DIY check-in at T2 for SIA, SilkAir travellers

Changi Airport has installed close to 25 self-service check-in kiosks across SIA and SilkAir's check-in rows at T2 as it pushes for automation amid a tight labour situation.
Changi Airport has installed close to 25 self-service check-in kiosks across SIA and SilkAir's check-in rows at T2 as it pushes for automation amid a tight labour situation.PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

New machines at T2 facilitate fast printing of luggage tags and boarding passes

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir travellers at Changi Airport's Terminal 2 can now print their own boarding passes and luggage tags.

In the airport's biggest rollout yet of self-service check-in kiosks, close to 25 new machines have been installed across SIA and SilkAir's check-in rows.

After a passenger has his passport verified, the machine prints the boarding pass and luggage tags.

All the passenger has to do is tag the bags and drop them off at designated counters, before heading to immigration. Those with no check-in bags can head straight to immigration without having to stop at the manned counters.

When The Straits Times visited T2 yesterday, a steady stream of travellers were using the kiosks, assisted by ground staff.

EASY TO USE

It's the first time I'm using a self-service check-in kiosk and it's really easy and convenient. It took me just a couple of minutes to get everything done.

MR JEFFREY LIM, 36, a marketing executive

Marketing executive Jeffrey Lim, 36, said: "It's the first time I'm using a self-service check-in kiosk and it's really easy and convenient.

"It took me just a couple of minutes to get everything done. I'll definitely use it again."

Indonesian housewife Rina Wati, 44, said: "It is a simple machine to use, which is good, especially for older travellers."

The machines, introduced about two weeks ago, are located mainly in front of the check-in counters.

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia was the first airline at Changi to introduce such kiosks last year.

SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides said the kiosks are part of a suite of "Fast and Seamless Travel" (Fast) initiatives by Changi Airport to cater to passenger traffic growth.

Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan said: "The entire check-in sequence - including printing of boarding pass and bag tags, together with tagging and baggage drop-off - can be done in a matter of minutes.

"The time taken is expected to reduce as travellers gain familiarity with this mode of processing, given the growing use of automated check-in options in airports around the world."

Automation will also help raise efficiency and productivity of check-in operations, thereby providing cost savings for airlines, according to Mr Tan.

With manpower costs rising amid a tight labour situation, Changi Airport, its airlines, ground-handling firms and other partners are pushing for automation.

For travellers, this will mean getting used to fewer manned counters and more machines at the existing terminals as well as at T4, which opens in 2017.

Mr Tan said Changi Airport is in talks with other carriers to expand the use of the check-in kiosks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'DIY check-in for SIA, SilkAir travellers'. Print Edition | Subscribe