I was supposed to be flying to Houston from New York tomorrow to attend an event at the new United Airlines Polaris lounge at IAH. I was bedridden this weekend with a fever and a flu-like bug. Since I am still coughing and congested today (and I’m prone to ear infections), I cancelled my trip. Nevertheless, I just received an interesting email from United Airlines delineating new boarding procedures for select flights.
Among other things, with this new procedure, after priority boarding, window seats board first, then middle seats, then aisle seats.
United® will be introducing a new boarding method at select gates at Houston (IAH). Our customers have told us they want a better experience when boarding, so we’re working to improve the process.
Here are some of the changes you may see if your gate is testing a new process:
■ No need to line up before your group is called: Simplified lanes with new signs will allow you to relax at the gate or within the airport longer.
■ More efficient boarding: Following priority boarding groups, we’ll board customers sitting in window seats first and then middle and aisle seats.
■ Less crowding: Fewer lines will create more space and easier access to the boarding door for customers exiting the plane from the previous flight and during pre-boarding.
■ Improved digital displays: Monitors around the gate will display clear and relevant information about boarding and your flight.
There’s nothing you need to do right now. We value your feedback and you may receive a survey about your boarding experience after your flight.
Personally, this doesn’t thrill me as I prefer aisle seats.
Also, no mention is made whether boarding will be from the front or the back of the aircraft.
One more thing – does that mean people won’t jump up and line up even if they don’t need to? Will this end the gate lice phenomenon? I wonder.
Interestingly, a reader has pointed out to me that United tried testing this same boarding procedure 3 years ago but it never got off the ground (pun intended).