Lengthy airport queues could soon be a relic of the past as the aviation industry moves to overhaul check-in systems and requirements.
Airlines throughout the world have turned their attention to the humble airport check-in counter to deliver time-saving new benefits to business travellers and, in some instances, to shift customers from face-to-face to online services.
Corporate Travellers’ executive General Manager of marketing Colin Bowman said innovations like self service kiosks are now common place at major airports and a host of other innovations are on the way.
“Major changes have taken place in recent years to streamline the check-in process and there’s no sign of any slowdown in the future,” Mr Bowman said.
“While some changes are designed to encourage travellers to do it themselves, others are geared towards improving service, eliminating queues and fast-tracking what can be a time consuming process.
“For example, today you can dodge airport queues by checking in for flights at Caribbean resorts, Las Vegas casinos, via Facebook or simply by displaying your smart phone or swiping your Qantas card.”
To help business travellers understand the new airport order, our team at Corporate Traveller have checked-out 10 of the latest developments in airport check-in:
1. Smart phones: Airlines are now allowing travellers to access boarding passes from blackberries, iphones and other similar devices.
2. Paid airport check-in: Face-to-face service at the airport check-in counter can now come at a price. Some low cost carriers have introduced charges for airport check-in, including Tiger Airways and Jetstar in Australia.
3. Facebook: Early this year, Malaysia Airlines launched its MHbuddy application that allows users to check-in for flights while sharing trip details with their social network.
4. Curbside check-in: In many airports, particularly in the United States you can simply pull up curbside and hand the required documents and your bags to dedicated airline check-in staff.
5. Next generation check-in: Qantas has pioneered a new check-in system that eliminates the need for printed documents. New Qantas cards with intelligent Q chips have just been sent to the airline’s Platinum, Gold and Silver Frequent Flyer members. To check-in, travellers simply touch the cards at Q Card Readers.
6. City check-in: Etihad is one of several airlines that now allows passengers to check-in in the heart of the city before travelling to the airport. Business travellers can also check-in at various rail stations throughout the world, including Hong Kong, Kowloon and London’s Paddington stations.
7. Hit the jackpot with casino check-in: Virgin Atlantic passengers can take advantage of “off airport” services in Las Vegas. The service allows travellers to check-in at six central locations, including the plush Luxor, Venetian, MGM Grand and Palazzo hotels.
8. Beach check-in: Virgin Atlantic also allows guests to check-in at some Caribbean resorts.
9. Check-in lounges: Malaysia Airlines has just launched its Frontend Check-in Lounge, a premium check-in facility at KL International Airport.
10. Twilight check-in: Sick of the early morning rush to the airport with suitcases in tow? Virgin Atlantic allows travellers flying from London’s Gatwick Airport to check-in between noon and 9pm the day before departure.
To discuss your business travel needs, please contact a Corporate Traveller Manager at 1-877-525-4292 or http://www.corporatetraveller.ca