The red carpet won't be a mess if: People stop lining up on it well in advance of boarding. This was a problem before the new system; the main difference is now that there's a larger number of people who can use that lane on UA. Contrast this to CO flights where all elites could use the blue carpet lane (which CO pioneered long before UA introduced its red carpet) and there hasn't traditionally been a problem with crowding that line. Announcements are simple, clear, and consistent about who can board and when, with clear separation between the status groups. People sit down until they're called. If that happens, the chaos goes away. If everyone continues to crowd around the red carpet well before boarding starts, it's still going to be a mess. The real advantage of the red carpet lane isn't the early boarding for premium classes and elites. It's the ability for those passengers to bypass the general boarding process once the premium class and elite pre-boarding is completed and general boarding has begun.