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British Airways is trialling new technology
that will enable passengers to virtually queue at check-in by pre-booking their
slot time in advance of arriving at the airport.
BA is testing the technology, developed by Qmatic, for three months on
selected flights departing from Heathrow Terminal 5. Passengers will be sent an
email before travel inviting them to book their personal check in time, although
the service is optional.
The Qmatic system notifies passengers
when it is their turn, allowing them to go directly to a dedicated desk. Passengers
who have not booked a check-in slot through Qmatic can proceed as normal, or
have the option to join a virtual queue when they arrive at the airport by
scanning a QR code.
British Airways says it is the first airline to trial the technology, which is
currently used in public sector, retail, healthcare and financial organisations
around the world, including BP service stations, the Tate Modern and the Post
Office in the UK.
Declan Pollard, British Airways’ head
of Heathrow customer experience, said “In this new Covid-19 era we know that
customers have been travelling less frequently than they normally would, and in
most cases not at all. We understand many people will feel unfamiliar with the
airport journey, so we are committed to exploring how technology can simplify
that experience for them.”