British Airways is to start using a new group boarding system for flights from December 12, in a move which it says will “simplify and demystify the system”.

The news was leaked over the weekend via an internal document, and Business Traveller has been in contact with the carrier to confirm the move.

The new boarding groups will be as follows:

On long-haul flights:

  • Group 1: BA Executive Club Gold members, Oneworld Emerald members, and First passengers
  • Group 2: BA Executive Club Silver members, Oneworld Sapphire members, and Club World passengers
  • Group 3: BA Executive Club Bronze members, Oneworld Ruby members, and World Traveller Plus passengers
  • Groups 4 and 5: economy passengers

On short-haul flights:

  • Group 1: BA Executive Club Gold members, Oneworld Emerald members, and Club Europe passengers
  • Group 2: BA Executive Club Silver members, and Oneworld Sapphire members
  • Group 3: BA Executive Club Bronze members, and Oneworld Ruby members
  • Groups 4 and 5: economy passengers including hand baggage-only customers

BA has provided the following statement to Business Traveller regarding the changes:

“We are always looking at ways to improve and simplify the airport experience for our customers. Earlier this year we were the first UK airline to introduce automated biometric technology, with the launch of self-service boarding gates, and we also installed self-service bag drop points at Heathrow and Gatwick giving our customers an even quicker check-in experience.

“Next month we are introducing new boarding procedures to speed up the process and make it simpler for customers to understand. This method has been used by airlines around the world for a number of years, including by our partners American Airlines, Iberia and Qatar.”

The new system is being discussed on our forum here.