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UA's Boarding Process (with Wiki) -- Inconsistent process / PreBoarding issues

UA's Boarding Process (with Wiki) -- Inconsistent process / PreBoarding issues

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Old Nov 21, 22, 2:20 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
COVID boarding modification ended 15 April 2021, returned to preCOVID process

29 April 2020
https://hub.united.com/united-corona...ial-distancing
Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process. Following pre-boarding, we will board back-to-front by rows, but will space out customers to minimize crowding in the gate area and on the jet bridge.
Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Domestic F and/or J cabin pax not qualifying for preboard will go right after but before regular boarding from back to front. ...
COVID19 precautions: UA to block some seats for pre-assignment, providing masks,...


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

Previous Thread:United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]

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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:39 am
  #46  
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It's been handled consistently in my five flights since the new process was implemented (HNL, SFO, BOS, PHX).

I'm a fan. Really like not having to deal with Group 1.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:14 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by 1cericks View Post
So I used to board after all the credit card Group 2's which was a huge line interfering with people trying to walk by the gate.
I wonder how much of (old) BG2 was CCs vs. Silver + Gold + *G?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:26 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
At many airports, the overhead electronic displays now show the pre-board order in large graphics/font:

DISABLED > MILITARY > GS > FAMILIES > 1K
Didn't see it displayed on the board but that's the order they called on my trip to DC last week at both IAH and IAD.

At IAH, we had a number of non-GS, non-1K people in J who were surging forward no matter what, When they were told pointedly to clear the aisle so people on the inbound flight could exit, they still hung as close to the Category 1 aisle as they could. At least on guy was visibly peeved that GS and 1K were being called for preboarding. I couldn't tell if he was trying to push into the 1Ks so he could preboard early as well or whether he was just blocking 1Ks trying to answer the preboard call out of spite.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:35 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by 1cericks View Post
This boarding process change has been a big benefit to golds. I hate standing in line so I always like to board last in my group. So I used to board after all the credit card Group 2's which was a huge line interfering with people trying to walk by the gate. Since this change I've never had an issue finding overhead space when boarding at the end of Group 1. For the group 3s and above, people don't stand in line for half an hour and seem to be less irritable. At DEN, IAH, and BWI, they seem to leave room for people who miss their group to walk up to the counter where the pre-boarding, 1k, GS, military go. Overall, I think this change seems to be working well from my experience.
I hate standing in line so I always liked to board last in my group (which was/is 1). Now I have to wait for all the golds to board
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:26 pm
  #50  
 
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I'd say for the most part out of CLE they seem to be getting it right. @ other airports my luck has varied. Even when the correct order is followed, I OFTEN see non 1k boarding passes and 1ks boarding as soon as GS is called (the Global Entry people presumably). What is annoying is most of the time, the FA doesn't say a word and lets these folks pre-board out of order. Usually not an issue, but annoying on flights where I'm literally the first GS to board... yet STILL have to store my bag 3 rows behind my seat due to a combination of crew bags + "*disabled" folks + the out of order boarders.

*I say disabled in quotes because I've seen several of these "disabled" passengers with exit row seating assignments. Other times, they undergo a miraculous recovery halfway down the jetway... and on disembarking turn into spritely linebackers pushing their way though the crowd with reckless abandon. /Rant

Last edited by LordHamster; Nov 20, 18 at 8:46 am
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:19 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
*I say disabled because I've seen several of these "disabled" passengers with exit row seating assignments. Other times, they undergo a miraculous recovery halfway down the jetway... and on disembarking turn into spritely linebackers pushing their way though the crowd with reckless abandon. /Rant
Agreed. You'd think the Second Coming was upon us the way so many passengers needing extra time and assistance to board have recovered fully by the time we land. I wish the airlines would tag the passengers and seats for people who boarded early due to physical disability and made them stay in their seats until everyone else disembarked.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:07 am
  #52  
 
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I've had success out of EWR with the new process. Every flight out of C has pre-boarded correctly and efficiently. My data point is appoximately 10 flights since the change, and probably 6 since qualifying for 1K. BNA and MSP got it right, ATL struggled.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:55 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
...I wish the airlines would tag the passengers and seats for people who boarded early due to physical disability and made them stay in their seats until everyone else disembarked.
That's been a concern for years (see multiple references to the Miracle Flights to Florida). I've sat next to several Disabilities pre-boarders and seen no sign of any physical limitations (including one person who physically pushed me out of the way to get to her bag in the overhead on arrival). It's just one of those situations where the airline has to choose between annoying FF'ers vs getting threatened with an ADA lawsuit.

