Alaska Airlines Gets Rid of Kiosks in Airport Lobb Overhaul



  • Alaska Airlines is removing check-in kiosks as part of a $2.5 billion overhaul of its airport lobbies. 
  • The airline’s goal is to get passengers to come to the airport ready to go straight to security. 
  • It plans to replace the kiosks with stations where customers can tag their own bags before drop-off.

Alaska Airlines has started removing kiosks to print boarding passes at airports, as part of a $ 2.5 billion investment in its passengers’ “lobby experience.” 

The goal is to get passengers “through the lobby and to security in 5 minutes or less,” according to a recent press release, and have them download their boarding passes on the app, or print them at home to save time. 

“The reality is our lobbies are hugely congested,” Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in an April call discussing earnings results. “And what we’re finding is at least a 10-point increase in people coming prepared to the lobby, checked in already, even paid for their bag.”

Harrison predicts only passengers with checked bags — half of Alaska Airlines’ passengers — will hang around the lobby once the changes roll out, making the overall lobby experience “much more pleasant.” 

“Our long-term vision is to have people come in, just get their bag tag or have an electronic back tag, which we’ve already introduced, go to a self-backdrop, drop your bag,” Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ chief executive officer, added. 

The airline’s plan is to replace most kiosks with bag-tag stations by the end of the year.  

QR codes in airport lobbies will prompt passengers to get a boarding pass on their phones if they arrive without one, an Alaska Airlines representative told Insider. They can also ask staff to print one if they don’t have a smartphone.

Kiosks have already been removed at nine airports: Portland International Airport in Oregon, Boise Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Missoula International, Ontario International, Palm Springs International, Rocky Gutierrez Airport in Sitka, Alaska.

The changes are part of Alaska Airlines’ three-year plan to overhaul lobbies at its key airports, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines is a passengers’ favorite in terms of customer satisfaction, according to a recent survey. 


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