One of the advantages of having an airline co-branded card is if you do not have a status with the airline you will get an automatic “Group 1” boarding as long as you have used the card to purchase the plane ticket. In addition to the “Group 1” boarding, you also get the first checked in baggage fee waived for you and your traveling companion.
For example, Chase United Explorer personal card gives “Group 1” boarding on United flight and waive the $25 the first checked-in baggage fee. The Barclay Amerian Airlines card offers “Group 1” boarding privilege and waives the $25 first checked-in baggage fee. In both cases, you should use the individual airline co-branded credit card to purchase the ticket. Otherwise, you will not get the “Group 1” boarding privilege, as well as your first, checked in baggage fee will not be waived.
Booked ticket Using Barclay American Airlines Card for an American Airlines flight
Last June I made a reservation using my spouse’s Barclay American Airline Mastercard for a Christmas break trip to Europe. The outbound travel was on a British Airways flight, and the inbound changed to American Airlines flight during our return trip. For the outbound travel “Group 1” did not matter because British Airways was boarding passengers based on the seat numbers assigned to them.
Inbound Travel from Europe to the USA Group 4 Boarding Assigned
At the airport after the completion of our trip, we checked in our baggage and received the boarding passes. Since it was an international flight our first checked in luggage was free without any fee, so nothing happened to trigger my suspicion for not receiving the cobranded card benefits. But when we come to the gate for boarding, I found out we were all assigned the boarding “Group 4”.
I was wondering why the agent or the computer assigned us “Group 4” boarding and I did not know any reason at the point. We came back to the USA but still wondering why we got the “Group 4” assignment.
NO AAdvantage Number Used in the Reservation
American Airlines ticket was a highly discounted ticket the American Airlines was giving us only “ZERO” miles for the trip. Before the trip, I researched using “wheretocredit” website and found out that if I credit the miles back to “Alaska Air” each of us will be receiving 1342 miles. We actually received 1786 miles per account, after the completion of the trip, because Alaska Air still has the policy of giving out a minimum of 500 miles per segment. So I used my Alaska Airline frequent flyer number in the American Airlines reservation to get some miles instead of zero.
After the trip, I checked the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator website and found out, to receive the benefits the website clearly states that the card holder AAdvantage number must be used when you make the reservation, or the AAdvantage number must be updated in the reservation record at least seven days before departure date. If the AAdvantage number is not provided, the “Group 1” boarding privilege is not available, even if you use the Barclay AAdvantage card to purchase the ticket.
Based on my experience as well as the precise wording in the BarclayUS website, the “Group 1” boarding, as well as a free first checked in luggage privilege is not available, if the Airline frequent number is not available on the travel reservation record.