Window seat flyers at one airline will now get a major perk — besides a view from the top.
United Airlines is revamping its boarding process and plans to board economy passengers with window seat tickets first before middle- and aisle-seat passengers to speed things along, according to a company internal memo obtained by The New York Times.
The new plan is expected to cut two minutes from boarding times and will go into effect on all domestic flights (and a few international trips) on October 26.
The new boarding style – known as the WILMA method – boards in order of seating with window first, middle second, and aisle seats last.
United is implementing the new strategy after testing its effectiveness at five airports — beginning in 2017 — and found that it could successfully reduce boarding time.
Despite the new change, families will still be allowed to board together. Those who purchased first and business-class seats will be omitted from the boarding shake-up and will still be allowed to board first, along with those who qualify for preboarding, including people with disabilities and unaccompanied minors.
Following the news, social media users had mixed reactions.
— David Migoya (@DavidMigoya) October 18, 2023
“United Airlines announces window seat passengers will board first under new policy” this is another example of caste https://t.co/4mr6Z3uvpB
— (@lostntranslatio) October 17, 202
United Airlines will implement new boarding process starting with window seats boarding first then middle…Finally an airline with some sense
— Shadow Green (@ShadowGreen8) October 18, 2023