UPDATED (originally posted on Feb 18, 2012)
We’ve received valuable feedback from our customers about the boarding process that we introduced last spring. With these comments in mind, we’ve taken a look at how we’re doing things and what we can do to make things better. The result: We’re making a series of changes to our boarding process in an effort to improve your travel experience and our on-time performance.
We’re starting with a reduction in the total number of boarding groups – from seven to five. If you have travel plans today, you’ll hear our gate agents announcing the new groups when it’s time to board.
Streamlining the boarding groups is just part of a larger project to enhance the overall boarding process. We’ll be putting into place additional improvements throughout the spring.
We board all aircraft by boarding groups, which are numbered from 1 to 5. On your mobile or printed boarding pass, look for “Boarding Group” followed by the number of your group.
Customers who have requested physical assistance and those customers with disabilities are invited to board the aircraft first.
Pre-boarding comes next. This group includes Global ServicesSM members and uniformed military personnel.
After pre-boarding is complete, listen for your boarding group number to be called. To get an idea of what your group number will be, here’s the list for aircraft with two cabins — organized by Premier AccessSM member level.
Group 1 – Premier Access boarding
o Global ServicesSM (for those customers who didn't board during the pre-boarding announcement)
o Premier 1K®
o Premium cabins, including United First®
Note: On aircraft with three cabins, United Business® members board in this group. (Also, for three-cabin aircraft, on certain international routes, United First is referred to as United Global First® and United Business® is referred to as United BusinessFirst®.)
Group 2 – Premier Access boarding
o Premier® Gold
o Star Alliance™ Gold
o Premier® Silver
o MileagePlus® Club Card members
o Presidential PlusSM Card members
o MileagePlus® Explorer Card members
o MileagePlus® Awards Card members
Note: A Star Alliance Silver member who is also a MileagePlus
Premier Silver member traveling on United is able to board in Group 2 with a companion, as part of the MileagePlus Premier
Silver benefit. This benefit does not apply to travelers who are Star Alliance Silver members from another
Groups 3, 4, 5 – General boarding
Note: Families with infants or with children who are under the age of 4 may board the aircraft when their group number is called.
Tip: If you’re traveling with a companion and one of you has a higher boarding status, you both may board with the earlier group.
When you’re at the gate, you can view screens showing flight departure and arrival information, the standby list, in-flight amenities, aircraft configurations and boarding information.