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American Airlines Introduces “Simplified” Boarding Process

American Airlines Simplified Boarding

On March 1, American Airlines rolled out a new, simplified boarding process that replaced the old method of boarding (“Concierge Key, First Class / Active Military, Business Class / Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro / Platinum, Gold / Priority, Groups 1-5”), replacing it with 9 groups designed to make the boarding process more transparent and efficient.

Pre-boarding through Group 4 travelers may board from the Priority Boarding lane, while all other groups must board through the main boarding lane.

Here’s the new group ordering:

Pre-boarding – Concierge Key members
Group 1 – First Class, Active Duty Military
Group 2 – Business Class, Executive Platinum
Group 3 – Platinum Pro, Platinum
Group 4 – Gold, Alaska Airlines MVP members, AirPass holders, Premium Economy travelers, Citi/AAdvantage Executive card members and those that purchased priority boarding
Group 5 – Main Cabin Extra, Eligible AAdvantage credit card members and travelers that work for a Company that has an American discount program established
Group 6-8 – All others
Group 9 – Travelers who purchase AA’s basic economy fare

I flew on AA a few days after they rolled out the new groups, and it was mass confusion among the passengers. I don’t really understand why they felt the need to change the boarding process like this, but clearly they saw a reason for it.

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