Qantas to Remove Boarding Pass Printing from Kiosks

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I think my biggest annoyance with this change is, as far as I'm concerned, all the hardware is in-place for just allowing check-in on the machines (it could just print a barcode on receipt paper like LCCs, and it already has a receipt printer for baggage receipts). The only limiting factor is the software engineering effort to support the check-in flow on the new machines themselves.
 

TheInsider

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Not at all.

Sure at the time fears of automation and lack of staff to assist folks who couldn't handle the kiosks were concerns. There were also more staff (ticketing desks(!), moe manned check in positions etc) around to assist.. Sure it was a transition for many but yes most adapted.
Ticketing desks have nothing to do with check-in and the manned counters are still there, that hasn't changed at all.
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The key difference for mine is that we're now in a situation of far less staff around (and that's not even counting the current staffing issues experienced by everyone) and that this is actually removing self service functions for those that did use them - not just the bP's but I think these new ones can't do seat changes and that stuff also.. what about changing to earlier flights? Not sure. YES.. all of us with phones and apps can do all that (in theory anyway) ourselves.. but again for a group of people it's forcing them to a potential bottleneck and delay point to find staff. So it's reducing, even if some see it as a little bit, customer self service abilities.
Seat selection is exactly the same as what the agents see to what the customers sees. There has always only been limited staff that have extra permissions to override seats.

Also in regards to changing flights - the app now allows free changes to be made if there is a situation where Qantas needs people to go to an earlier flight. The functionality used to be on the kiosks, this has now been enabled on the app.
As for changing a flight that is already flexible, this can still be done through the app under change flight,
 
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TheInsider

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Yes, but I think you missed the bit about "staff" being cut back a bit in the ensuing 12 years.

"Same excuses and complaints" - ye gods. I can just hear Alan Joyce muttering that as he rolls his eyes at how dumb and short sighted his customers are. And they bloody complained when i grounded the fleet too, leaving people stranded all over the world!! Talk about short sighted.

And re NGCI, I'm sure it was, but I missed the bit about NGCI. Which of these do you mean? :)

View attachment 283791

You see, how easy it is to assume that folks are au fait with what you know?



Dunno what that's supposed to mean. Older folks are less able/stupid and can't understand this new digital stuff?
Once again - staff have NOT been cut back for the 'Next Generation Check-In', It's been in their EBA for a decade, and there are actually MORE staff at check-in then what there was pre-NGCI. People now don't have to wait in a queue for 15-45min to just drop off a bag anymore, which was the case before the automation came in.

1657009655365.png
 

RooFlyer

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Once again - staff have NOT been cut back for the 'Next Generation Check-In', It's been in their EBA for a decade, and there are actually MORE staff at check-in then what there was pre-NGCI. People now don't have to wait in a queue for 15-45min to just drop off a bag anymore, which was the case before the automation came in.

View attachment 283796

Interesting, ta. Didn't EBA 11 expire 2 years ago? If so, the '3 months after' bit would apply? If so, what's the relevance of that letter here?
 

TheInsider

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Interesting, ta. Didn't EBA 11 expire 2 years ago? If so, the '3 months after' bit would apply? If so, what's the relevance of that letter here?
EBA is still in place with all side letters until the new one is in place (which hasn't even started the negotiations yet).
The relevance was just showing that the implementation of the new tech was not a matter of cutting staff.
 

VHOEJ

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The lack of options now with check in just so QF can save money is a joke. Walk over to JQ and they still print a boarding pass for you (even cardboard!).

Agree they can reduce the number of kiosks, and they could have updated the software but the cost saving of the thin piece of paper and the printers can't be that great. I do feel very sorry for all the people who don't have phones (lots of people who are older for example), don't have internet connection, have low battery etc.

At the end of the day, QF might think it is an 'enhancement' but it is another example of a full service carrier going to a low cost model.
 

TheInsider

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The lack of options now with check in just so QF can save money is a joke. Walk over to JQ and they still print a boarding pass for you (even cardboard!).

Agree they can reduce the number of kiosks, and they could have updated the software but the cost saving of the thin piece of paper and the printers can't be that great. I do feel very sorry for all the people who don't have phones (lots of people who are older for example), don't have internet connection, have low battery etc.

At the end of the day, QF might think it is an 'enhancement' but it is another example of a full service carrier going to a low cost model.
What are you worried about? I assume you're silver or above?
Go to the checkin counter and line up. Stop worrying about other supposed people with their issues that you have thought are issues.
How many times does it need to be said that the ground staff can and will help out?

LCC model for check-in, it's just check-in.
 

TomVexille

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What are you worried about? I assume you're silver or above?
Go to the checkin counter and line up. Stop worrying about other supposed people with their issues that you have thought are issues.
How many times does it need to be said that the ground staff can and will help out?

LCC model for check-in, it's just check-in.

