Sunday, 2 December 2007

Air New Zealand aims to cut queues

I'm pleased to see Air New Zealand is aiming to speed up the flying process - particularly for domestic passengers - by automating much of their check-in procedures.

From next March, passengers will receive a seat confirmation when they first buy a ticket. Frequent fliers will also get smart card "bag tags" for their luggage, while others will simply print them off from an automatic kiosk at the airport.

Passengers will then be able to drop their baggage straight onto a conveyor belt, which will go through an automatic turnstile to their scheduled flight.

Air New Zealand also want to make more use of mobile phones, with the ability to send boarding information to passenger phones (in barcode form), which can then be scanned at the departure gates.
The automated upgrades will cost Air NZ about $20 million, but the airline claims the new systems won't mean staff redundancies. Limited manual check-in facilities will remain for techno-illiterate passengers, and for international check-ins at provincial airports.

The airline believes their advanced e-ticketing programme will help keep them ahead of their competition, and should mean passengers can walk in 10 minutes before their flight departs, rather than waiting around at the airport.

Airlines around the world are looking at ways of trimming the time passengers have to spend at airports before their flights, but say they have little control over security procedures, which have added considerable time to the journeys of frequent fliers since 9/11.

Air NZ is also considering new domestic routes, as well as improving the frequency of flights to provincial centres. Frequency and more direct routes are also the basis for their international improvements, as their new Boeing 777 and Dreamliners arrive.

(Air New Zealand have also been looking at the long range Boeing 777-200LR aeroplane for a new Auckland to New York route. However, those plans may now be on hold, with the airline confirming it has purchased a further 8 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and 3 more Boeing 777-300ER planes.)

[ Right now I'm listening to:
^ E-Type - Eurofighter ]
^ Fast Ood Rockers - Song 4 Kylie (I'm In Love With A Girl In A Time Machine)

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