British Airways tests new idea to automatically check in passengers

British Airways has announced a new plan to automatically check in selected passengers.

Travellers who dread the hours of preparation during and before check in would get a reprieve if plans by British Airways are successfully implemented. The company has said that it has started trial runs of automatic check-ins.

The initiative, which is in its ‘beta’ stage, follows a £5bn investment, which the company believes would ‘change the future of airline check-in as we know it today.’

So what is the great deal all about? Starting this month, selected flights from France would see invited passengers being given the option of automatic check-in. This means that travellers would be checked in automatically 24 hours before their flight starts. They would be automatically assigned a seat and receive boarding passes electronically. Customers would neither need to check in early, nor spend hours in the lounge waiting to board their flights. If the initial runs are successful, the company is planning to extend the facility to a larger group of travellers next spring. Those who are offered the service would be at the discretion of the company.

The firm said that its focus was to make the new service an option for all passengers by the end of 2013. The trial runs need to be completed successfully for that, the firm said.

The brands and customer experience managing director at the company, Frank van der Post, said, ‘Customers have so much to think about prior to a trip, be that finishing up in the office or getting the kids’ suitcases packed. We’re aiming to give them one less thing to think about by giving them the choice to be checked in automatically and sent their boarding pass electronically. Then they just need to drop off any bags and make their way to the plane. 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.’