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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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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 Jan 2, 16, 8:27 pm
  #1  
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United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]{Archive}

So I emailed United a couple times,but they do not seem to understand my question, or they DO and just do not want to answer- so thought I would check with you all. Basically- if you are in boarding group 1, and arrive late (connecting flight) and your group is already boarded when you get to the gate- can you still use lane 1 and bypass the other groups- similar to security lines or are you forced to the very end? I asked because I am paranoid about overheard bin storage on an international flight- I have searched all over and can't seem to find a recent/current reply. Thanks in advance
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Old Jan 2, 16, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by justJJ View Post
So I emailed United a couple times,but they do not seem to understand my question, or they DO and just do not want to answer- so thought I would check with you all. Basically- if you are in boarding group 1, and arrive late (connecting flight) and your group is already boarded when you get to the gate- can you still use lane 1 and bypass the other groups- similar to security lines or are you forced to the very end? I asked because I am paranoid about overheard bin storage on an international flight- I have searched all over and can't seem to find a recent/current reply. Thanks in advance
Absolutely, yes!

I'll usually wait at the head of the BG1 (or BG1/2 line) until the GA acknowledges me ("Group 1?") -- usually after 1-2 other pax who have moved forward are scanned. In DEN I've been told "there's no need to wait"

The only exception is when there's only a single boarding lane or BG1/BG2 are combined into a single "Premier Access" lane and BG2 is still being processed -- then I file on to the end of whatever line is moving.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 8:32 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by justJJ View Post
So I emailed United a couple times,but they do not seem to understand my question, or they DO and just do not want to answer- so thought I would check with you all. Basically- if you are in boarding group 1, and arrive late (connecting flight) and your group is already boarded when you get to the gate- can you still use lane 1 and bypass the other groups- similar to security lines or are you forced to the very end? I asked because I am paranoid about overheard bin storage on an international flight- I have searched all over and can't seem to find a recent/current reply. Thanks in advance
You can board through the priority/Group 1 line at any time during the boarding process.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 10:54 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by justJJ View Post
Basically- if you are in boarding group 1, and arrive late (connecting flight) and your group is already boarded when you get to the gate- can you still use lane 1 and bypass the other groups
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
Absolutely, yes!

I'll usually wait at the head of the BG1 (or BG1/2 line) until the GA acknowledges me ("Group 1?") -- usually after 1-2 other pax who have moved forward are scanned.
Originally Posted by Kensterfly View Post
You can board through the priority/Group 1 line at any time during the boarding process.
Now that UA has started to board early (IME), they are boarding Group 3 by the time I arrive.

Same as lincolnjkc, normally let a couple or so PAX board, then GA will scan my BP (sometimes to horror of whichever group is boarding), but still end up waiting halfway down jetteway

Still beats sitting down on a CRJ200
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Old Jan 3, 16, 4:39 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Now that UA has started to board early (IME), they are boarding Group 3 by the time I arrive.

Same as lincolnjkc, normally let a couple or so PAX board, then GA will scan my BP (sometimes to horror of whichever group is boarding), but still end up waiting halfway down jetteway

Still beats sitting down on a CRJ200
Appreciate everyone's reply- thanks! That is what I was hoping for- Im the type that likes to over-prepare for all my trips so that will be one less thing for me to worry about - moved to United from Delta SkyMiles so still making the adjustment.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 2:17 pm
  #6  
 
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Had a frustrating experience yesterday. IAH -> SAN, last flight out (boarding around 10PM).

Groups 1 and 2 are in the same lane. Standard line starts to form. GA calls for Group 1, and the line does not move at all. After about half a minute of confusion, everybody begins moving around all the lanes and just lining up on the side to board (GS style). As I walked past the front of the G1/G2 line, most people at the front of that line were just standing there with their boarding passes. Nobody seemed to be making any attempt to move.

Seems like the front of the line was all G2's and they simply refused to move. Poor management from the GA in setting that up.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by teeceedee View Post
Had a frustrating experience yesterday. IAH -> SAN, last flight out (boarding around 10PM).

Groups 1 and 2 are in the same lane. Standard line starts to form. GA calls for Group 1, and the line does not move at all. After about half a minute of confusion, everybody begins moving around all the lanes and just lining up on the side to board (GS style). As I walked past the front of the G1/G2 line, most people at the front of that line were just standing there with their boarding passes. Nobody seemed to be making any attempt to move.

Seems like the front of the line was all G2's and they simply refused to move. Poor management from the GA in setting that up.
Those combined lines at smaller stations are like that. I'm virtually always in Group 2. I tend to arrive early but don't go all the way to the front of the line but wait at the entrance to the roped off area, waiting until Group 1 completes boarding. If someone stands behind me I'll ask if they're Group 1 and, if so, I'll wave them around me. But, because I'm there early, and first, I do want to be among the first to board in Group 2.

The Gate agent needs to be somewhat engaged in getting things moving.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 2:25 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Kensterfly View Post
Those combined lines at smaller stations are like that. I'm virtually always in Group 2. I tend to arrive early but don't go all the way to the front of the line but wait at the entrance to the roped off area, waiting until Group 1 completes boarding. If someone stands behind me I'll ask if they're Group 1 and, if so, I'll wave them around me. But, because I'm there early, and first, I do want to be among the first to board in Group 2.

The Gate agent needs to be somewhat engaged in getting things moving.
Completely fair - I'm not knocking the G2 people who line up early. But there was no effort on their part or acknowledgement that others may need to move past them.

That's on the GA, IMO. (And some common courtesy, mabye) I didn't hear a single announcement.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 2:40 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Kensterfly View Post
Those combined lines at smaller stations are like that. I'm virtually always in Group 2. I tend to arrive early but don't go all the way to the front of the line but wait at the entrance to the roped off area, waiting until Group 1 completes boarding. If someone stands behind me I'll ask if they're Group 1 and, if so, I'll wave them around me. But, because I'm there early, and first, I do want to be among the first to board in Group 2.

The Gate agent needs to be somewhat engaged in getting things moving.
I had that happen at IAH(!) The line for G1/G2 stretched well down the concourse (across the front of the podium and to an adjoining gate) and I gave up on it after asking the 3rd person "Group 1 or Group 2?" and the response "Oh, it's only one line -- they're both together" -- I wedged myself in near the front of the line and the look of utter confusion from...everyone.. when the GA called for Group 1 only and scolded those from G2 who tried moving forward (followed by an exasperated "We are boarding Group 1 ONLY at this time. If you're in Group 2 get out of the line." PA)
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Old Jan 12, 16, 9:36 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
I had that happen at IAH(!) The line for G1/G2 stretched well down the concourse (across the front of the podium and to an adjoining gate) and I gave up on it after asking the 3rd person "Group 1 or Group 2?" and the response "Oh, it's only one line -- they're both together" -- I wedged myself in near the front of the line and the look of utter confusion from...everyone.. when the GA called for Group 1 only and scolded those from G2 who tried moving forward (followed by an exasperated "We are boarding Group 1 ONLY at this time. If you're in Group 2 get out of the line." PA)
Reference point on how it should be done... boarding an AA flight the other day... they called for First Class (as always). Man pushes his way to front. Gate agent sees boarding card - tells him to wait. He argues he is priority boarding from credit card. She holds her ground and tells him to go all the way to the back. Excellent.

And even better - a bunch of people tried to jump the queue and go in the regular lane... they try to hand their boarding passes to gate agent... she simply ignores them. Double Excellent.

If all the GA's for UA handled the boarding - follow the book no matter what - like this gate agent for AA did, people would eventually get it and stop crowding the gate... or be shamed to the back of the line.

UA - you listening?
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Old Jan 12, 16, 10:09 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by 110pgl View Post
Reference point on how it should be done... boarding an AA flight the other day... they called for First Class (as always). Man pushes his way to front. Gate agent sees boarding card - tells him to wait. He argues he is priority boarding from credit card. She holds her ground and tells him to go all the way to the back. Excellent.

And even better - a bunch of people tried to jump the queue and go in the regular lane... they try to hand their boarding passes to gate agent... she simply ignores them. Double Excellent.

If all the GA's for UA handled the boarding - follow the book no matter what - like this gate agent for AA did, people would eventually get it and stop crowding the gate... or be shamed to the back of the line.

UA - you listening?
I have seen that many times with UA. So it is not just AA that enforces it.
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Old Jan 12, 16, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
I have seen that many times with UA. So it is not just AA that enforces it.
I am glad you have seen it... gives us hope. Admittedly I am flying UA a lot less now, but, I have not seen boarding strictly enforced. Even with the automated readers, I have seen GA's just override the system and let people board out of order.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 5:49 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
I have seen that many times with UA. So it is not just AA that enforces it.
I have seen them enforce it, but they then let the person stand right next to the boarding agent thereby jumping the queue rather than being sent to the back. That is not enforcement in my opinion.
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Old Mar 13, 16, 4:25 pm
  #14  
 
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Late First Class Pax Boarding

Hi everyone!

I'm flying on UA1570 tomorrow it's the 747 on SFO-ORD.

I'm in GlobalFirst but my connection doesn't get in to SFO until 755a and thats when boarding starts for the 747. By the time I trudge over from concourse E to gate 86 boarding will be well underway.

My question is will I have to get in line and wait behind all the business class pax or even eco pax, or because I'm in F do I get to bypass everyone?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 13, 16, 4:29 pm
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You can board through the group one line. Global first doesn't really exist on domestic routes. Also, global first boards with business class and 1Ks and platinum
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