United Airlines debuted a new boarding process earlier this week in an effort to combat gate overcrowding, and make sure flights depart on time. United reduced the boarding lines to two from five, and is urging travelers to wait until their boarding group, numbered 1 through 5, is called.
The airline now sends out notifications to passengers on their mobile devices to let them now boarding has begun once the first boarding pass is scanned, so that travelers don’t have to hover around the gate.
When it’s time to board, United will call pre-boarding that’s open to its top-tier “Premier 1K” and “Global Services” frequent-flyers, active military, customers with disabilities and families with children ages 2 and younger. They’ll board via lane 1.
Then comes Group 1, which includes first- and business-class customers plus Platinum- and Gold-level frequent-flyers. Group 1 also boards through lane 1, while Group 2 lines up in lane 2.
Group 2 boards once the Group 1 queue clears. It includes Silver-level frequent-fliers and certain United credit-card holders and customers who’ve purchased United’s priority access or boarding privileges.
United’s new two-line system brings it more in line with those of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.