Soon BA fliers to get boarding pass a day before flight

NEW DELHI, Sept 30:

In the near future, fliers on British Airways will receive boarding passes electronically 24 hours before their flight which will save time and the hassle of going through check-in process.

The passengers will just have to drop their bags at the counters and move for security check to board the plane.

“If trials of this new automated check-in service succeed, we aim to make the service an option for all customers across British Airways network by the end of 2013,” Andrew Lord, BA’s Director of Operations, told PTI here.

Twenty-four hours before flight, the customers would be automatically checked in and assigned a seat. They would receive their boarding pass electronically, saving them the time and effort of going through traditional check-in, Steve Clark, Senior VP Customer Service and Operations, said.

“The service would change the future of airline check-in, as we know it today,” Lord said, adding that passengers will also have the choice of changing seats or even flights at the last minute.

Similar advance check-in services are being offered to select customers by Lufthansa and Air France.

The automated check-in project is among the innovative measures which are part of a five billion pound investment programme of the premier British airline to make travel more comfortable and convenient for its customers.

A major portion of this massive investment is going into upgrading and expanding the British Airways’ IT infrastructure, he said.

Another major step initiated by the airline has been to provide iPADS to pilots and cabin crew that would not only show them flight coordinates and other technical details, but also the passenger manifest, including their food choices or any special requirements, their onward connections as also whether they are frequent fliers or first-timers.

This step would not only reduce substantial loads of heavy paper manuals, but also provide enough time to the crew to provide personalised services to passengers through prior information of their preferences and a greater understanding of each customer’s previous travel arrangements, Lord said.

The crew would also get real-time information about their flight details on their iPADS while sitting at home during off-time and would be able to avoid the pre-flight briefings given at the airport, Clark said.

“It gives cabin crew a whole library of information at their fingertips including timetables, safety manuals and customer service updates. It also means any issues can be logged with ground-based colleagues around the network prior to departure so that solutions can be delivered while the flight is airborne,” he said.

The software has been developed by the premier British carrier in association with organisations, including India’s Tata Consultancy Services and NIIT, Lord said.

“Our effort is to put customers at the heart of what we are doing,” the top BA official said.

Under the five billion pound investment, the British Airways has also upgraded its cabins, including the first and business classes, enhancing customer experience by providing them an advanced product range, he said. (PTI)



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