British Airways Heathrow

British Airways has warned that the impact of any attempt to increase restrictions on early morning flights into Heathrow would have a dramatic impact on business travellers.

Only 16 flights are currently allowed to land at Heathrow between 04.30 and 06.00 with a total of 65 takeoffs and landings permitted between 06.00 and 07.00.

BA plane taking off early in the morning from Heathrow

Early morning take off

This is still a major issue for BA, despite the current night flights regime being extended until October 2017 earlier this week.

The DFT has also extended current night flight regulations at Gatwick and Stansted until 2017.

Customer Trials Begin On The Digital Bag Tag

Employees of Microsoft travelling with British Airways through Terminal 5 have begun to test the personalised digital bag tag being developed by the airline. We first reported on the tags in June in our story which you can read here.

The Microsoft employees have been chosen to take part in the month-long trial, using a specially adapted version of the British Airways app, to provide essential feedback that will help shape the final product.

The digital bag tag, which contains all a customer’s baggage details, could eventually do away with the need for a new paper tag every time you fly.

Comprehensive testing of the tag has already taken place to make sure it works in a live airport environment and can stand up to the rigours of airport baggage systems and everyday travel.

Glenn Morgan, British Airways’ head of service transformation, said: “The customer trials take us another step closer to making the personalised digital bag tag a reality for our customers. We’re grateful for Microsoft’s support during the trial, which will help us shape the future of checking in for flights.

British Airways digital bag tag

A blue tag

Customers on the trial will use their Nokia Lumia Windows Phone to check in, chose their seat and obtain their mobile boarding pass. Each will be equipped with a specially adapted version of the British Airways app, which automatically updates the digital bag tag with a unique barcode, containing new flight details and an easy-to-see view of their bag’s destination – just by holding the mobile phone over it.

They can then save precious time by quickly dropping their bag off at a dedicated bag drop desk, before going straight through security to relax before their flight, without the need for a new paper tag to be printed and secured.

The digital bag tag has been designed to be used time and time again, with a battery life of up to five years, and will be compatible with all smartphones.

Development of the personalised tag is part of a wider strategy by British Airways to improve the customer experience through the airport, making it quicker, smoother and easier. As part of this strategy trials have also taken place on self-service bag drops, automated boarding gates, porter services, auto check-in, and meet and greet hosts.

British Airways is investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.