Over the past two weeks, Continental has had travelers buzzing since it became the first airline at a U.S. airport to test “self-boarding” at the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. With the goal of speeding up the boarding process for air travelers, self-boarding requires passengers to scan their own boarding passes at the airport gate versus the traditional process of being checked in by a gate agent.
In a TripAdvisor poll of more than 2,355 U.S. travelers, 75 percent cited opposition to self-boarding, however. According to Jami Counter, Senior Director of TripAdvisor Flights, “Our poll indicates that travelers are tepid towards self-boarding at this time, but I bet if we had asked a similar question 15 years ago about self-service check-in kiosks at airports the results would have been similar.”
While self-boarding may be unchartered territory in the United States, it has proven successful in increasing efficiency in Europe and allows gate agents to focus on passenger issues that require additional information. “Today, self-service check-in at airports and online check-in from home are great time savers and ways to avoid long ticket counter lines. I have a feeling that if self-boarding catches on in the U.S., travelers won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things,” said Counter.
Though the airlines cite numerous advantages to self-boarding, opponents highlight the potential security concerns. According to comments made to the USA Today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not believe that self-boarding impacts security. For more information on self-boarding and the TSA’s response to security concerns, please click here to read the full USA Today article.
How do you feel about self-boarding? Would you want to scan your own boarding pass at the airport gate if it made the process faster? Let us know in the comments section.