Surprised at the size of Zone 1 boarding

Old Mar 13, 06, 1:58 pm
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Surprised at the size of Zone 1 boarding

Today is my second trip on US this year (as I've said, it's EXP first this year.) and I'm SHOCKED at the number of people in zone 1 boarding as well as at the absolute CRUSH of people at the gate. Ex-PHL, AA boarding is usually quite orderly and the F/EXP/PLT group (about the same as US' Zone 1 from what I gather) is much smaller, even on the Monday AM flights.

My flight today is a PHL-RDU afternoon flight (the first mainline of the day) and Zone 1 must have been 25 people deep. How many "pseudo-elites" did the summer promo's generate? Seems like everyone was a US2 from what I could see.

Also, as a side note, how is it that WN can keep adding 73's PHL-RDU and filling them while US shrinks to nearly all RJs?
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Old Mar 13, 06, 2:18 pm
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The zone boarding will be redone to HP's style. I dont know what the diference is but I know there are differences.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by McFlyPHL
Today is my second trip on US this year (as I've said, it's EXP first this year.) and I'm SHOCKED at the number of people in zone 1 boarding as well as at the absolute CRUSH of people at the gate. Ex-PHL, AA boarding is usually quite orderly and the F/EXP/PLT group (about the same as US' Zone 1 from what I gather) is much smaller, even on the Monday AM flights.

My flight today is a PHL-RDU afternoon flight (the first mainline of the day) and Zone 1 must have been 25 people deep. How many "pseudo-elites" did the summer promo's generate? Seems like everyone was a US2 from what I could see.

Also, as a side note, how is it that WN can keep adding 73's PHL-RDU and filling them while US shrinks to nearly all RJs?
Unfortunately, this is nothing new. US has about the worst boarding system going among the legacy carriers. There are too many people included in Zone 1 plus US absolutely does not enforce Zone boarding at most all US-stations, therefore, many of the 25 people-deep line may not have been Zone 1 at all. US needs to return to having a separate ticketed First Class only pre-board, followed by Zone 1 (CP, PP, GP, *Gold), then Zone 2 (SP, *Silver) and so on. One can dream.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 3:40 pm
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For starters, HP boards First class first then Preferred members.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 4:19 pm
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I had a flight PHL-DEN this morning and no less than 40 people boarded in Zone 1. Since I'm not a pushy person by nature, I patiently waited my turn and ended up being the second to the last person in F, so I had to do some careful maneuvering to get my bag in the overhead. It was seriously one of the most disorganized boaring processes that I've ever seen.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 5:58 pm
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I've noticed a lot of "boarding Zones 1 and 2" lately. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Visa Signature from B of A and the new World MasterCard get Zone 2 boarding as well? I can't help but think that that's made a big difference in crowding.

If I'm not mistaken, HP boards First, Top Tiers and then everyone else by zones which are divided up by windows first then middles then aisles working it's way from back to front?
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Old Mar 13, 06, 6:10 pm
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Supposedly the boarding and "group number" (HP's term) system on US East will be changed to conform with America West's current practice.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 8:45 pm
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Boarding w/ Zone 2 wife...

What's the rule if your companion is Zone 2 and you are Zone 1? Can he/she board w/ you? The crush and the fight for overhead space has me pulling her along w/ Zone 1 but I sometimes get dirty looks from the GA.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 8:49 pm
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I looked around and pretty much everyone *HAD* a legitimate zone 1 - the GAs were pretty rigid about zones and carry-ons. Even still, it was more like controlled chaos.

One other thing - there were definitely preferreds in the back and the GAs just filled the 2 misconnected(?) F seats with off duty FAs in uniform. Lazy. Pure and simple.
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Old Mar 13, 06, 8:57 pm
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I have to say HP's style of Group 1 stinks... it will soon be *GOLD, *SILVER and all DM/FF elite/prefered members. I think having Group 2 as Silver would be a plus.. but HP knows best.

I do like that F class goes first... (along with those needed extra time)
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Old Mar 14, 06, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
For starters, HP boards First class first then Preferred members.
AMEN!

So does UA. It makes a huge difference.

Of course, any system is only as effective as its enforcement.
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Old Mar 14, 06, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by EnvoyBoy
AMEN!

So does UA. It makes a huge difference.

Of course, any system is only as effective as its enforcement.
Doesn't matter - the observation I had was that about 1/3rd of the plane was *G or higher. If that's true on a Monday afternoon flight, it is likely worse on Monday AM and Thursday PM. Even the UA system would buckle. You can't effectively board 1/3rd of the plane at a time. An insanely high number of manufactured preferreds takes an already bad problem (US boarding) and makes it worse.
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Old Mar 14, 06, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by PittDoc
What's the rule if your companion is Zone 2 and you are Zone 1? Can he/she board w/ you? The crush and the fight for overhead space has me pulling her along w/ Zone 1 but I sometimes get dirty looks from the GA.
If she is on the same PNR as you, you can expect to take her along with you and tell the GA to shove that dirty look up a place where the "sun don't shine". If you are ticketed seperately, take herr with you anyway and ignore the dirty look.
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Old Mar 14, 06, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by McFlyPHL
Doesn't matter - the observation I had was that about 1/3rd of the plane was *G or higher. If that's true on a Monday afternoon flight, it is likely worse on Monday AM and Thursday PM. Even the UA system would buckle. You can't effectively board 1/3rd of the plane at a time. An insanely high number of manufactured preferreds takes an already bad problem (US boarding) and makes it worse.
This is what happens when airlines start selling or giving away status or offering "free" status miles in return for credit card offers, etc. Some of us EARNED OUR STATUS by flying!!! Isn't that the way it is supposed to be?
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Old Mar 14, 06, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by EnvoyBoy
AMEN!

So does UA. It makes a huge difference.

Of course, any system is only as effective as its enforcement.
Well said. UA's system is excellent: A traditional first class pre-board (that is enforced) and then a (generally) orderly Zone 1, Zone 2 and so on boarding process.

If US is adopting the HP pre-board for "F" then kudos to US. I agree 100% with EnvoyBoy, however, that the system will only be effective if the policy is enforced.
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