As I was leaving Cleveland, there was a great deal of activity around the gate next to mine. There were photographers, people with clipboards, and United branded polo shirt wearers. They were moving through the people lined up to board the plane, and that was when I noticed something different. The usual boarding signage for groups 1 through 5 was missing. In its place was a single sign. One side had a large "A," and the other side had a large "B."
So me being the inquisitive soul that I am, I approached on the polo shirt wearing, laptop holding individuals and asked what was up. Apparently United has been testing multiple boarding procedures over the last couple months to find something that their customers will ultimately prefer with emphasis on satisfying their elite customers.
We had quite an interesting discussion during which he mentioned many things that I found baffling about elite members, of which I am one. Many of the things he mentioned definitely didn't ring true for me, but apparently were typical of most passengers. Interestingly, most of these conclusions were derived from a series of questions that were not direct. They were "emotional" questions such as, "how does it make you feel when you see everyone lined up," and "do you feel less valued when disabled passengers, military members, and families with children are allowed to board before you." There were many more questions that he mentioned, but you get the idea. I will be very interested to see if boarding procedures change in the coming months, and in what way they change.
For me, the only thing I care about is having a place for my rollaboard. Honestly, if they guaranteed me a place for my bag(s), I wouldn't line up until my group was called like they request, but never happens. And I would check my bag if they would get it to me in a timely manner, and ensure that it made it to my final destination. That is unless I'm flying Southwest, in which case getting in line early is practically a must because people don't know that 34 comes before 35.