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With new management in place, United spent the last several weeks listening closely to a barrage of feedback from its fliers and employees.
The airline hopes to announce several passenger facing changes in the coming weeks, and one of them is “addressing the boarding process.”
On its earnings call today management said it will test changes to the boarding process beginning this week at Chicago O’Hare Gate B8, though no details about the changes to the process were revealed.
United currently boards planes with 5 groups, a process in place for about two years.
And there’s an unpublished boarding of top tier Global Service fliers and uniformed military personnel just before Group 1. But families who need extra help aren’t offered early boarding. That’s after a round of about 3 changes in the course of a year during the early part of the merger.
For comparison, Delta boards its flights like this:
It’s also five zones, with unpublished boarding of uniformed military and families with strollers or car seats.
So while United’s boarding process is confusing, it doesn’t look any more or less confusing than its peers.
United has been emphatic about giving its employees the tools it needs to succeed.
Our guess is United’s agents are saying the boarding process is too cumbersome to get planes out on time, and they want something simpler.
Either way, more change is on the way. No change will make everyone 100% happy with all the constituents involved in boarding priority, but if United can break other airlines out of the mold that’s become a parody of itself we’ll call it a win.
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