Self-service checkin terminals must not fail

Standing in a fairly long checkin line this morning, I considered using the self-service terminals, but dropped the idea. Why? Because my experience with KLM led me to believe that it probably wouldn’t work, and I would end up being penalized for trying, by losing my spot in the checkin line.

This points to a lesson for airlines, if they want customers to use the machines, which save the airlines money: Make a clear promise that should it fail, you will get special service.

How? In the initial training period, position an agent next to the machines, to help people use them, solve problems, and if necessary do manual checkin at the counter. This will have the added benefit that this agent can keep track of what’s causing people trouble, so it can be fixed.

Yes, it’s an additional cost, but it should seriously help the adoption, thus benefiting everyone long-term.


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