Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Continental Airlines Tries Self-Boarding

Travelers scan their tickets at an automatic boarding gate in Frankfurt; while common in Europe, Continental is the first U.S. airline to try a similar procedure with a single self-boarding gate in Houston.
Continental Airlines has announced that it is currently testing an automated self-boarding system at one of its gates at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Although self-boarding gates are not a new thing for many of the world’s airlines, the Continental experiment is the first in the US.

The airline has not released a great deal of information about the experiment, but all passengers now have to do when they are barding their plane, is to swipe their boarding pass through and electronic reader. Once this is done a turnstile or set of doors will open and the customer can cross the jet-bridge and take their seat.

Greg Soule, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which looks after security at the airport, said that there was no security risk posed by the new automated boarding system because all passengers will have gone through a number off security checks before making it to the gate.

Airlines already employing the self-boarding system include Air New Zealand, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air. All Lufthansa’s gates at Munich and Frankfurt are now of an automated design. Martin Riecken, a spokesman for Lufthansa, said that the new gates make getting customers onto aircraft a little faster than normal gates.

However, the main reason for introducing them was so that airline staff would be freed up from the tedious job of scanning endless boarding passes. He added that airline representatives were now free to deal with other customer issues. He went on to say that there were still agents at the gate to scan passes when necessary.

Source : http://www.comparecarhire.co.uk/news/continental-trials-self-boarding-system-53819229.html

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