British Airways has launched a new ‘virtual check-in queue’ option for selected flights at Heathrow using a technology platform from Qmatic.
You will, if you choose, no longer need to join a lengthy check-in queue. You can pre-book a time slot to check-in in advance of arriving at the airport.
The trial will run for three months on selected flights. If your flight is included, you will receive an email prior to travel inviting you to book a check-in slot.
The service is not compulsory, and you will still be able to join the main queue if you wish. Customers who have pre-booked slots will use dedicated desks.
This is clearly a positive move – anything which reduces queuing can’t be bad – but there are two obvious problems.
The first is that Terminal 5 Departures doesn’t have a lot of options, landside, to pass the time if you arrive early. The shopping mall is airside rather than landside.
The second issue is that, for most people, the time you arrive at Heathrow is pretty much out of your control. You are at the mercy of the Underground network, the Heathrow Express (miss your train and it’s a 15 minute wait) or the M4.
None of these options would give you much confidence to commit to a timed check-in slot.
If there were a large number of refreshment options pre check-in I would, in theory, be happy to arrive early and have a drink whilst waiting for my slot. In reality, Terminal 5 is fairly short of chairs – let alone cafes – before check-in unless you head to Arrivals.
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As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:
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