British Airways speeds up boarding with Apple Watch

British Airways is trying to speed-up the boarding process through the use of its Apple Watch application and ‘Scan and Go’ scanners.

In a press release published on December 1, the airline announced that the use of its Apple Watch app had quadrupled in four months, saying that it was introducing new scanners to make the wearable devices “easier, and faster to use”.

Customers will be able to slide their wrists under the new ‘Scan and Go’ devices to scan their boarding pass, print their own bag tags and speed through the airport. 136 of the new devices are being installed at check-in desks at Heathrow terminals 3 and 5 and will be ready for use on December 15.

BA says that Apple Watches now account for more than 5 percent of app usage, giving customers access to real-time flight status, gate information, weather of their destination, and a countdown to the departure time.

Kevin McQuillan, British Airways’ Head of ba.com and Mobile said in a statement: “We are always striving to make our customers’ journeys easier through use of technology.

“When we saw the dramatic rise in the number of people using the app on their Apple Watches we knew we needed to create new features in the terminal which would make the experience even better for them.”

The scanners can also be used by the five million customers who have downloaded the app onto their mobile phones.  Early next year British Airways will also launch a new version of the app for iPads to give customers access to all the existing functionality of the mobile app and include Highlife Entertainment listings.

A number of airlines are currently trailling wearables and other IoT devices, including EasyJet.