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View Full Version : Alaska's New Check-In "Islands"


vagabond
08-10-2007, 05:28 AM
I hope this helps. Good thing I'm used to doing things myself. I wonder about having a separate terminal altogether for those with luggage and those without.

From Seattle Times:
By next year, passengers walking into the Alaska Airlines section at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will no longer see a ticket counter with a wall behind it and a conveyer belt.

Instead, they will be able to see open space, all the way to security.

The airline has begun construction on a new, radical design that will rely on people checking in by themselves.

The new check-in process will consist of three "islands," with 50 self-check-in kiosks and 54 manned bag-check points where passengers will be able to drop off bags on conveyer belts that will weigh luggage. Airline staff will roam around to help passengers with the new system. Two customer-service centers also will be available, according to preliminary designs released by the airline.

"The thought process behind our check-in process was a facility that really allowed keeping you moving in the same direction and keeping the flow of passengers, a straight-forward flow from the parking garage to the gate," said Ed White, vice president of corporate real estate.

And starting this week, passengers for five major airlines Alaska, Horizon Air, Continental, Northwest and United will be able to check in using seven self-service kiosks placed next to four of the airport's sky bridges.

Most airlines, including Alaska, already have self-service check-in kiosks, but the airport installed the common-use kiosks to alleviate passenger traffic and reduce waiting time. Passengers with no luggage to check are able to head straight to security, but fliers needing to check luggage or pets, buy tickets or ask for other assistance still stand in line.

Together, Alaska's project and Sea-Tac's new kiosks are part of the airport's plan to expand its capacity by more than 50 percent without building new terminal facilities, said Mark Reis, managing director of Sea-Tac.

Modeled after Canadian airports, officials hope to expand kiosks to hotels or popular tourist destinations, so passengers can check in before arriving at Sea-Tac.

It's all in the hope of reducing check-in time.

All three islands will cost $18 million to build. Completion of Alaska's first island is expected before the holiday travel season. Construction on the other two will continue during the holidays but will not affect travel, White said.

Alaska worked in close collaboration with the airport, which included running computer models of passenger flows, Reis said.

Before arriving in Seattle, Alaska built a smaller scale of its new design in Anchorage, where check-in time was cut in half, according to airline officials.

Accounting for 50 percent of all passenger traffic at Sea-Tac, Alaska is the biggest airline at the airport. Around 26,000 passengers from Alaska and its sister airline Horizon are served by the airline on a daily basis. They hope to see results similar to Anchorages.

"When you board 20,000 passengers a day, if I save 10 seconds with each passenger, that's a lot of minutes," White said.


FlyerJosh
08-10-2007, 05:32 AM
It worked well for independence air... I'd guess that 80-90% of our customers checked in on kiosks or via the internet.



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