United Boarding Group Assignment


United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [2016-forward]

   
Feb 6, 18, 8:51 am   -   Wikipost
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Source: United Boarding Process

Pre-Boarding
  • Unaccompanied Minors
  • Customers with Disabilities
  • Global Services
  • Uniformed Military Personnel
  • Families with Children Age Two and Under

Premier Access Boarding
  • Group 1: Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, Business/Polaris Business, and First/Polaris First.
  • Group 2: Premier Gold, Star Gold, Premier Silver, Star Silver, MileagePlus Presidential Plus, Club, Explorer and Awards, purchased Premier Access


General boarding (Window Seats, then Middle Seats, then Aisle)
  • Group 3 - Window Seats
  • Group 4 - Middle & Aisle Seats (Aisle Seats on UA Express)
  • Group 5 - Basic Economy

Customers who have purchased a Basic Economy ticket will be in the last boarding group, with the exception of Premier members, Chase Cardmembers of qualifying cards and Star Alliance Gold members, who will still receive their priority boarding.

Note: If you’re traveling with a companion and one of you has a higher boarding status, you both may board with the earlier group.

Note: Self Boarding Gates are being tested at the following gates...
  • IAH - Gate C25/C26 - See Post 2960, Includes YouTube video from CO777DAL
  • IAH - Gate E4 - Old test from pmCO days, See Thread Here
  • BOS - Self boarding gates are now back in *LIMITED* use at least at gates B25 and B26


sUA Boarding Times by Aircraft (AFA)

Previous thread: United's Current Boarding Process (with Wiki) [Revised, May 2013]



Has something changed? Wife has a window seat and BP with Boarding Group #5 on it. Switched window seats and still showing BG5.
 
Programs: AS MVP Au, UA Ag, HH Dia, Marriott Pt, IHG, Nexus, *$ Au
 
Mar 13, 17, 4:17 pm
 
Programs: OZ Diamond (*G), HHonors Gold, TrueBlue
How about this:
Pre board: Assistance, GS
1. First if 3 cabin or business if 2 cabin, 1k
2. Business if 3 cabin, Platinum
3. Gold, Silver, *A G
4. *A S, Credit cards
5. Economy
6. Basic Economy
Originally Posted by TennisNoob
1. First cabin if 3 cabin or business if 2 cabin& GS.
2. Business if 3 cabin, 1k, plat.
3. Gold, Silver, *A Gold, CC Priority boarding, rear seats.
4. More economy
5. last of economy
6. Basic economy
 
Mar 14, 17, 5:47 pm
 
AA just went to 9 boarding groups. I think it is the same as they had before but they made all groups have a number instead of about 4 different pre-board groups.

UA can do this

Gp1 Need assistance/time ( they need to check in at the podium and request it)
Gp 2 GS and Military
Gp 3 First/Business First and 1K
Gp 4 Business (on 3 class) and Platinum
Gp 5 Gold and *A Gold
Gp 6 Silver and Premier Access (purchased and CC)
Gp 7 Window
Gp 8 Middle
Gp 9 Aisle

Gp 1 would include the under 2 children if people insist they need to board early.
 
Mar 14, 17, 7:47 pm

united's early boarding includes "uniformed military". Today at IAD D2, an agent boarding a UAx flight down to ORF denied early boarding to a young Marine returning from deployment. He was carrying but not wearing his uniform. Agent said "policy is military in uniform". Several of us (military not asking to early board) called him on it but his only response was to tell us to not question him if we wanted to fly.

I almost never see this, but when I do, it is always this high handed and rigid.
 
Programs: UA 1K mm / AA EXPPlat / Marriott Lifetime Plat , Hilton Diamond (dropping to gold for 2017)
 
Mar 20, 17, 3:37 pm
 
Programs: UA PP, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
I think it's also promotional . . . "see, we care about the military"

(And GS they should know if one is on the flight)
Originally Posted by laxmillenial
They call out of courtesy. The military serves abroad as well and on the off-chance that there might be 1 passenger on a plane that qualifies, they call. Similar to why they call "GS" every flight as well (or are supposed to)
 
Mar 20, 17, 4:47 pm
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
Programs: DL DM, UA 1K MM, Subway Club Member
The policy is "Uniformed members of the U.S. military" which is defined by law (10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5)) to include the 4 Armed Forces as well as the USCG and parts of NOAA and PHS. The literal interpretation of the person having to be in a uniform is wrong and should be reported to United.
Originally Posted by cmculp
united's early boarding includes "uniformed military". Today at IAD D2, an agent boarding a UAx flight down to ORF denied early boarding to a young Marine returning from deployment. He was carrying but not wearing his uniform. Agent said "policy is military in uniform". Several of us (military not asking to early board) called him on it but his only response was to tell us to not question him if we wanted to fly.

I almost never see this, but when I do, it is always this high handed and rigid.
 
Mar 20, 17, 4:57 pm
 
Programs: AA LT Plat, DL DM, Hilton DIA, Hyatt Plat, ICH Plat, Marriott LT Plat. Hertz Plat
Serious cluster this morning SJC-ORD

Boarding lane signs were 3,4,5. No 1 or 2.

The GA referenced 1 and 2 several times........

People needing assistance were called first but 2 in wheel chairs sat at the door waiting for assistance while the GA went onto families with children and GS.

Immediately went onto Group 1 even though no GS's boarded (maybe there weren't any?)

No call for military even though there were 3 in uniform soldiers sitting right in front of the counter.

I boarded when FC was called. 2 wheelchair people were still at the door.....
 
Mar 20, 17, 8:30 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Had a strange one due to the pre-boarding of kids the other day.

