British Airways is trialling a new ‘personalised boarding system’ at Terminal 5 on selected routes.
If you are travelling to Bridgetown, Dallas Fort Worth or Mumbai before 28th November you will be invited to take part.
How does personalised boarding work?
The idea is that you will be given an exact time, to the minute, when you can board the aircraft. There is no need to turn up at the boarding gate before your allocated time.
The main beneficiaries here will, of course, be passengers with lounge access who can remain in the lounge until 2-3 minutes before their allocated slot (unless it’s a B or C gate ….).
You will receive a text message from British Airways when online check-in opens for your flight, encouraging you to register for the trial. You will also be able to register at the check-in desk by scanning a QR code.
Here’s a typical screenshot you will see on your device:
As you can see, boarding for this flight is due to start at 15:47. However, the passenger is told to arrive at exactly 15:49 when they will have a boarding slot.
At the appointed time, the green tick appears in your device. Any delays to boarding times are notified by SMS message.
Will this trial work?
Let’s just say that you can see the flaws.
It won’t work well for anyone on a B or C gate unless they are aware of how long it takes to reach the satellite terminal.
Anyone with lounge access already has, in theory, ‘board when you want’. You would be in Group 1 in most cases and, if you turn up when Group 1 had already been called, you can walk straight to the front via the (by then) empty priority boarding line.
More importantly, for passengers without lounge access, the only quiet place to sit in Terminal 5 is down by their gate. As more and more shops have been created, the seating areas in Terminal 5 have shunk – or been turned into dedicated seating for those buying something from Pret etc. If this plan is to keep people from congregating in the gate areas, the solution lies elsewhere.
That said, there is clearly some benefit here if it works well. The bottom line is that you need to be happy that BA will keep you informed about boarding delays and that it will send out notifications at the right time. Once the confidence is there, people will start to use and trust the system more.
If the trial goes well, British Airways will extend it to more routes later in 2021.
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As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses.
There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
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 30,000 Avios.
30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.
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45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)