United Airlines has introduced what it says is “the first touchless check-in experience of any airline at London Heathrow Airport”.
With airlines keen to reduce touchpoints in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, United says that the technology allows customers “to check-in without touching the check-in kiosk, even if they are checking luggage”.
Passengers can check-in online and then scan their boarding passes from their mobile device or printed copy at the airport kiosks, which will automatically print out any luggage tags associated with the reservation.
Customers can also self-scan their boarding passes at Heathrow gate readers, and are supplied with an individually wrapped hand sanitiser wipe as they board the aircraft.
In addition United has now introduced electrostatic spraying of all aircraft prior to departure from London Heathrow.
The carrier said that “Electrostatic sprayers enable efficient coverage of all surfaces of an aircraft, including overhead bins, seats, tray tables, screens, window shades and air vents, for enhanced cabin sanitation”.
The airline has partnered with surface disinfection brand Clorox, and academic medical centre Cleveland Clinic, to establish the United Clean Plus programme, incorporating cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols.
Commenting on the news Arvind Garcha, United’s director of operations UK, said:
“Safety is of the utmost importance at United and we are proud to be the first airline to introduce touchless check-in technology at London Heathrow Airport.
“We continue to deliver industry-leading cleanliness to ensure our customers and employees feel safe on our aircraft and remain dedicated to delivering the United Clean Plus commitment.”
United is currently operating daily flights from Heathrow to Newark, Chicago and Washington, with a San Francisco service set to be added from August 5.