Alaska’s New Boarding Process Will Go Into Effect in July

Jun 6, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Come July 18, Alaska Airlines promises that your relationship status will change – at least where boarding is involved.

“You may have a complicated relationship with boarding an aircraft,” the airline waxed eloquent in a blog announcement published June 6. “On the one hand, it means you will soon settle into your seat and you’re almost on your way. On the other hand, it can sometimes be stressful if you’re not sure when it’s your turn to board.”

Alaska plans to change all of that this summer. The procedural updates will begin with the boarding pass, which will feature larger fonts and more streamlined presentation of relevant information. “Your boarding pass is really a guide for your journey,” Alaska said in the blog post. “You want to know, first and foremost, where you need to be (your gate) and when you need to be there (your boarding time).”

The next phase of change will take place at the gate, where announcements will now be broadcast on screen displays at each gate. Since most travelers have headphones on these days, the visual alerts will make it far easier for passengers to catch relevant information.

Finally, the boarding process itself is undergoing a complete overhaul. Alaska’s five boarding groups – First Class, and Groups A-D – will take turns boarding approximately five minutes apart. The first passengers to enter the plane will be travelers with special needs – families with children under 2, or any guests with special services or require additional time to settle in. Active duty military and first class passengers will follow. Group A passengers include Million Milers, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold status elites; Group B will seat Alaska Mileage Plan MVPs and Premium Class. Finally, Group C will board all remaining guests who are seated in the back half of the aircraft, brought up by Group D, which encompasses all remaining guests seated toward the front half of the aircraft.

Alaska isn’t the only airline hoping to revamp the current boarding process, which is often rife with “gate lice” – passengers who mill about the boarding area well before boarding time. United just began pilot-testing a similar procedure in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, which will be rolled out to more locations later this summer.

The boarding process update isn’t Alaska’s only recent procedural change: the airline introduced basic economy fares in April, and restricted its previously generous change fee policy.

Featured photo by Shutterstock

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.