Delta Launches ‘Virtual Queuing’ To Board Flights

Delta Air Lines is offering a new initiative in its app. The American carrier has added functionality which allows passengers to see which groups are currently boarding the aircraft. The carrier has named its new initiative Virtual Queuing.

Delta Air Lines, Delta App, Virtual Boarding
Patiently waiting at the gate will become a thing of the past! Photo: Getty Images

Do you hate turning up early at gates just to find you have to wait ages to board? Well, I do. In fact, yesterday I rushed to get to my gate at 15:30, as my boarding pass loudly proclaimed that the gate would close at 15:35. However, to my horror, I still ended up waiting as boarding didn’t start until around 15:40! Delta thinks it has found the solution to this problem.

Virtual queuing

Virtual queuing will allow passengers to check on their phone which order groups are boarding in, and which groups have already been called. For example, if you were in the very last boarding group, you could spend an extra few minutes at the bar, confident that the airline will let you know when your seat is boarding.

The airline believes that this will reduce stress for passengers while traveling. After all, they will get a far more accurate representation of when they should be at the departure gate to board their flight.

Delta Air Lines, Delta App, Virtual Boarding
The feature is available through Delta’s mobile app. Photo: Delta Air Lines

8 boarding groups

Last year Delta Air Lines announced a new boarding group system, consisting of eight different groups of passengers. Now, you can see if you’re travelling on Delta’s largest aircraft in group 8, you’d have plenty of time still to wait when group 1 is called.

The airline boards passengers in the following order:

  • Firstly, those able to preboard are invited onto the aircraft;
  • Next, Delta One and Diamond Medallion members are invited;
  • This is followed by Delta Premium Select or First Class passengers;
  • Customers with car seats;
  • Delta Comfort Plus passengers are next up;
  • Next, Platinum and Gold Delta frequent flies, and equivalent members of partner programs are allowed to board the aircraft.
  • Main Cabin 1;
  • Main Cabin 2;
  • Then Main Cabin 3;
  • And finally, last but not least basic economy passengers are invited to board the aircraft. This fare was introduced in February 2018.
Delta Air Lines, On Time Performance, Punctuality
Delta Air Lines was crowned the most punctual airline in North America in 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Delta has likened its new Virtual queuing system to those buzzers that you get at restaurants. They go off alerting you when your table is ready. Instead, passengers will be alerted when it is time to board the aircraft. The airline says that this will reduce stress within passengers while traveling.

Rhonda Crawford, a Vice President at Delta said:

“We continue to put boarding under the microscope – looking at how technology can help alleviate some of the crowding at the gate that all of us have experienced. Customers have told us that being notified when their seat is boarding will help reduce the stress of that experience.”

What do you make of virtual boarding? Will it make a difference at the gate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!