A 'magic carpet' booking system which permits business travellers to skip the ordeal of the airport check-in desk, is being pioneered by Travel Management Group in part-nership with British Airways.

The specialist travel company - with branches in Scotland, High Wycombe and Coventry, as well as headquarters in Leamington Spa - is being urged by BA to encourage the use of self-certificated boarding passes by its clients.

Busy executives can now clear initial security checks online without moving from their desks, speeding their transit through Heathrow where heightened security measures have reduced the speed at which travellers can be processed.

In response to the terrorist threat, US Immigration officials are demanding increasingly more detailed information about travellers before allowing them into the States.

In addition to routine questions like name, age, and date of birth, travellers must give the exact address at which they will be staying. And the authorities are adopting an unforgiving approach to even the smallest error.

"Giving your address in the States as 'The Manhattan Hotel, New York' just won't do," said TMG director David Moore.

"You now need to provide the authorities with the precise zip code as well - and if there is the slightest mistake you can be refused boarding."

With the permission of its regular fliers, TMG's response has been to build detailed profiles of clients, gathering the information

regularly demanded by US Immigration. This information is emailed ahead to the airport before the executive even leaves the office.

At the same time the traveller can go online and print off a boarding pass. At the airport he is separated from his luggage which is fast-tracked through a 'baggage only' lane, and he is waved through to the departure lounge or the boarding gate.

"It's more like a magic carpet than a red carpet, because it whisks people past the main airport bottlenecks," said Mr Moore.

"The only checks the passenger faces are at security, and passport control," said Mr Moore.

"What we aim to do is eliminate as much of the hassle as we can. Airport check-in can be an awful process, with huge queues, and we help to make life easier for our clients by doing as much as we can well in advance."

"There have been great leaps in air travel in recent years, with innovations like electronic ticketing. We are just taking that process one step further.

"Terminal Five at Heathrow has been designed to handle the electronic processing of passengers, and we are working hard to ensure we can provide all the information necessary to allow passengers to just walk straight to the departure lounge.

"The ability to check in on-line, and print your own boarding pass, is just a natural progression from electronic ticketing."

Mr Moore added: "Not all airlines can do this, but BA is one of the leaders in the field and are actively encouraging people to print their own boarding passes."