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United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]

United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]

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Old Oct 23, 17, 2:26 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: aacharya
Wiki Link
Source: https://hub.united.com/en-us/News/Co...g-process.aspx

Pre-Boarding
  • Customers with Disabilities
  • Global Services
  • Uniformed Military Personnel
  • Families with Children Age Two and Under

Premier Access Boarding
  • Group 1: Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, BusinessFirst, and First.
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver*, MileagePlus Presidential Plus, Club, Explorer and Awards, purchased Premier Access

*A Star Alliance Silver who is not a Premier Silver is not eligible for Premier Access boarding.

General boarding (Window Seats, then Middle Seats, then Aisle)
  • Group 3 - Window Seats
  • Group 4 - Middle Seats (Aisle Seats on UA Express)
  • Group 5 - Aisle Seats

Note: If you’re traveling with a companion and one of you has a higher boarding status, you both may board with the earlier group.

Note: Self Boarding Gates are being tested at the following gates...
  • IAH - Gate C25/C26 - See Post 2960, Includes YouTube video from CO777DAL
  • IAH - Gate E4 - Old test from pmCO days, See Thread Here
  • BOS - Self boarding gates are now back in *LIMITED* use at least at gates B25 and B26


sUA Boarding Times by Aircraft (AFA)
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Old May 22, 13, 3:31 pm
  #2806  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: PANC
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
I have the UA Signature Visa as well, which I value for the 5,000 PQM's you can earn each year. Besides UA.com, I don't think I use this card anywhere else...


Not to be too picky...

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AFTER YOUR ACCOUNT OPENING AND EVERY YEAR AFTER YOUR ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY
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one of the marriott cards it 10 nights and the other is 15. the 15 night one has a higher annual fee.
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Old May 22, 13, 4:36 pm
  #2807  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerdude88 View Post

I'm also amazes that UA continues to ignore the issue of letting GF board first. If I had a paid GF ticket and was relegated to dealing with the scrum at the gate to make sure my bag got in the overhead I'd be furious.
I don't think UA really cares about paid F ticket passengers. They just want the large corporate contracts where they can hand out GS cards as incentives.

You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had to wait in a long line of 50+ passengers in Group 1 with a paid F class ticket in my hand, after leaving the quiet and serene GFL. I was wondering why would anyone pay for UA F when LH, LX, NH, SQ, OZ all treat their F passengers 100x better? I suppose you live and learn not to make a mistake of purchasing an international F ticket on UA again.
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Old May 22, 13, 5:59 pm
  #2808  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by Time traveller View Post
I don't think UA really cares about paid F ticket passengers. They just want the large corporate contracts where they can hand out GS cards as incentives.

You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had to wait in a long line of 50+ passengers in Group 1 with a paid F class ticket in my hand, after leaving the quiet and serene GFL. I was wondering why would anyone pay for UA F when LH, LX, NH, SQ, OZ all treat their F passengers 100x better? I suppose you live and learn not to make a mistake of purchasing an international F ticket on UA again.
50 + in group 1?

Where were you flying? Must have been a big jet...

Please report on your GF experience in the appropriate thread! Thanks.
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Old May 22, 13, 8:24 pm
  #2809  
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
50 + in group 1?

Where were you flying? Must have been a big jet...

Please report on your GF experience in the appropriate thread! Thanks.
Version 3 772 has 61 GF and BF seats. Add 20 more Group 1ers in coach and you could have 80. Could be even more...
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Old May 22, 13, 10:38 pm
  #2810  
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
I have the UA Signature Visa as well, which I value for the 5,000 PQM's you can earn each year. Besides UA.com, I don't think I use this card anywhere else...
I use it at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores because it offers 2 miles per dollar spent at those places (and a few other categories, too).

In fact, it's my primary card. The only time I don't use it is when I'm buying a big-ticket item that I may someday need Amex's purchase protection on.

But yes, probably the biggest reason I opted to keep it instead of changing to the MP Explorer card (which I wanted for the CPU-on-awards benefit) was for the 5,000 PQM (real PQM, not the fake ones that some other cards come with) I can get.

