Delta CEO addresses United's boarding process change: 'Just boarding people' is fastest

United Airlines said its boarding process will shave up to 2 minutes off boarding time

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian hinted that the carrier isn't looking to copy rival United Airlines' new boarding method that's meant to reduce the time it takes to depart.

During an interview on "Today," Bastian said that the carrier has tried "every which way to board customers."  

"We have found that actually just boarding people and getting people moving through the plane is the fastest," Bastian said. "Every time you add another feature, it gets more complicated."

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However, the chief executive said if United does "crack that nut better, we'll certainly copy them." 

Bastian was referring to United's boarding plan dubbed WILMA, which stands for window-middle-aisle. 

A United Airlines Airbus 320-232 is seen parked at Dulles Washington International Airport

A United Airlines Airbus 320-232 is seen parked at Dulles Washington International Airport (IAD), in Dulles, Virginia, on August 14, 2021.  ((Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Delta declined further comment.

United said in a memo that the seating plan, which was implemented last month, will save up to two minutes on the boarding process for each flight. The change affects all domestic and some international flights and will allow the carrier to fly more. 

UNITED AIRLINES' NEW BOARDING POLICY GETS MIXED REVIEWS FROM TRAVELERS

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 49.24 +0.22 +0.45%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 54.02 +0.08 +0.15%

The carrier told FOX Business that the method, which was used prior to 2017, will have a "cumulative impact" on operations during the busy holiday travel season.

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Several major carriers have already projected strong demand for the holidays and have already begun to ramp up schedules. 

However, American Airlines pilot Capt. Dennis Tajer argued the move is about money because it helps decrease turn times, which is the time a plane first arrives at the gate and departs.