What to know about United Airlines' new boarding process and how it impacts passengers

The boarding changes, which has been shown to save up to two minutes per flight, will go into effect later on Oct. 26

The way passengers board United Airlines planes is about to change.

The Chicago-based airline says it will start boarding passengers in economy class with window seats first starting next week, according to an internal memo.

The move is expected to speed up boarding times for flights, the memo added.

How exactly will it work, and what does it mean for boarding groups, certain seats, and more? Here's a breakdown.

What's changing about the boarding process?

The plan, known as WILMA, for window, middle and aisle, was tested at four domestic locations and one hub. United said that it’s shown to save up to two minutes of boarding time.

The change will begin with passengers in Group 4 and above. Those with window seats will board first, followed by those with middle seats and then those with aisle seats.

United said that multiple customers on the same economy reservation, such as families, will be allowed to board their flight together.

The plan will be implemented on domestic flights and some international flights.

Which groups does the new boarding process impact?

Pre-boarding through Group 3 will remain the same, and individuals in first class and business class will see no change in their boarding process. There’s also no change for the pre-boarding group that includes travelers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, active-duty military and families traveling with children that are 2 years old or younger.

When will the changes go into effect?

The airline said in an internal memo that it will implement the plan on Oct. 26.

Contact Us