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3 Things You Need To Know About Delta’s New Boarding Process

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3 Things You Need To Know About Delta’s New Boarding Process

Brett Holzhauer3 Things You Need To Know About Delta’s New Boarding ProcessMillion Mile Secrets Team

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A few weeks ago, Delta rolled out a new boarding process for their flyers.

While boarding processes have been a hot topic in recent years, I find that this process make much more sense than others.  In the past, I have found that many people still board out of order, causing the boarding process to be longer than it needs.  Before my last Delta flight, I overheard some asking “What are zones?  How do you know which zone you are?”, and I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes so hard.

But then I began thinking:   Is the old process all that clear?  In my head, yes.  But maybe other flyers think differently.

Nonetheless, a new system has been rolled out.  Overall, I think Delta made the right move here adjusting their process.  I’ll tell you 3 things you need to know about this new boarding process.  And to stay on top of changes in the travel world, you can subscribe to our newsletter.

I do think the new Delta boarding process has made positive strides

3 Things to Know About Delta’s New Boarding Process

No one enjoys the airline boarding process, especially if you are flying coach with a large backpack like I typically do

Analyzing this new procedure, I do think Delta is headed in the right direction.  We’ll have to wait and see if they actually enforce it.  All too often I see people boarding before their respective group has been called, and that creates issues.

Here’s my assessment of the new boarding process!

1. It Is Numbered And Colored Very Simply

The new boarding order goes from right to left on the new chart, and is even color coordinated.

However, one piece that is missing here is that “Main Cabin” does have 3 sub-groups (Main Cabin 1, 2, and 3).  I like the way the old version is very plainly written out so anyone can understand.

2. The Largest Change Is In The Middle

The split between Delta Comfort+ and Sky Priority is notably different from the last process.  As air travel becomes more and more busy, upgrades for frequent flyers with status become fewer and fewer.

As it is ordered, those who have paid for a Delta Comfort+ seat will have boarding priority over Sky Priority members.  Sky Priority is for Gold and Platinum elite members, who travel quite frequently.  Of course, boarding order isn’t by how much value you bring to the airline as a customer, but it only goes to show how Delta elite status really isn’t worth it.

3. The Purpose Of This New Boarding Process… Divide And Conquer

With Delta’s old boarding process, there were way too many people boarding at once.

Even though I laugh at airlines like United Airlines with the obnoxious amount of signs they have in front of their gate, it really is a more efficient way to board.  If larger groups of people aren’t waiting to sit, it makes the entire boarding process easier for everyone.

Bottom Line

I believe this process further discourages people from purchasing Basic Economy.  It is very clear that you will board last, and overhead space isn’t guaranteed.  For me, I don’t mind Basic Economy as a last resort.  Delta allows for checking bags at the gate for free if needed, after all.  I prefer to have my bag on me, but it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t.

The larger objective here from my perspective is that flyers need to relax at their respective gates.  Flyers stress out over the entire process when it really isn’t needed.  Hopefully this gives travelers clarity as to when they are supposed to board.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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So that Delta Amex card you are hawking above becomes less valuable since Sky Priority is now downgraded in the boarding pecking order to just above cattle car class. No bueno…