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Qantas: Priority Boarding – Any improvement? Take #2

Qantas: Priority Boarding – Any improvement? Take #2

Last week, I reported that Qantas was having another attempt at getting its Priority Boarding right. Earlier this week I wrote about my experience with Priority Boarding out of Sydney on my way to Adelaide.

Well, I experience another Priority Boarding – the new practice on Thursday of this week, when I returned from Adelaide to Sydney.

New Procedure

This time, the new announcement was made which included specifying which brand of a ticket or frequent flyer status was eligible for Priority Boarding (Business, Chairman’s Lounge, Platinum and Platinum One, Gold, and One World Emerald flyers is what I heard).

Next. both checking stations were staffed, and the Priority queue was allowed to get their tickets scanned at either station. I was about 20th in the queue, so I can’t tell whether they kept it this way until the Priority queue had all boarded, or they relented and opened one station for standard flyers.

Boarding for me was quick and efficient, enhanced by having a vacant middle seat next to me. (the frequent flyers pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!).

Queue Checking

It has been reliably reported to me, that one member of a priority queue in Melbourne, politely had his eligibility for Priority Boarding confirmed. So maybe real change is occurring.

Row 4 now reserved for Platinum One’s and Chairman’s Club Members?

Another observation is that when I was Gold, and first attained Platinum, I could regularly snaffle seats allocations at the front of Economy about 48 hours before a flight. I was once told that these were held for Chairman’s Club members and Platinum frequent flyers, and then released to other passengers. I’m now no longer seeing them vacant with my Platinum status. Maybe this is a consequence of reducing capacity – with there now being just too many Chairman’s Club members and Platinum One’s competing for that row with extra leg room.

Priority Democracy

I also noted on both flights that row four was full, while rows five and six tended to have vacant middle seats – as if they were blocked out on the seating plan. Perhaps Qantas is exercising a kind of ‘priority democracy’ allocating passengers with status either extra legroom in row four, or a vacant middle seat in rows five and six, but not both.

2PAXfly Takeout

Looks like this is a real change and one that frequent flyers should be congratulating Qantas for. But it also begs the question of why they couldn’t have done this sooner? It’s possible that less capacity and fuller flights on Qantas have led to a higher level of complaint about the non-observance of Priority Boarding procedures. Or it’s just taken a while to get their act together.

My other observations about the allocation of seats in rows four, five and six may be me reading too much into what is actually an effect of chance. Or they may not be. I’ll update you next time I fly.

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