Usairways add seperate boarding line for FF

usfliboi

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Aug 20, 2002
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The Republic | azcentral.com
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US Airways on Wednesday will begin offering a separate boarding line for its most frequent fliers, a perk already offered by most of its major competitors.

The new Preferred Access line, which will debut in Phoenix and be quickly expanded to the airline's Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C., hubs, followed by dozens of other cities, will be open to first-class travelers and passengers with status in the airline's frequent-flier program.

Those passengers already board first in the airline's boarding pecking order but those who are catching a connecting flight or running late often miss the privilege and find themselves standing in back of a crowd of people waiting to board.

"When that bubble of people is beginning ... they're going to be able to bypass that even if they've gotten to the gate after boarding has begun," said Fern Fernandez, US Airways' managing director of customer loyalty and marketing.

Fernandez said US Airways had received complaints from frequent fliers about the boarding logjam, with the biggest problem being finding overhead bin space. Airlines cater to frequent fliers because they are loyal customers and often travel last minute, paying top dollar for their tickets.

Rob Wiltuck, a Phoenix software consultant who travels on US Airways weekly and is in the top tier of its frequent-flier program, said business travelers running late have had a harder time finding a spot for their carry-on bags since airlines' began charging for checked bags four years ago. The upshot: The bag has to be checked and retrieved at baggage claim.

"As a business traveler, you've got to get off the plane and go," he said.

Wiltuck tried out the new system on a Phoenix-to-Atlanta flight when the airline was testing it last summer. He wasn't aware of the test and said he was thrilled to see the separate line.

"I saw it and I thought, 'Finally they're getting in with the times,' " he said. "All the other airlines are already doing it, and they've been doing it for a while.''

Wiltuck said the boarding process was smoother under the new setup. "It's not going to fix everything, but I do think it will help," he said.

US Airways is widely expected to eventually package the new Preferred Access line and related frequent-flier perks -- including priority check-in and a fast pass through the security line -- for sale to all passengers. United and American already offer the option for travelers.

"I think in the future we'll think about doing this," Fernandez said, adding that the emphasis now is on rolling it out to frequent fliers.

Wiltuck said there's no doubt in his mind that US Airways will follow its competitors.

"It's just a matter of time," he said.

US Airways said the Preferred Access line will be in place in 60 cities by summer.
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Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2012/01/31/20120131us-airways-adds-boarding-line-frequent-fliers.html#ixzz1l8Yr0oFL
 
Another effort to catch up with the competition--better late than never. The question will be how well it's managed, and who they allow to use it (for example Star Gold??) Of course in CLT, PHL, and PHX, it could be a moot point, since on some flights, the whole passenger cabin is (or appears to be) elite... just sayin'...

Slowly they may be realizing they actually need the higher yield business travelers....let's hope they respond to other trends a little faster.
 
Slowly they may be realizing they actually need the higher yield business travelers....let's hope they respond to other trends a little faster.

I wouldn't be surprised to see priority privileges - preferred check-in/security/boarding - sold as a package to anyone within 12 months.

Jim
 
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Another effort to catch up with the competition--better late than never. The question will be how well it's managed, and who they allow to use it (for example Star Gold??) Of course in CLT, PHL, and PHX, it could be a moot point, since on some flights, the whole passenger cabin is (or appears to be) elite... just sayin'...

Slowly they may be realizing they actually need the higher yield business travelers....let's hope they respond to other trends a little faster.

Art,

Although it sounds great to be the first to implement certain policies or procedures...USAirways has been very very disciplined not to increase costs especially if it doesnt bring a ROE! Being a marketing major I can tell you that although it appears we are not on our "game" the company has actually done a good job of watching its costs while remaining competitive.

Over the past couple of years airlines have begun returning some of the perks all of us enjoyed prior to 911 and the airlines dismal earnings reports. There is nothing wrong with "catching up" especially if it is being thought out carefully and thoughtfully before we make the call. Remember Buisness select, sparkling wine for all, playing cards or kids wings? None of those programs brought us revenue...in deed it increased costs and brought us closer to drowning.

I am glad to see US implement the new dual boarding and hope our customers enjoy it as well! I am certain more perks are headed our way but I hope they are thought out before they are introduced ...unlike we did in the past! It is not easy trying to remain an LCC and one buisness travelers will fly! I am one who thinks our product is pretty darn good....

Thanks
 
You're still going to have everyone in zone 14 standing around blocking access to the lane, just like you do now.
 
There may actually be a genuine and valid reason for US to do this other then matching competition.

If you ever stood at a gate in PHL and observed the boarding process and the cluster that occurs then anything that organizes that "Goat Rodeo" has got to speed the overall boarding process.

Speeded up boarding helps with On Time departure which is a benefit to Customer & Company.
 
There may actually be a genuine and valid reason for US to do this other then matching competition.

If you ever stood at a gate in PHL and observed the boarding process and the cluster that occurs then anything that organizes that "Goat Rodeo" has got to speed the overall boarding process.

Speeded up boarding helps with On Time departure which is a benefit to Customer & Company.
"Goat Rodeo"...........Love It! :lol:
 
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