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United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]{Archive}

United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]{Archive}

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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:25 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Source: United Boarding Process

New changes (effective 18 Sept 2018)

You will see some new boarding lane signs in the gate area that will guide you through the boarding process. There will now be two lanes that are color coded : to begin, Group 1 will board through the blue lane and Group 2 will board through the green lane. The remaining Groups 3-5 will then board through the green lane when called, and Groups 1 and 2 can continue to board through the blue lane .

We encourage you to make yourself comfortable while you wait for your group to be called, and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for you to board. Late arriving customers in Groups 1 and 2 are welcome to continue boarding through the blue lane at any time.

Boarding groups

Pre-boarding

  1. Unaccompanied minors
  2. Customers with disabilities
  3. Active members of the military
  4. United Global Services® members
  5. Families traveling with children age 2 and younger
  6. Premier® 1K® members

Group 1

  • Premier Platinum members
  • Premier Gold members
  • Star Alliance™ Gold members
  • Customers seated in premium cabins: United Polaris®, United First® and United Business®

Group 2

  • Premier Silver members
  • Star Alliance Silver members
  • Customers who have purchased Premier Access® or Priority Boarding
  • United℠ Explorer, Club, Presidential Plus℠ and Awards Cardmembers

Groups 3 – 5

  • Economy Plus®
  • United Economy®
  • Basic Economy*

* Customers who have purchased a Basic Economy ticket will be in the last boarding group, except for Premier members, Chase Cardmembers of qualifying cards and Star Alliance Gold members, who will still receive their priority boarding.
Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 View Post
There will also be updated boarding times:

757 & Widebody aircraft: 50 min prior to departure
737-800/900 & 737 MAX 40 min prior to departure
737-700 & A319/A320 35 min prior to departure
================================================== ==============================
Pre Sept 2018 process

Pre-Boarding
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Customers with disabilities
  • Uniformed members of the U.S. military
  • Families traveling with children age two and younger
  • United Global Services® members
Premier Access Boarding
  • Group 1: Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, Business/Polaris Business, and First/Polaris First.
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver, Star Silver, MileagePlus Presidential Plus, Club, Explorer and Awards, purchased Premier Access


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

Customers who have purchased a Basic Economy ticket will be in the last boarding group, with the exception of Premier members, Chase Cardmembers of qualifying cards and Star Alliance Gold members, who will still receive their priority boarding.

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)

Previous thread: United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]
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Old Sep 17, 18, 5:27 pm
  #1156  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Washington DC
Programs: 1K; Starwood Gold; Avis Preferred; Hertz Gold
Posts: 1,656
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles View Post
They have group 1.
I stand corrected.

Funny that they would make this change the very year we have our first child. That's the only reason I don't approve of these changes! :-)
DCEsquire is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:28 pm
  #1157  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Plat, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 219
Just got this email: You’re now welcome to pre-boardBeginning September 18, we’re unveiling boarding enhancements — designed to improve your overall experience when boarding — at every airport across our system. We’ve been focused on a better boarding experience and want to let you know about a few key enhancements you’ll notice.No need to line up before your group is called: As a United MileagePlus® Premier® 1K® member, you’re now part of the pre-boarding group and will board even earlier – before Group 1.Less crowding: We’re saying so long to five lanes and are simplifying to only two lanes. Since you now get to pre-board, there’s no need for you to line up and you’re free to relax until pre-boarding is announced. If you arrive at the gate after pre-boarding has ended, simply use Lane 1 to board.Improved digital displays and boarding communication: Monitors around the gate will display clear and relevant information about boarding and your flight. If you prefer to spend your time away from the gate, you can now opt in to receive a United app notification that lets you know boarding has started.*Thank you for being one of our most loyal MileagePlus members, and we look forward to seeing you on board soon.
tomwhom is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:29 pm
  #1158  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, VX Gold, SkyPeso PLT
Posts: 6,022
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
It is called Basic Economy.
Except Delta and (now) AA don't prohibit carry-one bags in BE. That is a United special dis-amenity.

