Heathrow has begun trialling pre-booked security slots for departing passengers, which it hopes will reduce queue times and give passengers “peace of mind”.

The six-month trial will initially involve passengers travelling with American Airlines, Delta, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic from Terminal 3, with the potential to add more carriers over the course of the trial period.

Eligible customers can book their slot (free of charge) via this link, and will receive a QR code, which they then take to the dedicated Heathrow Timeslot area to be scanned.

Passengers can arrive up to 15 minutes before or after their scheduled time.

Heathrow said that it was “one of the first airports in the UK to offer this system” – Manchester airport launched similar trials in 2020, and still offers the service on its website.

Amsterdam Schiphol also launched a pilot programme for pre-booked security slots earlier this year, and has since rolled it out to all destinations.

Amsterdam Schiphol extends pre-booked security check time slots to all destinations

Heathrow said that the outcomes of the trial “will inform any future extension or roll-out to other terminals”.

The airport also took the opportunity to highlight that passengers “have consistently passed through security in less than five minutes over the summer and passenger satisfaction was higher than pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the investment the airport, airlines and their ground handlers have made in recruiting and training over 25,000 new colleagues in the last two years”.

Commenting on the news Mark Powell, operational planning director at Heathrow said:

“Everyone is familiar with airport security, but at Heathrow we’re constantly thinking of innovative ways to boost the safety and streamline the experience for our passengers.

“This new trial will give passengers that extra added bit of certainty and reassurance ahead of their journey and we think it will be particularly popular for those with families or nervous travellers who may want a bit more confidence in their journeys.

“We look forward to seeing the data come in to give us some learnings on how we can roll this out more widely across Heathrow.”