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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 Jul 7, 19, 11:18 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

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Old Jun 8, 19, 7:00 pm
  #421  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
My sample of LH (and LH-group flights) is far from scientific -- being solely intra-Europe and FRA to/from DXB -- but it seems like LH has a much smaller number of elites/Business travelers than UA does --
For true boarding hell, try one of the LH flights out at SFO G99 or 101.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:09 am
  #422  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Meanwhile, UA gives precedence to pax who spend at least $15k on UA tickets per year, versus the one-time buyer of a $195 P fare. This debate will go on forever, but UA's approach is perfectly rational (even if, as a former 1K, you now find it personally less favorable).
If UA would stop boarding the hordes of pax with children ahead of paid F and C, I wouldn't have a problem with their approach. That's the part of the LH process I find appealing. Board the truly impaired first, then your best customers - however you wish to make that determination - and then the "one-offs" who paid for an F or C seat before the stroller brigade.

And as a side note, LH staff in the front cabins stop by your seat during pre-boarding to introduce themselves, and before landing, stop by and thank you for flying LH. Every time, IME. Why can't UA staff do the same?

Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
My sample of LH (and LH-group flights) is far from scientific -- being solely intra-Europe and FRA to/from DXB -- but it seems like LH has a much smaller number of elites/Business travelers than UA does -- I think my last *G boarding call there was maybe a half dozen of us. And the GAs have been more effusive at their thanks to us for us being *G than I'm used to seeing on UA as well... but generally boarding seems chaotic and given that 50% of the time you're just the first to get on a bus that's not going anywhere until it's full, its a bit illusory anyway.
This. I've been doing a great deal of intra-Europe travel over the last few years, and no matter what *A airline I use, the number of elites on the other side of the pond is tiny compared to what we see in the US. As a result, I'm always one of the first 10-15 to board a narrow body aircraft.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:41 am
  #423  
 
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I just flew my first international flight on UA and boarding was a show. The problem is not with the boarding order; it's that half the people have no idea which group they belong to.

Pre-boarding was a total mess. When they called premier 1k for pre-boarding, half the people left the group 1 line to go towards the pre-boarding line (on the other side of the gate area) because all they heard was "premier" and they had premier access. Then of course they were unhappy at giving up their spots in line (which they had been standing in for well over an hour due to a delay -- I remained seated the whole time and was happy to be among the last of the polaris pax to board) and so everyone tried to skip the line and crowd back into what they felt was their fair spot in line.

The boarding process is too confusing for the average customer. Just put a number or letter on the BP and call that number or letter without explaining who is in that group. Most of the people at the gate have no clue what premier 1k is; announcing it is just confusing (especially since everyone in group 1 is premier something)

For some reason I've not seen this mess on domestic flights, even on widebodies with lots of passengers.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 9, 19 at 12:53 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 9:52 am
  #424  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post


UA ought to copy LH. On our A346 flight to FRA, this was the boarding order:

passengers in wheelchairs
First
Business
*gold
passengers with children under 5 years old
economy

LH respects passengers that pay for F and C.
From last week...

What I witnessed ex-FRA...

intra Europe...automated gate below biz class sign shut off with a red x so everyone uses economy lane. Automated announcement that said "we will now begin boarding flight XXX (all pax rush to board)...and start with our business class and star alliance gold." No one does well with that.


To the US...A separate 'first/business' line the opposite side of economy. *gold and biz all mixed up in there. Just board.

ex-JFK...

Agent standing next to first class / HON cut-in lane which went first, and could cut in as needed.

Separate long biz / star gold lane that worked fine.

