BA trial new automated check in service

As part of BA’s £5bn investment programme aimed at making travel more convenient and comfortable for their customers, they are trialling a brand new service that will let its customers use an automatic check in desk. This service will change face of airline check ins and shape the future of how we will check in from now on.

Frank van der Post is BA’s Managing Director of Brands and Customer Experience, has said of the trial that customers have enough to think about before making a trip, whether that is sorting the kids out or wrapping up their work at the office.

He added that they were aiming at giving them one less thing to stress about by offering them the choice of being checked in automatically and sent their boarding pass electronically. All they then have to do is drop off their bags and proceed to their departure lounge.

British Airways will start a trial with selected travellers flying out of airports in France. Invited customers will have the option to be checked in automatically. Twenty-four hours before their flight, customers will be automatically checked in, assigned a seat and they will receive their boarding pass electronically, saving them the time and effort of going through traditional check-in.

Van der Post continued: “We’re known for our innovation at British Airways and I’m excited that we are continuing that tradition by trialling a revolutionary service that will make check-in even quicker and easier for our customers.”

The automated check-in trial will be extended to a larger group of travellers in the spring. If the trials are a success, the aim is to make the service an option for all customers across the British Airways network by the end of 2013.

This autumn further trials will be undertaken to enhance the customer experience, including at the airline’s home at Heathrow Terminal 5, where it will trial a British Airways complimentary porter service for departing First and Gold Executive Club customers. Departing premium customers will be greeted at their vehicle as it pulls up alongside Terminal 5 by a host and offered the service of a porter, who will escort them and transport their luggage to the First class check-in area.

For those taking holidays in New York recently and travelling through New York’s JFK airport, may have experienced trials taking place to help customers navigate quickly through the buildings. This is thanks to British Airways customer service staff positioned in the baggage and arrivals halls. The trials are also taking place at Hong Kong International Airport where staff have even been positioned at the train station.