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Australian Flag Carrier Qantas Introduces a New Boarding Process That Should Be Pretty Familiar For International Travellers

Australian Flag Carrier Qantas Introduces a New Boarding Process That Should Be Pretty Familiar For International Travellers

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Australian flag carrier Qantas has just introduced a new boarding process that should be pretty familiar for international travellers which is being introduced in an attempt to reduce the number of passengers crowding around the gate.

From Monday, Qantas has introduced a relatively simple group boarding process which is made up of six groups and which mainly seeks to board passengers from the rear to the front of the aircraft.

Before group boarding was introduced, Qantas had two boarding lines, with one for frequent flyers and a second line, which could sometimes resemble a free-for-all for everyone else.

The airline’s domestic CEO, Markus Svensson, however, hopes group boarding will restore calm at the boarding gate.

“We’re continuing to look for ways to respond to pain points and improve the travel experience for our customers,” Svensson said on Monday. “Group Boarding is designed to minimise the time our customers spend waiting to board and allows them to get settled more quickly.”

For now, group boarding is only be introduced on domestic flights operated by Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft out of Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, and eventually Sydney Airport.

Svensson is keen to avoid mass confusion, so the group boarding process will only be progressively rolled out and Qantas is going to wait until frequent flyers and other customers are familiar with the new process before extending it to other airports or aircraft types.

Under Qantas’ version of group boarding, passengers will be assigned one of six groups which will be displayed on their boarding pass. Groups one and two are reserved for premium and frequent flyers, while groups three to six are for Economy passengers in a rear-to-front boarding process.

Group 1: Business Class and the following frequent flyer status holders – Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Oneworld Emerald

Group 2: Qantas Gold and Oneworld Sapphire

Group 3: Economy Class – Last quarter of the cabin

Group 4: Economy Class – second from last quarter of the cabin

Group 5: Economy Class – Second quarter of the cabin

Group 6: Economy Class – First quarter of the cabin

Brisbane airport has already rolled out group boarding from June 3, while the process will come to Perth on June 10 and Melbourne on June 17. Sydney will be the last major Australian airport to adopt group boarding on June 25.

Matt’s take.

Of course, group boarding is far from unique, and Qantas has been pretty slow in joining the ranks of airlines that have utilised group boarding for many years.

Despite its popularity, however, group boarding isn’t universally popular. Some airlines introduce more and more groups, while gate agents do little to actually enforce the group boarding process, allowing free-for-alls to continue at the gate.

Other airlines also break down their groups in frequent flyer status and how much someone has paid for their ticket, rather than a back to forward boarding process. That means that group boarding isn’t actually nearly as efficient as airlines might try to have you believe.

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