- United Airlines introduced a revamped boarding process across its entire network on Tuesday.
- The airline’s new boarding system aims to cut down on the amount of time passengers wait in line and thin out the number of people congregating around the gate area.
- The new United Airlines boarding procedure is built around a new system of real-time digital displays located in the boarding area and a pair of colour-coded waiting lines.
United Airlines introduced a revamped boarding process on Tuesday. The Chicago-based carrier aims to cut down on the amount of time people spend in line at the airport while thinning out the crowd of passengers huddled around the boarding gate. All of these changes are based on consumer feedback gathered by the airline.
“We hear a lot from customers through the post-travel surveys we do that waiting in line is a pain point for them and that the gate areas can be very congested,” United Airlines managing director of global operations strategy, Maria Walter, told Business Insider in an interview. “So we wanted to take a look at this opportunity to improve customer satisfaction by revamping the boarding process.”
The new United Airlines boarding procedure is built around a new system of real-time digital displays located in the boarding area and a pair of colour-coded waiting lines.
The airline old process involved five different lines, one for each of the airline’s five boarding groups.
“When people see the lanes, they see the sign and they immediately stand up and once one person is inline, it’s like a magnet and everyone else wants to queue as well,” Walter said.
According to the United exec, the new procedure will cut the amount of time many passengers spend in line at the gate by 20 to 30 minutes.
Now there will only be two lines, one in blue, the other in green.
Lane one will be coded in blue and will be used for those boarding in group one. Group two will line up in lane two, which is coded in green. Once groups one and two have boarded, groups three through five will be called to board through the green lane. At this point, the blue lane becomes the bypass lane for late arriving passengers in group one and two.
Two lanes help manage passenger flow, United has installed a series of electric displays in boarding areas with real-time readouts instructing passengers on which groups have been called, which group is currently boarding, and which one is next. In addition, the displays will point the passengers to the correct colour-coded line.
According to Walter, United has been working on the new system for more than a year and explore various boarding procedures including the complete abolishing of boarding lines, which made the situation even worse.
As a result, the airline settled on a system of two lanes which reduces the number of passengers waiting in line and increases the time passengers have to wait in seats or explore airport amenities.
United Airlines has been using the system in trial runs at its hubs and will be rolled out across its network on Tuesday.
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