United drops early boarding for children

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by rwoman, May 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    USA Today: United drops early boarding for children

    I'm sure this will frustrate some folks...:mad:

    The article said this started last month...I may have missed any existing threads.

     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,507
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Don't think you missed any threads here. Had two flights on UA last weekend and neither pre-boarded families with small children. One boarded "people with disabilities" before GS/Uniformed Military.
     
  3. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Sorry - this started LAST month! ;)
     
    perryplatypus, uggboy and secretsea18 like this.
  4. secretsea18
    Original Member

    secretsea18 Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    44,584
    Status Points:
    14,020
    This does not upset me in the least. It is what it is....
     
  5. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    It does not affect me either, but I'm sure there will be pax frustrated with the change...but it seems UA is largely about change these days...
     
    perryplatypus and uggboy like this.
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,507
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I generally don't have a problem with letting people who truly need some extra time board first. But when I see one elderly person show up with with five or more "normal" companions, I think that's a bit too much and possibly unfair towards other passengers in groups 4-8 (or however far they go back now). Similar at the other end of the age scale.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,507
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Not really -- old UA didn't have early boarding for families with small children. So it's a change back to what it was all along for those of us on old UA.
     
  8. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    I don't have children so this does not affect me. So many times I've seen five or six (or more) adults board with one infant or toddler. People with disabilities - makes sense. Elderly who also take forever to get down the jetway (no disrespect intended) also makes sense.
     
    perryplatypus, uggboy, rwoman and 2 others like this.
  9. HeathrowGuy
    Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,131
    Likes Received:
    10,591
    Status Points:
    12,520
    When do begging nuns get to board?
     
  10. tjtenor4
    Original Member

    tjtenor4 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Now THIS change is definitely one I like. It has always made me so mad when airlines let "families with small children" board early - evenever since *I* was a child, I realized it was stupid!
     
  11. RRK

    RRK Silver Member

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    97
    Status Points:
    275
    UNITED is right ... can else can possibly get an advance boarding priority .... military/ all elites / all new UA
    credit card holders .... soon everybody will be on the pre boarding priority list ....

    c'mon .... let's be real .....
     
  12. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Even WN doesn't really board families with small kids early anymore.
     
  13. kellio
    Original Member

    kellio Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    6,997
    Status Points:
    4,470
    US Airways changed this awhile ago and it doesn't seem to be holding up boarding at all.
     
  14. joejones
    Original Member

    joejones Silver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    338
    Status Points:
    520
    Depends on how small the child is. If a child seat needs to be installed, or a stroller needs to be gate checked, or diaper bag contents need to be put in position, it makes a ton of sense to let the people get on a little early and sort it out before everyone else is climbing over them to get on the plane. OTOH, if the kid is older than about 4 or 5, they can pretty much board in the same manner as anyone else.

    ANA's boarding process is much simpler, and IMO practically works a lot better:
    (1) Disabled pax and pax with infants
    (2) F / C / *G (all at once)
    (3) Everyone else (all at once)
     
    hulagrrl210, Espan, uggboy and 3 others like this.
  15. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    580
    Status Points:
    670
    To/from MCO, this can easily be half the plane, much the same way as EWR-PBI flights often go out with a dozen or more chairs*.

    If the children can walk on their own, they can board with everyone else. Strollers should be identified and tagged prior to boarding, then the customers can board with their assigned group. IMO, the only customers who should be pre-boarding (before the masses of elites and credit card holders) are those with serious mobility concerns requiring actual assistance.



    * - inevitably, there will be fewer chairs on the other end...
     
    upgrade, perryplatypus, ella and 6 others like this.
  16. icurhere2
    Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    21,716
    Likes Received:
    27,747
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Sounds like a very prudent move, especially considering "pre-boarding" often starts after the published "boarding" time.

    WN still boards families between "A" and "B", not pre-boarding but still frustrating when you're holding B30 or higher ;)
     
    perryplatypus, uggboy and rwoman like this.
  17. joejones
    Original Member

    joejones Silver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    338
    Status Points:
    520
    The dumbest boarding setup I have ever seen was for UA882 (ORD-NRT, 744 flight) a few weeks ago. They roped off a few "lines" in front of the gate for each boarding group. The lines were each only a few feet long, and the boarding groups marked only by letter-sized printouts in 24-point Times New Roman mounted about six feet off the ground at the very front. So only the handful of people right by the gate had any idea which line they were standing in, let alone that lines even existed. Everyone else just formed a cluster stretching a hundred feet out into the concourse, and this was more than an hour before departure time.

    So do I expect UA to effectively board people? No. Much less people with infants.

    Next time we take Little Miss Jones to the US (currently five months old), we are flying ANA to the closest gateway to my family's house and driving the rest of the way. Their services for families with babies are absolutely outstanding -- including a special check-in counter at NRT where parents can sit down and complete all the formalities at a leisurely pace.
     
  18. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I know. I don't consider it to be pre-boarding, and it's boarding after possibly 1/3 of the passengers. They kept family boarding mostly because of their open seating, and getting the families on at that point is more about getting them on the plane when there are still blocks of adjacent open seats than anything else, as moving passengers around to accommodate families that board at the end when only single middle seats are open would be more detrimental to an on-time departure. That need largely disappears with assigned seating.
     
  19. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    What you described matches the way that CO, UA, NW, DL, and AA gates have generally been structured for almost the past decade.

    As for standing in line an hour before departure, well, that's just stupid. More than anything I wish gate agents would work on stopping that nonsense. However, I do realize at ORD many of the gate holding areas are tight on space and there often aren't sufficient seats to accommodate the larger flights there.

    I don't see how it could possibly be any more orderly with the free-for-all process you described on ANA.
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,507
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    And interestingly, in my experience in NRT the UA staff seems to ensure an orderly boarding process.
     
    perryplatypus and uggboy like this.
  21. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,233
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Wasn't the UA policy to put families with children between elites and regular boarding anyways, not at the very beginning?
     
    ssullivan and perryplatypus like this.
  22. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Yes - it was behind credit card holders and before general boarding - somewhere around group 5
     
    perryplatypus likes this.
  23. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,233
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    So, since half the planes are elite anyways, this really doesn't change much, right?? ;)
     
    perryplatypus likes this.
  24. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    2,476
    Status Points:
    1,145
    This is a big thumbs down from me. True, I'm sure some small minority of folks took advantage of it and boarded a small army of adults with one child, but it really is hard schlepping an infant/toddler, stroller, car seat, carry-ons, etc onto the plane, installing the carseat, while managing the baby, and not holding up the line. When you are traveling by yourself with a little one it is even harder - and I speak from experience. Having a never-ending line of impatient folks behind you would only make the situation worse.

    Sure, Southwest doesn't pre-board families (they do it between A and B groups), but even they realize that families have some needs that shouldn't wait until the end of the boarding process. Lord forbid a full-service airline like UA realize the same thing. As a former CO flyer, this really stinks. Sure, I've got the credit card and board with Group 5 anyway, but not everyone does. There is just no reason to make traveling with a little one any harder than it needs to be. I'm not sure who this benefits.
     
    YULtide, tommy777 and perryplatypus like this.
  25. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,233
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Is there really a big difference between boarding in group 5 or group 6/7/8?
     
    Seacarl, LETTERBOY and perryplatypus like this.

Share This Page