Boarding groups - finally?

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Old Jul 13, 18, 4:11 pm   -   Wikipost
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Here we try to keep an up-to-date list of who-goes-where. Finnair may have tuned the boarding groups since the first introduction, so some entries here are not confirmed.

Pre-boarding (those in need of assistance, UM, travellers with children of any age)
Group 1: J-pax, AY plat, AY Gold, OW Emerald, OW Sapphire
Group 2: Pro-ticket?, AY Silver, OW Ruby, Economy Comfort on lh flights
Group 3:
Group 4: Frequent flyers without status (e.g., AY "ivory"), Statusless Y-pax, AY junior

Recent changes include moving silver/ruby down one notch and creating a group 4.
Please update based on your recent experience.


Assignment of group
Group is assigned based on ticket type and status of individual frequent flyer card attached to booking. If travelling together but having different status, passengers may be assigned different groups.
The boarding groups are printed on paper boarding pass on every route with capital letters "GROUP 1". The group also appears on digital boarding passes.

Enforcement of Boarding order
Enforcement of groups is haphazard. Sometimes groups are called out, sometimes a call like "we invite our priority customers to board first or at any time". Groups are rarely checked on boarding though and on shorthaul no aids (like ribbons, signs) are used either.
At HEL automatic boarding gates have been introduced which means "priority boarding" in now enforced. Staff often takes a back seat, but you can approach staff and ask to board together even if your entourage is split up in different groups.
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Old May 22, 14, 4:19 am
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Boarding groups - finally?

Yesterdays BP:s from LHR to HEL to KUO had Group 1 printed very well visibly. Enforcement should start next week, the gate agent at HEL told.

How do you think grouped boarding will work in practice since not all passengers are able to understand words such as "business class passengers, OneWorld emerald, and sapphire"?
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Old May 22, 14, 4:27 am
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I would, personally, much rather see them enforcing the cabin luggage policy. I really hate when people bring more hand luggage than they are allowed, that glocks up the boarding more than anything.

I have my own campaign now to point this out to pax who carry more than allowed, always when cabin crew are close and they always support it, just too polite to say anything...couldn't care less what they think of me..

Edit:
Just to further clarify my stand here, which some here might find strange..Priority boarding will further encourage status pax and DYKWIA types to bring even more stuff onboard as they can rely on getting on the plane first and hence being able to use overhead bins easily. This leads to further issues later when the masses w/o experience are allowed to board.

Nice idea but only works together with tight enforcement on the hand luggage policy, for all classes and regardless of status.

And for the record, just boarded a flight from an outstation and group boarding was already in place.

Last edited by NoWindowSeat; May 22, 14 at 6:04 am
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Old May 22, 14, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
Yesterdays BP:s from LHR to HEL to KUO had Group 1 printed very well visibly. Enforcement should start next week, the gate agent at HEL told.

How do you think grouped boarding will work in practice since not all passengers are able to understand words such as "business class passengers, OneWorld emerald, and sapphire"?
Enforced this morning well from HEL to ARN, however not announced coming back from ARN. Will work if you use the word Group X that is in your BP, at least seen it work with AA flights..
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Old May 22, 14, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by GeeTee77 View Post
Enforced this morning well from HEL to ARN, however not announced coming back from ARN. Will work if you use the word Group X that is in your BP, at least seen it work with AA flights..
Boarding in groups does work pretty well with AA, certainly better than AY's current implementation of priority boarding which is really random.

Is AY's implementation straightforward "Group 1..N" boarding? One thing I dislike about AA's implementation is that Group 1 is actually only the fourth group to board.
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Old May 22, 14, 12:54 pm
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What is the main reason many status pax are so interested in getting to the plane first (on short haul)? Answer that question honestly and you'll see what is the real issue.
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Old May 22, 14, 1:11 pm
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I am not as sure as you whether or not elite priority boarding promotes space hogging, but I agree on it being a growing problem.

One driving factor for increasing number of ludicrous-sized tow-aboards, is the check-in luggage fee, and AY do allow all tickets at least one bag free of charge.

So my view is: Boarding groups will probably work better than what is offered today, and I'm happy they are doing it. And regardless of how it is done, a stricter enforcing of carry on rules should be implemented, including the prevention of its ugly cousin "dump bags in business class section and your ... in economy".




--- Added
Wow, can't believe FT as auto censoring of three-letter-word for posterior.

Last edited by intuition; May 22, 14 at 1:14 pm Reason: Bad words, ba-a-a-ad words.
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Old May 22, 14, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by NoWindowSeat View Post
What is the main reason many status pax are so interested in getting to the plane first (on short haul)? Answer that question honestly and you'll see what is the real issue.
For me there are two reasons (assuming economy class)

1) Lack of overhead storage.
2) I hate standing in the boarding queue.

