United Airlines has unveiled a boarding process that the airline said will give customers more space at the gate and shorten waiting time.
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Changes include reducing the number of boarding lanes from five to two, as well as adjusting the logistics over boarding priority. United's MileagePlus Premier 1K customers, who previously boarded in group one, will now be invited to preboard, and United's MileagePlus Premier Gold customers will also move up in the boarding process from group two to group one.
The Chicago-based airline, which is owned by United Continental Holdings, is also expanding its military preboarding group from uniformed military members to also include all active-duty military members.
United app users will also receive an alert when boarding has begun for their flight.
The airline began rolling out parts of this process earlier this year, but Wednesday the new boarding process began to be used at over 1,000 gates across the globe.
The changes come after customer feedback. United started testing a variety of boarding concepts in the fall of 2017, soliciting feedback from customers and employees along the way. After testing these changes at numerous airports, United received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers and employees who experienced the better boarding process.
"The boarding process was one of the top areas customers told us they wanted improved," said Sarah Murphy, vice president of Global Operations Strategy, Planning and Design at United.
"We listened to customers and employees as we tested a variety of processes on thousands of flights until we found a better boarding process.”
American Airlines currently boards by zone using only two lanes, but its elite (Executive Platinum) passengers board first in the official process, after preboarding.