But hay, they went back to the sUA boarding appraoch, which is good, the 5 zone SouthWest Cattle car boarding was a sad joke. Or I guess I could say that they just copied Delta, which has two lanes, which work just fine, with a lot less gate chaos than the current (now old...) UA approach.
spin88 is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:33 pm
  #1159  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 7,894
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Yes, if you are going to effectively treat paid first and business class customers as group six you are going to lose many of those customers, myself included.
I'm a little bit surprised by the level of vitriol in this thread about the change.. the only difference for paid F is that now the 1Ks have boarded ahead of you, or rather the 1Ks that you didn't manage to get ahead of if you were obsessively licing the BG1 line. In my experience, about a third of the F cabin boards last anyway (stereotyping here, but it usually seems like the "I have more money than FF knowledge so I just bought F and didn't think about it" crowd), and while I do obsessively lice G1, I have literally never had to gate check my bag (including many times I'm late to the gate) and have almost never seen an F pax get stuck except on regional jets (including the E75).

There's a little bit of a perceived status hit here, but I really don't think this materially affects the flying experience of a non-1K paid F pax.

Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Or I guess I could say that they just copied Delta, which has two lanes, which work just fine, with a lot less gate chaos than the current (now old...) UA approach.
I have to disagree here... every time I fly DL, I show up to the gate and haven't the slightest clue where I am supposed to stand. There's a red carpet, but it says "Sky Priority" and that's not me... eventually they call Premium and I sort of shuffle along with a quarter of the scrum in front of the gate. I prefer the UA way, but I guess ymmv.

Actually I kind of worry 1K preboarding will end up like this.
findark is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:35 pm
  #1160  
Moderator: Midwest, Las Vegas & Dining Buzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 17,341
I'm assuming that GS will still pre-board before 1K's? Does anyone know?
iluv2fly is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:37 pm
  #1161  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Programs: UA 1K 2MM, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,965
I agree there are way too many 1Ks to make this work. Now I’m wondering if they plan to substantially up the PQD $ to weed many of us out.
chavala is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:38 pm
  #1162  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 575
Paid non-status non-upgrader F is now Group 7, which is a further devaluation of the United First® product, enticing less people to book using domestic F fares, which will result in only INTL and upgraders willing to pay for domestic F, which will increase its "upgrader-cabin" reputation, which will result in further devaluation. Rinse repeat a few times and United First® is fully replaced with United Premium Economy Plus®. It's like the demise of Global First all over again.

UA should add fare differentiation to the equation. Let those who travel on a domestic -F- fare or those on INTL F fares (on domestic or INTL segments) pre-board. Others who have a BP for F can have Group 7 if not status-eligible for pre-boarding.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 5:38 pm
  #1163  
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Digital Nomad Wandering the Earth
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, TSA Pre!
Posts: 47,042
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm a little bit surprised by the level of vitriol in this thread about the change.. the only difference for paid F is that now the 1Ks have boarded ahead of you, or rather the 1Ks that you didn't manage to get ahead of if you were obsessively licing the BG1 line. In my experience, about a third of the F cabin boards last anyway (stereotyping here, but it usually seems like the "I have more money than FF knowledge so I just bought F and didn't think about it" crowd), and while I do obsessively lice G1, I have literally never had to gate check my bag (including many times I'm late to the gate) and have almost never seen an F pax get stuck except on regional jets (including the E75).

There's a little bit of a perceived status hit here, but I really don't think this materially affects the flying experience of a non-1K paid F pax.



I have to disagree here... every time I fly DL, I show up to the gate and haven't the slightest clue where I am supposed to stand. There's a red carpet, but it says "Sky Priority" and that's not me... eventually they call Premium and I sort of shuffle along with a quarter of the scrum in front of the gate. I prefer the UA way, but I guess ymmv.

Actually I kind of worry 1K preboarding will end up like this.
I fly paid first domestically on a variety of airlines. On UA I have stood in a group 1 line in the current process and had 1/3 of the plane in front of me. Now rather than the smaller universe of high tier elites in that line there will be the enormous tier of UA and * Golds. Heck, over half of the plane may be group 1 out of IAD, ORD, SFO, etc. That's not a premium experience worth paying for.
kokonutz is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:42 pm
  #1164  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SAN
Programs: UA 1K, SPG/Marriott Plt
Posts: 193
Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
I'm assuming that GS will still pre-board before 1K's? Does anyone know?
Seems that way, based on the website information
https://www.united.com/web/en-us/con...g-process.aspx

marubill is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:49 pm
  #1165  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA 1K3MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,473
Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
I'm assuming that GS will still pre-board before 1K's? Does anyone know?
I wouldn't think so - the email I got, as a 1K, says: "You're now welcome to pre-board"

If GS goes ahead of 1K, I'd think you'd have a pre pre-board....
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:50 pm
  #1166  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,630
Just got the email.

