British Airways sees nearly 400% increase in Apple Watch usage

Frequent-flying Apple Watch owners will be getting an early holiday gift this winter, as British Airways has announced it is installing new scanners that will speed up Watch wearers' trip to the airport.

According to Advance, travelers who slide their wrists under the new "Scan and Go" devices will be able to scan their boarding passes, print their own bag tags and speed through the airport, all without putting down their luggage. A total of 136 of the new gadgets are being installed at check in desks across Heathrow's Terminal 3 and 5, Advance reports, and will be ready for use before the holiday travel season gets under way.

When the Apple watch launched, British Airways was one of the first companies to have a specially developed app on the new smartwatch, giving customers access to real-time flight status, gate information, a countdown to the departure time and the weather at their destination. Now, the airline is reporting that use of its Apple Watch app rose by 386% between June and October to account for more than five percent of all app usage today.

"We are always striving to make our customers' journeys easier through use of technology," says Kevin McQuillan, British Airways' Head of and Mobile. "When we saw the dramatic rise in the number of people using the app on their Apple Watches we knew we needed to create new features in the terminal which would make the experience even better for them."

With Apple Watch adoption continuing to rise, we will likely see more terminals built to optimize wearable technology pop up at airports and other locations in the U.S. and around the world.

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