I do think there should be a penalty for someone who reserves a wheelchair on arrival and doesn't take it. The reason has nothing to do with their disability - you have a wheelchair that isn't being used by a passenger (who actually needs it) in another part of the airport and an employee waiting with the wheelchair who isn't getting a tip.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 8:51 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by gold23 View Post
I've had success out of EWR with the new process. Every flight out of C has pre-boarded correctly and efficiently. My data point is appoximately 10 flights since the change, and probably 6 since qualifying for 1K. BNA and MSP got it right, ATL struggled.
After a few fits and starts and misses at EWR and elsewhere, process is working fine. Only issue is lack next to the two boarding lanes of room in some gate areas
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:20 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
It's just one of those situations where the airline has to choose between annoying FF'ers vs getting threatened with an ADA lawsuit.
It's not just annoying FFers; common sense would say that if someone needed extra time and assistance to board, they should need the same to disembark so they should get everyone else off first. However, I understand what you're saying about lawsuits; unfortunately, common sense departed the courts and litigation system decades ago (or even centuries if Dickens is any guide).
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:54 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
It's not just annoying FFers; common sense would say that if someone needed extra time and assistance to board, they should need the same to disembark so they should get everyone else off first. However, I understand what you're saying about lawsuits; unfortunately, common sense departed the courts and litigation system decades ago (or even centuries if Dickens is any guide).
There's a question of enforcement. Is the FA going to zip-tie the person to their plane seat so they don't disembark with everyone else? Will they be tackled in the jetway and forced into a wheelchair? Will they be assessed a fine? Will their name go onto a lifetime ban list for wheelchair use at airports?

The real crux of the problem is that if someone gets up and walks off the plane at the end of the flight, there is very little the airline can do.

Now not allowing disabled preboarders to sit in exit rows is a real possibility, and something that could be monitored and enforced.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 12:50 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
It's not just annoying FFers; common sense would say that if someone needed extra time and assistance to board, they should need the same to disembark so they should get everyone else off first. However, I understand what you're saying about lawsuits; unfortunately, common sense departed the courts and litigation system decades ago (or even centuries if Dickens is any guide).
I don’t know what FF stands for, but this may well be a case where competition falls short and regulation is needed. If you don’t like the airline’s policy, you look for an airline until you find one that you like. And if you don’t like your doctor because he won’t write you a note, then you find a doctor that will. This will happen until we accept that regulation is here to protect us.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 12:59 pm
  #58  
 
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EWR-IAH Flt 508 on Friday used recorded boarding announcement with pauses, all went well.
IAH-EWR Flt 704 on Sunday was GA announced. She did fine but some of the pax appeared to intentionally misunderstand and pushed ahead into the pre-board group. The good news is she sent them back.
With regard to 'miracle flights' I had a good friend with COPD. He could go from looking strong and normal to lying flat on his back struggling for breath (and even life) in a heartbeat. So I know I cannot judge the need of any individual through observation. Those who abuse this deserve punishment and I imagine that the bad karma they are piling up will bite them one day, but there is not a whole lot that can be done about it.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 1:08 pm
  #59  
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I like the other 6 travelers who use their "passenger who needs extra time" as a crutch.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Nov 21, 18 at 3:01 pm
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Old Nov 20, 18, 9:21 pm
  #60  
 
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At IAD today for a UAX IAD-AVP flight:

Wheelchairs
Uniformed Military
GS
Families W/Children 2 & Under
GS (for the second time)

I just boarded after the 2nd GS call.

Edited to add: There was a group of four seniors that pre-boarded without wheelchair assistance. They were in the first 2 rows of this ERJ-145. They spent about 5 minutes playing musical chairs, trying to sort out who was sitting where. Meanwhile, I was freezing my butt off standing in the doorway almost fully exposed to the elements. The minute they finally figured it out, it was like the dams gave way, and the rest of the aircraft streamed onboard without a break.
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Last edited by SS255; Nov 21, 18 at 8:06 pm
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