How Alaska Airlines Boarding Groups Work

Passengers with elite status or sitting in first class get priority boarding on Alaska Airlines.
Natasha Etzel
By Natasha Etzel 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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Alaska Airlines has a straightforward boarding process. If you have an upcoming flight, knowing the Alaska boarding groups in advance can help to make your flying experience less stressful.

Find out more about the airline's boarding process, so you're prepared for your trip and know when it's time to get on the plane.

The Alaska Airlines boarding groups

How many boarding groups does Alaska have? Alaska Airlines has six boarding groups, making their boarding process relatively simple. These six groups will be able to get on the plane following those eligible for preboarding.

  1. First-class ticketed passengers.

  2. Group A.

  3. Group B.

  4. Group C.

  5. Group D.

  6. Group E.

Travelers who can preboard include guests with disabilities or who need extra time to board, families with children under 2, and active-duty military members.

After preboarding is complete, first-class ticketed passengers are the first boarding group. Then the process continues, in alphabetical order, beginning with Group A and ending with Group E.

How Alaska's boarding groups are assigned

Your ticket type and your Mileage Plan membership level will determine your assigned boarding group. If you have elite status, you may be able to board sooner, no matter where you're seated on the plane.

You'll see your group assignment on your boarding pass. Alaska has display screens at the gate to help travelers know when it's their turn to board. The groups with a green check board, while groups in red will board soon.

Here is a detailed looked at Alaska's boarding groups and the eligibility for each.

Group

Mileage Plan elite members

Other passengers

First class

-

First class passengers.

Group A

  • Mileage Plan Million Miler.

  • MVP Gold 75K.

  • MVP Gold.

-

Group B

Mileage Plan MVP.

Premium class passengers.

Group C

-

Main seat passengers in the back half of the plane.

Group D

-

Main seat passengers in the front half of the plane.

Group E

-

Saver seat passengers.

How to get Alaska Airlines priority boarding

There are a few ways to get priority boarding privileges, like purchasing a premium-class ticket or having elite status with the airline. But those aren't the only options. Here are several ways to get on the plane sooner:

Qualify for preboarding

Fliers who qualify for preboarding get on the plane before all other travelers, including first-class passengers. So, if you are eligible, you can get settled in your seat before the regular boarding process begins.

Fly in a premium cabin

When purchasing a first- or premium-class ticket, you'll get priority boarding privileges, getting to board the plane before travelers with main cabin or saver seat tickets.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Not all Alaska Airlines aircraft have first-class or premium-class seating, so these classes of tickets may not be available for all routes.

Achieve elite status

Being a frequent Alaska flier has benefits — including the chance to achieve elite status through their Mileage Plan loyalty program.

If you have Mileage Plan Million Miler, MVP Gold 75K or MVP Gold status, you can board when Group A is called — right after first-class passengers.

Mileage Plan MVP members can board in the same group as premium class passengers during Group B boarding.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Flying with Alaska Airlines or its partners often could help you achieve elite status sooner.

Upgrade your ticket

Another way to get priority boarding is to upgrade your ticket before departure. Depending on your ticket type, you may be able to pay with cash or redeem miles. Upgrades start at as little as $5 for premium class and $23 for first class.

Participate in an priority boarding promotion

Alaska Airlines has a reputation for throwing holiday-themed priority boarding promotions. These promotions encourage travelers to dress up by theme to earn priority boarding privileges.

In the past, the airline has celebrated May the Fourth along with Star Wars fans and has gotten into the holiday spirit by celebrating National Ugly Sweater Day. Keep an eye out for these promotions — you may be able to board sooner if you decide to participate.

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card offer priority boarding perks?

The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card didn't used to include priority boarding perks, unlike many other airline credit cards, but as of Jan. 18, 2023, you can get priority boarding for you and up to six guests on the same reservation along with free checked bags for you and each of those guests.

Final thoughts on Alaska Airlines boarding groups

The Alaska Airlines boarding process is simple and easy to follow. If you qualify for preboarding or have a first-class ticket, you'll be able to get seated early. Otherwise, you'll need to review your boarding pass to see which of the Alaska boarding groups you're part of to determine when you can board the plane.


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