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Qantas rolls out “next generation” airport kiosks

Qantas has begun rolling out “next generation” airport kiosks. The Sydney-based airline says that this will make the airport experience faster and easier for passengers travelling on domestic flights.

Qantas has started a limited trial of new self-service kiosks in Terminal 3 at Sydney Airport. If the trial is successful and fine tuning the new technology with passengers, the airline expects to have them fully installed in Sydney by early June and around 140 kiosks across all major domestic airports by September. These will replace the existing kiosks that passengers use to check in and print baggage tags.

The new kiosks are up to 4 times quicker than the existing kiosks, with the process to print a bag tag now taking just 20 seconds on average.

Qantas says that with more than three quarters of passengers already checking in online and using digital boarding passes on their smartphone, the new kiosks will primarily be used for bag tag printing. Passengers will also be able to use the new kiosks to purchase additional bags.

Passengers who haven’t checked in prior to arriving at the airport will be able to use QR codes on the kiosks to quickly check-in online and receive a digital boarding pass. Passengers will still have the option to be checked in by a customer service agent if needed.

Stephanie Tully, Chief Customer Officer, Qantas Group, said that the pandemic had accelerated the shift towards digital services, with an almost 40% increase in the number of passengers checking in online in just 2 years.

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She said:

We have seen consumer preferences dramatically shift towards digital and being able to manage their own journey, so we’re investing more in our app and airport technology to make travelling easier. The existing kiosks were instrumental in reducing queuing for check-in at airport counters when they were introduced more than 10 years ago, and these new kiosks will match the latest technology with customer preferences. Understandably, our customers want to move through the airport and get to the lounge or boarding gate as seamlessly as possible, and the new kiosks will help speed things up

She added:

We will incorporate feedback from Frequent flyers as the new kiosks are rolled out across the network. We know that some customers would prefer to speak to a person when they check in, so we’ll continue to have the same number of Qantas team members available in the terminal to help customers with enquiries as well as have check-in desks open.

The increased use of digital boarding passes will also help reduce paper waste. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 25 million paper boarding passes were printed each year which can’t readily be recycled. Qantas committed in 2019 to phase out their use as part of its zero waste to landfill targets.

Here’s how the whole process of checking-in works:

  • Check-in online (qantas.com or on the Qantas app)
  • Use new kiosks to print bag tags
  • Drop luggage at auto-bag drops
  • Use digital boarding pass to board flight.

Here’s a video of the whole process:

The upgrades at the airport follow recent investments to improve the functionality of the Qantas app providing frequent flyers the ability to:

  • change flights after check-in
  • add frequent flyer number to bookings.
  • request Classic Flight Reward upgrades; and
  • bid for upgrades using points.

Meanwhile, Qantas recently confirmed an Airbus order of A350-1000XLR (Extra Long Range), A321XLR and A220-300.

Featured image by Qantas

What do you think of Qantas rolling out next generation faster airport kiosks? Let me know in the comments section below.

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