Etihad launches first digital check-in kiosks

Passengers able to print out their own boarding passes

Etihad Airways has unveiled the first phase of its new digital strategy by introducing self-service check-in kiosks at Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal 3. The carrier has installed 10 kiosks in its economy and premium check-in areas in Terminal 3 and says passengers departing out of Terminal 1 are also free to use general-use kiosks set up there.
The machines allow passengers to print out a boarding pass without waiting in line by entering their booking reference or e-ticket number, scan their passport or insert their Etihad Guest card. Once this has been done the customers can choose seats and print boarding passes and baggage tags. Abu Dhabi Airports Company said in January it had two kiosks in operation, with KLM as its first participating airline, but that it expected to add more kiosks as more airlines participated.
Peter Baumgartner, the chief commercial officer of Etihad, said the service would enhance the customer experience by eliminating check-in queues. Continental Airlines introduced the first kiosk in the US in 1995 and the service has grown in popularity worldwide over the past decade. Frankfurt airport, one of the largest international air travel gateways in the world, said recently it would introduce 73 CUSS (common-use self-service) check-in kiosks from next month, the largest deployment to date.
Etihad said it would introduce additional digital services towards the end of this year. The airline plans to link to its customers via mobile devices and other digital channels, it said, including a new website and online shopping experience. It launched an iPhone application earlier this year, which enables members of the airline's loyalty programme to manage their accounts via their iPhones. Airlines have continued to invest in technology to gain a competitive edge over other carriers and offer their passengers a more comfortable flying experience.
In May, flydubai said it had signed a contract with Lumexis for a high-bandwidth, fibre optics-based in-flight entertainment system, breaking the duopoly of Panasonic Avionics and Thales.