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United's New Boarding Process (with Wiki) [COVID era changes - ended 15 Apr 2021]

United's New Boarding Process (with Wiki) [COVID era changes - ended 15 Apr 2021]

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Old May 16, 22, 8:01 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: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
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 May 16, 22, 8:29 am
  #1216  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Again, this is down to the complete screw up of United's boarding policies in the first place. Most people hear "now pre-boarding for 1Ks" and they think it's Group 1. If United made GS/1K group 1 then current group 1 becomes group 2, etc. There are a million ways to fix this but maybe United just plans to get rid of 1K anyway since there's no such thing as a "hundred thousand miler" any longer for elite status.

Separately, yesterday I flew out of a FL station and the gate agent was VERY clear about pre-boarding and four people right in front of me were denied because they were not 1K. One guy scanned and then the GA asked if he was 1K and the guy said no. GA proceeded to de-board him and told him to go to the back of the group 1 line. Next was another single person who also said he wasn't 1K and got booted before scanning his BP. Finally, a couple right in front of me were trying to board and the agent asked if they were 1K. They had no idea what 1K meant and they were quickly shunned as well. As I got up to the scanner I thanked the agent for being proactive and she rolled her eyes and gave me a smile. As I walked through the door I heard her saying sternly over the loudspeaker, "Folks, if you don't know what 1K is then you aren't 1K. 1K is NOT group 1." Succinct and easy to understand. But admittedly this type of GA is few and far between and it's usually quicker to just let the errant person board who isn't 1K than to take the time to de-board them in the system.

-RM
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Last edited by RobOnLI; Jul 12, 22 at 9:04 am Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old May 16, 22, 10:51 am
  #1217  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Chicago ORD
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Newbie - United Boarding/Overall Travel Tips

Hello All - Im new here so please forgive me if this is in the incorrect location!

Im a longtime elite on AA (EXP and now PLT thanks to pandemic travel restrictions) but am considering making the switch to UA as being a Chicago native their routes are growing quickly and their pricing has been more competitive compared to AA at least for time time being. My question is as a non elite with just the Chase United Club Infinite card ... how is the experience with check in, boarding, etc.

While domestically I do try to purchase first as sadly IMO gone are the days of any meaningful upgrades on AA, I am looking to plan a trip to LHR and would most likely book into Premium Plus on UA. Is the Group 2 boarding for Club cardholders anything decent/do they separate Club Infinite card holders from Explorer card holders or is Group 2 essentially just main cabin boarding at that point.

Dont mean to sound pretentious just trying to understand the UA system after years of only AA.

Any advise is much appreciated!
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Old May 16, 22, 11:02 am
  #1218  
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Originally Posted by worldflyer2011 View Post
...Is the Group 2 boarding for Club cardholders anything decent/do they separate Club Infinite card holders from Explorer card holders or is Group 2 essentially just main cabin boarding at that point....
Card holder is a card holder. No differentiation. BG2 is just before general main cabin boarding and is Silvers, card holders, and Premier Access purchasers. The group could be large, but overhead storage shouldn't be an issue.

Edit: Gold are in BG1
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Old May 16, 22, 11:04 am
  #1219  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Thanks for the reply!
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Old Jun 16, 22, 3:46 pm
  #1220  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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I'm flying SFO > EWR > LHR next month. SFO>EWR is in Economy, EWR>LHR is in Polaris. What boarding group will I be in at SFO?
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Old Jun 16, 22, 4:25 pm
  #1221  
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Originally Posted by Cowtikk View Post
I'm flying SFO > EWR > LHR next month. SFO>EWR is in Economy, EWR>LHR is in Polaris. What boarding group will I be in at SFO?
What is your current MileagePlus status? Will your status change between now and the flights next month?

David
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Old Jun 16, 22, 4:45 pm
  #1222  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
What is your current MileagePlus status? Will your status change between now and the flights next month?

David
No status on United. It could change if I did a status match but I have no other plans to fly United so don’t think it’s worth it
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Old Jun 16, 22, 5:38 pm
  #1223  
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Originally Posted by Cowtikk View Post
I'm flying SFO > EWR > LHR next month. SFO>EWR is in Economy, EWR>LHR is in Polaris. What boarding group will I be in at SFO?
I think Polaris EWR-LHR will give you BG1 the whole way.
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Old Jul 9, 22, 2:41 pm
  #1224  
 
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When GAs don't enforce boarding policy, you'd get something like 30+ pax before traveling with kids under 2. If you believe all those are eligible preboarders, then I have a bridge to sell you. This is ex-MSY.
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Old Jul 9, 22, 2:54 pm
  #1225  
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At PHX on Thursday morning, GA ran through the pre-boarding groups super fast. This worked great. The only pre-boarders were me and one other 1K who was ready and waiting to go immediately when called.
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Old Jul 9, 22, 3:13 pm
  #1226  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
When GAs don't enforce boarding policy, you'd get something like 30+ pax before traveling with kids under 2. If you believe all those are eligible preboarders, then I have a bridge to sell you. This is ex-MSY.
I haven’t noticed that when departing from my hometown airport of MSY. YMMV.

BTW, that bridge that you have to sell, would that be the CCC or the Huey P?
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Old Jul 9, 22, 3:17 pm
  #1227  
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Originally Posted by Cowtikk View Post
No status on United. It could change if I did a status match but I have no other plans to fly United so don’t think it’s worth it
If you don't have a UA credit card, it's boarding group 3 or 4.

Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
I think Polaris EWR-LHR will give you BG1 the whole way.
Nope - the boarding group is based on the cabin of the specific flight. Even the color of the mobile boarding pass is different.
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Old Jul 9, 22, 4:30 pm
  #1228  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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In 4 segments this week only one (ex-CLE on 04JUL) actually used the correct order -- but skipped GS (presumably because there were none) and inserted "We'd now like to invite both of our two Premier 1Ks to pre-board. You know who you are." (not sure the second sentence was said with the PA mic keyed ) the rest of the flights and generally over the past 4 weeks or so boarding has been keeping me on my toes -- either picking the order like bingo numbers -- or running all of the groups into a single, no-breaths-taken, announcement.
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Old Jul 11, 22, 9:23 am
  #1229  
 
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LIS/EWR today. Boarded “families with small children” first today. Left “small” and”family” undefined. Couple of pretty old kids-10 or 11- and one group of 5 adults with one child boarded first. Then sat on bus for thirty
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Old Jul 11, 22, 2:13 pm
  #1230  
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Originally Posted by manstein58 View Post
LIS/EWR today. Boarded “families with small children” first today. Left “small” and”family” undefined. Couple of pretty old kids-10 or 11- and one group of 5 adults with one child boarded first. Then sat on bus for thirty
I guess it's just impossible to come up with one, consistent version of a script and make sure every single employee reads it exactly the very same way every single time
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