If they had a separate priority queue which actually worked, then I wouldn't be the first one to board (if I wasn't afraid of losing my slot in the overhead bins).

Ideally I would leave the lounge at the last possible moment but I don't want to risk missing the flight. It would be great if the departure boards had something like "Boarding, gate closes in 7 minutes"...
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Old May 22, 14, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post
So my view is: Boarding groups will probably work better than what is offered today, and I'm happy they are doing it. And regardless of how it is done, a stricter enforcing of carry on rules should be implemented, including the prevention of its ugly cousin "dump bags in business class section and your ... in economy".

--- Added
Wow, can't believe FT as auto censoring of three-letter-word for posterior.
I am actually against strict enforcement of the carry on rules, because the current rules are bad :P

8kg of hand baggage is not enough, not even close. The fact that I can have 23kg of hand baggage on BA is one the biggest reasons why I prefer to fly them instead of AY.
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Old May 22, 14, 2:08 pm
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... and the reason why I must protect my overhead space is that they allow 23 kg of carry on...
(Just pointing out that full overheads are due to people taking more aboard than there is space for, and a 23KG limit isn't helping.)
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Old May 22, 14, 2:21 pm
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And I would say that the carry-on situation on BA is a typical situation I pray we'll never see on AY. For example, I was in paid J and all overhead space was taken. I had only a normal sized carry-on and the purser, with normal brittish "charm", threatened to gate-check it. In the end, one of the FAs agreed to move her personal shopping items from business class and put it in the galley.

I'm starting to agree with NoWindowSeat here. Strict enforcing of carry-on rules, please.
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Old May 23, 14, 12:26 am
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Carry-on size is the factor, not the weight, as it is with BA. AY 8 kg limit would hit many of us, were it enforced. As I have to travel cattle class for business in short haul, at least being able to fit above my legal sized wheelie without worries - as boarding in Group 1 - would be a relief.
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Old May 23, 14, 2:50 am
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While I understand the rationale (and see the value of getting more stuff onboard as carry on), if the main purpose of boarding early is to claim overhead space, it just points to the underlying issue of airlines allowing too much stuff onboard.

Oversized bags does not fit the overheads depth-wise, and stowed crosswise it more or less uses one whole overhead stowage space for one travellers stuff. If that is the perk awarded to "elites", then airlines should in all fairness limit the carry-on for other travellers. For example tell non-elites they are only allowed carry-on if space allows it or by adding fees to carry-on. If it is done that way, at least expectations are set correctly on before hand, and we all can evaluate if this is an airline we want to spend money with.

Not sure why one "elite" should be denied his allowance of carry-on because another "elite" took it first, though. Maybe that is the punishment you get for going to the lounge Airlines will save some money forcing all "elites" to stand in the boarding area 45 minutes before take off...
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Old May 23, 14, 3:00 am
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This is exactly why I don't understand all this hand baggage only fare stuff that some airlines are rolling out.

Tourists (e.g. pax who go for a week or longer) would be better off bringing only necessities to be used on plane or valuables that cannot be checked in. But no, they pack everything and cram it in the overhead...
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Old May 23, 14, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post

Oversized bags does not fit the overheads depth-wise, and stowed crosswise it more or less uses one whole overhead stowage space for one travellers stuff. If that is the perk awarded to "elites", then airlines should in all fairness limit the carry-on for other travellers. For example tell non-elites they are only allowed carry-on if space allows it or by adding fees to carry-on. If it is done that way, at least expectations are set correctly on before hand, and we all can evaluate if this is an airline we want to spend money with.
I am not against enforcing the size limits of hand baggage. However, I can easily pack 13kg of electronics when travelling on business on my 17" cabin bag. A typical 17-20" cabin-sized bag weights around 3-4kg when empty, so in reality you can only have 4-5kg of baggage in it. You encounter the weight limit way before the size limit becomes restrictive.

I actually blame the luggage manufacturers for those oversized bags. Typical example: 22" in the bag size either refers to interior dimensions, or external dimensions without wheels and the handle...
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Old May 23, 14, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
Tourists (e.g. pax who go for a week or longer) would be better off bringing only necessities to be used on plane or valuables that cannot be checked in. But no, they pack everything and cram it in the overhead...
Firstly, lots of tourist take extended week-end "city breaks". They may (usually correctly) infer that taking stuff onboard is safer (especially at certain airports) and faster.

Secondly, most people only look at the purchase price of the ticket or the vacation package.
And to be fair, there is typically no way to compare prices on the basis of "one piece checked-in" on aggregators. A number of European airlines have spawned low-cost subsidiaries and/or no-frills fares; I would not be surprised if Finnair did the same sooner or later under competitive pressure
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