Boarding economy before first?

Old Jul 2, 2017, 1:34 am
  #1  
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Question Boarding economy before first?

Can anybody explain or speculate what happened here at SFO?

I was in group 1 (and first class). I showed up to the departure gate while the screens indicated Premier Access boarding (with groups 1 and 2 highlighted). An agent announced that anybody in group 1 who was not in first class was welcome to board.

Having just showed up to the gate, I took this announcement to mean first class had already boarded, so I walked up and scanned my BP - only to be told it was not yet my turn.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 1:43 am
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Some of the better airlines do this, in coordination with their lounges... but not the norm at UA.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 1:45 am
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Just speculating here...

Try to think who is G1 and is not in F?
Special needs? GS? Maybe they want to be done with them before anyone else is getting on board?
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 1:47 am
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I've seen this once before when there was a problem in the first class cabin that they had maintenance (or possibly the cleaning staff) working on, and they wanted to keep the area clear until they were finished.

On that occasion they announced what was happening when they started boarding - sounds like you arrived after they started boarding so you might have missed them announcing something similar.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by lksf
Just speculating here...

Try to think who is G1 and is not in F?
Special needs? GS? Maybe they want to be done with them before anyone else is getting on board?
A ton of 1K's and Platinums are in GP1 and not in F.

What kind of plane was it? Maybe a 757 where F would turn left after entering and F wasn't cleaned yet but they didn't want to hold up boarding? I've had that happen before.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by docbert
I've seen this once before when there was a problem in the first class cabin that they had maintenance (or possibly the cleaning staff) working on, and they wanted to keep the area clear until they were finished. ....
This -- will happen occasionally do an issue in the F cabin but economy could board -- works only on planes where economy is not boarded via F cabin.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 2:08 am
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Interesting. Yes, the plane was a 757.

Thinking back I now realize that when I approached the gate, there were lots of people in line for Groups 1, 3, 4, 5 - but nobody lined up for Group 2.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 2:37 am
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I've experienced this once before and it was exactly for the reason that others just speculated: there was an issue in the first class cabin, but they could still board the rest of the plane. This happened a while ago and so I don't remember the reason, but it may have had something to do with the catering trollies.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by davie355
Interesting. Yes, the plane was a 757.
Catering issue. The F&B cart has not been loaded yet.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by rittenhousesq
I've experienced this once before and it was exactly for the reason that others just speculated: there was an issue in the first class cabin, but they could still board the rest of the plane. This happened a while ago and so I don't remember the reason, but it may have had something to do with the catering trollies.
Yeah I only ever see this happen when the jetbridge has pax boarding at 2L (so some staff can keep doing some kind of prep work in the turn-left area while other pax board into the turn-right area).

Don't think I have ever seen a 747 board the upper deck late due to catering.

But I do remember seeing that incorporated into the 2012-2016 UA flight attendant collective bargaining agreement is a fun little letter from January 1978 from United corporate saying that "in the event the dumbwaiter on the B-747 is inoperative, Flight Attendants will not be required to stock the upstairs lounge, but will provide required service to the passengers using that facility."
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 7:52 am
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I've had similar in SFO waiting to board a 747. They were still loading the catering carts for business so announced that all business pax please stand aside until called, then boarded G1 Y pax.

Once the carts were stowed and offside doors closed, we were quickly boarded.

It's common sense really to load several hundred who can get on boarc, rather than have everybody wait.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 7:52 am
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The announcement sounds correct, but either the GA omitted including a reason so as to keep the wolves at bay or had made it and OP's arrival time resulted in missing it.

UA definitely doesn't coordinate boarding F last from the lounge for a whole variety of reasons. For domestic flights F pax are not, by virtue of their ticket, entitled to lounge access. Even for international, there are a lot of pax who head directly to the gate.

I do recall the days when it was SOP to board F last. Nice touch but the arrival of the steamer trunk jackhammered into the overhead ends that.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by mherdeg
Yeah I only ever see this happen when the jetbridge has pax boarding at 2L (so some staff can keep doing some kind of prep work in the turn-left area while other pax board into the turn-right area).

Don't think I have ever seen a 747 board the upper deck late due to catering.

But I do remember seeing that incorporated into the 2012-2016 UA flight attendant collective bargaining agreement is a fun little letter from January 1978 from United corporate saying that "in the event the dumbwaiter on the B-747 is inoperative, Flight Attendants will not be required to stock the upstairs lounge, but will provide required service to the passengers using that facility."
I have been moved from the UD to the main C cabin due to INOP dumbwaiter before. They put all the nonrevs up there to make room for displaced pax apparently.

Originally Posted by Often1
The announcement sounds correct, but either the GA omitted including a reason so as to keep the wolves at bay or had made it and OP's arrival time resulted in missing it.

UA definitely doesn't coordinate boarding F last from the lounge for a whole variety of reasons. For domestic flights F pax are not, by virtue of their ticket, entitled to lounge access. Even for international, there are a lot of pax who head directly to the gate.

I do recall the days when it was SOP to board F last. Nice touch but the arrival of the steamer trunk jackhammered into the overhead ends that.
Simple solution is for the FAs to close the F bins until the end and to watch them to make sure pax don't open them. I still prefer to at least be onboard and enjoying a PDB to waiting until last, though.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
This -- will happen occasionally do an issue in the F cabin but economy could board -- works only on planes where economy is not boarded via F cabin.
Originally Posted by davie355
Interesting. Yes, the plane was a 757.
This is typically due to a catering delay. I've had it two or three times in the past few years.
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Old Jul 2, 2017, 11:00 am
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I had it last month with boarding for the F and C cabins on a 747 delayed for about 10 minutes while Y boarded.
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