Alaska Airlines at Seattle-Tacoma Airport: A Check-in Makeover

I heard on the radio yesterday that there’s going to be a new flow for passenger check-ins at Alaska Airlines in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Recognizing that the traditional long check-in counters and passenger lines that snake around themselves while people wait their turn is not efficient. Too many people travel these days. Recognizing the dilemma, Alaska Airlines is making changes. First, there aren’t going to be any more long counters with one or two long snakey lines. Instead, there are going to be several round shaped island check-in kiosks where passengers arrange themselves. People will go to the ones with the less people. As the story said, people will organize themselves similar to how they do at grocery stores. There’s no need to herd people. Baaah! baaah!! (sheep sounds)

Also, instead of the ticket person putting passengers’ bags onto the conveyor belt after screening, the passengers will put their own bags on. The idea behind these changes is to create a better flow and to cut down anxiety which will speed up the check-in process. The system is to debuts this fall. Perhaps if Alaska Airlines’ system is successful, we’ll see more changes with other airlines’ check-in methods.