AirStairs From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 486 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 12647 times:
It seems like nearly every time I fly, there is a new policy and they are assigned differently. In some cases, it seemed as though window seats were lower zones than middle or aisle. In others, it seemed planes were actually boarding front-to-back, as I don't think I've ever sat in the back of a plane and had a low zone (I sat in 8A on a US 320 yesterday and was in zone 3).
I also noticed on US yesterday that they board First, then Plat and Golds in Zone 1 (I think), Silver in Zone 2, and so on.
NASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1281 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 12581 times:
I'm going to echo the "depends on the airline" bandwagon, although I always thought it had a lot to do with when a customer checked in for their flight - relative to how many customers were booked for said flight. Example: A few months ago, I purchased a ticket on AirTran - they board by zones. Even though I purchased the lowest-fare-class ticket, I checked in early (online), and received a boarding zone of 1 (1 being the highest, 7 being their lowest).
Another time, I nonreved on FL and boarded last. The flight was light, and I was given a boarding zone of 4...which was the last boarding zone called for that flight before the "All zones, all sections, all passengers" announcement.
Vatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 899 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 12568 times:
Quoting NASBWI (Reply 3): Even though I purchased the lowest-fare-class ticket, I checked in early (online), and received a boarding zone of 1 (1 being the highest, 7 being their lowest).
Whenever I've flown AirTran since they started zone boarding, only Biz pax were assigned zone 1. Except for one time when they announced "Zone zero". But I only heard that once. I imagine they're continually tweaking it though. I'm almost always in zone 3.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23154 posts, RR: 23 Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12152 times:
As mentioned, procedures vary widely by carrier. At some airports where gate areas are very congested, boarding by seat/row doesn't work as everyone is jammed together and there is no way for passengers to push themselves through the masses.
I've also seen comments that some airlines have determined that boarding is faster if they just let everyone board whenever they want and forget about trying to board by row. With many passengers not speaking English (or even the languages used in the announcements dependingon the country/carrier), they just get up and assume they can boad when they see other passengers beginning to board. Trying to stop them from boarding just wastes time and holds up the rest.
I noted a recent news item about one carrier (forget who) that was planning to experiment with boarding passengers with no carry-on bags first, since they can presumably take their seats faster and avoid blocking the aisles while they try to find room for all their stuff.
Pnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2141 posts, RR: 12 Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 11809 times:
AC preboards anyone "requiring additional time to board and parents flying with small children" first. In other words a nice way of saying elderly or someone with mobility problems. Immediately as part of that group it is announced that Super Elite, Elite. Star Alliance Gold and Executive Class customers can board at leisure. Then they board back to front by certain rows of seats.