Heathrow Airport has launched a six month free trial allowing passengers to pre-book slots at security, in a bid to reduce wait times and give travellers “extra piece of mind.”
The Heathrow Timeslot trial begins today at Terminal three and aims to determine whether the service could be rolled out across the airport.
Passengers flying with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic will all be able to opt in, with more carriers set to be added as the trial progresses.
Mark Powell, operational planning director at Heathrow, said “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.
He added: “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.”
It comes as major UK hubs bid to reduce wait times as demand booms in the post-pandemic era and after last years’ summer of disruption caused by staff shortages.
Heathrow is the second UK airport to trial a pre-booking security service, with Manchester Airport launching a similar scheme back in 2020.
Despite booming demand in recent months, the west-London hub told City A.M. that passengers had “consistently passed through security in less than five minutes,” reflecting the recruitment and training of 25,000 new workers over the last two years.
It marks a significant shift on last summer, which saw the UK’s biggest airport embroiled in a dispute with Emirates and a slew of other airlines after capping its daily capacity to 100,000 passengers.