Airport kiosks to help speed check-in

Australia's airports are introducing advanced kiosk-based facilities to help make the check-in process faster for both domestic and international passengers. On Tuesday, Sydney International Airport announced that for the first time it would introduce kiosk-based check-in for international travellers.

Australia's airports are introducing advanced kiosk-based facilities to help make the check-in process faster for both domestic and international passengers.

On Tuesday, Sydney International Airport announced that for the first time it would introduce kiosk-based check-in for international travellers. A day later, Qantas began rolling out its advanced 'QuickCheck' kiosks for domestic passengers.

Kiosks offer passengers the chance to bypass any queues at the airline's check-in facilities by getting their boarding pass from a machine that looks similar to an ATM. Check-in kiosks are not a new concept but they have traditionally been targeted at passengers with hand-luggage only.

A spokesperson for Qantas told ZDNet Australia that the next generation of 'QuickKiosks' will improve facilities for passengers carrying large bags that need to be stored in the cargo hold.

"This enhanced QuickCheck product will make electronic or self service check-in far more accessible for customers with bags… Through one of the kiosks they will obtain their boarding pass and then proceed to a bag-drop point… we are taking advantage of the available technology," said the spokesperson.

According to Grant Fenn, Qantas' executive general manager for airports and catering, the new kiosks will allow people with bags to obtain their boarding pass from a kiosk and drop off their bags in around a minute.

"Our customers have told us that they want their check-in experience to be as easy and as fast as possible... The new QuickCheck will take the service to the next level and provide a simpler check-in process for all domestic e-ticket customers travelling with or without bags," said Fenn in a statement.

Qantas's quickcheck kiosks will initially be introduced in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. The technology will be rolled out to Perth and Adelaide airports early next year.

First for international passengers
International passengers flying out of Sydney airport will have access to kiosk-based check-in facilities for the first time early next year. The technology was approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Sydney Airport Corporation Limited on Tuesday.

According to the agreement, 16 Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) kiosks will be installed in Sydney International Airport early in 2006. The technology is expected to save airlines millions of dollars a year, according to Tom Murphy, senior vice president, industry distribution and financial services at IATA.

"We have calculated CUSS savings at US$2.50 per check-in. At 40 percent market penetration across the world's airports, that adds up to US$1 billion in annual industry savings… With airline losses projected to be US$7.4 billion this year, the need to simplify our business is greater than ever," said Murphy in a statement.

Max Moore-Wilton, executive chairman and chief executive of Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, said CUSS will not only increase airport efficiency, it will increase the airport's check-in capacity.

"CUSS addresses some very practical needs for the 40 international airlines operating here and the 28 million passengers that pass through our doors every year… It allows Sydney Airport to boost check-in capacity without the requirement for additional space," said Moore-Wilton in a statement.