British Airways tries app to end queues at check-in counters


British Airways is trialling a new virtual queuing system to prevent travellers from gathering at check-in desks as the airline looks to revolutionise the post-pandemic flying experience.

The carrier is testing intelligent queuing technology from Qmatic that allows passengers to pre-book a check-in slot through a mobile app, which then notifies them when it is their turn.

BA is the first airline to use Qmatic, with the three-month trial on selected flights departing from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 optional for passengers.

Declan Pollard, British Airways’ head of Heathrow customer experience, said with many customers either travelling less frequently in the Covid era or not at all, the airline wants to explore new technology to “simplify the experience for them”.

“This technology means that our customers can plan their departure knowing that they have a personalised check-in time,” Pollard said.

“We think this technology, coupled with digital travel apps, will help efficiently manage the flow of customers in the airport at any one time and give our customers reassurance.”

BA’s trial comes after Britain unveiled its traffic light system earlier this month to resume international travel from May 17, with only a handful of destinations approved for quarantine-free movement, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to protect gains made by a rapid vaccination campaign.—TLTP

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