I was around the 5th person to board, after 2 elderly pax and 2 moms with kids.

Boarding seems to be taking longer than it should. I get onboard to see one mom sitting in my seat with lap kid, and the other mom arguing it's her seat.

FA asks me to wait (I've said nothing yet about my seat), then berates mom #1 and tells her she cannot sit there and that if she doesn't take her assigned seat, she will get the cops. Mom #1 argues that she was in the exit row and thus had to sit somewhere else, and this is where the GA put her. (Not true, as I boarded after, and my BP didn't buzz/ding, nor did mom #1 seem to have any conversation with GA.)

FA tells her she isn't allowed to sit there with a kid. This is an ERJ-145, so the FA was correct to say that the rules don't allow babies in the seat she poached, due to the mask situation.

Finally, mom #1 gets up and goes to a seat in the back. Mom #2 immediately plops down in my seat.

FA then proceeds to lecture her about taking her assigned seat, and she claims the GA told her to take "any seat near the front." Huh? FA was way more confrontational than needed, but finally got across that you can't sit there due to rules.

I never had to ask anyone to move... but this is the first time my seat's been poached twice by people boarding ahead of me!
 
Apr 4, 17, 1:06 pm
 
Programs: UA GS 1.25MM, Marriott+SPG Plat, Clear, Nexus, Global Entry and MEX Viajero Confiable
sounds like you hit the perfecta of DYKWIA moms
Originally Posted by exerda
Had a strange one due to the pre-boarding of kids the other day.

I was around the 5th person to board, after 2 elderly pax and 2 moms with kids.

Boarding seems to be taking longer than it should. I get onboard to see one mom sitting in my seat with lap kid, and the other mom arguing it's her seat.

FA asks me to wait (I've said nothing yet about my seat), then berates mom #1 and tells her she cannot sit there and that if she doesn't take her assigned seat, she will get the cops. Mom #1 argues that she was in the exit row and thus had to sit somewhere else, and this is where the GA put her. (Not true, as I boarded after, and my BP didn't buzz/ding, nor did mom #1 seem to have any conversation with GA.)

FA tells her she isn't allowed to sit there with a kid. This is an ERJ-145, so the FA was correct to say that the rules don't allow babies in the seat she poached, due to the mask situation.

Finally, mom #1 gets up and goes to a seat in the back. Mom #2 immediately plops down in my seat.

FA then proceeds to lecture her about taking her assigned seat, and she claims the GA told her to take "any seat near the front." Huh? FA was way more confrontational than needed, but finally got across that you can't sit there due to rules.

I never had to ask anyone to move... but this is the first time my seat's been poached twice by people boarding ahead of me!
 
Apr 4, 17, 2:57 pm
 
Programs: UA-GS, Hertz Pres Circle, Avis Pres Club, Marriott PLT, Starwood PLT
What is frustrating is the complete lack of consistency to the pre-boarding.

In general there are three scenarios I encounter:

1. The Pauser: GA announces each pre-boarding group with an agonizing wait in between reminiscent of "Meet the Parents." I hate this type as GS ends up boarding milliseconds before group 1. Often with 30+ passengers boarding ahead of them.

2. The Lumper: GA Lumps all preboarding people into one breathless sentence. I like this type as it basically means GS is first to board.

3. The Clueless: The GA announces group 1 with no preboarding. Or uses some other airline's boarding lingo.
Originally Posted by TomA
Interesting.

I've seen all versions of this from uniform only, to checking IDs, to not checking anything.

Personally, I think pre-boarding should be limited to GS, unaccompanied minors and disabled only. Not that it matters what I think. haha
 
Apr 10, 17, 12:12 am
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I have no status what-so-ever with United anymore. Actually, it was really sad seeing the words “Premier 1k” get replaced by the word “Member” next to my MileagePlus number. My days of Boarding Group 1 are long gone. My days of Boarding Group 2 are also long gone because I said goodbye to my co-branded United credit card. With that being said, you can make sure you’re never in Boarding Group 5 with the United MileagePlus Explorer credit card.

Ever since United switched to a revenue-based model, I’ve had no motivation to chase status anymore. Since I’d rather chase fare deals instead, it always happens that I reach all of the premier qualifying miles flying requirements, but never the yearly spend. It’s time to marry a Canadian.

Up until recently, I kept getting stuck with the dreaded “Boarding Group 5” label stamped on my ticket and, I couldn’t figure out why! I always check in immediately within 24 hours. Sometimes I’m stuck buying a higher fare class. So what gives?

Aside from being the last chump to board, other downfalls include having to gate check your bag when the overhead bins fill up, and I can imagine I’d be the first one to go when it comes to being involuntarily denied boarding on an over-sold flight.

For those unfamiliar, United boards flights in a 5-group process, and it looks like this:

  • Group 1 – First/Business Class passengers, Premier 1K, and Platinum members
  • Group 2 – For Chase United MileagePlus credit card holders, Gold and Silver members
  • Group 3 – General Boarding Economy
  • Group 4 – General Boarding Economy
  • Group 5 – General Boarding Economy

Of course, uniformed military personnel, families traveling with small children, and customers needing assistance are also offered priority boarding.

But here is the magic of it all…

Choose a window seat and you’ll get Boarding Group 3!

I finally discovered the formula. I was always stuck in Boarding Group 5 because I always pick an aisle seat!

So now when I see that my flight is looking mighty full, and I’m nervous about the possibility of having to check my carryon (especially when you DO NOT want your bag checked to the “final destination”), I’m simply avoiding the aisle.

What do you think about United’s Boarding process? Did you know about how Boarding Groups 3, 4, and 5 were determined for status-less customers?

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