AlnessW
Topic Author
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

Boarding Procedures For The New UA, Etc.

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:18 am

Well, I flew the "new" UA for the first time last week and things have definitely changed a bit! I noticed they also have a new boarding procedure for all aircraft, including RJs. I am wondering how this works. Here is what I have figured out so far:

Boarding appears to be done by rows now, as opposed to the windows/middles/aisles system that the original UA used to use. Is there any special reason for this? The aircraft is divided into 8 groups. My understanding is that groups 1-4 are first class, executive-whatnots, etc. Everyone else then boards in groups 5-8, with 5 being towards the back and 8 being towards the front. (I think.)

More surprisingly, I noticed that not nearly as many carry-on bags needed to be checked (if any at all) on my recent flights. On the old UA usually the bins would fill up around group 3 or 4. (middle/aisle seats) But on several of my flights I was boarding in group 8 and there was still bin space available, though not a lot. None of the agents of any of my flights even offered to check bags. I did ask a gate agent on my BOS-SFO flight (752) if there was going to be space b the time group 7 boarded. After looking something up on his computer, he said "You should be OK." And I was! (What was he looking up on his computer, anyways?)

So... Any special reason for this, or was I just getting lucky?

Thank you and any additional information would be most appreciated!  
 
ANITIX87
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Boarding Procedures For The New UA, Etc.

Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:15 pm

I am not so sure the groups are done back-to-front. I have been in Economy Plus on my last four Unites flights, and have been anywhere from group 5 to group 8. I think it's a randomized (maybe not COMPLETELY random) system to spread out who boards when.

I hate the new boarding procedure. It works well and is rather quick, but my Premier Access no longer counts for anything. When I was EiteAccess at Continental, I could always board first (which I like to do so that I can get settled in to my seat and relax a bit). On my flight last week, I tries boarding early (I was in group 5 but lined up with group 2) and they made me stand aside until my group was called. Rather annoying.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
AlnessW
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Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

RE: Boarding Procedures For The New UA, Etc.

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
I think it's a randomized (maybe not COMPLETELY random) system to spread out who boards when.

You may be right. Perhaps it has something to do with when people checked in? I didn't bother checking in online and just checked in at the airport for one of my itineraries and was in group 8 for both flights...

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
I hate the new boarding procedure. It works well and is rather quick, but my Premier Access no longer counts for anything.

Well, I've never had any status... anywhere, so this is not relevant for many people, including myself.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
On my flight last week, I tries boarding early (I was in group 5 but lined up with group 2) and they made me stand aside until my group was called. Rather annoying.

If your boarding pass says group 5 then that means you're boarding in group 5.

To quote a really great song, "You can't always get what you want..."

(Edited for spelling.)

[Edited 2012-04-03 09:07:38]
 
ANITIX87
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Boarding Procedures For The New UA, Etc.

Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:03 pm

I understand that group numbers demonstrate where you board. But the old Continental system boarded army personnel, disabled passengers, and passengers with small children first. Then BusinessFirst, then EliteAccess. This system, at least for me and the others who pay to have that privilege, was a nice touch.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
AlnessW
Topic Author
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

RE: Boarding Procedures For The New UA, Etc.

Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:10 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
But the old Continental system boarded army personnel, disabled passengers, and passengers with small children first.

UA still offers this, too.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Then BusinessFirst, then EliteAccess. This system, at least for me and the others who pay to have that privilege, was a nice touch.

I can't speak to that, as I've never flown CO before, nor have had any status.

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