Business Traveler (USA) - - IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT -

Amer­i­can Air­lines has an­nounced a change in board­ing pro­ce­dures sys­tem wide to al­low ear­lier board­ing for pas­sen­gers who are car­ry­ing only small items that will fit un­der the seat in front of them. Cur­rently those pas­sen­gers are board­ing in what­ever their as­signed group is. With the change, they’ll board ahead of Board­ing Group 2.

Pas­sen­gers who need to store lug­gage or pack­ages in the over­head bin will board with their as­signed board­ing group. The con­cept was tested ear­lier this year in Austin, Bal­ti­more, Den­ver, Fort Laud­erdale, Kansas City, Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul and Wash­ing­ton Dulles.

“The test re­ceived over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive feed­back from Amer­i­can’s cus­tomers, and agents like the new process be­cause it al­lows for smoother and quicker board­ing for ev­ery­one, ”the air­line said in a state­ment. “Amer­i­can ex­pects to see a no­table re­duc­tion in aver­age board­ing time per flight with the new board­ing process.”

Of course, many pas­sen­gers will still be able to board ahead of those with­out over­head bag­gage, in­clud­ing first class, uni­formed mil­i­tary, AAd­van­tage mem­bers and busi­ness class. And the air­line is of­fer­ing any­one the op­por­tu­nity to up­grade to Group 1 board­ing for a fee.

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