Back in May, British Airways announced that it was going to launch a 3-month trial of ‘queueless check-in’, which would allow you to pre-book a check-in slot before you arrived at the airport.
This is now active, for those whose flights are taking part in the trial, using existing check-in desks in Zone E in Terminal 5.
This week British Airways has also trialled something different – using the Terminal 5 Arrivals Lounge for pre-booked check-in for premium passengers. One of our readers gave it a try and reported back.
(EDIT: This article was updated during Friday with additional information supplied by BA.)
The Arrivals Lounge check-in service was only being offered on a handful of flights this week.
Participants received an email from British Airways asking if they wished to participate and given an online form to complete:
You could book a time slot to arrive at the Arrivals Lounge in Terminal 5.
If you have never been in the Arrivals Lounge, it is on the mezzanine level above the Arrivals Hall. This means that you need to be dropped off at Arrivals if arriving by taxi. If you are dropped at Departures then you need to double back on yourself which partly defeats the object.
On arrival at the lounge our readers was invited to weigh his checked luggage. Once the weight was been recorded he proceeded into the Arrivals Lounge for a drink:
…. whilst someone checked paperwork and printed baggage tags and boarding passes:
Once the paperwork was complete, he wheeled his luggage back to the exit where the baggage handlers took it from him. He headed off to the Departures Level for security.
Is BA’s queueless check-in worthwhile?
Our reporter said:
“All in all it was a novel experience but, at 5am, I could see no real advantage over checking in upstairs at a Club World / Club Europe check in desk. At busier periods it could possibly save time especially as you have a guaranteed slot.
Another drawback is that no one takes your luggage from you until the end of the process. You have to move your luggage over to the scales to be weighed, then on into the lounge and then over to the baggage handlers at the exit, all without any help. This was not an issue for us but for the infirm or those with a lot of luggage it could be problematic. All in all this is a good concept but it might still need some minor refinements.”
Overall, it seems like something that is worth trialling if you are invited – just make sure that you head to the right level in Terminal 5 or you may end up taking more time than using the standard check-in process. It isn’t clear how this trial will develop for BA, given that the Arrivals Lounge should be back in service for its original purpose once the volume of flights from the US increases.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.