I am gold. Upgrade ~1/2 the time domestically (buy up or Y/M/B fares)

I like it. Gives 1K (big step up due to PQM) more recognition. And finally is gold more recognition than a MP card holder.
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:52 pm
  #1167  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Plat, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 219
Originally Posted by chavala View Post
I agree there are way too many 1Ks to make this work. Now I’m wondering if they plan to substantially up the PQD $ to weed many of us out.
Why a little upgraded benefit causes PQD fear? For me I really don't care pre-boarding vs group 1 since I have small carry on and always late to the boarding. No matter how UA wants to thin the herd, it still will have a lot of GS/1Ks at base airports like SFO. I doubt 15K threshold would make a big difference, maybe 20K?
tomwhom is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:53 pm
  #1168  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
Posts: 2,473
Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
Just a data point. My friend just wrote me and she's UA Gold flying tomorrow without an upgrade. She's been assigned BG1. No idea why.

I'm wondering if Gold isn't included in BG1 now since 1Ks will board 'early'. Then BG2 is for credit card holders and silvers?

-RM
I’m gold. Just received an email from UA saying that I now board always in G1
hughw is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:54 pm
  #1169  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,003
Here's the non-status email:

Beginning September 18, we’re unveiling boarding enhancements — designed to improve your overall experience when boarding — at every airport across our system. We’ve been focused on a better boarding experience and want to let you know about a few key enhancements you’ll notice.

No need to line up before your group is called: Simplified lanes – now only two – with new signs will allow you to sit back and relax at the gate or spend more time within the airport.
Less crowding: Since we’re saying so long to five lanes and simplifying to two, there’s more space and easier access to the boarding door for customers exiting the plane from the previous flight and during pre-boarding.
Improved digital displays and boarding communication: Monitors around the gate will display clear and relevant information about boarding and your flight. If you prefer to spend your time away from the gate, you can now opt in to receive a United app notification that lets you know boarding has started.

*Thank you for being a United MileagePlus® member, and we look forward to seeing you on board soon.
threeoh is offline  
Old Sep 17, 18, 5:56 pm
  #1170  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 575
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm a little bit surprised by the level of vitriol in this thread about the change.. the only difference for paid F is that now the 1Ks have boarded ahead of you, or rather the 1Ks that you didn't manage to get ahead of if you were obsessively licing the BG1 line. In my experience, about a third of the F cabin boards last anyway (stereotyping here, but it usually seems like the "I have more money than FF knowledge so I just bought F and didn't think about it" crowd), and while I do obsessively lice G1, I have literally never had to gate check my bag (including many times I'm late to the gate) and have almost never seen an F pax get stuck except on regional jets (including the E75).
That's indeed a stereotype. Albeit it is a good one, like other stereotypes it's not 100% accurate.

I don't know for sure how -F- fares are selling these days. I do know there are a few companies around who still buy -F- fares as a matter of policy, I happen to work for one which explains the particular interest I have demonstrated in these fares earlier.

Does this change annoy me? Theoretically, yes, because it is a devaluation of the premium cabin product. I'm not concerned about my benefits, as status comes more or less with flying -F- consistently. I'm more concerned that United First may see a devaluation-induced demise similar to what happened to Global First. But I think we should see how it plays out in the field before drawing any conclusions.

One class of pax is systematically forgotten in this thread however: INTL F/J pax. Their fares map to domestic F on domestic UA segments. The "INTL" designator on their BP doesn't give them any additional benefits, so those pax are also affected, including non-status pax who paid thousands of dollars for a D or C fare. Enjoying the exclusivity of the Polaris Lounge on your arrival followed by boarding with the second half of the plane in Group 7 on your domestic connection must feel like a surreal slap in the face.

Last edited by mozilla; Sep 17, 18 at 6:07 pm
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