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 - 16 through 30 (of 52 total)

  • PeterCoultas

    Why is it that the airlines still don’t know how to board efficiently….first at the back with window seats, then from the back with other seats then in sections going forward. Hopefully, business/first through a different gate or at any time. Unless I’m stupid enough to pay for an assigned seat on short european trips always board at the very last minute on BA. Not only time for another drink in the lounge but there will be lots of empty eco seats and many will be better than the one you’ve been assigned. Drop in to whichever you like most: the attendants will already be sweating that they could miss their take off slot and take no notice.


    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.

    Gate staff are certainly strict and once we remember to read the numbers on the boarding pass it may be more efficient.
    It will certainly sell more ribbon barriers. Its all dogs jumping through hoops!


    United have Group 1 as First Class and Global Services travellers (which I think is similar to BA Gold Gues List). This ensures Group one is a small select group. I’m not sure how many Gold cards are on a typical flight out of T5 but I’m sure the first class passengers will appreciate the Gold card scrum in Group 1.


    Peter Coultas- People travelling together will simply refuse to be split and boarded separately- that’s why you can’t board the window seats first from the back, then middle seats and so on. It may be the most efficient way of doing it, but it’s practically and commercially impossible.


    BA tried about a year ago to introduce a boarding preference first to Club passengers and then only to Gold. They abandoned it. Not this one. As a Gold member, I am of course biased when I write I like it… But I think it makes sense.

    Luggage only travellers will now be challenged as they might not find a spot for their roll-on luggage, or only at the back-end. Interesting to see how it will be implemented.



    Does this mean the pre boarding announcement offering passengers with carry on’s, willing to have them checked in, in return for priority boarding, will now cease… (mind you, have not heard it for a few flights now)…


    Will they also now desist from boarding the slow walkers, wheelies, parents with teenage kids before the priority Group 1?! I counted 43 “preboards” on a CPT departure recently. Maybe these should be an extra group.


    Wheelchair users etc obviously need to board first. Parents with pushchairs etc makes sense but they need to be more clear of definition of ‘children’ as I’ve seen a number of examples of what looks like 8 year olds “infants” being pre-boarded and sometimes with all 15 members of the extended family.

    On a flight from SFO to LAS last week, an elderly couple in front of me in the line said they needed time to board so we’re allowed on with first class. Once out of sight of the gate agent they gave eachother a high-five and sprinted down the air bridge to the plane ……… very amusing!


    Where is the priority for families? Not that I am trying to get an advantage, I might add, I am delighted that both Senior Offspring and Junior Offspring are over 16. However, it does seem to have been customary for BA to offer families boarding priority. I have no particular issue with that – they can board their planes in any order they wish – but since families are not mentioned here I cannot help but wonder whether they will still get some level of priority, where exactly that level will be, and how many arguments will arise from it conflicting with this published policy?

    On a recent flight from LHR-MAN, a family barged into the priority queue. When I politely pointed out that there was a queue, the (presumed) father became somewhat belligerent, exclaiming that families were entitled to priority. Well, matey (although I was restrained from saying so by the Memsahib), so do business class passengers (tick), top-tier frequent fliers (tick) and people who had been waiting 20 minutes in the effing queue (tick).

    I do have a suggestion for BA’s new logo. I am sure I will use this more than once, but here’s my first time.

    Scrap “To Fly. To Serve.” (which is bollox anyway)

    The new and realistic slogan:

    “We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied”


    @IanFromHKG……there has never been a BA policy for preboarding “families”. The only exception is parents with a child under 2 years old. Many parents wrongly expect to be boarded first with their teenage offspring.

    Also, if the boarding position is based on amount paid, when does a First Class passenger, who has paid with Avios, board…last probably!
    Another thought, if I part-pay using Avios, do I drop boarding position….less cash!

    I remember the ridiculous adage that one used to get, over the years, with the Gold renewal welcome pack….”remember that as a Gold you will always board first”. Gone but not forgotten!


    I recall when premium passengers paid more to stay OFF the plane until the last minute, preferring the “sanctity” of the lounge to the chilly cabin environment! Perhaps this says more about the lounge environment these days?


    The simple logistics of boarding a plane are clear.
    Maximum efficiency is achieved if you avoid passenger ‘clash’. This system will cause tremendous problems at boarding with ‘clash’ of priority groups.
    Those sitting furthest from the aircraft doors should be seated first, they have a clear run to their seats, those in the middle should be boarded once the previous group have entered the aircraft, with all the long distance seating done, those sitting at the front then board.
    If you have multiple aircraft doors, the policy applies for each door, most aircraft do not have a middle door, but the system will still work.
    If you want to ‘pimp’ services by any price priority system you are going to have problems, Joe Public and especially
    ‘business over entitled’ passengers will demand that only they get priority.
    You could off course, and this is what I would recommend, is either put all ‘prioritised passengers on first’ and board non priority on the above basis, or hold priority passengers in the lounge until the otyhers have boarded , again using my system.
    You only have to look at the problems that Ryanair experienced with their seating apart policy, to se just how much delay is caused by passenger confusion. Keep it simple, Keep it clear, and Keep imposing it.


    “We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied” [post: IanfromHKG #838567

    I have just disgraced myself in a silent area of an academic library by laughing out loud at this! Nice one Mr Ian.


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

    I’m with you on this. If it speeds up departure times (or, more accurately, eliminates or reduces the delays) it’s fine by me.

    As an example of how delays can cascade: early November, Mrs TOH and myself were flying from AMS via LHR to JNB for a holiday. AMS flight left at 1410 scheduled, to arrive at 1410 local. JNB flight left at 1810.

    On check-in, we were informed of a 30-minute delay. No problem.

    By the time we got to the lounge, that had extended to two hours. Still OK.

    Boarding was at 1630, and took ages, for all the reasons cited here.

    Then the aircraft went tech and we had to await an engineer.

    Engineer arrived, fixed it, and we then had to wait for the paperwork.

    By now we’d missed our departure slot.

    Took off at 1715. Now cutting it very fine.

    Arrived T5 at around 1700 local. No parking gate. Waited.

    Finally disembarked, at a run, at 1720 (we were in 1A and 1B, providentially). Told we might just make the flight. Pounded across T5. Effing huge queue at security (why do transit passengers have to go through security again – can anyone tell me???) Pushed to front with lots of apologies.

    Security machine belt broke down. Security Goblins unconcerned and shrugged.

    It finally re-started, and the Chief Security Uruk-Hai decided my camera bag (which had passed from LHR to AMS the previous day without even an eyebrow being raised). Despite pleas and waving of boarding cards, she insists it be unpacked. We’re talking a very large ThinkTank wheelie bag here, by the way.

    Arrive at gate as the last pax are passing through.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 52 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
May cover
May cover
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below