British Airways is launching a new bag drop service on Monday, in association with Airportr.
Long-term readers will know that Airportr offers a home baggage collection and delivery service – they will come to your home, take your suitcases off you, take them to the airport and check them in on your behalf. You don’t see your luggage again until your arrive at your destination. We reviewed Airportr here.
The new service is a little confusing. I can’t decide if it genunely offers something useful. Make up your own mind.
From Monday, if you take the Heathrow Express train to Terminal 5 (which immediately eliminates over 90% of passengers), you can check in your baggage on the Heathrow Express platform at the airport.
The service is only available between 5am and 10am.
It is also only available to passengers who are able to check in online. This knocks out even more potential users, since online check-in is not offered to any destination which requires travellers to show covid test documentation on arrival.
That said, British Airways passengers flying to Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, can now upload their negative Covid-19 test result and other documentation directly into ba.com for verification before travel.
I’m not sure if passengers using the VeriFLY service can check-in online although, outbound, this is only valid to the US, Canada and France anyway.
How does the Airportr bag drop service work?
You will be handing your luggage over to Airportr staff, not British Airways employees. Airportr will be responsible for checking it in and dropping it into the Heathrow baggage system. Airportr staff will “seal and secure” your luggage, which may also be an issue if you would actually prefer your luggage not to be sealed up.
You will be able to track the progress of your suitcase via an app.
The only benefit appears to be that you can avoid any queues at the bag drop desks. BA says that you can “move through the airport without the hassle of carrying luggage” but there are multiple lifts from the Heathrow Express platforms to the departure hall.
Is there a market for this?
The market for this new service is a very limited one:
- Heathrow Express passengers
- … travelling between 5am and 10am
- … who are flying on one of the routes which currently allow online check-in
You also need to be happy to hand over your luggage to a third party when you could simply hop in the lift and drop it yourself at a desk.
Most usefully, remember that British Airways offers their ‘twilight’ baggage drop service the night before travel from Heathrow Terminal 5. You can drop your bags off between 4pm and 9pm on the day before you travel.
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