Though holidays can be associated with relaxation and calm, traveling to a destination can be anxiety-inducing. As passengers, we want the smoothest, most seamless journey through the airport and with the help of technology, the travel experience can be simpler. One such innovation that has brought about convenience and efficiency is the self check-in kiosk.
In the last several years, we’ve experienced a meaningful change in global travel. In the early 2000’s, self check-in kiosks revolutionized the way airlines and airports interact with passengers. In recent years, kiosks have changed with the times to offer even faster self-service options. In North America, carriers like Delta, American and WestJet have made significant changes. With improvements ranging from sub-10 second bag tag printing on Vtag or bag drops, to end-to-end biometrics expanding self-service to be more than curb to gate, and now starting from the comfort of your home, through customs at your arrival destination.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the airport kiosk market was valued at 1.95 billion USD in 2022 and projected to reach 3.31 billion USD by 2028. Growth within air passenger traffic along with investments into airport infrastructure are propelling the demand for check-in kiosks.
In this blog, we explore the various ways in which self check-in kiosks enhance the customer experience, from reducing wait times to leveraging customer satisfaction. Let’s start with the convenience of self-service.
Convenience – placing power back into the hands of passengers
Long queues at check-in kiosks may be a thing of the past. With airlines in a constant battle to reduce wait times and increase passenger processing, one of the advantages of self check-in kiosks is that they allow several tasks to be automated while serving convenience to passengers. Airport kiosks give passengers the flexibility and/or autonomy to check themselves in quickly and conveniently. With much of the check-in process being taken care of before arriving at the airports, with a simple scan of a mobile boarding pass, travellers can reprint their boarding passes, select their seats, and even pay for check luggage if needed. As a result, this eliminates the need for unnecessary interaction with airport/airline staff, helping to save time and avoid stress.
Streamlined boarding process
Airport self-service has been expanded beyond traditional check-in to help alleviate any anxiety before boarding a plane. Passengers can scan their boarding passes at self-service gates, allowing for smooth and efficient boarding. In addition, kiosks can provide wayfinding real-time updates on the status of flights and/or gate changes, keeping travellers informed and reducing the likelihood of missed flights.
What are the benefits of check-in kiosks?
Speed and efficiency
For passengers who have checked in online but still need to drop their luggage, check-in kiosks and/or bad tag printing at bag drops offer an expedited bag drop process. Additionally, passengers can print bag tags and attach them to their baggage themselves, avoiding the need to wait in line at the traditional bag drop counters. This not only saves time but also allows travellers to have more control/flexibility over their belongings.
Quick purchase options
Check-in kiosks also offer passengers the opportunity to make additional purchases, such as upgrading seats or purchasing lounge access. With a few simple taps, travellers can easily browse and select these options, further enhancing their travel experience.
Enhanced satisfaction and flexibility
Whether its self check-in, baggage drop, or passport control, airport kiosks provide passengers with the ability to personalize their journey according to their preferences. This level of control and flexibility empowers passengers and enhances their overall satisfaction.
Travelling to a foreign country can be challenging, especially when faced with language barriers. Check-in kiosks offer multilingual support, allowing passengers to interact with the system in their native language or a language they are fluent in. This ensures that all passengers can navigate the system and self-service process easily, without the need for translation support.
Case studies and successes
The check-in process is indeed undergoing a significant transformation, with a growing emphasis on self-service options. As technology continues to advance, we can expect further innovations that will transform the check-in experience even more. One such example from Embross is with Delta’s first biometric terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The check-in kiosks are equipped with biometric camera systems, enabling passengers to retrieve their reservation through facial recognition.
Another example of expanding self-service to airports whose environment would not otherwise tolerate it is the deployment of outdoor rated kiosks at Providenciales International Airport, on the island of Providenciales in the Caicos Islands. These check-in kiosks assist passengers with their self-service check in requirements including seat assignments, boarding pass printing, baggage tag printing and more while cutting their check-in time and reducing queues drastically.
Ongoing technological advancements
Airport check-in kiosks have become quite sophisticated and user-friendly thanks to ongoing advancements in technology. Enhanced features such as interactive displays, accessible software, and upgraded biometric authentication mechanisms, to name a few have vastly improved the overall user experience. Moreover, the amalgamation of mobile applications and check-in kiosks allow passengers to easily switch between digital and physical touchpoints, increasing convenience.
In a June 2023 report, Fact.MR, a research and consulting firm, published insights on how the United States has embarked on reconstruction projects to improve their infrastructure and invest in self-service technologies such as kiosks. Both the U.S. government along with regulatory agencies have demonstrated their support for airport modernization and the adoption of self-service technologies. One such initiative is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) NextGen Program which aims to invest in novel solutions, such as airport kiosks, while increasing the safety, efficiency, and resiliency of American aviation.
The growing significance of airport kiosks in 2023 and beyond
As passenger volumes continue to rise, check-in kiosks will play a pivotal role in managing the increasing number of travellers. By automating various pre-flight processes, such as check-in and baggage drop, check-in kiosks drastically reduce waiting times, allowing both airlines and passengers to save valuable time. With the implementation of advanced technology, check-in kiosks will offer greater functionality, making the passenger experience more seamless.
In the near future, check-in kiosks will integrate advanced technologies to enhance overall functionality. While initial deployments date back as far as 2002, the implementation of biometric technology has already begun to change the relationship between travellers, airlines, and airports, ensuring a more secure and efficient check-in process. Additionally, the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will enable kiosks to provide personalized recommendations and optimize processes.
The future is now…are you ready?
Are you looking to deploy self check-in kiosks? Replace the airport madness with convenience. Embross’ leading V-Series kiosks help streamline airport access control and deliver long-life cycle utilization to meet todays and tomorrow’s needs as passenger service automation continues to grow. If you would like to learn more, please contact a member of our expert team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Omar Abbasi, Marketing Manager at Embross