Last time we tried that in MEL as SG flying J they refused. All counters were tensa-taped off. It was only because we insisted that one of the roving agents checked us in at her terminal.

We needed help as kiosk wouldn't tag bags through to BNK on a rev/award combo.
 

Ade

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Because for 99% of people it’s actually not harder… it’s easier. It’s the way the whole world is going.
"Easier", One would think ... but it's not the reality. Working in retail liquor and the airport (few days a week), I can see that the assumption is that the young/er generation is so cool, composed & comfortable with technology. But the reality is young customers have difficulty scanning QR codes or filling in online forms on a mobile device or even making payments using their digital wallets. The young/er generation given they are prone to "instant gratification", are bogged down if things don't go as planned. I have seen so many customers just give up signing up to the loyalty program, simply because the website throws an error. The error, on investigation, was caused by an incorrect entry made by the customer themselves (you don't have to add a 0 before your mobile number, if you are prefix'ing +61) :)

It might so strange, but on average, at least 50% of my customers have difficulty making a successful payment using their phones. Either they tap too early or too late. they don't realise that the phone (iPhone, in this case) will look for their FaceID or Fingerprint before authorising the payment. They have issues in locating the Wallet app on their iPhone. The reason for this is because, those accustomed to making payments using their phone do so double-clicking on the lock button or the home button, but never had to open the Wallet app to locate their cards.

I did ask a few customers to sign up for a promo we were running at the store and told them, once they have signed up successfully, they can save their loyalty card to their phone's Wallet. Guess what the first question/response was - "Is there a wallet in my phone?", followed by "How do I find it?" And this was customers who are roughly in the 23-28 age mark. Most customers were comfortable to take a screenshot of their loyalty barcode and save it to their Photos rather than save it to their Wallet (simply because they didn't know it was possible or that there is a Wallet app on their phone)

In the airport, majority of the customers don't realise the difference between the BP stored in their Wallet app and their credit card. They tap with their BP open and question why the EFTPOS machine isn't working. Oh, and another point I observed was, pax using digital BP's still pay with their physical card and pax with printed BP, pay with their phones :) I think, at this point, one can safely assume that if a pax "knows" to do OLCI, store their BP to their phones, will also be aware that he/she can pay using their phones and vice-versa. Well, one doesn't have to do both to prove that they are a "digital literate", but one can assume.

In this author's humble opinion, I think the number of people who "know" their technology stuff is very less. Far more less when stress comes into play. Imagine standing in the queue to board, with 100's of pax behind you, you don't realise that you got your face mask on, and you are trying to open the BP using your FaceID, getting frustrated, the FA gently charades that you got your mask on, you get a light bulb moment, then you show the BP, pax behind you are already frustrated that it's taking very long to board .. Fun to watch, but sad to be that person ...

We, human beings are creatures of habit and the habit of having access to "basic" means to achieve a task is innate to us. Trying to replace this innate ability with technology, though viewed as an improvement, might turn to an impediment, if there is no system that provides the "basic" means. Yes, we can learn how to use OLCI, save BP to Wallet, scan the BP on entering the aircraft, but we also need to spare a thought to those that are technology-challenged for any number of reasons.

With all the above said, I use the self check-in options where possible. I do OLCI, get my BP on my phone, have backup power bank & cables on me, should I indulge in more Netflix that usual on my mobile phone. I only ever walk to an counter, if there is something wrong or I'm simply not able to get the machine to work. My points were mere observations on how people use/get accustomed to technology and getting to use it in real life.
 

RooFlyer

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Very interesting Ade thank you. Punctures the theory that almost everyone‘s OK with using digital boarding passes & the technology and those are aren’t are just old and/or dumb.

And there are check-ins where you are just confronted with a machine and maybe someone around to help you, (good luck with that). And then there are check-in experiences that make you feel like a valued guest and customer. Best non-1st check in for me was Turkish airlines in business class in Istanbul. Seats of course and I was even offered a coffee!
 

Ade

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LCC model for check-in, it's just check-in.
Exactly! Given this logic, QF check-in shouldn't be "just" check-in ... it must be much more given QF is a full service airline.

What more can an airline do for check-in, one might ask and I say, make the customer feel valuable, appreciated ... Sometimes, we think that technology makes things quicker, easier, cheaper, but it also makes things "less-human".
 
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Ade

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And then there are check-in experiences that make you feel like a valued guest and customer.
Yes! IMHO, that should one of be the key objectives of the check-in crew. Make the customer feel welcome and valued. The check-in crew are the first touch point for pax and if the check-in crew is able to set the experience right at the beginning, the customer is happy and is able to disregard any other slight bad experiences. The whole experience of flying (which, btw, is still a luxury for many) begins the moment pax set down at the airport and drag their bags to the check-in desk.

When I'm the duty manager at the store, I always tell me crew (realistically 1 person) that stand at the entrance of the door to greet the customer, ask if they need a hand finding anything, have some baskets nearby so that they can offer one to the customer right away at the entrance of the store. This way, the customer, who could potentially be in a bad mood, feels good because he feels valued and offered assistance.

