ATLANTA — If you fly Delta, prepare for a new process when boarding.

The airline is scrapping its traditional numbered zone method. Starting Wednesday, the company is basing when you board on what you pay.

Delta has increased the number of boarding groups to reduce crowding, and it is using color coding on television monitors and boarding passes to let passengers know when to line up. Top fliers still board first, but coach passengers now have four boarding groups.

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Credit card and Silver Medallion flyers get in first, then everyone else boards according to what they paid for their tickets.

For some, the first day of the new system was a welcome surprise, but for others, it meant overhead space was at a premium. 11Alive caught up with passengers arriving in Atlanta to ask them about it.

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“All I know is I got a ticket and I got on one of the first ones on," one Delta passenger said arriving from St. Louis. "I was surprised.”

He added that he did not have a Delta American Express Credit Card and was not a Medallion flyer, but he was put at the head of the boarding group. 

A second passenger was asked what “main cabin” group she was in and she said “two.” We asked what happened when she got on and she said that “the overhead was packed" and that "wasn’t any space at all.”

Although the new system will take some getting used to, we found few glitches and most passengers had no problems.  But for those getting a cheap fare, be prepared to check your bag at the gate.

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