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May 16, 2013

Only one personal carry-on item? American will let you board early

American Airlines announced a new boarding process that allows passengers with only one small personal carry-on item to board before those that have larger roller bags that need to go in overhead bins.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said it will let customers who have one personal item that can be stowed underneath the seat in front of them to board before Group 2. American said the new process speeds up the boarding time allowing the plane to depart the gate on-time.

American said it tested the process in Austin, Baltimore, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport earlier this year.

"Our tests indicate that this new boarding process will improve our dependability and on-time performance, while being eaiser and more enjoyable for our customers," said American's vice president of customer planning Carol Wright.

American said customers who want to board before Group 2 but have a larger carry-on bag can check the carry-on bag at the gate at no charge. The carrier's Group 1 includes premium frequent flyer passengers and first class travelers.

-Andrea Ahles

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