Going by an example of seniors travelling, do we know if QF "proactively" approaches a senior citizen to offer assistance. OR do they wait for the senior citizen to have a go at the kiosks and see the service desk if they run into issues? Granted, the senior citizen in question might not need any assistance, but I'm sure that the person felt good that he was approached and offered assistance. If I was running the kiosks at QF, I'd ask the team members to look out for all pax, especially for pax that they think might need assistance more than others and work with them first. I don't see this happening as of today, from personal experience.

Ooh, one more thing, queueing to check-in or print BPs on the kiosks. There's an issue of "privacy" here. I had this experience at CBR airport. I was using the kiosks and there is a group of people behind me, who were in a hurry to use the kiosks. They kept asking me if I was done ... I was going to pick an earlier flight (if offered), change seats, print bag tags etc and I need time to do this. The group kept peeping at my kiosk to see if I was still going or I'm almost there.

People queuing behind me and gently "hurrying" me to get done isn't helping. During peak travel time, there is simply not enough kiosks in CBR, at least.
 

Kiwi_Flyer

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What are you worried about? I assume you're silver or above?
Go to the checkin counter and line up. Stop worrying about other supposed people with their issues that you have thought are issues.
How many times does it need to be said that the ground staff can and will help out?

LCC model for check-in, it's just check-in.

You're assuming there is a manned check in counter. Earlier this year in MEL I found I could not check in at either kiosk or app. No staff at the kiosks or check in desks to assist. I was initially turned away from service desk as they were dealing with hundreds of pax needing rebooking. When I pointed out I had no way if checking in for my flight (p1 flying in j) they conceded.
 

BAM1748

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LCC model for check-in, it's just check-in.

It may just be check in, but for many that is the passengers only contact with a airline employee prior to the drinks trolley.

And when it comes to ease of use, what could be easier than placing you bag down and showing your ID to a staff member.

Wake up QF, 'you can make a pizza so cheap no one wants to buy it' (Gordon Bethune CEO of Continental Airlines back in the 1990's).
 
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Ade

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What are you worried about? I assume you're silver or above?
If I may, the status with an airline shouldn't really matter when it comes to customer service. Every pax is a paying customer ($ or points) that needs to be afforded customer service regardless of their status. Your statement is implying that a Bronze QFF should be worried about what happens when they try to check-in or when they want some assistance at the airport, they should, somehow, by the virtue of their membership status, expect (& to some extent, accept) bad customer service. We were all Bronze FF once, weren't we?

I apologise if my comment sounded harsh, but it's really not and that's not the intention :)
 
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Ade

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It may just be check in, but for many that is the passengers only contact with a airline employee prior to the drinks trolley.
My thoughts exactly. The pax might have a good/bad feedback, questions, comments, concerns etc and the check-in staff is the ONLY human from the airline pax can talk to before getting into the plane. So it's good to have a human who can, if not fix, at least, listen to what the pax has to say ...
 
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Paper boarding passes are a "nice to have". Sure, you can still line up to get one. But for a "full service" airline that charges a premium, it looks bizarre.


Going by an example of seniors travelling, do we know if QF "proactively" approaches a senior citizen to offer assistance. OR do they wait for the senior citizen to have a go at the kiosks and see the service desk if they run into issues? Granted, the senior citizen in question might not need any assistance
It sounds hit and miss. My elderly mother can't read English well and certainly can't navigate the self-serve machines. I've always told her to approach staff at the airport to assist. To my dismay, last time she was told to do it herself. (The airport was not busy)

Luckily, the staff member standing beside that one had noticed my mother was travelling in J, and told her colleague to take mum to the counter and get it sorted.

Mum will still make it onto the plane one way or another, but seeing this happen is certainly irritating.
 
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Ade

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last time she was told to do it herself.
Now, that is not fair. If you can see a aging person, what is stopping you from helping them? All you need to do is ask if they need assistance. Some might, some might not. If they say they are able to do it themselves, then by all means carry on with your work. And sometimes pax (not from English background. I'm from a non-English speaking background too) might have inhibitions to approach some for help. This is where the staff must be there to approach anyone who might need assistance.

Luckily, the staff member standing beside that one had noticed my mother was travelling in J
Do you think there would have been a difference in the service if the pax was travelling Y ? I really want the answer to be a NO, so that we can safely say that the class of travel (going to back to my previous thread about status of the pax) is not playing a role on how staff offer customer service. But I'm not sure what the answer would be and TBQH, I'm afraid what the answer would be :(
 

drron

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Thanks @Ade for bringing the human touch back into the conversation. A thing often missed but rarely thought of. I remember when working more than once being told thank you for talking to me and looking at me. Other doctors talk at you and look to their computers all the time.
I'm sure a lot of people have similiar feelings at airports.
 
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