’20 seconds’: Qantas changes the airport check-in process

Qantas has unveiled upgraded airport kiosks at Sydney Airport, designed to make the check-in process four times faster.

The new technology will be introduced at Terminal 3 in Sydney for more than a week from Thursday, before rolling out to other Qantas terminals across Australia.

By September, a total of 140 kiosks will be installed at major domestic airports, replacing all existing kiosks used to check-in and print baggage labels.

The new kiosks will mainly be used for baggage label printing, with the airline noting a shift to digital services and increasing the number of passengers checking in online by nearly 40 percent in the past two years.

Stephanie Tully, Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, said the existing kiosks, when introduced more than a decade ago, played an important role in reducing queues at airport counters.

“These new kiosks will tailor the latest technology to customer preferences,” she said. “It’s understandable that 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.

Qantas’ executive manager for product and service Philip Capps said the new technology has the potential to reduce check-in times for some customers by as much as 90 percent.

†[Printing baggage tags] The old traditional kiosks used to take about two to three minutes, now it’s about 15 to 20 seconds,” Capps says. “In that time, the kiosk will identify you, print your tag, and you’re ready to go.”

Customers who have not checked in before arriving at the airport can still check in online via QR codes on the kiosks.

“All you have to do is scan the barcode on the kiosk screen and go to your booking on your mobile device to complete the check-in on your phone. Then add your luggage tag, and off you go,” Capps says. †

The kiosk upgrades follow an airport chaos over the Easter holidays, with long queues and waiting times of up to three hours to check in and go through airport security.

New scanners, which don’t require passengers to remove their laptops, liquids or gels, were rolled out in 2019 and could cut the time it takes to go through security in half. However, Sydney Airport has yet to roll out the new scanners and Melbourne Airport, which installed the scanners in Terminal 4 in 2019, has yet to install them in other terminals.

“It reinforces our need to make sure that everything we have control over, we want to make sure we invest in the latest technology, the best software so we can take steps for the customer and the stress and anxiety,” Capps said. .

The national carrier has also recently upgraded the functionality of the Qantas app.

“We’ve also added a lot more functionality to the app over the past few months, so we want to make the app your travel companion, where you can upgrade points, change a flight and add frequent flyer details,” Capps said.

“Now you can do it all in the app, and you can do it wherever you are — at home, at work, on your way to an airport — instead of feeling like you have to get to an airport and queue up.” .”

Improvements to the Qantas app include the ability to change flights after check-in, add frequent flyer numbers to bookings, request upgrades, and bid for upgrades with points.

This week, the airline also introduced a “fly now, pay later” payment option, as part of a new partnership with financial services firm Zip.

As part of the program, customers can also earn Qantas Points by signing up for a Zip account and purchasing eligible flights on qantas.com using Zip.

It’s the airline’s first time partnering with a “buy now, pay later” provider, and it comes as travel to destinations including the US, Europe, Bali and Fiji, according to Olivia Wirth, Qantas loyalty director.

“The option to buy now and pay later via Zip gives our customers more choice in how they pay for their flights,” Wirth said, adding that the schedule includes the ability to earn points on both the flight and payment.

The new partnership complements the airline’s financial services offerings, including a number of frequent flyer credit cards, insurance, home and personal loans, a prepaid travel money card and an investment and wealth management business.

Qantas also announced an investment in online travel company TripADeal, which will allow frequent flyer members to use Qantas points to book vacation packages.

The carrier has purchased a 51 percent stake in the company to expand its exposure to the online vacation booking industry of an estimated $13 billion.

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