Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And now for a GOOD IDEA from the airline industry…

Alaska Airlines has made a bold move. But it is born out of sound business decisions. Their Anchorage International Airport features only one small traditional ticket counter.

The new experiment in self service proves that airline passengers are not just mindless travelers wandering the hallways, lost but for the guidance of the “oh-so-helpful” and cheerful ticket counter attendants. It has also doubled the concourse’s capacity, halved its staffing needs and cut costs, and reduced the amount of time travelers take to move through the building and on to waiting for their flight.

And have no fear, this innovation (which I liken to sliced bread for the airline industry) is moving south. Alaska Air is going to setup the same design at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The service industry is starting to get it – folks want to be able to help themselves. From grocery stores to hardware stores to book stores, self-service is here. Although the self check-in kiosk has been present in airports, it has not been made a key feature as it is with this plan.

I’m glad to see the airline industry is finally advancing this trend and making a self-service system that actually works.

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