No Carry-On Luggage? American Airlines Tests New Boarding Process

Will the new boarding procedure currently being tested by American Airlines be faster and reduce lines at the gate such as the one shown above at Cape Town International Airport last year? Photograph by FlyerTalk member nycflyer75. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by nycflyer75.


American Airlines is currently testing at several airports a boarding procedure which allows passengers without any carry-on luggage to board the aircraft early.
Personal items — such as purses or computer laptop bags — do not count as carry-on luggage. Also, passengers without carry-on luggage do not get to board before elite members of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program.
FlyerTalk member rajuabju predicts that this boarding process will not last, as three of the four times “have been a mess” where passengers who have priority access to boarding the aircraft reportedly “went nuts” when passengers with no carry-on luggage skipped to the front of the boarding line with permission from the gate agent.
Meanwhile, FlyerTalk member execplatscum posts that while some passengers were confused about the new procedure at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, the process seemed to be quicker and more efficient overall — and the aircraft left the gate earlier than expected.
While I am all for any improvement in the boarding process which can be completed more efficiently and quickly, I would not be the least bit surprised if it was also implemented not only to have fewer pieces of luggage stored overall in the passenger cabins aboard the aircraft, but also as a potential hidden incentive for you to check your luggage — which would mean that you might possibly pay an ancillary fee to check your luggage to experience the privilege of boarding earlier if you are not already an elite member of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program.
Of course, you could opt to pay for the baggage delivery service if you decide to check you luggage — or you could pay as little as $9.00 to board early and still have your carry-on bag if you currently do not have elite status.
In any event, the new boarding process could be implemented throughout the American Airlines system if the experiement — to be implemented for a limited time — is deemed successful.
Of course, the experiment will only be as successful as the personnel of American Airlines who are charged with enforcing it.
What do you think of this new boarding procedure? FlyerTalk members are mixed regarding their predictions of the results — but do you believe that it will work?

One thought on “No Carry-On Luggage? American Airlines Tests New Boarding Process”

  1. SleeStack1 says:

    Don’t the majority of folks wanting to get on quickly do it to secure OH space? No need to get OH space, means no need to board early. Kind of pointless to ‘reward’ those checking their bags gate side with early boarding…

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