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Heathrow Express lets passengers buy tickets via mobile

Heathrow Express has rolled out an iPhone application that lets passengers buy and receive tickets directly from their mobile devices.

The mobile application is part of Heathrow Express’ strategic approach to offer fully functional mobile ticketing. The train service tapped the iPhone for its smooth interface and exceptional visual quality to create the app.

“Heathrow Express is working towards giving customers the easiest options for purchasing tickets,” said Richard Robinson, managing director of Heathrow Express, London.

“We are driving customers towards our Web site and online booking, so the creation of an app is an obvious part of that strategy,” he said.

“Also, as buying online is the cheapest way to purchase Heathrow Express tickets, we are promoting the most cost-efficient way, which fits with the overall fare strategy.”

Heathrow Express app
Heathrow Express is the fastest way to travel between central London and Heathrow Airport.

The rail system was launched in June 1998 and is operated by BAA. It carries an average of 16,000 passengers each day.

The free application features live service updates and lets consumers buy tickets via their phone. The app is also available on BlackBerry, Android and Java-enabled smartphones.

To market the availability of the application, Heathrow Express is running an advertising campaign in British newspapers.

The application is secure and has been accredited by Barclays and its Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – the international standard for data security.

Consumers can use all major credit and debit cards, except Maestro, to make purchases via the application.

The mticketing phenomenon
Research in 2010 showed that more than two-thirds of travelers are likely to have a smartphone, and when asked which services they would try with a trusted provider, 53 percent of U.S. consumers and 76 percent of non-U.S. consumers responded with booking tickets via mobile.

“Although Heathrow Express is heavily used by business travelers, it is also a favorite for leisure customers who will embrace the convenience of the app,” Mr. Robinson said. “Also as many business customers use travel management companies to book their travel, we fully expect the app to be adopted by self-bookers at small- and medium-size organizations.

“The advances in mobile phone technology now allows us to replicate and simplify our Web site experience effectively across several mobile platforms,” he said. “We have seen increases in the use of mobile phones as tickets so we know that our customers are comfortable using their phones in this way.

“Heathrow Express believes these figures will continue to rise. We see our customers using their phones on our service with our free Wi-Fi and readily acknowledge that m-ticketing for all elements of travel booking will be a focus for many travel companies in 2011. We also suggest that such technology, often used early on by technologically savvy business travelers will start to penetrate the leisure market.”