Since the beginning of November, a new boarding procedure has gradually been introduced on European flights. At Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS, passengers now board according to the ‘window-middle-aisle’ principle. In order to ensure a smooth launch, the introduction on all European flights and some neighbouring destinations will be delayed from November 2019 until spring 2020.
The new boarding procedure follows a fixed structure. Passengers are divided into five groups. After pre-boarding and passengers with priority status, passengers with window seats will board first, then those with middle seats and finally passengers with aisle seats.
While passengers in Groups 1 and 2 continue to board manually, the remaining passengers pass through the Quick Boarding gate. Passengers travelling together are assigned to the same group at check-in. Group assignment is shown on the boarding pass. The new boarding procedure can also be found on the monitors at the gate. Announcements have also been customised.
This is how boarding works according to the window-middle-aisle principle:
Pre-boarding: Families with babies and small children under five, children travelling alone, travellers with reduced mobility
Groups 1 and 2: Priority boarding for HON Circle Members, Senators, Star Alliance Gold card holders, Business Class passengers, Economy Flex passengers
Group 3: Economy Class passengers with window seats and their companions
Group 4: Economy Class travellers with middle seats and their companions
Group 5: Economy Class passengers with aisle seats