Delta Is Updating Their Boarding Process – Here’s How to Make Sure It Doesn’t Negatively Impact You

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Delta Is Updating Their Boarding Process – Here’s How to Make Sure It Doesn’t Negatively Impact You

Erin LizzoDelta Is Updating Their Boarding Process – Here’s How to Make Sure It Doesn’t Negatively Impact YouMillion Mile Secrets Team

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It seems like recently, many of the airlines that we fly with have started to play around with new configurations of the boarding process.  Last month, I talked about Southwest’s new idea to board the plane from both the front and the back (a method that’s in practice in many other countries and seems to work really well).  In October, we talked about the new United Airlines boarding process that’s focused on reducing the time travelers have to stand in line before boarding the plane.

Now, it looks like Delta is strategizing new ways to improve their process as well.

There are several different reasons to switch up a boarding process, and most airlines list both efficiency and customer satisfaction as their main motivators for reviewing the way people enter a plane.  If you’re interested in getting priority boarding with Delta, it comes as a free perk with these AMEX Delta cards.

Many Airlines Are Starting to Rethink Their Boarding Process in Order to Maximize Efficiency.  Will the New Delta Sequence Help to Reduce the Time It Takes to Board a Plane?

Delta is one of the airlines that seems like it has a pretty standard boarding process.  You’re assigned a zone number that informs you how to line up.  You’re also assigned a seat number (unlike the free-for-all seating with Southwest) so you know exactly where to go once you’re on the plane.

This is what most people expect the airplane boarding process to look like.  So what’s new?  What’s changing?

Here’s What’s New With the Delta Boarding Process

Delta is moving away from “zone boarding” (the process most of us are used to, lining up to board a plane based on the zone number on our ticket).  Instead, the new boarding process will be based on the type of ticket you purchased.

The chart below gives a good overview of what this will look like.

Delta’s theory is that with more boarding groups, there will be less traffic around the gate.  People will (hypothetically) wait to line up for boarding until their group is called.  And there will be fewer people in each group, hence less of a crowd waiting to board the plane.  You can see from the chart that Delta is moving from 6 boarding groups to 8 boarding groups with the hopes that this will create a more streamlined and efficient process.

Delta Hopes This Will Make Boarding Easier

With Delta’s new “Branded Boarding” passengers will line up based on the class of ticket they purchased.  This change will impact everyone who flies on Delta.  Starting January 23, 2019, Delta will introduce this new boarding process for all flights.

Personally, I don’t know if this will work out exactly as Delta hopes.  Adding more boarding groups may or may not improve the loading process, but I don’t think it will do much to discourage people from lingering around the gate, waiting to be the first one to line up once their group is called.  One thing that it might accomplish though is to add value to the class of ticket you purchase.

For example, now, you can be sure that when you buy a Sky Priority fare, you’ll be in boarding group four.  If it’s important to you to be one of the first passengers to board the plane, you might be more enticed to upgrade your fare.  Or you could save money by getting a card like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, which will get you Zone 1 (Main Cabin 1) boarding on every Delta flight.

What do you think of Delta’s new plan to add more boarding zones?

I’m torn.  On one hand, anything that helps an airline board the plane faster seems like a great idea because that typically translates to a faster take off time.  On the other hand, it seems like there are so many boarding groups already.  Would this just add to the confusion?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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They wouldn’t have to deal with the plane taking so long to board if they would just let people check their bags for free. Then everyone wouldn’t have carry ons that need to be stowed thus taking a lot more time. It used to be so much simpler when they didn’t nickel and dime everyone with fees.

All we each ever have is regulation roll on.

We stopped the insanity 20 years ago and stopped taking the steamer trunks. Happiness is quick TSA (precheck), quick boarding (cc status), quick deplaning (sit toward the front), quick connections (no bags to recheck) and quick customs (don’t even need our Global Entry, just as quick to go through the regular kiosk), plus no bags to retrieve and have customs sort through, then recheck), no waiting at the baggage claim for bags to come or get lost.

How much time have we saved and how much less stress have we had? A lot.

I get free bags checked, but never use them!

Boy, am I glad.

I always try to pack light and shove everything into 1 backpack and I carry that onto the plane.

I try to avoid checking luggage because I don’t want to have to deal with the possibility and inconvenience of the airline losing my luggage.

I’m sure others have the same concerns which is why they also try to bring as much as they can into the plane.