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United's New Boarding Process (with Wiki) [starting 18 Sep 2018]

United's New Boarding Process (with Wiki) [starting 18 Sep 2018]

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Old Dec 27, 18, 6:17 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

Previous Thread:United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]
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Old Jan 22, 19, 11:48 am
  #211  
 
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ORD/LAX B4 Scrum Created by Bad Agent Training

Originally Posted by zymm View Post
The main problem I've observed is that '1k' and 'Group 1' both have a 1 in them. I tend to be on very elite heavy flights (my RPU got me to a whopping 10th on the upgrade list this weekend!), and it's not uncommon to have 5+ GS, 20-30 1k, and still have 50+ people in group 1 for domestic flights.!
For this system to work properly, the gate agents need to make CLEAR and CONSISTENT announcements to keep the gate lice to a minimum.

On a flight yesterday ORD/LAX (gate B4), the agent called ALL the preboarding groups at once - disabilities, military, families, Global Services, and 1Ks. This used the inevitable scrum in an already crowded gate area.

Turned out the agent was "jumping the gun" - with two wheelchairs still coming off the plane from the inbound flight, the plane wasn't ready to board and now the wheelchairs couldn't get thru the gate scrum.

This then turned the whole gate into every-man-for-themself and when the agent finally started taking boarding passes (on a scanner that was intermittent - JOY!) she was letting anyone from any group through.

A detailed email to the 1K Desk about the agent got a form-letter response today. That's now another problem. . . .
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Old Jan 23, 19, 9:43 am
  #212  
 
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Someone else I think mentioned it earlier.While this should not be considered a fault with the new system, the response of one group in particular is a problem.
While the wheelchair folks are lined up long before the announcement, the family with kids under 2 are never on the ball. They get called and then they start packing the diapers into the bag, rounding the kids up etc. When they move they are the slowest in the world. Then once they eventually get down the chute, they block the door by working to get the carriages folded, more packing and repacking and then boarding completely oblivious where their seats are. This group holds up everything.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 9:45 am
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post
We probably have a clash of perspectives. I always simply pay for the F cabin. I said that. I obviously flew UA a tone once, before they melted down a few years ago. Current lifetime for me is 2.5 mm miles? Does that count with you and others for anything? Why am I judged differently from a pax who has spent less lifetime on the carrier?
Your 2.5mm makes you lifetime Platinum. Group 1 at any fare. I fail to see the problem.

Last edited by jimmc66; Jan 23, 19 at 9:52 am
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:45 pm
  #214  
 
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Originally Posted by Exleftseat View Post
Someone else I think mentioned it earlier.While this should not be considered a fault with the new system, the response of one group in particular is a problem.
While the wheelchair folks are lined up long before the announcement, the family with kids under 2 are never on the ball. They get called and then they start packing the diapers into the bag, rounding the kids up etc. When they move they are the slowest in the world. Then once they eventually get down the chute, they block the door by working to get the carriages folded, more packing and repacking and then boarding completely oblivious where their seats are. This group holds up everything.
They're going to hold up everything no matter when they board, the idea is that by letting them board first into an empty cabin, they hold things up less because they don't have to work around anyone else already on the plane.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:49 pm
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
They're going to hold up everything no matter when they board, the idea is that by letting them board first into an empty cabin, they hold things up less because they don't have to work around anyone else already on the plane.
But with the lack of pause between groups that is the usual, they just end up getting trampled by Group 1 as they gate check their strollers.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 9:01 pm
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
The really simple solution would be to designate 1Ks at Group 1, and shift all the other groups down...
Well, contrary to appearances at hubs, there might be zero 1Ks at outstations. Can’t clog up one of 2 boarding lines with no one. On occasion mid-week OGG-LAX, I’ve observed no GS or 1Ks take advantage of pre-board privilege.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jan 24, 19 at 9:22 am
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Old Jan 23, 19, 9:18 pm
  #217  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post


Well, contrary to appearances at hubs, there might be zero 1Ks at out stations. Can’t clog up one of 2 boarding lines with no one. On occasion mid-week OGG-LAX, I’ve observed no GS or 1Ks take advantage of pre-board privilege.
When I was a 1K in 2018, I was on several flights where I was the only GS/1K to pre-board. I have also seen ERJ-175s where 8 or more GS’s pre-boarded. The system isn’t going to work equally well for all flights unless there is way more flexibility in it, which most of us probably wouldn’t want because frequent travelers seem to hate inconsistency nearly as much as any particular policies.

Unless GS and 1K passengers are departing United hubs on UA flights and returning on other airlines at a significant rate (which I doubt is the case) there should be the same number of GS and 1K’s on flights from out stations to hubs as there are on flights from hubs to out stations. UA doesn’t have many flights that don’t touch a hub, so nearly every UA flight is either from a hub, to a hub, or both.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 11:24 pm
  #218  
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Originally Posted by Air Houston View Post


When I was a 1K in 2018, I was on several flights where I was the only GS/1K to pre-board. I have also seen ERJ-175s where 8 or more GS’s pre-boarded. The system isn’t going to work equally well for all flights unless there is way more flexibility in it, which most of us probably wouldn’t want because frequent travelers seem to hate inconsistency nearly as much as any particular policies.

