Alaska Airlines is unveiling a new boarding scheme for its aircraft this summer, replacing its usual procedure with lettered groups of people.

A Wednesday post on the airline’s blog explains the new system, which will go into effect July 18, saying gate agents will still seat people who need pre-boarding help and first-class passengers first.

Agents will then go through the airline’s four boarding groups – members of Alaska’s mileage-based elites, MVP and premium-class passengers, those seated in the rear half of the aircraft and those in the front half – as members of Groups A, B, C and D.

Alaska Airlines is transitioning to lettered groups for boarding aircraft starting July 18, 2018. (Credit: Courtesy Alaska Airlines)

The lettered groups are similar to the three-group system employed by Southwest Airlines, but Alaska’s groups don’t allow passengers to take any seat on the aircraft as Southwest does.

 
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“Group boarding announcements will also show up on the displays at your gate – so you’ll be able to glance at the screen to know if it’s your time to board,” airline officials wrote. “It means you won’t have to guess if you missed or misheard a boarding announcement – just check your boarding pass and check the display.”

Alaska Airlines boarding passes will feature its new lettered boarding groups, as well as a streamlined design, starting July 18, 2018. (Credit: Courtesy Alaska Airlines)

The new boarding-group letters will be printed on passengers’ boarding passes, which will feature streamlined designs and larger fonts.

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