British Airways is launching a new bag drop option to simplify the passenger experience at London Heathrow Airport. Targeted at those traveling on the Heathrow Express train services to the airport, the move will see the airline add bag drop points on Heathrow Express platforms.
COVID-19 has changed the way that we travel. Those who would usually have gone straight from the train to the plane may now have to stop at a check-in desk en route to verify their documentation. This is something that ex-BA boss Willie Walsh recently said airports are not designed for, causing delays and queues for passengers.
A new bag drop point
From Monday, British Airways passengers who have checked in online and arrive at London Heathrow Airport on the Heathrow Express won’t have to lug their luggage up the escalators and elevators to Terminal 5’s departure hall. Instead, passengers can leave their bags with AirPortr employees right on the platform.
This means that once the passenger enters the terminal, there is no need to go to the check-in desks, and they can proceed straight to security and the departure lounge. You may be wondering about leaving bags with non-airport staff. According to British Airways, all AirPortr employees are vetted. They will seal the bags before taking them to British Airways so that passengers can rest assured that they have not been tampered with.
The best thing about the new offer is that it is entirely free of charge for passengers stepping off of the Heathrow Express. Commenting on the new proposal, the airline’s Director of Customer Experience, Tom Stevens, said,
“We believe this contactless initiative with AirPortr allows our customers to avoid baggage check-in queues and move through the airport without the hassle of carrying luggage, as well as offering the reassurance that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safe delivery of their bags from doorstep to destination.”
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Not BA’s only AirPortr offering
The Heathrow Express bag drop isn’t the only way in which British Airways is working with AirPortr. The airline still offers a service where AirPortr operatives will drive to a passenger’s home or office (within a specific boundary), pick up their baggage, and check it in there and then. Unfortunately, unlike the new Heathrow Express offer, this is offered as an additional paid service. It does, however, mean that passengers don’t have the stress of getting their bags to the airport themself.
Avoiding airport chaos?
Both services allow passengers who have undergone document verification online to skip the check-in area. The airline will likely look to increase ways to divert passengers from check-in, as in the words of former British Airways boss Willie Walsh, modern airports simply aren’t built to cope with every passenger using their check-in facilities, adding,
“Don’t forget, most people actually don’t go to a check-in desk or haven’t. If you go back, I think in 2019 most people were actually checking in online or checking in using the airline app.”
What do you think of the new bag drop option from British Airways? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!