United Airlines will begin welcoming its passengers using a new method thanks to a boarding procedure for six groups which will be “improved to save up to two minutes of boarding time”.
Asking passengers to navigate the gangway and fight their way into the cramped seats of a commercial flight is one of the most time-consuming logistical nightmares that major U.S. airlines execute thousands of times every day. From the October 26, United intends to improve this flow and save precious time. The American major indicates that after the entry of the initial boarding groups, the passengers sitting at porthole in economy class without frequent flyer status will then board. They will be followed by those occupying the middle seatsand the passengers seated in the corridor will board last.
The process, abbreviated to WILMA for window-middle-aisle, “has been tested on four domestic lines and a hub and it is faster”, United said in a company memo to its customer service representatives. United’s change also means those who book window seats could have a slight advantage for the coveted passenger space. luggage compartments above the limited capacity. THE time savings boil down to better use of a key airline resource, the planes, adding “particularly significant savings for an airline when reducing boarding time leads to offering an additional flight during the day.”
The move marks the latest change to boarding procedures by a major airline in the United States. American Airlines moved to a nine-group boarding system in 2017 and made some changes to that system in 2023. Earlier this year, Southwest Airlineswhich does not assign seats, announced changes to its three-group boarding system by limiting the number of passengers who can purchase early check-in slots in order to get a better seat.