American Airlines has just updated its boarding priority for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members. It amazes me how often airlines tinker with the boarding process, because we’re essentially seeing American’s 2014 boarding policy restored.
Executive Platinums can now board with first class
American AAdvantage Executive Platinum members can once again board with Group 1, which is the same group as first class.
For some context, the policy up until this point was that:
- Concierge Key members could pre-board
- First class could board next (Group 1)
- Executive Platinum and oneworld Emerald members could board after that (Group 2)
- Platinum Pro, Platinum, and oneworld Sapphire members could board after that (Group 3)
With the updated policy:
- Concierge Key members can pre-board
- First class and Executive Platinum members can board next (Group 1)
- Platinum Pro and oneworld Emerald members can board after that (Group 2)
- Platinum and oneworld Sapphire members can board after that (Group 3)
Why is American Airlines making this change?
While we can only speculate, I think it’s not too tough to figure out the logic here, as this change coincides with Platinum Pro members becoming oneworld Emerald members:
- If American didn’t change boarding priority, Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and oneworld Emerald members would have all been able to board together
- It seems like American is trying to differentiate Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro a bit (especially given the improvements we’ve seen to Platinum Pro, like the introduction of Elite Choice Rewards), which is why boarding priority for Executive Platinums is likely being improved
How does this compare to other airlines’ policies?
How does American’s boarding priority for top-tier elite members compare to the policies of Delta and United (I’m excluding invitation only elite tiers here)?
- Delta lets Diamond Medallion members board with first class
- United lets Premier 1K members pre-board ahead of first class
Personally I think Delta (and now American) have the right idea — allowing top-tier elite members to board with first class seems fair, since these members are otherwise entitled to unlimited complimentary upgrades domestically, and clear more often than not.
I find United’s policy to be unnecessary. Sometimes a majority of passengers in first class are Global Services and Premier 1K, and I’ve found it often creates a bottleneck, since you have other first class passengers lining up to board, and then all the elite members have to squeeze their way around them to get onboard.
American AAdvantage Executive Platinum members can now board with first class (Group 1), which is an upgrade over the previous Group 2 boarding priority. This comes as Platinum Pro is being made oneworld Emerald, so I guess American wants to differentiate boarding between tiers.
What do you make of American’s new boarding priority for Executive Platinums?