American Airlines’ “Simplified” Boarding Process Now Has 9 Boarding Groups

Image courtesy of Andrew W. Sieber

In an attempt to better serve passengers and, you know, get things moving, airlines have been revamping their boarding processes in recent years, from Delta Air Lines employees pre-load carry-on bags to Southwest’s changes to family boarding. American will soon debut its proposed solution to this problem, by increasing the number of boarding groups to nine.

Starting March 1, the airline announced it will rearrange its boarding classes to reflect the addition of its new “basic economy” fare.

While it makes sense that the airline would increase the number of boarding groups by adding a fare, the carrier’s changes also rename the groups.

Instead of calling each group by its name, the airline will now board them as Group 1 through Group 9.

This is likely to cause confusion as Group 4 through Group 8 were previously used in the carrier’s boarding process.

For example, what was previously boarding Group 4 — generally the last to board under the current process — will now be “Gold, OneWorld Ruby members.”

The main boarding line, those customers not enrolled in American or its partners’ rewards programs — will now begin boarding with Group 6.

Here’s the full boarding line up:


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