American Airlines will be rolling out a new boarding system March 1.
For the most part they’re changing how boarding is called rather than the order in which people are called. Everyone gets a group number. Agents are supposed to call boarding group numbers, rather than describing qualifications like first class, Executive Platinum, oneworld emerald, etc.
In the future, all customers will be assigned a group number (1 through 9) based on their ticket type, elite status level and priority. We will call the group number in our announcements rather than all customer types. The boarding order will be the same, with only minor exceptions. The change is in how we refer to each group on boarding passes and announcements. Our ConciergeKeySM members will be invited to board prior to general boarding.
There will be (9) boarding groups. Here are the Priority Lane boarding numbers (click to enlarge):
The parenthetical references to business class — being in group 1 or group 2 — means that on 3-cabin planes with first class and business class, first class is group 1 and business class is in group 2 but of course where business class is the top cabin customers board in group 1.
Here are the regular boarding lane numbers:
In fact there are (10) boarding groups because ConciergeKey members are invited to board before group 1. Group 1 doesn’t actually board first and ConciergeKey is the only exception to agents calling group numbers instead of qualifications.
Update 2/22/17: Premium Economy has moved from group 5 to group 4.