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priority line protocol

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,300 posts
59 reviews
priority line protocol

Has anyone else experienced the awkwardness of trying to get into a priority booking line when boarding? Yesterday when leaving CDG we approached the line, after leaving the lounge, and the "line" for business class passengers was rather wide, and appeared not to be moving. Yet, the sign for priority boarding was being held high. We assumed that the other passengers in line were traveling economy, so excused ourselves, and were then told by another passenger that we "must be special". I still feel embarassed by this, although we apologized and told him to please go ahead. He then responded, as his partner rolled her eyes, that they were not in that much of a hurry. I still do not know if they were in the line appropriate for their tickets, but I have certainly learned that next time I'll ask first. By the way, the boarding had been delayed by almost an hour, so those of us in the lounge had not been in lines like many others. Any feedback on this would be appreciated. Fortunately, we have no planned flights for several months.

Palmetto, Florida
Level Contributor
4,244 posts
15 reviews
11. Re: priority line protocol


I don't like your funny response because it's too close to the truth!

So glad I have discovered the 4 inch wedge shoes. Now I can have the elevation without the devastation. And my husband would forsake us in a heartbeat to board early into his upgraded seat while we wait for ours behind the curtain.

Not jealous, just confident in my own worth and values :-)))

Level Contributor
29 posts
54 reviews
12. Re: priority line protocol

I always fly business class and I fly to Africa about six times a year, almost always with AF. Priority boarding is a small perk compared to the massive benefit of a business class seat that reclines almost flat affording me a good night's sleep on overnighters to Johannesburg for example. I usually arrive on a Monday morning and get driven straight from the airport to five or six customer meetings so I value the sleep. All the passengers will take off and land at the same time so I view priority boarding as unimportant in comparison.

Edited: 3:56 am, June 14, 2011
Level Contributor
460 posts
9 reviews
13. Re: priority line protocol

@ amatrip:

My deepest condolence about it. The more, since you can't pay him back on the spot, with your 4 inch wedges. So at least what we can do for you, is turning around our neck and spend some attention, if not giving a wistle through the tooth gap. ;-)

But if in the checked luggage are also your Stilettos, not ready to hand yet for educating hubby , but later - Keep on keepin' on! Your time will come. ;-)



Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
2 posts
95 reviews
14. Re: priority line protocol

If a person pays for a priority service and that priority service offers perks such as priority boarding, there is no breach in protocol for taking advantage of it. You get what you paid for.

It sounds like the other passenger was being a jerk. He could have the same perk if he paid for it but it sounded as if he wanted to pay less and then complain about those who paid more.

I travel constantly for work, and although I do not pay for upgrades or additional priority perks, I do occasionally get upgrades due to my accumulation of mileage. When an airline offers priority boarding for rewards members, I take advantage of it. Nothing wrong with that. I'm not smug about it; I don't flaunt it in other people's faces. I just get in line.

Honestly, my biggest pet peeve at the airports are the infrequent travellers. It seems like most of them leave their common sense and their manners at home when they travel.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,300 posts
59 reviews
15. Re: priority line protocol

Thanks, weary_travell...

I was feeling a bit on the outside, as there has been little support for my honest query. As I hope you understood, I was perplexed at the lack of clarity of it being a priority line, and wondered how to "get what I'd paid for" without being rude. I was beginning to think that many posters, (economy?) were quite comfortable taking advantage of a lack of lines, or even rather negative as to what I should expect. And yes, among of the perks I pay for is priority boarding, a chance to take off the shoes and put on the socks, be offered a newspaper and a drink before take off. Maybe the business travelers who have been active in this discussion find those to be minor; each to their own. Thanks again.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
8,789 posts
49 reviews
16. Re: priority line protocol

I've never understood why anyone would want to get on a plane first.


1) Overhead space

2) Better than standing in a line

3) Depending on where you're travelling to/airline/class of travel the service begins as soon as you board. Newspapers, drinks, getting settled in, etc.

I think the boarding stage has provided some amusement for me in the past, particularly as a young (mid-20s) premium class flyer. Like the time in Singapore when someone rushed in front of me at security (since security is at the gate) and said it was OK because she was in business class. I told her that I was in First and I had to wait in line too. She looked a bit embarassed and waited behind my wife and I plus a gaggle of other passengers. As boarding was through door 1L I gave her a little wave and a smile as she passed whilst I was settling into my seat.

Or my favourite was the guy manning the Rosetta Stone stand (!!) beside the gate who tried to tell my wife and I we couldn't use the Fast Track boarding line because it was for business class passengers only! As we were flying in First I was half tempted to ask him that if that line was for business where do the first class passengers board? Alas the best comebacks always pop into your head long after the time has passed to make them!

Dallas, Texas
Destination Expert
for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
Level Contributor
23,507 posts
83 reviews
17. Re: priority line protocol

Things just aint the same as they use to be.

Daydream Island...
Level Contributor
3,603 posts
54 reviews
18. Re: priority line protocol

As the earlier poster has written, you could be flying Delta out of Atlanta where everyone and their brother is a medallion flyer. The priority security line is usually as long or longer than the regular lines. Priority boarding lanes are only good for getting your bin space before the cabin stewards start jamming stuff together to squeeze Aunt Mable's third carryon sack somewhere before they close the door. I actually heard a young man on a thirty-eight minute flight from Atlanta to Charlotte asking persons in the first class cabin what their medallion status was as he waited in the aisle to get to his seat in coach. He was a bit upset.

Even my paperboy has silver status on Delta now. Go figure.

Level Contributor
15,871 posts
64 reviews
19. Re: priority line protocol

I recently had a reverse experience flying business class. We were boarded first and had to step over economy passengers who were sitting on the floor as there were no available seats left at the boarding gate - the A380 accommodates more passengers than the boarding gate! They were waiting for those of us who had been relaxing in the lounge having our champagne and nibbles. I felt quite embarrassed and would have much preferred to board after all the economy passengers were already seated.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
44,496 posts
116 reviews
20. Re: priority line protocol

You would have a very long wait then!

>I felt quite embarrassed and would have much preferred

>to board after all the economy passengers were already seated.

I think for the folks who have priority access of some sort, you should feel that you are well entitled to use it and shouldn't feel embarrassed at all. In OP's case, if someone had said that to me, I would have asked whether he is traveling in business class. If so, then I'd gladly stand in line behind him. If not, I would just cut to the front. There is no shame in exercising your right. Frequently fliers treasure these moments not because it makes them feel special, but because it puts less stress on traveling, which is already a stressful routine.