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QANTAS: I hate the current kiosks. Will I hate the new ones?

QANTAS: I hate the current kiosks. Will I hate the new ones?

Qantas is installing new ticketing kiosks at Sydney’s T3 terminal.

One of the benefits of my Platinum status that I most love is the ability to go to the service desk and check in, and in the past (do they still do it?) have the staff there deal with the tagging of any checked baggage.

OK, I have adapted to checking in online, and quite like that. I just hate the process of printing and tagging my own bag. It frustrates my husband, but I just get bamboozled by the instructions, questioning whether I need to include my hand luggage like a bag or not, and generally feeling anxious about doing something wrong. It might be due to the minor PTSD of failing to use these correctly when they were first introduced and having to be assisted by a Qantas staff member, and feeling like a complete Luddite. Anyway, I don’t like them, and would much prefer the human interaction with a staff person.

New Kiosk Trial T3

Got that off my chest then. Qantas is ‘improving ‘ the process – let me be the judge of that – making it ‘faster and easier for our customers travelling on domestic flights with the introduction of next generation airport kiosks’.

It’s a trial at the moment to iron out any customer bugs before they are fully installed in Sydney by early June and then rolled out across major domestic Airports by September. Qantas is planning on installing 240 of the new kiosks (replacing the current machines) around the country.

It’s not just me

Apparently around 75% of customers – like me – are happy to check in online, holding their ‘ticket’ on their phone. This means that most won’t be printing their tickets but just printing their baggage tags and the purchase of additional weight.

You will still be able to check in for your flight and print a boarding pass using a QR code at these new machines, and there will be service staff available if you don’t have a smartphone, or you are part of a group booking or have oversized baggage.

Faster, quicker, better?

Qantas is claiming that the new kiosks are 4 times faster than the current machines with bag tags being printed in 20 seconds. Eliminating 25 million paper boarding passes (pre-COVID) also helps with Qantas’s sustainability commitments. It will also lower the number of service staff they will require, more’s the pity.

Still, the airline has been investing in improving the capabilities of their app – you can now do points upgrades and a few other nifty things. All Qantas needs to do now is make their website work as efficiently as other airlines for any type of booking, upgrade, or points search, and they would be home and hosed!

2PAXfly Takeout

The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.

It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.

This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.

Qantas used to be a digital leader, but its website is just no longer up to scratch. New, more efficient kiosks are welcomed even though I hate dealing with a machine rather than a person. If I continue to maintain my status, I will still go to the service counter if I can, and use their premium service phone line to fix those things you can’t do on the website. That is as long as the waiting times are reasonable, the staff on that phone line with well trained and warm hearted Australian based consultants.

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