For the business traveler enduring lengthy stints in cramped seats, chaotic airports and disorganized staff, almost anything that streamlines the check-in process is a welcome change. Recognizing this need, Off Airport Check-in Solutions (OACIS) and Amadeus have come together to create a ‘pop-up’ check-in system, the first of its kind in the world.
Automated check-in systems are no longer a rarity; many airports have kiosks that allow travelers to complete the process at their leisure. However, this is no ordinary system; pop-up booths are exactly that – they are mobile check-in solutions that can be delivered and set up at any location.
In ordinary circumstances, you would be shackled to your luggage, unable to see the sights of the city you were in. Now, imagine being able to check-in all your luggage where your conference is being held – you will then be free to explore the city for hours without the burden of lugging around bags full of things you do not need.
The system was debuted in Sydney in September at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal. This trial was not at the airport but at a departure point for cruise ships. OACIS and Amadeus expect to expand around Australia and New Zealand in the coming year.
In terms of business travel, the invention of the pop-up check-in booth is a welcome one. It scores top marks in terms of time saving and convenience. In fact, it may very well be the case that it becomes just as popular with non-business travelers who see the same advantages. We might even see this facility paired with brief tour packages available to all passengers of particular flights. The tourism industry will see great potential in this.
It may also translate as cost savings for airlines and airports, with traditional check-in counters no longer required. Perhaps his might, in turn, lead to a fall in fare prices. (We can always hope!)
However, in today’s age of violent terrorism, the issue of security must be paramount. Taking a critical process like check-in away from airports is bound to invite the attention of those who wish to harm innocent and defenseless people.
Airports and airport procedures have evolved greatly since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 sixteen years ago. In that time, numerous other terror plots have been uncovered, while successful hijackings have still been carried out. If airports, with all their concentrated security and surveillance measures, have been unable to thwart these extremists, will off-site check-in only encourage more of the same?