A Field Guide to Airline Boarding

airplane boarding sunset american

When buying plane tickets this holiday season, consider the pros and cons of boarding.

Zone Boarding

boarding-pass-zone boarding American Airlines

What It Is: Passengers board front- to- back or aisle- to- window.  Boarding zone is printed on your boarding pass.

Used By: American, Delta, United, Frontier, Virgin, Spirit, US Airways, Jet Blue

Pre- Boarding: You’re so old and/or decrepit that we need you to board first so you don’t delay the entire flight.

Business Class: Thank your company for spending twice the money on a marginally less shitty seat! Please enjoy the in-flight magazine tailored exclusively to your expensive tastes.  This month, we feature articles on global wellness retreats and why you should move your business to Kansas, plus thirty jillion advertisements for plastic surgeons and matchmakers that cater exclusively to classy bastards like you. It’s $10 if you want a 4 oz cocktail but don’t worry- put it on the company card!


Priority/ Loyalty: Thanks for flying our airline.  We know you have 5 choices and you only use us for the credit card perks.  Your loyalty free pays for in- flight Starbucks and our media hosting app (which we’re actually stealing).  Don’t think you’re getting free alcohol, though.  When are you freeloaders going to start paying for business class?

Zone 1: Bet you thought you were special because you’re called Zone 1, huh?  SURPRISE! You’re not!  You probably paid an extra $15 to hand-pick your spot on the plane.  We didn’t tell you where the babies were, though!  MUAHAHAHA!

Zone 2-3:  You lazy m**********r.  Did you buy your ticket yesterday or something?

Zone 4: We don’t care if you make it on the plane or not, we just needed your money for jet fuel.

Random Boarding


What It is:  Customers pick their seats according to the order they checked in.

Used By: Southwest

“CATTLE CALL! All you cows line up in number order!  Everyone can see your number on your boarding pass, but if people are nice they might let you in.  LEZZGETDRUNK!”

Drunk on a Plane

A1-30:  This means you/ your company paid more. (Note:  There may or may not be actual people in this category).

A30-60:  You guys are punctual AF.  Enjoy your pick of the seats.

Family Boarding:  Families should stick together.  Also, no one wants to sit next to your snotty kid.

B:  B stands for Brilliant, because you usually have your choice of the window or aisle and can strategically avoid infants.

C: C you in the middle seat!

Loyalty Perks (not a zone):  We appreciate you, but we already include normal stuff like bags and snacks in your ticket.  So here are 5 drink coupons that expire in three months.  It’s time to GET DRUNK!

Southwest Snacks Logo redesign

Everyone Else Who Wants To Drink:  Don’t worry.  We design our drink coupons so your seat buddy has to share them with you.   Or you can pay us $5, which is basically the happy hour price at a halfway decent bar.  And you probably don’t get served by sassy gay waiters at a halfway decent bar.  Cheers bitches, here’s some bar snacks! *throws peanuts and pretzels in the air*

Party on a Plane


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