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The Impact of Fully Automated Self Service Check In at Muscat Airport

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Defined by a strong focus on new biometric-enabled, self-service and data-driven solutions to enhance operational efficiency and improve the passenger experience, here we present a selection of some of the cutting-edge products and services that have the potential to deliver positive change. During the event, SITA also announced that Athens Airport has become the first airport in Europe to trial its Smart Path solution, joining Brisbane, Doha, Muscat, Orlando, Miami and Boston airports while numerous other airports in Europe and the US are expected to implement the solution in 2019.

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Self-service in general is most definitely "in". Fromsupermarket checkout to airline check-in kiosks, self service isproven to be a very large benefit to business, and moreimportantly their customers. These days the question is notwhether we should, but more "when will we". The use of self-service is not a new concept; banks have beenusing it for a long time now. The banking industry adopted theATM concept for reducing costs and providing better servicesfor the customers. The first ATM was installed in the early1967 by Barclays Bank in London, UK The banks startedinstalling ATM machines in the bank buildings first and wherea cash dispensing machine was not linked to the accountdirectly. With the spread of internet connectivity the ATMmachines have become a part of the urban landscape andavailable at parks, shopping malls or airports with many moreservices on offer than just cash dispensing. The adoption of self-service is gaining importance in other industries for twomain reasons, increased efficiency and reduced costs and labor.Self-service puts control into hands of the customers. It hasbeen observed that customers are now more open toexperiment with kiosks. Other industries like retail, finance,hotels, etc

are considering using of self-service kiosks. Evenlibraries are trying out self-service technologies to issue books.The customers are now ready to make bigger transactions withkiosks and many models for self-service have been put to thetest .

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Self service technologies (SST) in the airline industry materialized over 20 years ago, but with limited use. SST is a world away from what the industry first experienced in the mid – 1990’s and is currently in use by almost every airline. Technology is constantly changing and new forms are placed into operation regularly, requiring the airline industry to adapt quickly and efficiently in order to keep up with the competition. Airport SST takes on many forms which include but are not limited to; information kiosks (standalone terminal that provides information, goods and services), ticketing kiosk (purchase airline tickets, check baggage and monitor flight status), CUSS kiosk (ease congestion and help reduce long lines, shared terminals with multiple airlines), retail kiosk (customers can purchase goods and services before or after a flight) (Abdelaziz, May 2010), internet bookings and through the use of smart phones or mobile devices. SST has become a relied upon service in satisfying the both customer and the airline needs. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 73 million of 2 billion airline passengers used SST in 2004, while the average CUSS check-in takes 2.5 minutes opposed to 3.5 minutes at a traditional service employee counter check-in (Fiorino, 2005)

The traditional service employee check-in promoted long lines, disgruntled customers and large staffing levels to complete repetitive tasks. Today SST promotes efficiency, convenience, shorter wait times and reduced labor cost. The terrorists’ attacks on 9/11 influenced major changes in airport technology due to the shifting needs of customers and the airline industry.

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Finally, further studies and researches can also be done to evaluate the specific dimensions of perceived service quality that affect the customer technological readiness. Another important limitation of this study is the assumption that the SSTQUAL scale can be used to evaluate perceived service quality in a customertechnology interaction and a customer-employee interaction simultaneously

Further studies can be done in the direction of evaluating the validity of this assumption or even developing a scale derived from the SSTQUAL scale and the SERVQUAL scale that can serve the aforementioned purpose.

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Abdelaziz, Shady G., (2010). Study of Airport Self-service Technology within Experimental Reseach of Check-In Techniques. International Journal of Computer Science , Vol 7, Issue 3, No 1

Falconer, R. (2009, June). The Future for common use bag drop. Retrieved April 4, 2011, from Future Travel Experience: http://www.futuretravelexperience.com

Fiorino, F. (2005 йил 9-October ). Aviation week: Technology Key to Airline Cost-Savings.

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