British Airways tests robots as customer guides through Heathrow

British Airways´ has announced that in 2020 it will trial AI-powered autonomous robots at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, the company said.

The robots from tech company BotsAndUs are programmed to interact with passengers in multiple different languages using the latest translation technology to answer thousands of questions, including real-time flight information.

Using geo-location technology and dozens of advanced sensors to constantly monitor a 360˚radius, the robot will move around the airport terminal freely and safely, escorting customers to specific locations such as the airline´s dedicated Special Assistance and Family Check-In zones.

To complement its investment in technology and automation, last year British Airways launched a multi-million pound investment in enhanced training for colleagues as part of its First Contact Resolution Programme at Heathrow. The programme empowers customer service agents to use their expertise, initiative and judgment to solve customer queries on the spot using a suite of specialised apps on iPads.

As part of British Airways´ GBP 6.5 billion investment for customers, 2019 saw the carrier install 80 brand-new automated check-in machines and 80 advanced automated bag-drop machines at Heathrow Terminal 5 and, with the airline´s customer service agents always on hand to help, the airline has seen an increase in customer satisfaction and a dramatic reduction in queues.