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British Airways to start boarding passengers by group from 12th December

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Following numerous trials, British Airways has finally decided to push ahead with boarding in groups.  The new process will go live on 12th December.

Your boarding pass will now carry a group number.  These are:


Group 1 – BA Gold or oneworld equivalent, First Class passengers

Group 2 – BA Silver or oneworld equivalent, Club World passengers

Group 3 – BA Bronze or oneworld equivalent, World Traveller Plus passengers

Group 4 and Group 5 – World Traveller passengers, split by row

British Airways boarding pass


Group 1 – BA Gold or oneworld equivalent, Club Europe

Group 2 – BA Silver or oneworld equivalent

Group 3 – BA Bronze or oneworld equivalent

Group 4 – Euro Traveller

Group 5 – Euro Traveller on a hand baggage only fare

It is not clear what will happen with mixed groups – historically there has been an informal policy that children or partners could board with higher status passengers in the same group.

The key to this new policy working will be the announcements.  All passengers will be expected to be seated by the departure gate.  They will be strongly encouraged not to congregate by the boarding area.

Only when their boarding group is announced should they stand up and make their way to the gate.  The idea is to replace what can be a scrum with a more laid back process.  It will also be easier to police hand baggage, since it will be clear to boarding staff at each stage in the process how much each group should be allowed to bring on.

Will it work?  We will see …..

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Comments (130)

  • Robert says:

    This system already works well on the A380 flights, but the gate staff are well drilled as it’s a huge undertaking to load everyone.
    It isn’t enforced at 5A short haul gates, where they announce boarding for CE/Emerald passengers but the entire priority boarders move forward and are allowed through.
    Having a group code should finally eliminate queue jumpers.

  • Moomin79 says:

    I was on LHR-MAN yesterday and the boarding was strictly enforced. Only CE and Golds allowed to board first, followed by Silver and then Bronze. Anyone attempting to board without the right credentials was firmly told to wait. This meant that the priority queue was backed up with passengers who were told to wait.