Qantas Airways customers, like air travelers the world over, shared some common frustrations with moving through airports – long lines, stressful and time-consuming check-ins and cluttered terminals.
In response, the Australian carrier rolled out its next-generation check-in program that introduced technology, infrastructure, new processes and passenger re-education.
Launched in June 2011 after an 11-month rollout, Qantas introduced measures for a “faster, smarter check-in.” The automated system eliminated lines for customers and delivered a premier, competitive service, says Gabriella D’Alessandro, head of IT, Qantas Airways Operations. “We’ve taken the queue out of Qantas.”
The next-gen process includes:
* 57“Q card” readers — unmanned kiosks where travelers scan chip-embedded frequent flier cards for self-check-in.
* tags that allow bags to be scanned with radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners. Qantas has given 1.2 million tags to 650,000 fliers.
* 80 automated bag drops where travelers can, well, drop their bags.
The result? A system that takes five seconds to check in a traveler without a bag, 55 seconds to process a passenger with bags, and bag drops, or tubs, that take 23 seconds to process luggage and start moving it to the plane.
Qantas rolled out its check-in process at domestic airports across Australia but plans on extending it to New Zealand. D’Alessandro says the carrier aims to further expand, but the carrier must work with various airport authorities, which can be a slow process.
The system poses some challenges, such as a changing role for customer service agents and other challenges for airport staff, but D’Alessandro notes that passengers gravitate toward the high-tech systems. “They wanted to use the service drops,” she says.
Updated : 09-09-2011 17:27:03
Source : www.msnbc.msn.com