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Answers (11)

American Boarding

American Boarding

  1. Anonymous

    Does anyone know how American Airlines identifies Group 6 – 9? I have a carry on bag that I have to make sure stays with me and I want to make sure I board in Group 6 so they don’t run our of overhead bins?

  2. David W

    Group 9 is Basic Economy so if you did not buy a basic economy ticket, you will not be in Group 9.

    Otherwise, regular economy tickets is assigned Groups 6-9 (I speculate that it’s based on some mixture of fare class and when you checked in) unless you have elite status, an AA credit card or have Main Cabin Extra/Priority Seating.


    It also depends on the aircraft and the route. If you’re on a regional jet, space is [I]really[/I] limited.

  3. Donna

    A few years ago after passengers with status boarded, there was an algorithm that allowed the folks in the window seats furthest back to board earlier than the window seats closer to the front, followed by the middle rows back to forward, and finally the aisle seats back to forward. So if you had an aisle seat in the first row of economy, you boarded with the last group; a window seat in the last row boarded in the earliest economy zone. Can’t say for sure this system is still in effect.

  4. ericf10

    How does American Airlines board it’s main/economy cabin? I really need to be in Group 6 since I’ll have a valuable carry on that I don’t want getting checked in at the gate.

  5. MidSouthSkier

    Getting a co-branded credit card would bump you up the list.

  6. David W

    Or pay for main cabin extra seating, if it’s available on your flight.

  7. David W

    [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] please merge with [URL][/URL]

  8. ericf10

    So for Groups 6-9, does anyone know if American boards the first group by window, the next group by center, and last by aisle?

  9. David W

    I dont believe that is how AA breaks down the group numbers. I dont think there is any method at all to figure out what boarding group you’ll get unless you have status, an AA co-branded credit card and/or paid for MCE seats or priority boarding. Those are the only ways to guarantee boarding in the first 5 groups.

    Additionally, as I’ve said before, it also depends on your flight and the aircraft youre on. If it’s a regional jet, they may tag bags for gate checking before boarding even begins since the bins are small and space is very limited.

  10. Rob in Miami

    Except for the Regional flights (like DavidW states):
    Ive never been Group 6,7,8 so am guessing its from the back to the front.
    Preboarding[/B] ConciergeKeySM members
    [B]Group 1[/B] First
    Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.
    (Business Class on a 2-class international aircraft)
    [B]Group 2[/B] Executive Platinum
    [B]one[/B]world® EmeraldSM
    (Business Class on a 3-class aircraft)
    [B]Group 3[/B] Platinum Pro
    [B]one[/B]world® SapphireSM
    [B]Group 4[/B] Gold
    [B]one[/B]world® RubySM
    Alaska Airlines MVP® members
    Premium Economy
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardmembers
    Customers who bought Priority boarding
    [B]Group 5 (Preferred boarding)[/B] Main Cabin Extra
    Eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers*
    Eligible corporate travelers**
    [B]Group 6[/B] Group 6
    [B]Group 7[/B] Group 7
    [B]Group 8[/B] Group 8
    [B]Group 9[/B] Basic Economy

  11. rickyw

    Hi Eric –

    At the end of the day, I think if you absolutely can’t be the last to board, you need to be willing to pay for it. Whether that is by purchasing first/business class, having a credit card, earning elite status, or purchasing a main cabin extra seat… there is no other way to guarantee.

    I’ve been curious so have tried to research how American defines Group 6-8 and there just isn’t anything readily available.

    As David mentioned, just also be aware that there are some regional jets in American’s fleet where all cabin baggage is gate checked due to the size of the aircraft.

    Hope that helps!

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