United Airlines is to make changes to the way it boards passengers from next week, in a bid to speed up the process.

The US carrier is to employ the so-called ‘WILMA’ method, which sees customers boarded in the order of window, middle then aisle.

United said that the policy had been shown in trials to save up to two minutes on the time taken to board passengers, and also resulted in higher Net Promoter Scores (a measure of the loyalty of a company’s customer base).

The airline will continue to board first and business class customers – as well as elite loyalty programme members, active duty military and those requiring additional assistance – in the normal manner.

But those passengers in boarding group 4 and below will now be subject to the new policy.

Note that multiple customers in the same economy reservation will receive the same and highest applicable boarding group, excluding Basic Economy customers in boarding Group 6.

The changes are set to take effect from 26 October, on US domestic routes, as well as those to Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and on transatlantic and transpacific routes.


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