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United’s testing a new method of boarding – but for real this time.
Earlier this year, United announced its new plans to streamline the dreaded boarding process by implementing a few efficiency tactics, going from the current five-lane boarding system, which was implemented in 2012, to two lanes, and using monitors to show which group is up. After an initial trial in Cleveland (CLE) last year, the current pilot airports are Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN) and Los Angeles (LAX), with more airports to follow later this summer.
The new procedure calls for groups 1 and 2 to continue boarding through their respective lanes, but then sends groups 3, 4 and 5 to board through Lane 2 while groups 1 and 2 to continue boarding through Lane 1, allowing premium passengers continued priority access while streamlining the process for all other passengers. Unfortunately, basic economy passengers will continue to wait at the very end of the line for group 5 to be called.
Once all priority passengers have boarded, United also hopes to be able to get window seat passengers seated first, before boarding center and aisle seat passengers. The airline has also implemented text alerts for travelers on certain flights to notify them when boarding begins.
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