
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i can only recall one specific instance in the last dozen or so flights where groups were called individually.

the call for 1-3 really always has a knack for setting a poor tone to the overall BA experience.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by nivsy
I just can't see the attraction of BA.
Achieving GOLD/OWE followed by a good moan seems to be the main attraction on here.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 6:53 am
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OT but I flew Southwest for the first time last month from DEN to BOS. The flight was delayed, but a new boarding time was given and it went like clockwork - they started boarding to the minute of the advertised time. Sure it's a different set up given the unassigned seats, but it was brilliant. We had the kids in tow and had paid for early boarding, giving us specific positions in the process. We lined up in order and were straight on. I was really impressed with them - two bags, wfi, entertainment (for use on your own device), and two rounds soft drinks/tea and coffee and snacks included. Their card machine was being slow so we even got our booze on the house. Announcements were hilarious. "Welcome to this nonstop flight to Barbados. Just kidding, y'all too cheap for that." "Buckle up folks, the captain has told me he'll be trying some new moves." "If you do have any complaints, please do not hold back. You can find the form at www.delta.com."
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 7:16 am
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It can be very hit or miss. Especially at LHR. I've had a couple of decent/good experiences recently, but also last week about the worst I've seen yet. Boarding a LHR-GLA from A4b (so a bus gate). One of the desks was down completely. The other desk was failing to retrieve biometrics for every 4th or 5th passenger, requiring the gate agent to manually verify the photo, and approximately every 10th passenger it failed completely, requiring them to go to another desk for additional verification. Multiple announcements apologising for the technical difficulties. It took over 70 minutes from scanning the first boarding pass to boarding complete on what was announced as "a completely full flight" which was untrue as there were several single seats free in the rows around me at row 16.

Funnily enough in the opposite direction GLA-LHR I find the staff at GLA tend to be better at managing boarding and usually individual groups are called by number. And while not exclusively true, I find outstations do tend to be better at this than at LHR.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY
Achieving GOLD/OWE followed by a good moan seems to be the main attraction on here.
I don't understand any of these priority group complaints. All that priority boarding does is prolong the amount of time you're sealed in a small metal tube. I much prefer standing at the back and enjoy watching everyone elbow each other out of the way
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by Arctic Troll
I don't understand any of these priority group complaints. All that priority boarding does is prolong the amount of time you're sealed in a small metal tube. I much prefer standing at the back and enjoy watching everyone elbow each other out of the way
I was always under the assumption that wen flying short haul and had the right status you could board at your leisure.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by Arctic Troll
I don't understand any of these priority group complaints. All that priority boarding does is prolong the amount of time you're sealed in a small metal tube. I much prefer standing at the back and enjoy watching everyone elbow each other out of the way
I don't understand any of these priority group deniers. All that hanging back does is increase the amount of time you are uncomfortably stood / sat in the least salubrious waiting room. I much prefer boarding early and enjoy watching everyone else scramble for over head locker space and elbow each other out of the way later

Each to their own I suppose.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 7:45 am
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I fly with checked baggage if needed and a rucksack that fits under the seat in front. The passive aggressive clown show of trying to find overhead locker space for a roll-on isn't worth the candle to me. Watching otherwise intelligent peeps descend to mouth-breathing evil-eye glaring as they try to get past each other in a single aisle aeroplane boarding from both ends whilst having to engage random strangers to remove smaller bags from the overheads isn't worth it. The price I pay to check a bag is worth it to me to avoid that whole pantomime.
Boarding late whilst parked in a seat sipping coffee watching the rage build among fellow passengers is a sight to behold in itself, Ryanair and easyJet do this way better.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 8:20 am
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My peeve, esp at LHR, is the elite group 0.5, which is obtained by buying a hand buggage only fare, turning up to the gate with a large wheelie bag and large rucksack, and getting rewarded by getting to check your baggage for free and getting onto the plane before group 1 is even called.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 8:25 am
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It was way back in December 2017 that BA rolled out (with not inconsiderable fanfare) their particular version of boarding-by-numbers

In the official Press Release, we were enthusiastically told that :

We have introduced a group boarding system on all our flights to simplify boarding, reduce congestion at the gate and make things easier for you.


IIRC, we also heard from a number of insiders that there was a strong will, within BA, to make this new system work.

Fast forward to 2023 and I cant help but conclude (based on many personal experiences during the intervening years, together with countless first-hand reports here on FT) that senior management have chosen to preside over a level of consistent inconsistency, coupled with a general laissez-fare attitude - in both the nature of pre-boarding announcements and then implementation / policing - which ensures that the precise opposite of all three of BAs stated objectives is very commonly achieved.

In looking back at the early days, I came across a rather prescient post penned in 2017 by experienced FT-er xenole, quote :

I'll put odds on it that they somehow completely balls this up and months later, are still doing so.

Well . you were 90% correct xenole
We just need to edit adjust your forecast of months later to read years later ..
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by Hawkbat
My peeve, esp at LHR, is the elite group 0.5, which is obtained by buying a hand buggage only fare, turning up to the gate with a large wheelie bag and large rucksack, and getting rewarded by getting to check your baggage for free and getting onto the plane before group 1 is even called.
I had a positive experience lately in LHR T5. as usual they asked all people who would like to check their bags and all were told to wait until group 1-3 boards then they can go. I always thought this would makes sense and not sure if this BA official guidance or the agent just used her brain and common sense.
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by Krisz
I had a positive experience lately in LHR T5. as usual they asked all people who would like to check their bags and all were told to wait until group 1-3 boards then they can go. I always thought this would makes sense and not sure if this BA official guidance or the agent just used her brain and common sense.
Lucky, at LHR yesterday they actually made all the group 1s in the line get out of line, and then sealed off the entrace to the queue as they dared to line up when all the excess baggage holders started going on! They then opened it a minute later and called group 1 so not really sure what the purpose of making us go away was besides power tripping
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 8:47 am
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Its consistently, inconsistent. Also at LHR yesterday they asked for group 1, including it being repeated by the staff member at the entrance. The same staff member then proceeded to let through at least one group 2 and one group 3.

It was better when it was first launched with the separate lines for 1, 2 and 3.

BA have managed to confuse themselves and then everybody else at the same time.
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