34 Responses

  1. Mateo
    Mateo at |

    Interesting that they have 5 groups whiles AA has 9 groups.

    1. gobluetwo
      gobluetwo at |

      Not really. If you think about it, American has the nine numbered groups, but also pre-board those needing special assistance, those with children under 2, and Concierge Key members. They actually have 12 groups, although there may not be anyone in the non-numbered groups, or group 1 on some regional flights.

      United has 5 numbered groups and six pre-board groups, for a total of 11. Again, some of those pre-board groups may be empty (military, families, disabilities, unaccompanied minors). Of the “regular” pre-boards, it’s really GS and 1K, so you have 7 groups of folks.

      You’ll still see a ton of people lined up in Groups 1 and 2, but hopefully all the GS and 1Ks won’t be clogging the boarding lanes, except perhaps on hub-hub flights. And hopefully groups 1 and two will be slightly shorter and not block as much of the gate areas or concourses.

  2. JRG
    JRG at |

    Hate the term gate lice. Disrespectful to our fellow travelers, no matter their status. Bloggers love to use it, but they’d never say it to a coach persons face….,

  3. Rami
    Rami at |

    I agree with disliking the term gate lice. No need for generalized insulting

  4. bk@oak
    bk@oak at |

    The International gates at SFO are miserable.
    1. Few people can distinguish between groups 1 and 2; lines frequently merge.
    2. Areas are too narrow and swell with people parking bags on the sides of the lines.
    3. People frequently cut-in without getting in line.
    4. When the door is open to board, it’s usually just one door. But, frequently, UA gate agents will open the 2nd door and tell people to use the 2nd door. (No lines, just people running over. Think of a new checkout lane at the grocery opening. This too is filled with people from the wrong groups.)
    5. Families with children age 2 and under. They are kidding right? I’ve seen packs of families with teens pre-boarding.
    6. Gate lice are a problem. I think there should be signage for them to be quarantined in a corner until ready for boarding.

    In the future, the self-checkin, self-bag check will feature stickers printed with “Pre Board 1-5, Group 1 and so forth, along with our boarding pass barcode. Then, we are to self-affix the stickers to our foreheads. We will be put into corrals in the corridors based on our sticker status, then, released by group/status to the gates.
    Problem solved.

  5. highperf
    highperf at |

    I love the term “gate lice.” It doesn’t refer to a traveler’s status, but rather to the propensity of some people to crowd the gate and block the lanes long before their boarding group – often before any boarding group.

  6. larry verdon
    larry verdon at |

    What ever happened to the concept of boarding from the back of the plane first.If the airlines were really interested in efficiency ,less hastle,quicker boarding etc.they would board from the back as it used to be before Elitism from all the loyalty programs took over!!!

    1. Campbell
      Campbell at |

      You said it Larry. Back to front…why am I always waiting for someone at the front to stow their bags, coats hats and what ever the hell else they have while they keep everyone else waiting and slow down boarding. I cant believe with all the turn around times that they still insist on boarding front to back…go figure ???

    2. Tessa Hill
      Tessa Hill at |

      Exactly! The did this on many Azores Airline flights, boarding from the back first, and it was AMAZING how fast the planes were loaded! About halfway through the process, they would open the front loading area too (tarmac boarding). WOW, that plane could be loaded and ready to go in like 10 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it. When people got on at the back, they either quickly grabbed a spot and sat down, or kept walking as far forward as they wanted, clearly seeing how much space was/wasn’t available in the overheads in front of them. So smart!

    3. Andria
      Andria at |

      They also could board odd and even seats really diminishing the need to wait for people to move through the aisles.

  7. United Airlines Launches A New Boarding Process That Cuts Down On Congestion – Your True News Source

    […] actively boarding will be asked to remain seated until paged. Chase co-branded credit card holders, according to the blog Wandering Aramean, will board in group […]

  8. United Airlines Launches A New Boarding Process That Cuts Down On Congestion

    […] be asked to remain seated until they are hanged. Holders of credit cards under the Chase brand, according to the blog Wandering Aramean will join the group […]

  9. United Airlines Launches A New Boarding Process That Cuts Down On Congestion – Capital Growth Management Inc.

    […] actively boarding will be asked to remain seated until paged. Chase co-branded credit card holders, according to the blog Wandering Aramean, will board in group […]

  10. United Airlines Launches A New Boarding Process That Cuts Down On Congestion – Forbes – Darwin Wealth Creation

    […] actively boarding will be asked to remain seated until paged. Chase co-branded credit card holders, according to the blog Wandering Aramean, will board in group […]

  11. Babaganush Baba
    Babaganush Baba at |

    It is not like plan will leave you behind and fly away. Just sit down and wait everyone else to board. It is best to get in last after everyone settled. Besides, basic logic dictates that passengers sitting on the rear should board first, no priority boarding maybe except first class.. it is not like you get a better deal by boarding first.. nothing changes…

    1. Annie Blackburn
      Annie Blackburn at |

      It makes a difference if you have study to go in overhead or are in aisle seat. If you go on too soon then you have to keep getting up or get hit in head by people’s bags etc, I used to always wait and just go on last but actually now find window seat,early boarding best.
      Agree that boarding from rear best but also wish United staff were consistent on hand luggage rules.

    2. Tessa Hill
      Tessa Hill at |

      And you’re also the first one unceremoniously kicked off the over-booked flight if you’re the last one on and they don’t have volunteers.

  12. Rare air
    Rare air at |

    The boarding area seating should be configured like the inside of the airplane with seats numbered. Everyone in the boarding area sits just as they will sit in the plane. Then the plane loads back to front.

  13. Hugh Noble
    Hugh Noble at |

    Not sure if this is non-news or fake-news.
    Do not believe such procedures merit an article.

    With United’s recent change in baggage/luggage policies, I changed my booking policy to other airlines. Within the US – Southwest seem to have the most effective policy; internationally Delta look attractive. Amongst US airlines.

    Global Traveller

  14. Tessa Hill
    Tessa Hill at |

    My first choice would be back to front loading, with front loading opening as an option halfway through.
    Second option would be loading all window seats first, then middle seats, then aisle seats. Brilliant idea to seat people in the airport in the same order as their flight seats, but first organize them by seat position, so you don’t have 6 people from the same row trying to board at the same time, just the 2 window seats, etc. Or board just the right side of the plane (if people want to board with family members) and are usually on the same row.

  15. DLD 211: Speedy Delivery – Dots, Lines & Destinations

    […] United has new boarding groups, but will they really make a difference? […]

  16. DLD 211: Speedy Delivery - Wandering Aramean

    […] United has new boarding groups, but will they really make a difference? […]

  17. Robert Walker
    Robert Walker at |

    Tried the new UA boarding system at ORD yesterday. I’m a 1k. Boarding was chaotic with nowhere for the preboards to stand, the gate lice piling in ahead of their boarding group, etc. The system may work better at airports with roomier waiting areas like IAH but not at older, smaller ones.

  18. Jack Meof
    Jack Meof at |

    I quit flying United when they created global services. Too often I found some low level corporate employee had scarfed up the business class upgrades, and the boarding line for Group 1 would often seem to fill up half the plane.