I'm a 'board late' kind of guy - and having paid for C didn't get the impression I had the opportunity to be respected though more or less than UA. I'd say their 'domestic' intra Europe process is a step down from UA's for people who care to board first and pay for C. You're gummed up with all the mid tier elites unless you want to waste time standing first in line for 30 plus minutes.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 8:12 am
  #425  
 
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LH boarding is nothing to make an example out of... they usually end up boarding premium and Economy groups in parallel through multiple sets of gates. It may be slightly separated on long-haul flights, but honestly in that case who even cares? There is plenty of bin space, and I'm more likely to wait it out in the lounge and board when the scrum has subsided. For narrowbody LH flights, they inevitably start boarding Y through the parallel gate after about 6 J/*G pax have boarded, meaning it's basically just a massive, unordered press through the gates and onto the plane. Not even going to get into FRA bus gates, which make "priority" completely moot

Some SK flights in Europe were a little bit better, but definitely true that paid J has the same priority as *G in Y.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 8:36 am
  #426  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
LH boarding is nothing to make an example out of... they usually end up boarding premium and Economy groups in parallel through multiple sets of gates....
The biggest problem with LH is they use "Bus Boarding" (also known as "Third-World Tarmac Boarding") for so many flights. So it really doesn't matter when you go past the checkin counter. It only matters how pushy you are getting off the bus and onto the stairs to the plane.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
The biggest problem with LH is they use "Bus Boarding" (also known as "Third-World Tarmac Boarding") for so many flights. So it really doesn't matter when you go past the checkin counter. It only matters how pushy you are getting off the bus and onto the stairs to the plane.
Well, at least sometimes one gets to board the bus first
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Old Jun 11, 19, 10:18 am
  #428  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I just flew my first international flight on UA and boarding was a show. The problem is not with the boarding order; it's that half the people have no idea which group they belong to.
Pre-boarding was a total mess. When they called premier 1k for pre-boarding, half the people left the group 1 line to go towards the pre-boarding line (on the other side of the gate area) because all they heard was "premier" and they had premier access. Then of course they were unhappy at giving up their spots in line (which they had been standing in for well over an hour due to a delay -- I remained seated the whole time and was happy to be among the last of the polaris pax to board) and so everyone tried to skip the line and crowd back into what they felt was their fair spot in line.

The boarding process is too confusing for the average customer. Just put a number or letter on the BP and call that number or letter without explaining who is in that group. Most of the people at the gate have no clue what premier 1k is; announcing it is just confusing (especially since everyone in group 1 is premier something)

For some reason I've not seen this mess on domestic flights, even on widebodies with lots of passengers.
This is mainly due to lazy GAs who don't want to step outside the script for even a moment to educate their customers on the boarding process to come. When 50 people are boarding a regional jet, managing confusion is one thing, but boarding 250+ on a 773? Take a few minutes before boarding starts to make a clear, concise, announcement that explains the boarding order, reminds people who board out of order they will be sent to the back of their correct lane, clearly explains who is eligible for pre-boarding, and reminds people to look at their boarding pass carefully and reference the TV monitors to see which group is currently boarding.

With the dual lane system, the GA should be making frequent announcements that everyone who is not in group 1 or 2 needs to step away from the gate and sit down and remain seated or away from the gate until their group is called up.

It's not the boarding order that's a problem, it's management of the process by employees. I speak from experience - in my college co-op days I was a gate agent for a major airline, and worse, at our airport we boarded multiple flights from multiple airlines through the same door at the same time, through the same hallway and onto different jetways - somehow by educating customers and over-communicating, we avoided chaos.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 10:24 am
  #429  
 
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I appreciate pre-boarding as a 1K for ensuring I can get my carryon in the overhead. I personally prefer to board as late as possible as I will be sitting for a long time on the plane but when United introduced checked luggage fees that changed the dynamics of boarding for me.

I am fine with families with children under 2 boarding before me - and actively block my fellow 1K members who are in a rush to get past these folks as they are folding up strollers, etc. These families are generally not sitting anywhere near most 1K members so not going to take their overhead space.

The plane is not leaving until everyone in line is boarded and seated.

