Jetstar announced (24-May-2011) the launch of a fully self-service check-in system, which the LCC plans to roll out to every domestic airport in Australia and New Zealand. It what it claims as a world first, the LCC uses SMS technology to send boarding passes to passengers' mobile phones, which is scanned at a self service kiosk at the airport. Passengers' phones need not be smartphones and those who use the system will be automatically checked in 24 hours prior to departure. Passengers with bags can scan their SMS boarding pass at a Jetstar self-service kiosk in the check-in area, collect their boarding pass, bag-tags and drop their bags at the bag drop. The technology was developed by IBM and CEO Bruce Buchanan stated the system differs from the mobile solutions at other airlines as it is universally compatible with almost all mobile phones. The system is currently in place at 20 airports across Australia and New Zealand. [more]
With the launch of the new system, passengers wishing to check-in the in the traditional way will have to pay a fee to do so, as the LCC encourages all passengers to convert to electronic self-service options (The Australian, 24-May-2011). This decision makes Jetstar the second Australian airline to charge for traditional check-in and as a result is likely to raise concerns about job cuts.
Jetstar: "The airport experience is rapidly changing, and in an era of more frequent, low fares travel, our customers are seeking more speed, control and ease when flying. The full implementation of our self service initiatives is anticipated to boost uptake of self-service options closer to 100% [from 75%] across our network. Delivering a 100% self-service platform will enable more of our Customer Service team at airports to focus on the customer. Our new SMS boarding passes, kiosks and automated check-in options are delivering practical and innovative solutions that will add greater control and save time at increasingly busy airports.” Bruce Buchanan, CEO. Source: Jetstar, 24-May-2011.