DALLAS — SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines (AS) is transforming the airport lobby experience with the help of brand-new technology. The American carrier shared a video in a press release showing the seamless airport lobby passenger flow.
An official statement by the airline said, “We’ve all experienced the frustration of arriving at the airport excited for our trip, only to be met with long lines that kill our vibe. All we want is a quick and easy trip through security to enjoy our pre-flight time.”
Now, AS is set to reimagine the passenger travel experience. Over the next three years, a US$2.5bn investment plans to improve the airport experience at its hubs and focus cities – Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO, Los Angeles (LAX), and Anchorage.
The goal is to get passengers seamlessly through the lobby and to security in under five minutes by utilizing mobile technology.
Bag Tag Stations
Preparing for travel is now easier than ever with the Alaska Airlines app. Whether at home, work, or in the school pick-up line, the app allows passengers to check in and secure a boarding pass before arriving at the airport. They can also check in on a desktop and send a boarding pass to a mobile device or print it at home.
As a bonus, this change also helps reduce paper waste, bringing the airline closer to its sustainability goals.
Checking bags has also been streamlined with new bag tag stations replacing old kiosks in airport lobbies. Passengers can quickly pay for and tag checked bags using iPad tablets.
Inspired by systems already popular in many international airports, AS’s hubs will introduce machines requiring just a few quick scans of passengers’ faces, government-issued ID, and the bag itself to check-in. Luggage will then be taken away via a belt to the aircraft. AS states that the process will only take a few minutes.
Most airports will transition to these new bag tag stations by the end of 2023.
Charu Jain, Alaska Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Innovation and Merchandising, said “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.”
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Feature Image: Alaska Airlines is transforming the airport lobby experience. Photo: Alaska Airlines