American Airlines is to offer passengers priority boarding privileges for a fee, similar to those offered by budget carriers including Easyjet and Ryanair. The service is one of several new ticketing options being launched by the carrier.
The new boarding service is being launched as part of the Boarding and Flexibility Package for passengers travelling within the US, but will also be extended as a stand alone feature for international passengers later this summer.
The “Group 1 of General Boarding” service will allow customers to board immediately after Priority Access passengers (those on premium tickets or holding Elite AAdvantage or Oneworld status), and the introductory costs will be US$10 each way regardless of the flight length, market or routing. Budget carriers including Easyjet and Ryanair already offer priority boarding services on their flights, although these carriers have unassigned seating on board.
Travellers with AA will be able to purchase the option up to one hour prior to scheduled departure, via the self-service check-in machines at “most US, and many worldwide airports”. The service will be extended to those self-service machines that offer credit card payments, which includes those at Heathrow and Manchester, although as yet no dates have been released for the rollout.
In the US, the Boarding and Flexibility Package is being introduced for passengers as part of the carrier’s new Your Choice offering, which AA says will provide “key services intended to make the customer travel experience even more personalized, convenient, cost-effective and flexible than ever before”.
The package costs from US$9 each way (depending on the route), and provides passenger benefits including being placed in “Group 1 of General Boarding”, as well as a US$75 discount off the regular charge for flight changes, and the ability to standby for an earlier flight on the day of departure for no extra charge.
For more information visit aa.com/yourchoice.
Report by Mark Caswell