NEW YORK — What do passengers dread the most besides delays when they arrive at the airport? Lines! long-winding lines of passengers waiting their turn to reach the check-in counter, lines to pass through security screening and finally, lines before boarding your flight when you are at the gate.
JetBlue has felt the pain of the travelers, and has come up with a solution: No lines (at least when checking-in!)
After a six-week pilot program, JetBlue began its full institution at 03:00 local, of its new self-service kiosk and bag drop system yesterday at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport T5.
To make this possible, JetBlue teamed up with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to overhaul the 2008-built lobby area, by moving walls to create more space for the placement of 80 check-in kiosks with self-service bag tag capabilities, thus eliminating the long lines at this point.
Gensler Architecture firm and kiosk manufacturer Embross also partnered in the project.
Also gone are the days of repacking your overweight bag on the floor, each Kiosk has a scale and a table, thus easing the task of re-packing the baggage.
“The journey from keyboard to curb can be stressful,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, “We strive to make it simple and be helpful.”
While the kiosks seem to be simple enough to use, there will be roving greeters ready to help those passengers in need of assistance.
Kiosk Assist is a check-in desk area for those in need of further assistance. JetBlue hopes to eliminate the area as technology improves and everything can be solved from the kiosks.
However, if you are one of those insisting on waiting on the—now shorter—line, JetBlue will still have a check-in counter located at the far side of the terminal and check-in the old fashioned way.
I overheard one passenger say “lets be safe and check-in at the desk”. Hopefully this is the exception, and most passengers will realize they will have a better customer experience using the kiosk technology along with jetblue hospitality-oriented crew member.
Now we just have to figure out how to get those TSA lines shorter.