What’s the Deal Lately with Boarding Early?

One of the greatest benefits of being an elite is getting to board early and getting access to the overhead bin space.

Pizza in Motion wrote a great post on why flights boarding early is not a good thing overall.  He was seated near a poor guy who paid extra to board early.  And well, the flight itself boarded early so he lost the window… and the access to the overhead baggage area.

Yesterday, when my husband had to check his bag to his final destination, it was because there was no overhead space left… due to the flight boarding early.

He has elite status on American and was leaving out of a gate right next to the lounge.  So (as I do as well), he waited to leave the lounge until a few minutes before the flight was supposed to start boarding.

But his flight boarded early, his bag got checked, and then got lost at Reagan Airport for 24 hours.

What do you think about boarding early?  Something great that makes sure the flight is on time?  Or something that throws off your schedule, and forces you to loiter in the gate area even longer?

The part that gets me on this is not knowing when to leave the lounge.  A few minutes before boarding?  Fifteen minutes before boarding just to make sure?

I like that Newark’s Senator Lounge boards from the lounge.  There were no questions about where/when we should be there.

What do you think?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Love early boarding. Less chance of missed connections. Plane is on time, maybe early. While I get it doesnt’ work for everyone, it works well for me.

  2. Over the past month, AA has been boarding about 10 minutes earlier than the stated time. I don’t have a problem with it but if they are going to start boarding at t-40 rather than t-30, they need to publish that.

  3. I think that airlines should stick to their boarding time. If they say they board at 7:20, then don’t board before.

    If they think that they will need more time, than just schedule the boarding time earlier!

    Because I agree, it’s annoying when you miss early boarding because they decided to board earlier than scheduled.

  4. I’d say be at the gate (not at the lounge) and board when they say, early or not. Early allows an on time departure; early allows for all the bags and junk everyone keeps bringing on board. The agents are trying to get the plane out on time so if they tweak the rules a bit and board early, I’ll all for it.

    Agree they should publish it or announce it when they first speak, saying that it may happen. If they do that, I could care less about people hanging out in the lounge.

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