Citing rapid Apple Watch adoption, British Airways to launch wrist-friendly ticket scanners

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2015
British Airways has seen quick customer adoption of the Apple Watch for boarding passes, prompting the airliner to integrate new wrist-friendly ticket scanners at London's Heathrow Airport starting this month.




As some who have used an Apple Watch to display a boarding pass may have encountered, some ticket scanners simply don't work with wrist-worn displays. Specifically, mounted scanners sometimes don't offer the necessary clearance to fit a user's wrist underneath, instead being designed for paper tickets or thin smartphones.

But British Airways has seen use of its Apple Watch app increase 386 percent in just four months, between June and October. Seeing the demand among its customers, British Airways announced on Tuesday that it will use new wrist-friendly scanners to make its Apple Watch app easier and faster to use.

A total of 136 new "Scan and Go" devices will be able to accommodate a passenger's wrist at Heathrow's Terminal 3 and 5. The scanners will be active as of Dec. 15.

According to the airline, the Apple Watch already accounts for more than 5 percent of its mobile app usage. The official British Airways app gives customers information beyond their boarding pass, including real-time flight status, gate information, a countdown to departure time, and the weather at their destination.

"We are always striving to make our customers' journeys easier through use of technology," said Kevin McQuillan, British Airways' Head of ba.com and Mobile. "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."

British Airways has historically been quick to adopt new mobile technology, and had an Apple Watch app available at the device's launch in April.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    thedbathedba Posts: 482member
    Mmmm!
    I wonder how this plays into the narrative of the numerous pundits out there that have written off the Apple watch as a failure.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    I tried using my watch to scan the boarding pass last time I flew. It was awkward because the watch face shut off every time I tilted my wrist to put it in the scanner. Apple really needs to deactivate automatic shutoff when passbook items are being displayed.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    iaeen wrote: »
    I tried using my watch to scan the boarding pass last time I flew. It was awkward because the watch face shut off every time I tilted my wrist to put it in the scanner. Apple really needs to deactivate automatic shutoff when passbook items are being displayed.

    I didn't think that was on when you have the Passbook app opened. Was this through the Airline's app on the Watch?
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    bought 2 Apple Watches during Black Friday.

     

    Media pundits don't know crap.  The Watch was all sold out in Walmart, Target, and B&H photo.


    The other thing media and analysts don't realize is how much people might be spending on bands: I am up to $300 already (three different Sport Bands and one Milanese Loop). I will probably buy a few more.

     

    On the BA front, I am flying them in a few weeks, so it'll be fun to try out!

  • Reply 5 of 27
    I agree with the comments regarding AppleWatch shutting off. This happens with ApplePay and also Airline tickets (the two services I use most). This is also a problem with iPhone. It is shocking to me that they did not think this through as part of customer experience.

    I will also say it is a shame that Airlines and also the Auto industry are so slow to adopt and innovate. To have at least one airline thinking about this already is a breakthrough.

    A word to all companies: Look at the top 10 most profitable companies. Now review how they innovate and/or progress services and technologies...that is the big difference of them being the "haves" and why the "have nots" are in financial trouble.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    All pointing toward a future when humans are corralled and controlled by robot overlords.

    "Comply or you will be terminated!"

    /s
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Welcome back

  • Reply 8 of 27
    i've had the same issue when traveling; the awkward wrist angles; the failure to scan; the looks from others in line that seem to be saying 'just us a regular ticket dude'
  • Reply 9 of 27

    I used Apple Watch for my ticket on Amtrak last month.  Perfect: sat by aisle and simply raised my wrist to the conductor for him to scan the bar code. Phone & paper ticket stayed in pocket (as backup!).

  • Reply 10 of 27
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slprescott View Post

     

    I used Apple Watch for my ticket on Amtrak last month.  Perfect: sat by aisle and simply raised my wrist to the conductor for him to scan the bar code. Phone & paper ticket stayed in pocket (as backup!).




    That's the first use that came to my mind: on a train I'm juggling other things (and certainly in an airport line!), far easier to show the conductor my wrist than dig for my phone (unless I'm charging it on AMTRAK).

  • Reply 11 of 27
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I didn't think that was on when you have the Passbook app opened. Was this through the Airline's app on the Watch?

    Nope, it was through the context-aware passbook notification. The screen seemed to stay on over a larger range of motion than normal, but the scanner was pointed straight up. The screen shut off every time I had it lined up then re-activated when I turned the watch to see what was wrong. This happened a couple times before I freed my other hand and taped the face to wake it while holding it over the scanner. It was exactly as awkward as all of Benjamin Frost's doomsday predictions about using ApplePay on the watch.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post





    Nope, it was through the context-aware passbook notification. The screen seemed to stay on over a larger range of motion than normal, but the scanner was pointed straight up. The screen shut off every time I had it lined up then re-activated when I turned the watch to see what was wrong. This happened a couple times before I freed my other hand and taped the face to wake it while holding it over the scanner. It was exactly as awkward as all of Benjamin Frost's doomsday predictions about using ApplePay on the watch.



    Definitely calls for a "stay awake when this is up" option. IIRC those exist for other applications at least on the iPhone.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,540member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post

    Mmmm!

    I wonder how this plays into the narrative of the numerous pundits out there that have written off the Apple watch as a failure.

    For some reason, those that predict the future have a lousy time understanding the present.  It is not until something that they have predicted as a failure becomes so successful that it can't be ignored any longer...and then they move on to another topic to get wrong.

  • Reply 14 of 27
    Apple Watch display does not turn off when pass is selected full-screen in Wallet app.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,716member
    But failure!

    Seriously, it's amazing that Apple products seem to usher in these types of changes.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    jfc1138 wrote: »

    Definitely calls for a "stay awake when this is up" option. IIRC those exist for other applications at least on the iPhone.

    Sorry I'm confused by this sub-thread conversation. I use Apple Pay all the time for both underground and also normal shop purchases. I have not encountered any issues with auto - shutoff. If anything g I think it stays up too long if it doesn't find a terminal to complete a purchase. Recently I have also (although not detracting from my previous point) started to stop rotating my wrist as I've found the range even with tissue attenuation is fine. There is some variation depending on terminal/company - M&S seem to have theirs turned up to max, you don't need to be very close at all. The BA app and certainly passbook auto switched to a dedicated high brightness max contrast screen when the QR code was centred. This stayed up until cancelled and irrespective of orientation. As a regular (several times a day) Apple Pay /airline passbook user I am afraid I don't recognise your criticisms based on my experience.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    I tried using my watch to scan the boarding pass last time I flew. It was awkward because the watch face shut off every time I tilted my wrist to put it in the scanner. Apple really needs to deactivate automatic shutoff when passbook items are being displayed.



    I didn't experience that problem, but did have a problem with my jacket sleeve not just shutting off the display but unexpectedly requiring passbook to be brought back up. Made for an embarrassing delay with a device that's supposed to add convenience. Most of the time, my boarding pass came up as though the Watch knew precisely what I wanted... like magic. But a few times, I've had to fumble around looking for the pass.

  • Reply 18 of 27
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bat Cat View Post





    Sorry I'm confused by this sub-thread conversation. I use Apple Pay all the time for both underground and also normal shop purchases. I have not encountered any issues with auto - shutoff. If anything g I think it stays up too long if it doesn't find a terminal to complete a purchase. Recently I have also (although not detracting from my previous point) started to stop rotating my wrist as I've found the range even with tissue attenuation is fine. There is some variation depending on terminal/company - M&S seem to have theirs turned up to max, you don't need to be very close at all. The BA app and certainly passbook auto switched to a dedicated high brightness max contrast screen when the QR code was centred. This stayed up until cancelled and irrespective of orientation. As a regular (several times a day) Apple Pay /airline passbook user I am afraid I don't recognise your criticisms based on my experience.



    Your confusion extends to who has these issues, because it is not myself but rather the poster to whom I was responding and some others on this thread whose experience I'm not going to bother questioning as there's a myriad of ways this might be occurring so why not take as a given they are experiencing what they're writing rather than lying about it? Is my thought.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    brucemc wrote: »
    For some reason, those that predict the future have a lousy time understanding the present.  It is not until something that they have predicted as a failure becomes so successful that it can't be ignored any longer...and then they move on to another topic to get wrong.

    The naysayers job isn't to be right, make sense, or say consistent things. It's to simply counter whatever the cheerleaders are saying at that moment.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    [I]"What--somebody on the Internet is praising Apple! I must defend Google's (or Microsoft's) honor! Attack!!!"[/I]

    Standard operating procedure for the forum naysayer.
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