American Airlines has launched a new systemwide boarding process that saves overall boarding time for the airline by allowing customers who are traveling light to board earlier.
Here's how it works. The airline's current baggage policy allows each customer to take onboard at no charge one personal item that will fit under the seat in front of them and one bag that meets the FAA-mandated carry-on size requirements to fit into the overhead storage compartment.
But, under the new boarding process, customers will be invited to board before Group 2 providing they gate-check that carry-on bag at no charge and only bring onboard one personal item that will fit under the seat in front of them.
American expects to see a notable reduction in average boarding time per flight with the new process. It also believes minutes saved during boarding will help contribute toward on-time performance.
"For customers, departing on time and arriving at their destination on time is a huge factor in how they feel about their overall experience," said Carol Wright, vice president - customer planning, American Airlines. Tests indicated that the new boarding process will improve dependability and on-time performance, she said.
The new boarding process follows successful testing done earlier this year at American Airlines gates at airports in Austin, Texas (AUS), Baltimore (BWI), Denver (DEN), Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL), Kansas City, MO (MCI), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Washington-Dulles (IAD).