Kiosks have become part of a way of life over the years for passengers of airlines who prefer to obtain their own boarding passes and check baggage rather than employ the assistance of ticket agents — but Alaska Airlines to remove kiosks is rather ironic, as the airline proclaims to be the first to introduce them.
Alaska Airlines to Remove Kiosks.
“New bag tag stations will replace dated kiosks in lobbies where you’ll pay for and tag checked bags using iPad tablets”, according to this official press release from Alaska Airlines. “Because you’ve completed all other actions before arriving at the airport, it’ll only take a few quick steps. Airports have already begun changing to the new tablets and guests are adapting — with 3 out of 4 guests arriving with a boarding pass in hand to airports with the new technology. Most airports will transition to the new bag tag stations by the end of 2023.”
Charu Jain — who is the senior vice president of innovation and merchandising at Alaska Airlines — was quoted as saying:
As we thought about how to provide the most caring experience for our guests, it was clear the lobby was a pain point. We realized the majority of our guests were doing most of the kiosk actions on their own phones and we could reduce the congestion in our airports. Alaska was the first airline to introduce kiosks more than 20 years ago, and we’ll be the first airline to remove them. We’re looking forward to offering the new full guest experience next summer.
As part of the new seamless travel experience for its customers to get through the lobbies of its hub airports within five minutes with their portable electronic devices, Alaska Airlines has also announced other innovations which the company is planning to implement — including innovative technology that will allow passengers to drop their bags off with just a few quick scans.
It is all part of the investment of $2.5 billion in overall improvements to enhance the airport experience within its hub airports and focus cities — including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anchorage.
Final Boarding Call
I use kiosks almost every time I want to check in for a flight and receive a physical boarding pass, as that is the procedure which I prefer.
Personally, I do not like the idea of biometrics and other sophisticated recognition technology becoming the standard in general for privacy reasons — but who has any modicum of privacy anymore anyway these days…?
All photographs ©2023 by Brian Cohen.