Local News

Self-Service Offers Airline Passengers An Alternative To Long Lines

Posted December 10, 2000

— The days of long lines at the baggage and check-in counters at airports may be nearing an end. A new machine can get you on the plane in no time, and it is being tested atRDU International.

Computers are not likely to replace airport ticket agents anytime soon, but they could make your trip a lot easier from seat assignments to checking baggage.

American Airlines'OneStop self-service computer check-in offers some passengers an alternative to long lines.

The service is available to passengers with electronic tickets on domestic flights. A credit card or frequent flier card is required.

Jane Edwards tried out the system for the first time with great results.

"I fly a lot on business, and this would save me a lot of time," she says.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority says it supports any technology which makes flying less stressful.

"It's no secret that consumers have really rebelled against some of the delays and cancellations, and so forth, with the air traffic control system," says Mike Blanton, RDU spokesman. "Usage of new technology is one of the ways carriers are looking at to improve the customer services and improve the airport traveler experience."

There are a few software bugs that need to be worked out before the computers are totally consumer-friendly. If there is a problem, the computer produces a ticket telling travelers to see an agent for help.

Currently, American has the automated systems in 30 cities. Other airlines, includingMidwayare also looking into offering this service.

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