British Airways have never been shy of embracing new technology. They were the first airline to create a digital app back in 2008. That year, some 118,000 added it to their device and in 2015, it has topped the five million mark. During the last seven years the airline has updated their app with new functionality 32 times, reflecting the ever changing digital arena emerging in travel.

Apple Watch / Smartphone Scanner for Boarding Passes Taken: 27th November 2015 at Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways Picture by: Stuart Bailey / British Airways

Back in April this year, BA also introduced their Apple Watch app, in time for the launch of this year’s most talked about Apple release. Since then, the use of the British Airways Apple Watch app has almost quadrupled in just four months (386%), and in response to the new trend and increased usage the airline is introducing new scanners to make them easier, and faster to use. No more limbo required in order to scan your pass – it’s an interesting case of how commercial technology adapts to our own ergonomics and a passengers ever evolving interaction with our environment.

Apple Watch / Smartphone Scanner for Boarding Passes Taken: 27th November 2015 at Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways Picture by: Stuart Bailey / British Airways

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 gadgets are being installed at check in desks across Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and 5, and will be ready for use on December 15. British Airways also announced an astonishing fact, Apple watches now account for more than five per cent of app usage, giving customers access to real-time flight status, gate information, a countdown to the departure time and the weather at their destination.

Kevin McQuillan, British Airways’ Head of and Mobile said: “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.”


Continuing their development in the digital arena, 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.

Posted by:Jonny Clark

2 replies on “British Airways Showcase An Emerging Trend In Smart Watch Travel

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