July 28, 2010

Continental Airlines Self-Boarding

Writeup on SSW on buzz that the self-boarding experiment by Continental is generating. Our guess is there is someone from Continental there observing and ready to assist during the process.

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Airline's move to self-boarding a big blip on U.S. media radar

Christopher Hall editor
• 28 Jul 2010

Continental Airlines’ move to open flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to self-boarding using self-service kiosks - a first for flights within the United States – has been pinging radars across the Internet.

First reported in USA Today, the move has been reported as far and wide as major media sites like The Huffington Post and MSNBC and more niche-oriented sites like The Consumerist and SmarterTravel.com.

According to the initial report in USA Today, travelers scan their boarding passes at a kiosk at the gate, opening up access to the jetway. A TSA spokesman told USA Today that the process "does not impact the security of the traveling public," adding that all passengers are screened at security checkpoints before getting to the gates anyway.

The practice apparently is fairly widespread internationally, with 14 airlines using self-boarding gates abroad. Aviation analyst Michael Boyd told the paper that the move was “a great idea,” and that reducing employee-customer human contact is a good thing, since gate agents now have more to do than ever before to get planes ready to go.

"As long as you have someone to tell grandma where to stick the paper," he told USA Today’s Roger Yu, "you're fine."

Reaction online, however, has been mixed at best, with MSNBC characterizing the move as “controversial” and talking to a former security director for Israel’s El Al Airlines who says self-boarding is a bad move.

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Posted by staff at July 28, 2010 01:28 PM