Ever since the launch of Apple Watch, many have claimed that the wearable device was a flop. However, British Airways has seen a spectacular trend among its customers. The airline witnessed a whopping 386% jump in the use of its Apple Watch app between June and September. Growing adoption of the wearable device has prompted British Airways to install wrist-friendly ticket scanners at the Heathrow Airport in London.
British Airways to bring new scanners to more airports soon
Terminal 3 and 5 of Heathrow Airport will get 136 new “scan and go” devices on Dec.15. It will allow passengers to slide their wrists under the new devices to scan their boarding pass and print their bag tags. The airline plans to roll out wrist-friendly scanners to further airports in coming months. British Airways said in a statement that Apple Watch now accounts for more than 5% of its total app usage.
Current ticket scanners don’t work with wrist-worn displays. Mounted scanners are designed for paper tickets and thin smartphones. There’s little space to fit a user’s wrist underneath. It means users couldn’t scan without taking their smartwatches off, which also leads to hold-ups in the queue. The new Apple Watch-friendly scanners will eliminate this problem.
Apple Watch garners impressive sales
The official BA app also provides passengers gate information, real-time flight status, weather at their destination, and a countdown to departure time. Kevin McQuillan, head of ba.com and mobile at British Airways, said the company always strives to make people’s journeys easier through technology. Quick to adopt new technology, BA had introduced its Apple Watch app alongside the device’s launch in April.
British Airways said it would bring a new version of its iPad app in 2016. Apple Watch is estimated to have generated $1.7 billion in sales between April and September this year. Recently, IBM’s artificial intelligence tool Watson Trend found that Apple Watch was the top trend going into Black Friday, followed by Samsung TVs, Sony TVs, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet.