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Business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers now get the jump on families with children when it comes to boarding United Airlines flights.
USA Today reports that United has now joined American Airlines and US Airways in giving boarding priority to 'premium class' passengers over families, who must wait their turn and board with everyone else according to their frequent flyer status and ticket class.
Other airlines, Virgin America and Delta, still follow on the 'families first' policy
United adopted the policy "to simplify the boarding process and to reduce the overall number of boarding groups," United spokesman Charles Hobart told USA Today.
Business travellers may welcome the move to stop familiy pre-boarding, as families with numerous bags no longer get to fill up the luggage bins before everyone else gets a go.
On the other hand, the obvious question is whether this will lead to infrequently flying families holding up the boarding queue while they stow all those bags (and the kids), delaying the flight.
(You might also be interested in the Steffen Method, a novel scientific way of setting a boarding order according to a computer algorithm.)
What do you think: should premium passengers or families board first?