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BA Allows Post-Landing Mobile Use, Trials Electronic Bag Tag

BA Allows Post-Landing Mobile Use, Trials Electronic Bag Tag

On 1st July 2013 British Airways will become the first airline in Europe to allow passengers to switch on their mobile phones after landing. The new policy will apply to every BA flight landing worldwide. Meanwhile, BA is also trialling an electronic bag tag designed for use by passengers checking in online. 

Once the aircraft has taxied off the runway, BA cabin crew will inform customers that they can turn on their iPads, Kindles, eReaders and mobile phones.

BA has demonstrated to the UK Civil Aviation Authority that passengers can safely use their handheld electronic devices, once the aircraft has left the runway.

Passengers on departing flights, however, will still need to turn off their handheld electronic devices when the aircraft leaves the gate, in line with current regulations.

Ian Pringle, BA Flight Training Manager, said: “Customers will no longer have the frustration of having to wait until their aircraft has arrived at the terminal building before being able to use their mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices. Now they will have that extra time to phone ahead for that important business meeting, check their emails, or make sure someone is there to meet them at the airport.”

Electronic Bag Tag

British Airways is also trialling an electronic bag tag that could mean the end of disposable paper tags for every flight. The time-saving, environmentally-friendly device is designed to be used by passengers when they check-in online. After checking-in on the Internet, customers then update the electronic tag by holding their smartphone over it. The tag will then be automatically programmed with a unique barcode containing flight details, including the destination.

Passengers will save time at the airport by having their electronic tag quickly scanned at the bag drop, before going straight through security. BA estimates that bag drop currently takes three minutes and that the electronic tag could reduce this to just 35 seconds.

The airline intends that the patent-pending tag, which will initially be subjected to an internal trial before it is extended to a customer trial next year, will be used time and time again.

Frank van der Post, BA Managing Director, Brands and Customer Experience, said: “This is a fantastically simple, yet smart device that gives each customer the choice to have their own personalised electronic baggage tag that changes with the swipe of a smartphone – every time they fly.

“As the saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages’, and this innovative device is no exception. Along with other initiatives we are investing in, we believe it has the potential to revolutionise the way our customers check in and pass through every airport around the world in the future.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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