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By Pauline Frommer

Boarding a plane nowadays is like being caught in a Saturday Night Live skit. You patiently wait, as the "platinum" and the "double platinum" and the "elite this and that" passengers board, listening to announcement after announcement, swearing inwardly that there can't be another class before yours...and then there is.

Well, it's about to get even more absurd. American Airlines today announced a new boarding group: one-and-a-half.

Yes, hands-free passengers, those who won't have anything to cram in the overhead bin, will now be allowed to board between the plutocrats of "group one" and the hoi polloi of "group two".

Is that enough incentive for flyers to check their bags at the counter,  incurring (usually) a $25 fee?

It's not for me. But I have no doubt the allure of "priority boarding" will tempt some folks.

Never mind the fact that the only reason one wants to board the plane first is to snag that overhead space!

Or perhaps I'm being too cynical. Maybe this new system will make the boarding process as carefree as a stroll on the beach.

One can always dream.






Tags: American Airlines, Priority Boarding

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