US Airways Now Offering Priority Boarding For A Fee

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(Meg)

Add another airline to the list of carriers that sells upgrades to priority boarding and the use of the speedier security checkpoint lanes, to passengers not flying in first class.

Yesterday, US Airways announced the launch of its new PreferredAccess program, which gives travelers priority check-in privileges, access to priority security lanes at terminals where they are available and priority boarding (i.e., Zone 1 boarding, meaning you get on the plane after Envoy, First Class, and Dividend Miles Preferred travelers) at the following 21 airports:
Atlanta
Baltimore
Boston
Charlotte, N.C.
Chicago
Dallas
Denver
Frankfurt, Germany
Indianapolis
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Newark, N.J.
New York (LGA)
Orlando, Fla.
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
San Francisco
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Tampa, Fla.
Washington, D.C. (DCA)

The airline says it will expand that list to 39 cities later this year.

So what does it cost? The airline says the price starts at $10 each way, but doesn’t explain what would cause that price to go up or what the maximum would be. Delta and United’s priority boarding upsells start at $9 each way.

Passengers willing to part with the fee would do so while performing their online check-in before their flight.

US Airways Offers Option to Buy Priority Airport Access [CNBC]

Comments

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    I would gladly pay $10 to make sure my carry on is located in my general area.

    The worst is when you have to go beyond your seat to find a spot as not only does it make me feel like an asshole, I know I will have to wait for the plane to empty before getting my bag.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I just finished reading that Spirit is going to raise their carry-onfee to $100.00.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      I will gladly pay $10 to ensure that my carry-on gets on the plane with me at all.

    • thomwithanh says:

      I fly US Airways regularly (Silver elite). I’ve seen instances where two thirds of the plane boards with Zone 1… if PreferredAccess purchasers are boarding after the elites there’s no guarantee your $10 will get you space in the overhead.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        It could be the air port, at CLT I see people constantly getting kicked back if they do not board with the proper zone.

    • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

      Kudos to you for not being the asshole that attempts to retrieve his carry-on while the plane is still deboarding. Thank you for that!

    • maxamus2 says:

      I truly never understand why someone wants to put their carry on in the front of the plane when their seat is in the middle or back. No matter where I sit I want to have my carry on close to me. Blows my mind when I see the guy put it in the front of the plane then walk back about 15 aisles.

  2. MrObvious says:

    Priority boarding doesn’t do anything for me. Everyone in the plane still gets there at the same time.

    Do you know what I would pay for? Priority de-boarding after the plane lands.

    • JaundiceJames says:

      I’m with you 100%. You’re just moving from one chair to another. I like to wait at the gate and board at the last minute. Who wants to sit in that tube LONGER? I’d pay to spend less time in that recycled-air prison.

      • GrimJack says:

        Thank you! I never understood the rush to get abound with two exceptions: a carry-on that you need to make sure fits and doesn’t get gate checked, and flying a non-assigned seating carrier like SWA. In years of flying mainline carriers, unless I was upgraded to business/first, I would always be one of the last few to board. Let the cattle push and shove their way into their seats – mine was always waiting for me when I got there…

        • Jane_Gage says:

          Assume it will be checked and put your purse, laptop, and camera in a backpack for under the seat.

    • aerodawg says:

      They offer that too. It’s called “sitting at the front of the plane” :p

  3. MrObvious says:

    Priority boarding doesn’t do anything for me. Everyone in the plane still gets there at the same time.

    Do you know what I would pay for? Priority de-boarding after the plane lands.

  4. notanignoramus says:

    I really hope USAirways does not start charging people with small children and those who need extra assistance or time to board. They need to make sure they are still in compliance with ADA.

  5. Darkrose says:

    Priority boarding for an airline that assigns seats.

    Amazing.

    • kaptainkk says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Why??

    • Hi_Hello says:

      even with assigned sitting, if you have a carry on bag and you get on too late, you’ll have no room to store your carry on.

    • zack says:

      Guaranteed overhead for baggage. I -hate- running out of room, and having to check or put a bag in the way back of the plane. Makes getting on/off that much harder.

      Source: Frequent Flier.

  6. moyawyvern says:

    I am flying US Airways tomorrow (not by choice. Charlotte to Boston has nearly no direct flights) and I got one of these emails. I am not going to part with my money, and there is no way in hell I am gate checking my bag, since I am always in like zone 893 or something. Thank goodness this is a short enough trip that I can live with no laptop and just my backpack.

  7. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    Or you can just fly United and have that sweet Premier Membership where you get the priority boarding and occasional bump into first class.

    • pot_roast says:

      FYI, you’ll have that on US Airways too. Star Alliance partnership. CHeck it out! :-)

  8. AllanG54 says:

    So…if everyone pays the fee who gets to board early???

    • gman863 says:

      They hold an auction.

      “First boarding spot, ten, ten…twenty, twenty do I hear thirty…thirty from the fat chick in the blue dress..forty, forty…forty from the dude in the Hilfinger shirt…do I hear sixty….?

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      If Consumerist is any indication, everyone expects to pay economy fare and get free checked bags, priority boarding, bumps to first class for tickets booked on Priceline, etc. *Paying* for an upgrade is outside the scope of acceptability for many of these people.

  9. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    I tried this with another airline once and didn’t read the full name. It was priority ‘water boarding’ for a fee. Worst flight I ever had.

  10. Onesnap says:

    Not worth it. US Air is quick with their boarding out of Boston. I fly them a lot.

  11. tz says:

    Can I board late and be insured my carryon will be in an overhead bin? Board first? Spend more time confined in the tube?

  12. gman863 says:

    They hold an auction.

    “First boarding spot, ten, ten…twenty, twenty do I hear thirty…thirty from the fat chick in the blue dress..forty, forty…forty from the dude in the Hilfinger shirt…do I hear sixty….?

  13. IphtashuFitz says:

    And what happens when EVERYBODY on a flight signs up for priority boarding and all the passengers bum rush the gate at the same time? My guess is they’ll come up with “priority plus” or some such nonsense and charge twice as much…

  14. Clyde Barrow says:

    Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhh priority boarding for those with Narcisstic Personality Disorders so they can inflate their ego knowing that they are on the plane first. LOL!

  15. prosumer1 says:

    Dammit! No! This is not how it’s supposed to work! I can’t have the little people board right after me, or at the same time as I do. I’m Chairman’s Preferred, goddammit!

  16. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Isn’t this really a fee for keeping your carry on near you and to help ensure you even get space for it?

  17. nopirates says:

    so what happens when everyone become ‘preferred’?

  18. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I probably won’t bother. It doesn’t matter to me where I sit, and if my carry-on has to be gate checked, I’ll grab it when I change planes. My backpack (personal item) stays with me and it fits under the seat on even the little planes.

    I did pay for that on Allegiant because they had the cattle car seating, but I won’t be flying them anymore since they are charging for carry-ons. It was nice not to have to fight for a seat.

  19. brandonsavage says:

    United no longer offers priority boarding. At least as far as I can tell.

  20. Chaluapman says:

    I just returned from a trip to the midwest on US AIr, It was one of the best flying experiences ever, I had plenty of leg room in a seat that was coach, non-exit, non-bulkhead. I paid the preferred boarding fee because I like to get comfy. I also didn’t want to have to gate check my carry on. As I was one of the first people on the plane, my overhead spot was virtually guaranteed. I would fly US Air again, and I would pay the fee. $10 was a very small price to pay.