Alaska Airlines has made a few changes to its policy in recent years, which also affects the boarding process. Alaska Airlines has a reputation for not strictly enforcing boarding groups. This has allowed people to board ahead of their designated boarding groups which sounds great except that it can lead to a disorderly process.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at the guide to Alaska Airlines boarding groups and what they mean.
Eligibility with Explanation – Guide To Alaska Airlines Boarding Groups
Alaska Airlines uses a group boarding procedure that is one of the most straightforward of all the airlines. They start with pre-boarding for a select group of passengers and then board first class passengers before following with 4 lettered groups.
Alaska’s boarding process is really easy to follow. It simply means that you have a proper guide of your journey at airport, at which gate you need to be reach and at what time(boarding time) you need to be there. And all these infromation are written in bold and here you’ll notice that your group letter also listed. So that you can easily notice. If you have a different flights segment then in each line with bold character are also written.
In addition to the boarding pass enhancements, Alaska Airlines also added new boarding information to the video monitors at the gate. The new boarding video screen clearly shows exactly from where you have to board or at which gate. The new video notifications are also great in a noisy sorroundings where it can be hard to hear a gate agent’s announcements.
You have to reach at the gate for boarding atleast 35 minutes before the the scheduled departure of the flight. Agent will make announcement about the boarding is about to start and show you the que where you have to line up. Alaska borading in the five groups which is mention below with details.
Below is a list of guides to Alaska Airlines boarding groups that also includes guests in each boarding group.
(a) Preboarding: This category of the boarding group includes guests with disabilities who need help or a little more time to board. Other guests include families with children under the age of 2 and active members of the military.
(b) First Class: This category of the boarding group includes guests seated in First Class. However, keep in mind that some Alaska aircraft may not have First Class seating. Thus, group boarding on those flights begins with Group A. If you are flying First Class on Alaska Airlines, then you can expect to be the first to board right after pre-boarding. First Class passengers also get other benefits, like free checked baggage.
(c) Group A: This category of the boarding group consists of two top-level elite status, which includes Mileage Plan Million Miler, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold members. If you are boarding with a partner or spouse who does not have elite status and therefore has a lower boarding group, many times they can board with you. It’s not an official policy but there are many reports of elite members pulling their partners along to board with them even when their partners have a lower boarding group. If you have an entire group of people with you then you are much more likely to cause an issue. This is even true if everybody is on the same itinerary.
(d) Group B: This category of the boarding group includes Mileage Plan MVP members and guests in Premium Class seats. However, some Alaska aircraft may not have Premium Class seating.
(e) Group C: This category of the boarding group includes guests in Main seats that are located in the back half of the aircraft (main cabin in the back). This means if you are flying in Economy Class and your seat is located towards the back of the plane, then you will board in Group C.
(f) Group D: This category of the boarding group includes guests in Main seats that are located in the front half of the aircraft.
(g) Group E: This category of the boarding group includes guests in Saver seats. The final passengers to board the plane will always be those who have purchased saver fares. These are the cheapest type of tickets available on Alaska Airlines.
However, if you purchase a saver fare, you may not be able to select your seat. So, if you are flying with other individuals and you want to sit together, this may not be a good ticket choice.
How Alaska Airlines’ Boarding Groups Work
Since it can be hard to hear announcements in a busy airport, Alaska Airlines have pretty much simplified their boarding process. Each guest is part of a specific boarding group. The airline provides a sequence to board the Main Cabin seats by group letters as mentioned above, once the First Class and preboarding guests have been seated.
The following explains the working process of guide to Alaska Airlines boarding groups.
- The first step starts with choosing your seat. After you input your personal details and make a booking, you are prompted to select your seat. However, in some cases, the seat map may not be available. The seat that you choose to select could end up affecting your boarding group.
- The second step is to Alaska Airlines Flight check-in at the airport. Generally, for domestic flights, it is best to arrive at least an hour before your flight’s boarding time if you are not checking in bags, and at least 90 minutes prior to your flight’s boarding time if you are checking bags. If you are an experienced traveler or are familiar with the airport and wait times, of course, you can arrive even later than the recommended times, especially if you have TSA Pre-Check and/or CLEAR.
- After you check-in, you will have a paper boarding pass or you may have pulled up your boarding pass on the Alaska Airlines mobile app. It is, in fact, better to have both paper and digital boarding pass. That way, if you lose the paper pass, you still have a digital copy of it, and if your phone malfunctions or freezes up, you have a paper pass that you can quickly pull out.
- Once you arrive at the gate and it is time for boarding, simply pay attention to the signs and they will guide you through the boarding process. Make sure that the sign contains your exact flight information, such as your flight number and route. Then just take a look at the left side of the screen. This will tell you the group that is now boarding.
- On the right side of that, you will see checkmarks for other groups that have boarded and that are currently boarding. If you belong to one of those groups that have already boarded, you should be allowed to board at that time. Some signs may not show the now boarding group on the left, and in those cases, just look for the green checkmarks to see what groups are currently boarding or that have boarded.
Tips for Smooth Boarding Experience
Here are a few quick tips to ensure a smooth experience boarding your flight:
- Since gates can change, it is a good idea to arrive for your flight as early as you can. You can also recheck airport monitors, sign up for alerts by e-mail or text, or get flight notifications from the airline’s mobile app for the most up-to-date information on the location of your flight’s gate.
- You must ensure to be at your gate at least 40 minutes before your flight, ready to board.
- While you are waiting at the gate, take a look at your boarding pass, and locate your boarding group letter.
- You can also follow your flight’s boarding progress displayed on the screens at most gates.
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In the end
Thus, the merging of a straightforward group boarding process, easy-to-read boarding passes, and gate video screens with clear directions makes Alaska Airlines a leader when it comes to passenger-friendly boarding procedures.
Even if you do not fly with Alaska very often, matching up the clearly indicated group letter on your boarding pass to the green check or red dash on the video monitors is fairly obvious. In busy airports, you no longer have to worry about hearing the muffled boarding announcements. If you walk up to the gate late, you will always know right where they are in the boarding process. Alaska Airlines really has made boarding easy for their passengers.