BA boarding by group number?

Back to Forum

Tagged: , ,

This topic contains 51 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  fatbear 30 Dec 2017
at 16:04

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 52 total)

  • Gold-2K

    So BA is introducing group boarding?

    At the moment it seems that everyone from Gold Guest List to Bronze, First to WTP have priority status, so this should be a good thing if the ground staff actually enforce. I know With United if you have a group 3 boarding pass and you try and sneak in with group 1 or 2 the ground staff can’t scan your boarding pass so the system ensures it’s enforced.


    Only technology would control the boarding for BA , most of the time at T5 its shambolic as many of us would have experienced, eventually the gate staff giving up and just clearing the scrum.

    That said I would still prefer boarding to be sequenced by efficiency rather than revenue to effectively get the flights away on time.


    Just flew them recently from FLL/LGW/AMS in WTP.

    The Boeing 777 was old/tired looking plus filthy (as if it hadn’t had a good scrub down in years), service was mediocre although the flight attendants were friendly when you saw them.

    I was even more shocked at the service offering on the LGW/AMS flight – I felt like I was on an ULCC!

    We pulled back from the gate on time and then sat for 2 hours waiting for clearance from AMS to take-off – NO service whatsoever or offer to provide water — just insane!

    Captain handled the situation very well by allowing passengers to visit the cockpit which seemed to be of interest to many on board but BA has “lost the plot” when it comes to quality service… no longer “To Fly. To Serve.”

    It would be appropriate for BA to be awarded THREE STARS by Skytrax – truly what they deserve for their crapstatic policies!

    Booked in First in December to London and then India for a Christmas trip to the Himalayas and not all excited about flying them!

    Curious to see how they handle the boarding procedure during peak Christmas travel.


    In the US boarding by group number e.g. AA with 9 works because the gate agents effectively police the system and the chancers have given up trying.

    It may be insane on BA’s part to introduce this just before a busy period with a lot of occasional as opposed to regular travellers, but if they empower their agents then it will be a win for everybody as it should substantially reduce the scrum around the gates with passengers in the later higher numbered groups knowing that they cannot jump the line.

    All that we need then is consistent and appropriate policing of hand baggage on short haul flights in the airbus fleet.


    Heard it all now!…. And just how does this reduce costs?
    The only thing it will increase is the time it takes for everyone to board.


    Heard it all now!…. And just how does this reduce costs? The only thing it will increase is the time it takes for everyone to board.

    Agree completely, they did this at HKG recently and ribbon barriers (management failure for sure!) all over the gate and pax moving from one queue to another continuously.

    Appeared to take longer to board ‘though that maybe the confusion caused to pax?

    Adds stress to boarding if nothing else!


    Seems to work fine on AA, once everyone gets used to it and of course AA always explains the boarding procedure for every flight before it starts.
    Mystified how it might reduce cost, but if BA is doing it, they must see a potential saving somewhere, methinks!


    Another stride in the race to the bottom.


    I’m struggling to see what is actually wrong with this. What system do the other posters suggest is adopted?


    I think it is a positive move as anything is better than the current shambles. Recently to the US with United I was in the third group but spotted I had SSSS written on my boarding card so presented myself at the gate for my secondary security screening. They were keen to let me through and the security screening was prompt so I was on the plane before most people in group 1. So watch out for SSSS to get ahead of the queue!


    Most the US airlines have done this for a number of years.

    TBH it seems eminently sensible. Reading the article on the BBC website I think they haven’t quite reported it as well / clearly as Tom and the team.

    Not really sure there is anything to get worked up about about with this (except that they should have introduced it ages ago!)

    Suggest they alter the gate area to make it clear what the boarding groups are etc. In many US airports there are areas marked boarding group 1, 2, 3, etc, which generally works well and better than a simple priority / regular line.


    This is an eminently sensible clarification to an existing policy that – if handled appropriately and consistently – will ensure smoother departures driving improvements to the doors-closed ARTG metric, and ultimately improving the overall customer experience (welcome news indeed!).

    What made me laugh over the weekend is the ridiculous notion that this is somehow a ‘class’ issue, or that BA should be doing it’s bit to ‘make society fairer and more equal’ (this last comment coming from an interview with ‘An Exec Club Blue card holder in The Independent’ – a stunningly pointless piece of journalistic fluff if ever there was one).

    Leaving the argument over BA’s general declining service standards aside, they are a commercial organisation that should be prioritising value creation first and foremost (increasing revenue, improving profit, reducing risk and deploying capital more effectively). They’re not a flag carrier and they are not a public-owned entity. They have no ‘social’ obligations other than the usual CSR-related ones like Change-for-Good.

    Plenty of other airlines operate this system and no-one has batted an eyelid. And to state the utterly obvious, if you pay more, are a high-tiered frequent flyer, or travel in a premium cabin, you are directly contributing to BA’s bottom line. And as such OF COURSE you should get preferential treatment in terms of boarding and service. For those on cheapo hand-baggage only fairs whining about being put at the back of the queue, the simple answer is pay more, or fly more frequently. Otherwise, you get a seat, and a safe flight. And nothing else for your £39.99 return to Lisbon. Much like on any of the other budget carriers.


    Flew LAS to ORD on AA yesterday and the system of group boarding worked well. Groups 1-4 were deemed priority, but you could not board until your group was called. Connected to BA to LHR and that was disorganised with no real priority.

    This proposed system would work well, if gate agents implement it strictly.


    Surely a better option than the current nonsense of “priority” boarding of Gold, Silver, Blue, Bronze, breathing………….but I agree that the system has to 2throw” you out if your group hasn’t been called.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 52 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below