American Airlines, which announced a new boarding order at the start of the year, has made additional changes that will go into effect starting March 1.
With the addition of a new fourth elite status tier, Platinum Pro, the airline had to renumber its groups because what is currently Group 1 is actually the sixth group to be called. The boarding order will essentially remain the same, just the nomenclature will change.
The airline will assign all passengers a group number, one through nine. The airline will announce boarding by group number as opposed to status level or cabin of travel and this will be reflected on boarding passes as well.
ConciergeKey members, the airline’s invitation-only status, will be invited to board before general boarding starts.
Group 1 will, depending on aircraft and type of service, be either first class (domestic flights and three-class international flights) or business class (two-class international flights) as well as U.S. military. Group 2 will be business-class on a three-class international flight and those passengers with Executive Platinum or oneworld Emerald status. Group 3 will be Platinum Pro, Platinum, and oneworld Sapphire members. Group 4 will be AAdvantage Gold and oneworld Ruby members as well as Alaska MVP members and Airpass and Citi AAdvantage Executive cardholders as well as passengers who purchase priority boarding.
Boarding will continue with Group 5, which was previously Group 1, consisting of passengers in Main Cabin Extra, Premium Economy (when launched), and eligible AAdvantage credit cardholders. Current Groups 2, 3, and 4 will become Groups 6, 7, and 8, and Group 9 will be Basic Economy, when that product is launched.
These changes notwithstanding, boarding will continue to start 30 to 50 minutes prior to departure, depending on the flight and size of the aircraft.