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British Airways to trial digital queuing system at Heathrow

British Airways to trial digital queuing system at Heathrow

British Airways has revealed it will be trialling new queuing technology from Qmatic.

The carrier hopes the system will enable customers to virtually queue at check-in by pre-booking their slot time in advance of arriving at the airport.

The technology, that 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 simply go to the dedicated desk.

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 by BP Service Stations, the Tate Modern and the Post Office in the UK, among others, 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.”