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Queueing method

The queueing method determines the order that visitors exit an active waiting room and reach your application.

Only certain customers can use queue methods besides First In First Out (FIFO). For more details, refer to Plans page.

First In First Out (FIFO)

Your waiting room orders visitors according to when they entered the waiting room.

First In First Out flow showing visitors entering the origin by order of arrival to the waiting room

Technically, each user receives a cookie that contains a timestamp of when their request first hit an actively queueing waiting room. Cloudflare uses that timestamp to order visitors and provide the estimated wait time.

Use this method when you want to reward visitors who get in the queue first and wait longer.

Random

When your application has open spots, your waiting room chooses visitors at random to exit the waiting room and enter your application.

Random queueing flow showing visitors randomly exiting the waiting room and entering an origin

Use this method when you want to distribute products or services more equitably. Earlier users have a better chance of exiting the waiting room before the estimated wait time because they have more chances to be selected.

API-only queueing methods

The following queueing methods are only available via the API and are commonly used when you create an event.

Passthrough

Allow all traffic to pass immediately through your waiting room and into your application by setting its queueing_method to passthrough.

Use this setup when you only want to use your waiting room for events — where you can update the queueing method — and otherwise avoid queueing during low-traffic hours.

Reject

Prevent any traffic from reaching your application by setting its queueing_method to reject. Users will see a static page.

Use this setup for event-only endpoints or to perform application maintenance.

Changing queueing methods

Though you can change your queueing method, it may affect users if your waiting room is actively queueing:

  • From FIFO to Random: Users will no longer be ordered based on their cookie timestamp, which may affect the displayed wait time.
  • From Random to FIFO: Users will be ordered based on their cookie timestamp, meaning any new users move to the end of the FIFO queue.