British Airways will be trialling new intelligent queuing technology from Qmatic, that will enable customers to virtually queue at check-in by pre-booking their slot time in advance of arriving at the airport.
The technology, which is optional for customers, will be trialled by British Airways for three months on selected flights departing from Heathrow Terminal 5. Customers will be sent an email before travel inviting them to book their personal check-in time.
When it is time for a customer to check in, the Qmatic system will notify them that it is their turn, allowing them to then simply go to the dedicated desk and the airline’s customer service team will be able to assist. Customers 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 will be the first airline to trial Qmatic, which is currently used extensively in the public sector, retail, healthcare and financial organisations around the world, including BP Service Stations, the Tate Modern and the Post Office in the UK, to help manage the flow of customers.
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.
This technology means that our customers can plan their departure knowing that they have a personalised check-in time. 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.”
Mark Brackley, Managing Director of Jade Solutions, the exclusive supplier of Qmatic in the UK, added “The intelligent queuing solution will provide British Airways’ customers with the ability to add themselves to a virtual queue and see their position change in real-time, all from their phone. We are excited to be working with British Airways to trial this technology.”
Elsewhere, British Airways is also trialling digital travel apps to ensure customers meet the entry requirements for their destination before arriving at the airport. The airline’s customers can currently use VeriFLY on all flights to the US, Canada and France as well as on all inbound flights and the airline has been assisting in the development of IATA’s travel pass.
British Airways’ customers also travelling to Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, can now also upload their negative Covid-19 test result and other documentation directly into ba.com for verification before travel.
British Airways will continue to explore how it integrates other technologies, such as VeriFLY, into its systems to further streamline the customer experience.