The new boarding process will include nine different groups.
American Airlines is launching a new boarding process starting March 1.
There will now be nine boarding groups to include the airline’s new basic economy, a new fare class introduced in February that offers low prices but not amenities like seat assignments and overhead bin space.
Preboarding will be for ConciergeKey members (the premium of the premium rewards members).
Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.
(Business Class on a 2-class international aircraft)
(Business Class on a 3-class aircraft)
Alaska Airlines MVP members
Citi / AAdvantage Executive cardmembers
Customers who bought Priority boarding
And main boarding will include:
Main Cabin Extra
Eligible AAdvantage credit cardmembers
Eligible corporate travelers
And so begins the groups who have no distinction besides a “6” on their boarding pass.
And a “7.”
And an “8.”
Finally, group nine—yes, nine—will be for basic economy passengers.
While the airline says the process is meant to make boarding easier, some critics say it’s making the procedure more complicated for customers.
“The boarding order will be the same, with only minor exceptions,” a company spokesman told MarketWatch. “The change is in how we refer to each group on board passes and announcements.”
The change is one of several the airline is making this year, including the exclusion of seat-back entertainment screens on its new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.