United Airlines to start WILMA boarding method by October 2023

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Boarding a flight can be one of the most stressful experiences when traveling. So United Airlines have devised a new boarding method that it says may save at least two minutes, eliminating hassles and delays. 

Starting October 26, 2023, the Chicago-based airline will roll out what it calls the WILMA method. WILMA is meant to be an acronym for Windows, Middle Seat, Aisle. The basis of the new boarding method is to board passengers in that order.

This method claims to increase boarding efficiency since it means there are fewer people standing in the way while others try to get to their seats.

United previously used the WILMA boarding method until 2017, when it introduced basic economy seating. 

A spokesperson for the airline told media outlet USA Today that the airline’s computer systems in use at that time limited the airline to a five-group boarding structure. The system’s upgraded technology now allows for more boarding groups so United will try the method again. 

Beginning October 26, 2023, United will be boarding passengers in this order:

Preboarding: Customers with disabilities and unaccompanied minors, active duty military, Global Services members, families with children under two and Premier 1K members

Group 1: United Polaris business, United first, United business, Premier Platinum, Premier Gold and Star Alliance Gold

Group 2: Premier Silver, Star Alliance Silver, Chase and certain other credit card holders and paid Premier Access

Group 3: Window seats, exit row seats and non-revenue passengers

Group 4: Middle seats

Group 5: Aisle seats

Group 6: Basic economy on domestic flights and those between the US and the Caribbean or Central America excluding Panama City and San Salvador

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