Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

British Airways upsets customers with new boarding policy

The carrier will be making passengers with cheaper tickets board last

British Airways has been forced to cancel cheap flights after pricing error. Courtesy British Airways
British Airways has been forced to cancel cheap flights after pricing error. Courtesy British Airways

British Airways has announced it will be imposing a new boarding policy, meaning that those with the cheapest seats will have to wait until last to board the airplane.

The UK’s largest carrier will assign passengers a number from one to five based on the cost of their seats. The number one will be given to first class passengers, while the number five will be assigned to those holding economy tickets with hand luggage only.

BA said the decision would make boarding easier for customers, while bringing the company in line with other airlines such as Iberia and Qatar.


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An internal newsletter published in the Independent read: “Group boarding simplifies the process, making it easier for customers to understand the boarding sequence at the gate.”

The move has proved to be controversial with some customers, who took to Twitter to vent their anger at the carrier.

However, other social media reasoned the changes would be better for passengers with cheaper tickets, who would spend less time waiting on the plane for others to board.

A BA spokesperson said the change, which will be implemented from December 12, would speed up the boarding process.

“We are always looking at ways to improve and simplify the airport experience for our customers. Earlier this year we were the first UK airline to introduce automated biometric technology, with the launch of self-service boarding gates, and we also installed self-service bag drop points at Heathrow and Gatwick giving our customers an even quicker check-in experience,” the spokesperson said.

“Next month we are introducing new boarding procedures to speed up the process and make it simpler for customers to understand. This method has been used by airlines around the world for a number of years, including by our partners American Airlines, Iberia and Qatar.”