Self-service kiosks for SIA, SilkAir fliers

Self-service kiosks for SIA, SilkAir fliers
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir travellers at Changi Airport's Terminal 2 can now print their own boarding passes and luggage tags.

In Changi's biggest rollout yet of self-service check-in kiosks, close to 25 new machines have been installed across SIA and SilkAir's check-in rows.

After a passenger has his passport verified, the machine prints the boarding pass and luggage tags.

All the passenger has to do is tag the bags and drop them off at designated counters, before heading to immigration. Those with no check-in bags can head straight to immigration without having to stop at the manned counters.

When The Straits Times visited T2 yesterday, a steady stream of travellers were using the kiosks, assisted by staff.

Marketing executive Jeffrey Lim, 36, said: "It's the first time I'm using a self-service check-in kiosk and it's really easy and convenient. It took me just a couple of minutes to get everything done. I'll definitely use it again. Great initiative by the airline and airport."

Indonesian housewife, Rina Wati, 44, said: "It's a simple machine to use which is good, especially for older travellers."

The machines, introduced about two weeks ago, are located mainly in front of the check-in counters.

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia was the first airline at Changi to introduce do-it-yourself check-in and bag tagging kiosks last year.

SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides said the kiosks are part of a suite of "Fast and Seamless Travel" initiatives being provided by Changi to cater to passenger traffic growth.

Said a spokesman for Changi Airport Group, Ivan Tan: "The entire check-in sequence - including printing of boarding pass and bag tags, together with tagging and baggage drop-off - can be done in a matter of minutes.

"The time taken is expected to reduce as travellers gain familiarity with this mode of processing, given the growing use of automated check-in options in airports around the world."

Automation will also help raise efficiency and productivity of check-in operations, thereby providing cost savings for airlines, according to Mr Tan.

With manpower costs rising amid a tight labour situation, Changi Airport, its airlines, ground-handling firms and other partners are pushing for automation.

For travellers, this will mean getting used to fewer manned counters and more machines at the existing terminals as well as T4, which opens in 2017.

Mr Tan said the airport is in talks with other carriers to expand the use of the check-in kiosks.

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