Flying to a dream destination having saved up hard-earned cash for the majority of the year is usually the highlight of most peoples’ year. However, it has its downsides: the endless browsing through glossy catalogues, the delayed flights, the strolling around the duty-free shops at the airports whilst praying for the clock to tick nearer to take-off time, the check-in queues, queuing with boarding passes and hopelessly rummaging around in luggage to find missing papers and documents. These are just a few of the typical difficulties faced by tourists at the airports which are capable of turning a dream holiday into a nightmare experience. However, the airlines have come up with an ingenious plan to eradicate such difficulties and make theirs and passengers’ lives a lot easier. The solution can be summed up in one word: self-service.
Today’s low-cost airline customer has the option of going on holiday without even meeting a travel agent, touching a paper ticket or spending a full minute in a queue. The key point is to get the passengers to deal with booking and checking-in themselves and to keep them satisfied whilst they are doing it. Contrary to the original sceptical belief that the option of self-service would not work, it has proved to be extremely popular and successful. Recent surveys have shown that 89% of worldwide passengers prefer electronic tickets to the paper ones, 56% have taken advantage of the option of internet checking-in, 75% have booked holidays and trips online and 69% have used the self-service kiosks at the airports.
Let’s not forget that whilst the above-mentioned quota of passengers is checking-in online, they are automatically reducing the length of the queue for passengers without access to the internet. Therefore, everybody is a winner, yet the biggest winner remains the passenger himself. Indeed, most stated in surveys that they would welcome more options for self-service if they were to become available.