The LH line for *G is nice - agree other line is a bit of free for all but do find LH FAs are very good about firstly enforcing overhead bin space for first/business and then finding space for carryon luggage - very rare to see it needed to be checked. Similar positive boarding experiences with other *A carriers.

My last few United flights the GAs have either announced the names of the 1K pax or announced the number of 1K pax for the flight.

I would like to see a pre-boarding line for 1K members as we are a bit of a rushed scrum when boarding is announced and are essentially gate lice with some of us needing to learn some manners. GS pax could teach us a thing or two!
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Old Jun 11, 19, 11:43 am
  #430  
 
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I appreciate pre-boarding as a 1K for ensuring I can get my carryon in the overhead. I personally prefer to board as late as possible as I will be sitting for a long time on the plane but when United introduced checked luggage fees that changed the dynamics of boarding for me.

I am fine with families with children under 2 boarding before me - and actively block my fellow 1K members who are in a rush to get past these folks as they are folding up strollers, etc. These families are generally not sitting anywhere near most 1K members so not going to take their overhead space.

The plane is not leaving until everyone in line is boarded and seated.

The LH line for *G is nice - agree other line is a bit of free for all but do find LH FAs are very good about firstly enforcing overhead bin space for first/business and then finding space for carryon luggage - very rare to see it needed to be checked. Similar positive boarding experiences with other *A carriers.

My last few United flights the GAs have either announced the names of the 1K pax or announced the number of 1K pax for the flight.

I would like to see a pre-boarding line for 1K members as we are a bit of a rushed scrum when boarding is announced and are essentially gate lice with some of us needing to learn some manners. GS pax could teach us a thing or two!
Doesn't take seem civil/wise to take the boarding process into one's own hands by actively (or passively) blocking fellow pax... Might I suggest taking it up with 1kvoice or the station manager instead?
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Old Jun 11, 19, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by onthesam View Post
Doesn't take seem civil/wise to take the boarding process into one's own hands by actively (or passively) blocking fellow pax... Might I suggest taking it up with 1kvoice or the station manager instead?
I am merely following the order that Unted has assigned - not my determination of the order for boarding.

What would you suggest I say to 1K voice/station manager, please ask your 1K members to behave in a civilized manner towards fellow pax and not rush past them and their small children?
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Old Jun 11, 19, 2:08 pm
  #432  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Meanwhile, UA gives precedence to pax who spend at least $15k on UA tickets per year, versus the one-time buyer of a $195 P fare.

This debate will go on forever, but UA's approach is perfectly rational (even if, as a former 1K, you now find it personally less favorable).

I will add as well that I find UA's boarding process far less unpleasant than the typical LH free-for-all.
You're making a response to "who should board first, 1K or premium cabin?"

A bunch of us don't care about that. We care that the premium cabin boards with all of *G.

1K can board first. But I don't want to have to fight with all the *G.

That's a debate that seems to have been entirely one-sided in this thread. A few people (like me) have a very strong opinion. And no one seems to really be against it.

Pull F/J into a pre-boarding group, or move *G from 1 to 2, and move all other groups down by 1.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 8:34 pm
  #433  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Well, at least sometimes one gets to board the bus first
For true priority boarding in such cases ne wants to be the last person to board the first bus!
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Old Jun 11, 19, 11:39 pm
  #434  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
You're making a response to "who should board first, 1K or premium cabin?"

A bunch of us don't care about that. We care that the premium cabin boards with all of *G.

1K can board first. But I don't want to have to fight with all the *G.

That's a debate that seems to have been entirely one-sided in this thread. A few people (like me) have a very strong opinion. And no one seems to really be against it.

Pull F/J into a pre-boarding group, or move *G from 1 to 2, and move all other groups down by 1.
This. Why is this so hard for UA to comprehend?
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Old Jun 12, 19, 12:44 am
  #435  
 
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Yes please
It doesn’t even make *G in Y worse-off unless they were planning to poach first-class bins..
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