As we look back upon all the ups and downs of the last year, JetBlue finds itself right back where it started when after rolling back another coronavirus policy: back-to-front boarding. Boarding has reverted to pre-pandemic zone boarding as JetBlue takes another step toward normalcy.
JetBlue Restores Zone Boarding
It’s not really a big deal. In fact, it is a far smaller deal than JetBlue’s restoration of full meal service in Mint class last autumn. But shortly after the worldwide pandemic was declared last year, JetBlue announced it would board planes from back to front. This, said JetBlue, would encourage social distancing.
But this week JetBlue returned to zone boarding, an important step in making air travel “normal” again (if that is even possible…)
Boarding will now commence in the following order:
- Pre-Boarding for customers with disabilities
- Mosaic and Mint customers
- Even More Space customers (Group A)
- Courtesy Boarding for active military personnel and customers traveling with small children
- Group B
- Group C
- Group D
- Group E (if applicable)
- All remaining customers
A JetBlue spokesperson explained:
“We continue to work within public health guidelines and take clinical guidance from our own medical experts to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our customers and crewmembers safe in this next phase of our ‘new normal.’ With these resources as our guides, we returned this week to our grouped boarding process.
“It has become clear that mandatory face mask use and the hospital-grade air filtration on board every JetBlue aircraft are the keys to greatly reducing the risk on board, lower than other public settings. We will continue to disinfect commonly touched surfaces, offer sanitizer and wipes to customers, and remain focused on keeping our crewmembers healthy through safety protocols and screening.”
JetBlue has reverted to its pre-pandemic system of zone boarding. It marks another small but notable step of returning to the pre-pandemic era of travel.
I am dying, as always, at the inability to simply name the groups in numerical order. Group A boards third, and Group B boards fifth. The vaccination tiers in the US are similar- one jurisdiction is currently in Phase 1C, Tier 1.
In the UK they have 9 vaccination tiers (probably similar to here), and they are simply numbered 1-9! Geniuses.
Confusing stuff. If I ever fly with them, I shall stick to my tried-and-tested strategy of staying in the lounge until 10 minutes before the gate closes.