British Airways has divided opinion with a new "pay least, board last" policy that means passengers with the cheapest tickets will be last to hop on the aircraft.
As of December 12, all travellers flying within Europe will be assigned a group number between one and five at check-in, based on the fare they paid and their frequent flyer status.
Those in group one will include, unsurprisingly, first class flyers and Gold members of the British Airways Executive Club.
Group four passengers will comprise of Silver members, group three will be made up of Bronze status holders, and group four will include economy passengers. Right at the bottom of the pile will be those in group five, who have opted for BA's cheapest hand-luggage only fares.
Isn't this how boarding works already?
Yes, despite the social media outcry that erupted after the announcement was made on Friday.
First and business class flyers are always invited to board the plane first, with many airlines also giving priority to members of their loyalty program. Points mean prizes, after all.
BA says it's merely aiming to simplify a process already in place to enable faster boarding.
A spokesperson for the legacy airline said it was seeking to "improve the customer journey by creating a number of groups to speed up the process."
They added: "This method has been used by airlines around the world for a number of years, including by our partners American Airlines, Iberia and Qatar."
What about passengers with mobility issues or children?
Those who require special assistance or are travelling with young children will still be get priority and board first.
What are people so angry about?
Some pointed to that the fact that this grouping method is one already in use by the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet. And that apparently is not a good thing.
One respondent tweeted: "British Airways passengers to board in order of their ticket price. This would put Britain’s flagship carrier on a par with Ryanair."
Another weighed in: "Think BA has lost the plot. Instead of competing with the Aldi and Lidl of the airline world they should have stuck to offering more and costing more. "
Think BA has lost the plot. Instead of competing with the Aldi and Lidl of the airline world they should have stuck to offering more and costing more. This is a race to the bottom. #britishairways#Lowcost#dignity
— Nick Redmayne (@NickRedmayne) November 18, 2017
And one cried: "Nothing quite like a British class system to let you know your place!"
According to aviation expert John Strickland, it's just another way in which BA is evolving to stay competitive. He told the Telegraph: "Such changes will always divide opinion but BA is simply responding to the pressures of a short-haul market dominated by low-cost carriers who fly far more customers than it does."
Will this new "pay least, board last" system actually inspire people to shell out more for a ticket? Highly unlikely. But it might streamline the boarding process and cut delays.
I thought airlines have always done this? If people are prepared to pay way more for a seat that is essentially the same that's on them. Equally, how sad do you have to be as a person to find your worth in an airline seat?!
— Vanessa V (@shewithcapitalV) November 18, 2017
Others responded more positively to the new policy.
"I shall enter triumphantly at the very end wearing a shirt that says ‘Yay! I paid less than all you suckers’", tweeted one.
Another surmised: "If some idiot pays more to sit in a stationary plane waiting for those he considers socially inferior, so what?"
What is actually the fastest way to board a plane?
It's not what you think, nor a method employed by any airline. According to extensive research, it's actually quickest to allow passengers to board all at once and to choose their own seats – a method once favoured by Ryanair but abandoned in 2014 as part of its "family-friendly" facelift.
According to various studies, from sources as varied as Northwestern University in Illinois and the Discovery Channel’s TV series MythBusters, this could save passengers up to 20 minutes of runway faffing on every return flight.
MythBusters, which devoted almost an entire show to the thorny problem last year, tested six options using a replica of an aircraft interior and 173 willing volunteers.
They found that the "no assigned economy seats" model resulted in a boarding time of 14 minutes, compared to the 24 minutes it took to board in zones from the back to the front of the plane, as per the industry standard.
So why don’t airlines take heed? For one, passengers who like to take advantage of speedy boarding – and airlines like BA who take advantage of charging them for the privilege – would be scuppered. But the most glaringly obvious reason is that groups and families would – albeit temporarily – be split up.
Research has also suggested that baggage is the biggest factor when it comes to rapid boarding, while average boarding speeds have slowed from 20 passengers per minute in the 1960s to nine per minute in 1998 as use of hand luggage increased due to fees for checking bags.
The best option of all, according to Dr R. John Milne, of Clarkson University in New York, and set out in the Journal of Air Transport Management, would be for passengers with the most luggage to be given window seats and kept as far apart as possible, before boarding in a carefully choreographed order.
Whether BA's new system will speed things up or make boarding even slower remains to be seen.