Jetstar employs roving check-in agents at Changi Airport

Jetstar Asia has deployed roving check-in agents to help ease queues.ST VIDEO: KARAMJIT KAUR
Jetstar Asia customers can now access 30 new self-service check-in kiosks and 20 automated bag drops at Terminal 1. Previously, there were 20 check-in kiosks and 10 bag drops.
Jetstar Asia customers can now access 30 new self-service check-in kiosks and 20 automated bag drops at Terminal 1. Previously, there were 20 check-in kiosks and 10 bag drops.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Jetstar Asia deploys these agents, armed with iPads and mobile printers, to help ease queues

Jetstar Asia has deployed roving check-in agents, armed with iPads and portable printers, to help ease queues - in the latest initiative at Changi Airport to encourage more travellers to move towards self-service options.

For a start, the roving agents are able to process payments for excess baggage, for example. Customers can use a credit card to pay for transactions and a receipt can be printed with the mobile printer and issued to the passenger as proof of purchase.

A minimum of two agents are deployed in Terminal 1 (T1) at any one time.

In the following months, they can help customers with their check-ins. Other functions including sales of extra leg-room, in-flight meals, duty-free services and support for flight disruptions will also be introduced, Jetstar Asia said during a media preview yesterday.

The system can also reflect the flight manifest and check-in status of all passengers.

The airline's chief executive officer Bara Pasupathi said: "Customer engagement is as important as customer satisfaction."

Jetstar, one of the early supporters of Changi's move towards automation and self-service passenger processes, has had good success with its initiatives, Mr Pasupathi said.

Checks have found that seven in 10 of its customers in Singapore have used its self-service options, a 10 per cent yearly rise since 2013.

Since May, the airline together with other carriers within the Jetstar group - Australia-based Jetstar Airways and Vietnam's Jetstar Pacific - have moved to new check-in rows, as part of T1's upgrading.

As part of the move, customers can now access 30 new self-service check-in kiosks and 20 automated bag drops. Previously, there were 20 check-in kiosks and 10 bag drops.

Improvements will also be made to meal options. From Aug 1, as part of a tie-up with ground handler Sats, the airline will offer new options like chicken rice, black pepper chicken and nasi lemak.

"With more than four million passengers flying with Jetstar Asia every year, the in-flight products are an important element in managing customer satisfaction," Mr Pasupathi said.

Sats said it plans to offer not only more meal options but also more varieties, for example, during festivals.

On self-service options, Sats - which handles passenger and baggage check-ins for the majority of carriers at Changi Airport - will continue to push for more travellers to embrace automation, said Sats president and chief executive officer Alex Hungate.

The opening of Terminal 4 (T4) later this year will give travellers and airlines a good sense of how automation works, he added.

From check-in to bag tagging, immigration clearance and aircraft boarding, T4 will be the first to offer travellers a start-to-end automated process.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2017, with the headline 'Roving check-in agents at Changi Airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe