United Airlines has made changes to its
boarding process at airports around the world in an attempt to give
customers more space at the gate, less time waiting in line and
improved boarding information.
"The boarding process was one of
the top areas customers told us they wanted improved," said Sarah
Murphy, vice president of Global Operations Strategy, Planning and
Design at United. "We listened to customers and employees as we
tested a variety of processes on thousands of flights until we
found a better boarding process that results in less time spent
waiting in lines, improved communication and a better way to
recognize our Premier customers while balancing out the number of
passengers in each boarding group."
The changes start with reducing the number of
boarding lanes from five to two. United app users will also receive a new alert when
boarding has begun for their flight, making it easier to know when
to make their way to the gate. In the future, United will expand
these notifications to text messages. Digital displays in the gate
area also keep customers informed with updated helpful boarding
United's enhanced boarding also provides an
upgraded experience for some of the airline's top MileagePlus
members. United's MileagePlus Premier 1K customers who previously
boarded in group one, will now be invited to pre-board, and
United's MileagePlus Premier Gold customers will also move up in
the boarding process from group two to group one. These changes
not only give these customers more time to settle into their
seats, but also help balance out the number of customers in each
of the airline's five boarding groups.
United is also expanding
its U.S. military pre-boarding group from uniformed military members to
also include all active duty military members to even better
recognize those serving the their country.
Qualifying United credit card
holders will continue to receive priority boarding in group two.
United started testing a variety of boarding concepts in
the fall of 2017, soliciting feedback from customers and employees
along the way. United then
began rolling out aspects of this process, including updated
signage at select airports across its network earlier this year,
and putting it into effect at all gates at Los Angeles
International Airport in February. Beginning Tuesday (18 September
new boarding process will take place at over 1,000 gates across the globe.