Beginning on January 23, 2019, the airline will ditch zone boarding and only a fresh — and much more complex — process predicated on ticket type and color.
Despite the expansion in amount of groups from 6 to 8, Delta said the brand new format hopes to “encourage fewer customers to fall into line in the gate area” and ultimately increase boarding.
The Atlanta-based carrier will still begin boarding with passengers that require extra time, accompanied by premium passengers sitting in its Delta One suites (applicable on select domestic and all international flights) and its new Premium Select cabin on some international flights or HIGH GRADE on domestic flights.
After that, it gets complicated: The airline used to board the Sky Priority zone — passengers sitting in Comfort+ and Gold and Platinum Medallion members — together.
Moving forward, that combined group will put into two, with Comfort+ passengers boarding first accompanied by Sky Priority, meaning high-spending members of its frequent flier program must wait a bit longer.
Following that, Delta shall board economy passengers by announcing Main Cabin 1 though 3, of Zone 1 though 4 instead.
Fliers that purchase Delta’s cheapest tickets will board last in a fresh group: Zone 4 will now be called Basic Economy. Delta charge card Silver and holders Medallion members will board with Main Cabin 1.
Each section could have different colors displayed if they purchase their ticket on Delta’s website and on airport screens to greatly help.
“This latest enhancement further refines how Delta’s process works and was created to better link the Delta product they purchased to differentiated experiences throughout their journey,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.