United Airlines Implements New Boarding Process to Improve Efficiency
In an effort to enhance the boarding process and improve overall efficiency, United Airlines has announced a new policy allowing economy class passengers with window seats to board first. This change, known as the WILMA strategy (window-middle-aisle), aims to reduce the number of times passengers seated by the window have to get up and let others pass.
The modified boarding process will prioritize passengers with window seats, followed by those with center seats, and finally those with aisle seats. First class passengers and other premium categories will still have priority boarding. The WILMA strategy is expected to save significant time during the boarding process, benefiting not only passengers but also flight attendants and crew members.
Notably, this new policy will not affect first and business class members, as well as travelers in the pre-boarding group, which includes individuals with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, active duty military personnel, and families with children under the age of 2.
One of the potential advantages of this new approach is that it may provide additional benefits to window seat passengers on flights with limited overhead bin space, as they will have a higher chance of finding room for their carry-on bags.
United Airlines previously experimented with the WILMA procedure but switched to the traditional front-to-back boarding process in 2017. However, as boarding times increased under this method, the company decided to reintroduce the WILMA strategy in an attempt to streamline the process.
Starting on Thursday, October 26, the ‘window-middle-aisle’ boarding process will be implemented on United Airlines’ domestic and international flights. The airline hopes that this change will not only enhance the boarding experience but also contribute to a smoother and more seamless travel experience for all passengers.
Although this modification is aimed at addressing common frustrations surrounding the boarding process, it is important to note that most passenger complaints over the past decade still revolve around flight cancellations and delays. The U.S. Department of Transportation is actively investigating the scheduling practices of several airlines, highlighting concerns over unrealistic itineraries.
Furthermore, the aviation industry is facing a shortage of approximately 32,000 commercial pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers. This shortage, according to industry data, could potentially lead to a crisis in the near future.
United Airlines’ implementation of the WILMA strategy is a proactive step towards improving the efficiency of the boarding process and enhancing the overall travel experience for its passengers.