Passengers buying the cheapest seats will be called to board last as part of a new British Airways policy.

Passengers will be assigned a number between 1-5 printed on boarding passes from December 12, with the highest figure reserved for economy fares.

BA said the move is about simplifying the boarding process, and bringing it into line with other carriers, including American Airlines and sister carrier Iberia.

The number “one” will be given to first class passengers, with others assigned to other segments such as Executive Club or World Traveller Plus.

Passengers who are travelling with children or have mobility issues will still be able to board ahead of everyone else.

A BA spokeswoman told the BBC: “We are always looking at ways to improve and simplify the airport experience for our customers.

“Next month we are introducing new boarding procedures to speed up the process and make it simpler for customers to understand.

“This method has been used by airlines around the world for a number of years, including by our partners American Airlines, Iberia and Qatar.”

But BA was faced social media accusations of operating a class system and further eroding perks.

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