United Airlines recently announced something worth getting excited about for air travelers – a new boarding process designed to save time and make the process smoother for everyone. The new policy, which will take effect July 9th, will see passengers boarding planes in pre-assigned groupings based on their seat location.
Travelers on United flights will be divided into 3 different zones, each with their own boarding window: Zone 1 is for passengers seated at the front of the airplane, Zone 2 is for those in the middle section, and Zone 3 is for those in the back. Each boarding window will be approximately five minutes long, with those in Zone 1 boarding first, followed by Zone 2, and finally Zone 3.
The new boarding process is designed to eliminate the “cattle call” scenario that is all-too-familiar to anyone who has ever flown. By pre-assigning passengers to specific places at the gate, the boarding process can be recently expedited as it can be done in an orderly and organized manner. Furthermore, this system will allow everyone to get on the plane quicker, reducing the amount of time spent on the ground and allowing for quicker take-off.
United Airlines has gone further in improving the air travel experience, by also announcing that pre-selected passengers will be able to use their mobile device as their boarding pass, eliminating the need to search through a printed boarding pass. In addition, additional methods of boarding are being considered, such as assigning passengers with specific seat numbers to board in certain order.
Time will tell if United’s new boarding process will be a success. However, if nothing else, the airline should be commended for their commitment to making the air travel experience as efficient and painless as possible for everyone.