Alaska Airlines pushing travelers toward digital tickets, and is removing self-serve ticket kiosks

36
1665

The kiosks that heralded convenience and modern travel are being phased out by Alaska Airlines, because, well, they are old-fashioned.

The removal of the kiosks are part of a $2.5 billion plan to upgrade passenger technology in airport lobbies, starting with the larger airports. Alaska Airlines is nudging everyone to use the company’s app on smart phones, and speed up the check-in process at the airport.

The airline has a goal of getting passengers from the lobby to security in five minutes or less. To achieve this, Alaska Airlines encourages passengers to check-in and secure their boarding passes digitally before arriving at the airport using the Alaska Airlines app or other online methods, rather than printing out tickets. Many passengers are already doing this and kiosks may be more of a relic as the years go on.

“We realized the majority of our guests were doing most of the kiosk actions on their own phones and we could reduce the congestion in our airports. Alaska was the first airline to introduce kiosks more than 20 years ago, and we’ll be the first airline to remove them,” said Charu Jain, Alaska Airlines Senior Vice President of Innovation and Merchandising.

The check-in kiosks will be replaced with iPad stations, where passengers can pay for checked bags and print bag tags. The airline later intends to transition to a fully self-service experience for baggage drop-off. By the end of 2023, most of Alaska’s airports will have the new bag tag stations in place, the airline said.

By spring of 2024, the airline plans to introduce self-service bag drop-off stations, where passengers can scan their face, identification, and bags before placing their bags on a conveyor belt to be loaded onto the aircraft. Alaska Airlines will continue to have customer service associates available at the airports for assistance.

Alaska Airlines is also experimenting with electronic bag tags through a partnership with Amsterdam-based startup Bagtag.

Bagtag allows travelers to purchase reusable electronic tags and attach them at home, using their phone to connect them with the airline’s baggage system.

36 COMMENTS

    • Exactly. If and when your phone is out of juice, you have nothing to show to anybody. A short-sighted decision. And once you leave the United States it may much worse with more serious consequences.

    • I am totally with you BUT..I don’t like this change as much as the rest of you. I use my home computer to print out my passes and baggage tags. BEFORE I get to the airport..
      There are power packs sold in Walmart, mine was a small $12.00. I carry around small power packs around. Just make sure you have a full charge on your phone before going to airport. Also there is a warning out about using public/airport charging stations having BAD viruses and other bad stuff on them.

    • A point which the conformists and all-digital control freaks refuse to acknowledge or accommodate. I have no idiot-phone or other electronic leash myself, and absolutely no plans to ever have one.

      • Jefferson, its all about where we draw lines, right? I see you have an idiot computer to write your comment on. And you’re logging onto the idiot internet. You absolutely are tethered to electronic leashes; you only draw your line in a different location than most of us. You’re no different.

        • Wayne, your attempted analogy fails, because unlike the idiot-phone addicts, I do not literally live my life around my computer, nor do I carry it with me wherever I go, nor am I unable to live without it for more than a minute at a time. There is both a quantitative and a qualitative difference between my limited use of a home computer, and the obsessive and neurotic addiction to idiot-phones by most of those who use them — “for convenience”.

  1. Don’t like it. Period. My cell phone is for my own use – it is NOT for the use of some needy airline business. “Alaska Airlines – kindly print my boarding pass and luggage tags. Yeah, and thank you.”

  2. So, less employees means less costs which, naturally leads to savings trickled down to the consumer. Oh wait, silly me. That’ll never happen. Remember when the added “ala-carte” charges appeared? I do – it was when fuel costs skyrocketed about 15 years ago. Not long after fuel prices went back down, by about half. Have we seen the additional costs disappear? No.

    On the bright side – we won’t have to deal with a ticket agent who’s clueless.

  3. That and some people don’t want their phone scanned by the government….. No, I’ll stick with paper thank you.

    • Got news for you Skippy… when you power up your phone you are thereby being scanned by the government until you remove the battery. Even turning off the phone does not stop their scanning you.

  4. Someone complain the kiosks are not diverse enough? What will Alaska Airlines be woke about next month? They are not the same Alaska as they were ten years ago even.

  5. We were in Phoenix airport Thursday coming to Alaska. The Kiosks were all out of order. Now I see why. They only had one agent until 5am. Then four more showed up. Since we had an animal and firearm, we had to pay for the bird and go through additional security for the firearm. I am glad that we got there 2.5 hours early for our 7:15 flight. They had to get travelers to the head of the line that had the 6am flight. It was a mess. So, the kiosks will be replaced with Kiosks just to print baggage tags? That is what I used them for anyway…..

      • Yes, I was fine till I had to start texting (communicating) messages to friends. Try texting on a small flip phone. I’m probably abit older than many of you and coming up into the smartphone technology wasn’t easy..

  6. A lot of older customers who don’t use digital technology, or maybe don’t even have cell phones, will clog up the old ticket counters and reservation agent’s time. Or, will they be gone too? Young, woke Alaska Air employees could care less, I suppose.

  7. How they are controlling people using cellphones, just another thing added to make you have to have and use a cellphone for anything you do.

    With cellphones they can track and see everything you do. All they have to do is cut off your access to a cell tower and they can stop you from doing anything. What happens when your phone dies, is lost or stolen?

    Without your cellphone you have no proof of anything without the phone.

    Something to think about.

  8. I intentionally use a flip-phone because iPhones are too distracting. I detest them. My printer at home often breaks down. So now what?

  9. I solved the flying issue. I’m done flying. No more being herded like cattle to be treated like a criminal (take off your shoes and belt.) Done with that. Also, my cell phone is a flip phone, not a dumb phone.

  10. Scan your face???
    No thank you.
    This doesn’t impact me as much as it does others, because for years already, whenever I have to fly outside, I tell my personal travel agent before she gets me a ticket “I don’t care which airline you get me on, as long as it is NOT Alaska Air.”

  11. The Woke Left Imperialists won’t rest until we all have microchips installed in our heads or hands. That is exactly the direction this is trending. They’ve gotten us attached to our “smart” devices, next they’ll convince us that we need to install chips to take it to the next level of “user” experience. Then that’s it. They’ll control our bodies, track us at all times.

    This is how the end begins.

    • It is every idiot-device owner’s fault for blindly conforming to the Orwellian trend to carry an electronic leash and tracking device on their person at all times, all for the sake of a dubious and specious “convenience”. I blame each and every one of you who own and carry idiot-phones for contributing to our growing enslavement.

  12. This is a reasonable plan for those of us who fly Alaska a lot – but what about those who’ve never been on Alaska before? What about those poor souls who, heaven forbid, have never been on a plane before? Yes, those people exist. Heck, I talked to a gal last year who had not only flown before, she’d never been on an Interstate. Somehow, with some help from kindly airline staff, she got from Meridian, Mississippi to Kotzebue and then back.

  13. This’ll be funny right up to the point passengers find themselves required to buy a smart phone in order to fly on Alaska Airlines.

  14. I use the app now. But I saw something here I really do not like. Scan your face. No go for me.

Comments are closed.