I received an email from US Airways letting me know that they will soon open up PreferredAccess lines to non-priority customers for a fee.
Also, very recently, I was sent a survey on how the PreferredAccess lines were working and what sort of worth I got from them–a huge sign they were planning on monetizing these lines.
I’m glad these lines exist overall. When Keri and I headed for Orlando, we missed the First Class boarding call and got stuck at the end of a very long USAirways-Matercard-wielding crowd of zone 2s. So for that, I appreciate the line.
But the line also makes boarding more difficult sometimes. When the lines first rolled out, elites kept queueing in the line, regardless of their zone number. This resulted in an awkward stumble past people not boarding for a while (especially since the non-elite line was roped closed).
The frequent fliers figured it out and adjusted. Those purchasing this benefit would not be frequent fliers.
I could imagine many flies purchasing this benefit with no awareness of how boarding numbers work. I could also imagine them assuming they get to board first. This announcement makes me fear extreme line crowding, unless the gate agents do a good job policing the line for gate numbers. I’m just not very good at stepping around people’s luggage without tripping!
Perhaps I am overreacting but either way, I want to stress I am not upset or surprised by this announcement. The quick implementation of these lines tipped me off a long time ago.