More self-service kiosks at Terminal 1 as Changi Airport moves towards automation

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The kiosks allow passengers to complete the check-in process without the need for face-to-face interaction with staff. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - More self-service and bag-drop kiosks have been unveiled at Changi Airport's Terminal 1, as the airport moves towards adopting automation to increase efficiency and reduce the demand on manpower.

The counters, such as a group of 30 check-in kiosks and 20 baggage drop-off machines located in a carpeted area at the centre of the departure hall, have been gradually opened in phases this year.

More than half of the current renovation work at Terminal 1 to expand its capacity is now complete. The entire upgrading is scheduled to end in 2020.

The renovation work update at Terminal 1 was reported by Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao on Sunday (Dec 24).

Most travellers told The Straits Times that they prefer doing self check-ins rather than at a manned counter, because of its ease of use and the time saved.

The kiosks allow passengers to complete the check-in process without the need for face-to-face interaction with staff, much like the fully-automated Terminal 4 that opened on Oct 31.

Jeweller Thomis Kwan, who was at Terminal 1 for the first time in three years, said of the new layout: "Looks new, and when people said our airport is good - it really shows."

"With the time saved (by doing self-service check-ins), people can go to shop, have a cup of coffee, and this might change the whole experience of an airport for them," said Mr Kwan, 63, who travels about four times a year and was heading to Vietnam for a holiday.

"We don't mind doing this from now on - it's better than queueing. Once we're used to it, it's good," he added.

Thirty check-in kiosks and 20 baggage drop-off machines were gradually opened in phases in 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Salesman Adithia Arfanto, 29, said speed was the main attraction of using the self-service machines.

"It's easier and faster for me, but judging by the queue at the manned counters, I think many people still do not understand how to use the machine properly... (But) for a group check-in, or people with too many bags, they would prefer using the manual one."

Housewife Fanny Sumendong, 69, who was on holiday in Singapore with a family of nine, said she would rather use the manned counters, as she prefers the human interaction.

"I can talk to them and ask them to check my passport, and it feels safer to me."

With the planned expansion of Terminal 1, it is expected to receive three million more passengers a year, up to a total of 24 million.

The upgrading works at the terminal are being carried out in tandem with the construction of Jewel Changi Airport, which is 65 per cent done and slated to open in 2019, Changi Airport Group told Channel NewsAsia on Sunday.

The current works include the building of link bridges to connect Jewel with Terminals 2 and 3, and the installation of Jewel's glass and steel façade.

The lifestyle and retail hub will feature slides, walking trails, and boast one of the largest indoor collections of plants in Singapore.

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