Published on : Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Remember the days when you could only check-in to your flight at the airport and at the few desks of the airline you were flying with? The long queues are what most travellers remember and what airport staff dread.
Travellers today have numerous ways to check-in – on a computer or mobile, at a kiosk or desk, or outside of the airport. However for the airport, this means many different types of systems and expensive infrastructure to do the exact same thing.
It’s because of this, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Amadeus announced an agreement to deploy the world’s first hot-swappable battery powered movable check-in kiosks, called iCUSS, with both a self-service and full-service mode, reinventing the entire check-in experience.
With 42.2 million departing passengers in the first seven months of 2017, Hong Kong International Airport’s check-in process needs to be as efficient, flexible and cost-effective as possible.
The versatile cloud-based mobile kiosks are powered by Amadeus’ common use technology and can be rapidly deployed and relocated for use by the traveller to check-in themselves or by the airport staff to provide full-service operations. The airport can now say goodbye to different systems and fixed locations, meaning greater freedom and flexibility to serve passengers throughout their journey to and around the airport.
Vivian Cheung, Deputy Director of Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “With an increasing number of passengers and infrastructure constraints at the airport, we now need a more sustainable way to check-in passengers faster and from anywhere. We also wanted to give the option to travellers to check-in at their convenience.”
Cheung added, “We choose to partner with Amadeus as we share the same vision to reinvent the traditional way travellers check-in. We look forward to working with Amadeus to significantly reduce passenger process times, save airlines resources, and free up space in the terminal – and together we hope to extend this to other airports and set a new check-in standard in the airport industry.”
“The airline check-in process at an airport can sometimes be the most frustrating and nerve-racking part of the traveller journey, said Sarah Samuel, Head of Airport IT Sales, Asia Pacific, at Amadeus. “Through this partnership, we will provide innovative technology that makes better journeys for all travellers flying through Hong Kong International Airport. We are very pleased to be working with such an innovative and forward-thinking airport to transform the travel experience and enhance airport operations efficiency.”
Some key benefits of the new kiosks include:
Easier and faster check-in to any airline for travellers and airport staff: With the kiosks ‘SmartCheck’ application and with simplified user interface, based on Amadeus’ common use cloud based technology, airport staff and travellers can access any airline from any kiosk. All passengers can check-in, validate their travel documents including passports and visas, pick their seat, and print bag tags and boarding passes from any kiosk. By pairing it with self-bag drop and by integrating the travel document validation with the kiosk check-in, airports significantly reduce the time to process passengers as travellers only need to make two stops before making their way to the terminal – check-in and bag drop.
Check-in kiosks can be relocated to best fit the traveller journey: With swappable batteries, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connections and sturdy wheels, the kiosks can be used by the traveller or airport staff anywhere around HKIA’s terminal area of over 850,000 square meters. They can also be moved off-site so check-in can be made at train platforms, hotels, convention centres, or any other location where people will be travelling to the airport from. By placing kiosks throughout the passenger journey, the traveller benefits from less queues and a more stress-free experience and the airport benefits freed up space in the terminal.
Significant costs to be saved thanks to communications over the internet: With fully cloud-based applications deployed on the kiosks, expensive network costs and resources are eliminated for both the airport and its 100 airline customers. Whether the kiosk is set to the self-service ‘SmartCheck’ application mode or the full-service option using Amadeus Airport Common Use Service (ACUS), all communications are over the internet rather than through the traditional point-to-point airline networks required by fixed infrastructure solutions. The kiosks are managed and configured remotely, providing greater support to different airlines as required.