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Heathrow trial to allow passengers to pre-booking security slots


Heathrow has launched a trial allowing passengers to pre-book security slots ahead of their journeys, one of the first airports in the UK to offer this system.

Heathrow Timeslot is a free service which will give passengers a designated time and entry point to the security search area.

According to the UK hub, this will ensure peace of mind when travelling, as well as helping reduce queue times for all passengers by allowing colleagues to plan resources more effectively.

The trial will be in Terminal 3 for up to six months and initially be open to passengers travelling with four airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

Further airlines may be added during the trial. The outcomes of the trial will inform any future extension or roll-out to other terminals.

Heathrow states that this is its latest move in a drive to enhance passenger experience.

The gateway notes that despite the huge numbers using its facilities this summer, most passengers passed through security in less than five minutes over the summer and passenger satisfaction was higher than pre-pandemic levels.

It believes that the upturn in passenger satisfaction levels reflects 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.

Mark Powell, Heathrow’s operational planning director, 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.”

The system being trialled is provided by CLEAR. The popular programme, which is called RESERVE powered by CLEAR internationally, is now available to travellers at 20 airport locations across the US, Canada, and Europe, and as of last month, surpassed more than five million reservations.

According to CLEAR, demand for its appointment-based system has increased 179% among passengers over the last six months, and surveyed travellers report that using RESERVE lanes saves them up to 30 minutes per use.

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