Published on 3rd June 2024 at 10:01

Qantas is introducing a new boarding process for domestic flights in four of the country’s biggest airports to reduce the time customers spend lining up at the gate and make it faster for them to be seated onboard.

The new approach, referred to as Group Boarding, is already used by airlines overseas but this is the first time it’s been adopted in Australia. It follows a series of successful trials in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth which found the process helped contribute towards flights departing on time.

Group Boarding allows customers to board within smaller groups, rather than queuing up with all passengers waiting to board at the same time.

Customers will be allocated to one of six boarding groups which will be displayed on their boarding pass. The groups are determined by cabin, Frequent Flyer status, and seat position in the aircraft.

Signage and announcements at the gate will let customers know when it is their group’s turn to board.

Group Boarding is being rolled out progressively from today at Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and then Sydney Airport, for domestic flights operated by Qantas’ Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

Qantas Domestic CEO Markus Svensson said Group Boarding was the most significant change to the airline’s boarding processes in a decade.

“We’re continuing to look for ways to respond to pain points and improve the travel experience for our customers,” Mr Svensson said

“Group Boarding is designed to minimise the time our customers spend waiting to board and allows them to get settled more quickly.”

“We know how important on time departure is to our customers, so this process is also about doing everything possible to ensure we depart on time.”

Frequently Asked Questions:

When and where will the new boarding process start?

Group Boarding will apply to all domestic flights operated by Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft departing from Brisbane (from June 3), Perth (from June 10), Melbourne (from June 17) and Sydney (from June 25).

What does the new process look like for customers?

  • A customer’s boarding group will be displayed on their boarding pass;
  • Qantas App users and text/email subscribers will be notified if Group Boarding is in place for their flight;
  • An announcement will be made at the gate when it is time for each group to board;
  • The boarding pass scanner will only permit customers to board once their group has been invited to board.

Why are you focusing on the 737s and A330s?

Our 737 and A330 fleets cover most of our Domestic operations and are larger aircraft with most room for improvement of boarding times. Focusing on two specific aircraft types will enable us to refine the group boarding process.

Will the process be rolled out to other aircraft/airports?

We’ll give people time to become more familiar with Group Boarding before extending to other aircraft types or airports.

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