Meet the People Who Get on the Plane Before You Do.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
July 9 2012 6:40 AM

Priority Boarding

The people who get on the plane before you do.

Pre-boarding: Why do so many people get to board before you do?
Pre-boarding: Why do so many people get to board before you do?

Photograph by Thinkstock

Welcome to American Airlines Flight 2164 en route to Dallas/Fort Worth. In just a few moments we will begin our general boarding process. At this time, we’d like to remind you that all luggage must fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. If your bag does not fit, or there is no available space when you board, an agent will check the bag for you at the gate.

At this time we’d like to welcome those passengers seated in our first-class cabin.

John Swansburg John Swansburg

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

Thank you for patience. We’d now like to welcome our Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage Visa Signature Card holders on board. There’s no mileage cap, and your miles never expire with the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage Visa Signature Card.

If you’re a CitiExecutive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard holder, please board at this time. You travel on another level. Get the card that does, too.

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Your first checked bag was free if you booked your travel using the new CitiBusiness/AAdvantage World MasterCard. You also enjoy priority boarding privileges. Please approach the gate.

Members of our AAdvantage frequent flier program who have achieved Yellow Diamond status, please proceed to the jet bridge.

Thanks to everyone for your patience during the boarding process. Members of our AAdvantage frequent flier program who have reached Cushion Cut, VVS-2 Diamond status, please come to the gate at this time.

Members of our AAdvantage frequent flier program who have reached Conflict Diamond status, it’s time for you to board American Airlines Flight 2164 to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Welcome aboard to members of our Admiral’s Club.

Welcome aboard to members of our Rear Admiral’s Club.

At this time, we’d like to welcome those passengers who were signatories to the original Oneworld Alliance charter. Passengers who signed the watered-down second draft, please wait for your group number to be called.

Ladies and gentleman, thank you for waiting. We’d now like to welcome aboard those passengers traveling with small children, those who need assistance boarding, and those who plan to pretend to need assistance boarding.

Uniformed members of the U.S. Armed Forces: We thank you for your service. Please board now.

Undercover air marshals, you’re now welcome to board.

If you paid a $15 surcharge for a seat in the main cabin that used to be free, American Airlines is grateful for your patronage and would like to invite you to board at this time.

Passengers who require extra time to situate their Havanese, Maltese, or other prescribed emotional support animal, please proceed to the gate.  

Customers who haven’t flown in 10 or more years, please wander confusedly toward the podium at this time.

Passengers traveling with large roller boards that will prevent the overhead compartment doors from closing properly, you may approach the gate with no regard for other passengers’ ankles now.

American Airlines is paging passenger Larry Reynolds. Larry Reynolds. Please board at this time and begin your futile, aisle-blocking search for the issue of Car & Driver you left on the kitchen counter.

We appreciate your patience. At this time we’d like to begin our general boarding with passengers seated in Group 1. If your boarding pass says Group 1, please approach the gate. And if your boarding pass says Group 4, please begin elbowing your way to the front at this time. We actually don’t really care when anyone boards, so just have at it. Thank you for flying American.

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