Airlines are more likely to figure out the meaning of life than figure out the ideal way to board passengers onto an aircraft. But, that little fact isn’t stopping them from trying.
Recently, Delta announced plans to overhaul its boarding process. And, according to the airline, it isn’t doing it for its own benefit, but for yours.
According to Fortune, the airline is completely doing away with its current zone boarding procedures. It will replace that system with a new color-coded boarding process that it believes will make the entire ordeal just a little more streamlined.
“This is the latest evolution in Delta’s multi-year work to bring consistency, simplicity, and clarity to the gate and boarding experience, efforts that have driven all-time high customer experience scores,” the airline shared in its announcement.
So, how exactly will it work? According to Delta, passengers who need assistance, as well as parents will small children, will still get to go first. They will be followed by first class cabin travelers.
But, from there, everything changes. After those groups, passengers will board via their new fare price. That means passengers with Comfort+ tickets will go next, followed by Gold and Platinum Medallion members.
Next, Fortune explained, passengers with Main Cabin 1 tickets will board. This group will include Silver Medallion members and people who carry a Delta credit card. Following them will be Main Cabin 2 and Main Cabin 3, Last up is passengers who chose the dreaded “Basic Economy” fares.
“Every customer values consistency and a sense of knowing what to expect when they’re traveling,” Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement shared with Fortune. “We have been listening to our customers about the stress they often feel at the gate before boarding, and implementing small changes for years. This latest enhancement further refines how Delta’s process works and is designed to better link the Delta product they purchased to differentiated experiences throughout their journey.”
Though it may feel like adding more boarding groups would cause more headaches, the research team at Delta found that people like the exclusivity of boarding in smaller groups. And, as The Points Guy noted, it truly may be an easier experience when you consider these boarding groups will consist of about 10 to 15 people at a time rather than 30 to 40.
Expect the new boarding process to begin on all Delta-operated flights globally starting Jan. 23.