Unless GS and 1K passengers are departing United hubs on UA flights and returning on other airlines at a significant rate (which I doubt is the case) there should be the same number of GS and 1K’s on flights from out stations to hubs as there are on flights from hubs to out stations. UA doesn’t have many flights that don’t touch a hub, so nearly every UA flight is either from a hub, to a hub, or both.
I flew to and from Japan with a GS this past weekend. On the way there, we boarded when they called GS (great process at SFO, by the way). On the way back, we arrived at the gate a bit after they called "all groups".

I guess we were more eager to leave SFO than Japan.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 6:08 am
  #219  
 
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Originally Posted by Air Houston View Post


When I was a 1K in 2018, I was on several flights where I was the only GS/1K to pre-board. I have also seen ERJ-175s where 8 or more GS’s pre-boarded. The system isn’t going to work equally well for all flights unless there is way more flexibility in it, which most of us probably wouldn’t want because frequent travelers seem to hate inconsistency nearly as much as any particular policies.

Unless GS and 1K passengers are departing United hubs on UA flights and returning on other airlines at a significant rate (which I doubt is the case) there should be the same number of GS and 1K’s on flights from out stations to hubs as there are on flights from hubs to out stations. UA doesn’t have many flights that don’t touch a hub, so nearly every UA flight is either from a hub, to a hub, or both.
Having read all that, I have been on more than a few flights leaving Jax where I was the only 1K with no GS on board and I've been on 3 flights where I was the only person with status.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:40 am
  #220  
 
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I had a late connect at DEN last night (A320 which was full). In F and the FA specifically held an overhead bin spot for whoever they figured was showing up for that last F seat. Nice job!
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:01 am
  #221  
 
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Flying out LAS-DEN a couple of days ago, the gate agent actually individually called out the name of each 1K member one-by-one to pre-board (there were 6 or 7 of us). We had just arrived at the gate so I don't know if he did the same for GS.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:40 am
  #222  
 
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Originally Posted by Toronto1970 View Post
Flying out LAS-DEN a couple of days ago, the gate agent actually individually called out the name of each 1K member one-by-one to pre-board (there were 6 or 7 of us). We had just arrived at the gate so I don't know if he did the same for GS.
That's interesting. In what order? Alphabetical? I see this coming with a new set of "problems' ; )
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Old Jan 24, 19, 6:45 pm
  #223  
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Originally Posted by chavala View Post
That's interesting. In what order? Alphabetical? I see this coming with a new set of "problems' ; )
Naw - called by ranking of (lifetime number of BoB received/snack boxes consumed in Economy X number of drinks ordered)....

David
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Old Jan 24, 19, 7:59 pm
  #224  
 
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Originally Posted by Toronto1970 View Post
Flying out LAS-DEN a couple of days ago, the gate agent actually individually called out the name of each 1K member one-by-one to pre-board (there were 6 or 7 of us). We had just arrived at the gate so I don't know if he did the same for GS.
That has happened to me several times over the past couple of years at LAS...with different GA's.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:03 pm
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by Air Houston View Post


When I was a 1K in 2018, I was on several flights where I was the only GS/1K to pre-board. I have also seen ERJ-175s where 8 or more GS’s pre-boarded. The system isn’t going to work equally well for all flights unless there is way more flexibility in it, which most of us probably wouldn’t want because frequent travelers seem to hate inconsistency nearly as much as any particular policies.

Unless GS and 1K passengers are departing United hubs on UA flights and returning on other airlines at a significant rate (which I doubt is the case) there should be the same number of GS and 1K’s on flights from out stations to hubs as there are on flights from hubs to out stations. UA doesn’t have many flights that don’t touch a hub, so nearly every UA flight is either from a hub, to a hub, or both.
Aside from the obvious case of hub-to-hub flights where you have a massive number of status pax "going" and "coming" simultaneously there's a wide deviation in time of day/day of week -- I've been on Friday evening hub-CLE flights with 5+ GS and what seems like a couple dozen 1Ks. mid-day Tuesday the same hub-CLE may have 0 GS and the number of 1Ks, including myself may be in low single digits. Sunday evenings/Monday mornings can also be a status pax magnet. I was on a RJ145 once where I swear >50% of the plane was 1K or higher

Logically, I wouldn't be opposed to a larger number of dynamic boarding groups where you knew GS would always be no lower than group 2 (assuming a ton of GS on the flight; practically always group 1), basic economy would always be group 15 or lower and everyone else was distributed evenly between based on an algorithm based on status+something (fare? check-in time? random number generator?) - practically that would fall apart faster than EWR ops when the wind gusts above 0.0001 knots.
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