There's another post elsewhere on Milepoint about why so much animus is directed at people who cluster around the boarding lanes, that animus showing itself in the term "Gate Lice". That post is here: Gate Lice And The Associated Loathing... This is not a re-hash of that post. Instead, let's develop the conversation that grew out of that discussion about how the boarding process could be redesigned to make it more effective. I'm starting from the following premises: The boarding process will only be effective if the rules are enforced and it's my impression that agents rarely turn back customers boarding out of order. The current system is not easily enforceable since it doesn't really work to detect line jumpers at the scanner when it's difficult to turn them away. The current system does not have adequate separate between the lounge area and the boarding area so that the area at the entrance to the boarding lanes is seen by most people as part of the lounge, not part of the operational boarding area. The current system is actually too difficult for most infrequent fliers to understand (they probably have trouble finding their flight number let alone the zone number) and too difficult for agents to enforce (since they can't see who on line is supposed to be there). In other words, it's not surprising that people wind up clustered around the boarding gate. Here's what I think could be done to redesign the system: Boarding passes should be color-coded by zone so that it's easier for people to understand which groups are boarding and easier for gate agents (and everyone else, for that matter) to tell when people are jumping the line. Print-at-home boarding passes may be from non-color printers — the color name could be included in the color bar (so a b/w printout of a "green" zone pass would say GREEN in the printed-as-black bar) or another coding system (animals, sports teams) could be used. In addition to just announcements, which many people don't catch or understand, the lanes should have monitors over them that show what color can use that lane at any given time (similar to the Whole Foods checkout system). Non-boarding color codes could be directed to waiting areas so that everyone with an orange pass should clearly be standing in one particular area to be ready for their turn. The different boarding lanes should have separate entrances. Perhaps the priority lane should be routed behind the gate desk, or perhaps the gate area needs a more substantial redesign. It should not be possible to cluster around the entrance to the boarding lane. Perhaps these areas should be cordoned off and then opened only to people with the correct color boarding pass (with an agent pre-checking at the entrance to this holding area).