It’s been a bumpy ride for many airlines this year. Airline staffing shortages have disrupted travel and are likely to go into 2023. Long lines, delays, and cancellations are also plaguing air travel worldwide.
The recent surge of air travel amidst staffing challenges is placing even greater demands on what is considered an already inefficient model. As far back as 2016, Architect Radu Gidei wrote about the “monolithic” model of most U.S. airports, mainly where check-in, baggage drop-off, and security gates are spatially concentrated and cause costly and timely bottlenecks.
In such a demanding environment, airlines are looking for innovative ways to reduce long lines and improve efficiencies while managing growing costs. Some major airlines have even begun piloting automated check-in and bag-tagging kiosks across airports in high-traffic areas leveraging tablet-based self-service kiosks.
Today’s self-service airport kiosk
In contrast to the decades-old kiosk systems, today’s self-service airline kiosks can leverage consumer-based tablets to speed up the pre-boarding process by creating digital options for travelers to check themselves in and tag their bags. iPad-based self-service kiosks, for example, are built on the same technology that powers the same personal devices of many travelers worldwide. These airport kiosks offer several benefits without the bulk, complexity, and cost of traditional systems.
In addition, these self-service airport kiosks are more modern and flexible and provide a reliable option to reduce friction at check-in and baggage drop-off areas. These self-service airport kiosks are lightweight, WiFi compatible, and can easily be relocated to different locations.
Less costly and more powerful than traditional systems
Beyond ease of use, the newer generation of self-service airline kiosks offer airlines added flexibility at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems- which can easily cost upwards of ten thousand dollars per kiosk. iPad-based airline kiosks, like Aila’s Interactive Kiosk, come out of the box with superior processing power, screen resolution, and more at a fraction of the cost.
The Interactive Kiosk also features integrated scanning that easily captures over 45 symbologies, including barcodes and IDs in varying lighting and conditions — all by leveraging Apple’s industry-leading cameras, which outperform the legacy technology in these older and more expensive systems.
Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is also relatively inexpensive to operate and maintain since it comprises four major components, including:
- iPad enclosure (also know as a head unit), with integrated scanning
- Mount such as floor stand
- Peripherals such as bag tag printer
Better customer experience
With Aila’s Interactive Kiosk, airlines can leverage their existing check-in app and provide a consistent experience across devices. Whereas with legacy systems, the application is often proprietary and does not resemble the mobile and web experiences airlines develop for travelers.
The trend in self-service technology is growing. Over 70 percent of consumers want self-service technology over talking to another human. For low-value transactions such as checking in or tagging bags, airport kiosks can quickly provide travelers the option to self-serve. Airlines can then redirect staff to offer higher-value transactions and better customer service.
The airline industry is navigating today’s new normal by including strategies encompassing customer experience and operational efficiency. Industry leaders view this period as an opportunity to invest in digital automation that’s often been long overdue. Like Aila’s Interactive Kiosk, self-service airport kiosks can offer airlines an easy way to deploy, manage and scale self-service check-in kiosks cost-effectively.
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