They will pry that card out of my cold, dead hands...
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Old May 23, 13, 12:10 pm
  #2811  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 216
ORD Gate B5 boarding lane shift

Anyone notice they've flipped the lanes at B5 in ORD?

http://instagram.com/p/ZqdSXBnMSJ/

I suppose people where spilling out into the concourse but now they've pushed zone 1 far right up against the seats.
Hyper annoying - makes boarding most painful for GS / zone 1
As you're basically working your way through 2-3-4 people and the seats.
Great to keep lines out of the concourse but I'd much prefer to be on the outside.

Not sure if this is a test or if they've done this across ORD at shallow waiting areas.
I rarely sit and wait, and don't see a lot of other zone 1 people sitting in the waiting area, so seems odd. Not sure if others agree.
Sdemw.
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Old May 23, 13, 12:33 pm
  #2812  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: What I write is my opinion alone..don't read into it anything not written.
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I was at the gate about a month ago when the headquarters people and a manager were making the gate the way it was recently. I explained to the manager that the concept is good, but the physical layout of the gate will make the recent lanes a nightmare, that it would push the entire plane full of people out into the hallway, which is not part of the gateroom, but a pathway for peoplpe to get from gate to gate. The manager said "Good, that's what we want." I looked at him and said "Have you ever walked past US gates in terminal 2 around boarding time?" He replied "Yea, it's a nightmare, you can't get past...everyone is lined up blocking the concourse." I said "So that's your goal here too?" They also (not today, but the change prior to this) shifted all the seats (or most of them) away from the boarding area, mostly on the other side of the main podium, ehich encourages people (and adds to the problem) to get out of their seats early and get in line. When the distance to the boarding lane from the seat is increased, the number of people who exit their seats earlier goes up, which adds to congestion.

Glad to hear that common sense has made them see the error of their ways.

A simple solution only have (2) lanes at most standing at once where space is limited. There really is no reason to use precious gateroom space to que people up for lane 5 when you are currently not even boarding lane 1. It starts with the group 1 people who line up 30 min early and don't make room for the disabled, the GS, or the military, and it continues all the way down to group 5 lining up early becuase we have set up a line for it. By providing people a blue carpet, people go stand on the blue carpet before they need to, often blocking others who will board before them. By providing a lane for group 5, it causes people to line up in that line early. Hers's an idea. (2) lines, with digital signage that can be changed. The "active" lane, and the "on deck" lane. Doing preboarding of disabled, the GS/military can line up in the batting circle. Doing miliary/global, the 1 can line up in the batters circle. By giving just enough lead time for the next group to populate the que and the groups not on deck from occupying boarding lanes, one can use more of the space designated for boarding for just that, boarding, instead of waiting 15 min until their group is called. If they have the need to, they can still have a small blue carpet lane for those that show up past thier boarding group time, but it doesn't need to be a campground for all of group 1/2 to block the wheelchair bound passengers from getting to the doorway.

Either that, or hire the people that design LAS casinos. The engineers there design the main flor in ways to increase ueseage of the gaming tables/slots by people going to/from their room. Design can have a purpose, and the physical layout can be modified by people who are trained to do so, in order to increase or decreas traffic in particular places. I think most airlines just take whatever consultant is free and employee them to do these things instead of hiring experienced professionals.

Last edited by fastair; May 23, 13 at 12:46 pm
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Old May 23, 13, 3:01 pm
  #2813  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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ORD Gate B5 boarding lane shift

Interesting. My suspicion is that a more complex queuing model wouldn't work all that well given work rules and the average attitude/comportment/frazzled natured of the agate agent pool. Worse yet might be the average flyers ability to comply.
Without the lanes we're one step away from the Frankfurt free for all boarding- that I get -but there's got to be a better way.
Selfishly I'm fine with later zones being in the melee and would hope that they help out their heavy buyers. Eg just flip the lanes!
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Old May 23, 13, 3:02 pm
  #2814  
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ORD Gate B5 boarding lane shift

Just as they do with branding and corporate strategy
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Old May 23, 13, 5:21 pm
  #2815  
 
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
50 + in group 1?

