In a world first, Australian leading airline Qantas will soon be providing domestic travellers the ability to check themselves and their bags in electronically, instead of having to wait through long queues in a radical vision for the airport of the future.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said its domestic passengers have “told us that airport check-in today is nothing less than a major point of pain”. Joyce continued saying that “Check-in takes too long. It causes too much stress. Our customers know what they want: speed and ease”.
The proposed vision will see frequent flyers rated “silver” status or above issued with new smart card technology and computer chip embedded luggage tags. Travellers with the new system will be able to swipe their card across check-in readers througout the terminal and place their bags directly nto the baggage carousels.
Qantas have an ambitious timetable for roll out of the new $40 million venture between technology giant IBM and the airline, with the first trial at Perth Airport in mid-2010, Sydney Airport by the end of 2010 and Melbourne Airport by early 2011. Terminal floor plans will need to be remodeled to allow for the open plan design, card readers and new carousels.