Alaska Airlines has announced its plan to remove kiosks for printing boarding passes at airports, as part of a $2.5 billion investment in improving the passenger experience. The airline aims to get passengers from the lobby to security in five minutes or less, according to a recent press release.
The new plan encourages passengers to download their boarding passes on the airline’s app or print them at home to save time.
The move comes as part of Alaska Airlines’ three-year plan to overhaul lobbies at its key airports, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anchorage.
Reducing Congestion in Lobbies
Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in an April earnings call that the airline’s lobbies are hugely congested, and removing the kiosks would help reduce congestion.
Harrison predicts that once the changes roll out, only passengers with checked bags will stay in the lobby, making the overall lobby experience much more pleasant.
Alaska Airlines’ long-term vision is to have people come in, get their bag tag or have an electronic back tag, go to a self-backdrop, drop their bag, and proceed to security.
Replacing Kiosks with Bag-Tag Stations
The airline’s plan is to replace most kiosks with bag-tag stations by the end of the year. QR codes in airport lobbies will prompt passengers to get a boarding pass on their phones if they arrive without one, while they can also ask staff to print one if they don’t have a smartphone.
Kiosks have already been removed at nine airports, including;
- Portland International Airport in Oregon
- Boise Airport
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
- Indianapolis International Airport
- Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas
- Missoula International
- Ontario International
- Palm Springs International
- Rocky Gutierrez Airport in Sitka, Alaska
Improving Passenger Experience
The move is part of Alaska Airlines’ efforts to improve the passenger experience by reducing wait times and providing more seamless service. The changes will enable passengers to move through the lobby more efficiently and make the overall experience more enjoyable.
By eliminating the kiosks, Alaska Airlines is encouraging passengers to use the airline’s app or print their boarding passes at home, which will save them time and reduce the time they spend in the lobby.
The airline’s investment in improving the passenger experience is part of its commitment to being a customer-focused airline.
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