Where were you flying? Must have been a big jet...

Please report on your GF experience in the appropriate thread! Thanks.
I thought this thread was about UA's boarding process, is it not? Is it inappropriate to post that there were 50+ passengers waiting in line for Group 1 on an international flight? On a typical 3-class international flight, there are 8 GF seats and 40 Business Class seats and numerous 1K/PP in Y. They all have Group 1 boarding passes. If you do the math, you will easily have 50+ passengers lining up to board in Group 1. My point is that I don't think this is an efficient way to board that many Group 1 passengers at once on an international flight. Perhaps UA will re-assess the situation and consider changing the boarding process for 3-class international flights.
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Old May 23, 13, 5:57 pm
  #2816  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by Time traveller View Post
I thought this thread was about UA's boarding process, is it not? Is it inappropriate to post that there were 50+ passengers waiting in line for Group 1 on an international flight? On a typical 3-class international flight, there are 8 GF seats and 40 Business Class seats and numerous 1K/PP in Y. They all have Group 1 boarding passes. If you do the math, you will easily have 50+ passengers lining up to board in Group 1. My point is that I don't think this is an efficient way to board that many Group 1 passengers at once on an international flight. Perhaps UA will re-assess the situation and consider changing the boarding process for 3-class international flights.
Agreed completely. I actually don't see why there would be an issue having a separate GF/BF/First (domestic) prior to Group 1. If you're a 1K in Y you still get to board ahead of everyone so it's irrelevant and your bag will get a place and if you have a GF/BF/F ticket you should get to board before everyone else to make sure your bag gets on the plane. This seems like an easy and obvious solution and then you don't have to deal with having a different process for 3class for 2class and I can't see why any 1K myself included would take issue with this kind of approach.
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Old May 23, 13, 6:19 pm
  #2817  
 
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I had to chuckle as I boarded my flight in IAH at C26 this evening. United has installed what look like cattle gates but are actually self service boarding gates with self service scanners. Finally, an appropriate boarding process for cattle class.

Based on chaos that ensued with most boarding passes failing to scan I think the united IT org has some work to do.
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Old May 23, 13, 7:01 pm
  #2818  
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Originally Posted by HitAndRun View Post
I had to chuckle as I boarded my flight in IAH at C26 this evening. United has installed what look like cattle gates but are actually self service boarding gates with self service scanners. Finally, an appropriate boarding process for cattle class.
It works pretty well for LH in FRA

Originally Posted by flyerdude88 View Post
Agreed completely. I actually don't see why there would be an issue having a separate GF/BF/First (domestic) prior to Group 1. If you're a 1K in Y you still get to board ahead of everyone so it's irrelevant and your bag will get a place and if you have a GF/BF/F ticket you should get to board before everyone else to make sure your bag gets on the plane. This seems like an easy and obvious solution and then you don't have to deal with having a different process for 3class for 2class and I can't see why any 1K myself included would take issue with this kind of approach.
Worked well w/PMUA on int'l routes - they even split up the red carpet a bit with GS/Int'l F/1Ks going first, then the rest of Biz.
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Old May 23, 13, 7:20 pm
  #2819  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by HitAndRun View Post
I had to chuckle as I boarded my flight in IAH at C26 this evening. United has installed what look like cattle gates but are actually self service boarding gates with self service scanners. Finally, an appropriate boarding process for cattle class.

Based on chaos that ensued with most boarding passes failing to scan I think the united IT org has some work to do.
Like this?

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thewan...united-states/



Picture credit: sbm12
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Old May 23, 13, 7:37 pm
  #2820  
 
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Originally Posted by HitAndRun View Post
I had to chuckle as I boarded my flight in IAH at C26 this evening. United has installed what look like cattle gates but are actually self service boarding gates with self service scanners. Finally, an appropriate boarding process for cattle class.
Hey, I forgot about that. I took a picture of those in terminal E back at the beginning of April, was going to post about it. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the picture is really blurry, so it's not helpful. I'm not sure if it's the same ones as in the post that edcho referenced from 2010.
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