British Airways has announced that from 2020 it will commence trial of AI-powered autonomous robots at Heathrow Terminal 5 to help some of the 90,000 customers who travel through the terminal each day navigate through the airport, with more complex queries.
cutting-edge 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
Additionally, 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.
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. Following the overwhelmingly positive response to the new
service from customers at Heathrow, the airline is now rolling the programme
out across its worldwide network.
Ricardo Vidal, British Airways’ Head of
Innovation, says the combination of automation and personalised customer
service will define the airport of the future: “We are always looking for new
and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy a faster and
smoother journey through the airport and beyond. These smart robots are the
latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate
issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate. In
the future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our people
offering a truly seamless travel experience.”
Andrei Danescu, Founder of BotsAndUs, added: “We are very excited to partner with British Airways. The trial will pave the way for other new and interesting services we can provide to improve the customer journey as we work together to re-imagine the airport experience.”