Travel: SAA Online check-in Facility well received by Travellers
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AUTENG. JOHANNESBURG. 26 August 2008. South African Airways’ (SAA) new innovative online check-in facility has been well received by travellers as it further eases the travel experience with the ability to check yourself in by using the airline’s website.
SAA introduced the new online check-in facility earlier this year for the convenience of its customers when using the www.flysaa.com website. Customers can change the seat assigned to them, or select a seat by simply clicking on this online check-in facility.
“Our self service check-in facility has been well received by our customers. By checking themselves in, customers can avoid potentially long queuing times. The facility is also fully integrated with the self service kiosks available at various domestic airports.
“Online check-in, combined with the self service kiosks, is a big step forward towards speeding up and providing a seamless travel experience,” says Mike Re, SAA Chief Information Officer.
Some destinations served by SAA, such as London and Germany, will further allow customers to print a boarding pass on a standard A4 page which will include a two dimensional bar code that can be recognized through computer scanning facilities.
For destinations such as Johannesburg, where 2D scanning is currently not allowed, customers can check themselves in online and then use the self service check in kiosks at the airport to print a boarding pass.
As part of checking in online, standard security checks are run and customers have to provide personal information as part of the requirements from customs.
Early last year, SAA launched the self service kiosks available at several domestic airports.These kiosks can now also be used by customers who travel with bags, and they can drop their bags at specially provided baggage drop off facilities/counters at the airports.
In Johannesburg, the self help kiosks have been moved to a more convenient and visible location close to the SAA check-in areas to encourage more customers to make use of them. Kiosks are also available in Durban, in Port Elizabeth at the entrance of the SAA check-in area, and in East London.
The self service kiosks in Cape Town have proved to be very popular, with two located at the entrance to the SAA check-in area. A further four kiosks have been placed on the ground floor of the multi storey car park where customers can collect boarding passes and proceed directly to security. Upon completion of the new terminal planned for June next year, a bank of self service kiosks will be available.
Online check-in and self service facilities form part of IATA’s (International Airline Association) initiatives aimed at simplifying the travel experience. Also included in these initiatives are e-ticketing, bar coded boarding passes, e-freight, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
This follows the worldwide aviation trend towards self service and improves airline efficiency and customer convenience.
The online check-in works as follows:
Step 1: Identification Screen
Passenger identification through the following details that need to be inserted by the passenger: surname; board point; booking reference or Electronic Ticketing number or Frequent Flyer number
Step 2: Selection Screen
Identification of passenger to be checked in, additional passenger may be included into the check-in
Step 3: Confirmation Screen
This screen confirms the passenger to be checked in as well as the flights to be checked in on. It allows for the insertion of Frequent Flyer details if not previously inserted in booking, the facility to change a pre-allocated seat or selection of a seat. It also requests the insertion of personal information required by certain countries customs department.
Step 4: Boarding Pass Screen
Displays the boarding pass and allows the printing of a 2D home printed boarding pass for countries that allow home boarding passes to be printed. Currently within South Africa 2D home boarding passes are not permitted therefore passengers are advised to go to a self service KIOSK or check-in agent.
Step 5: Check-in Complete Screen
Customer is advised that check-in has been successfully completed and check-in confirmation page may be printed.
The self service kiosks work on an easy to operate touch screen application. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Customer identifies their method of check-in: those who have made their booking online, use your reference number, this number, e.g. ABC123, always has 6 characters and can be a combination of alphas and numerics, for other type of bookings enter your e-ticket number, this number, will start with 083 with ten more digits. Customers can also use their Voyager membership number.
Step 2: If multiple passengers are booked, select passengers for check-in. An option to check-in multiple passengers on alternate bookings may be done at the same time if travelling in a group (maximum 9 people)
Step 4: Confirm flight details on screen. At this point, the passenger may also check-in for more than one flight booked for that day
Step 5: Passengers select their preferred seat on the aircraft. The system initially assigns a seat automatically, if not pre-assigned a seat during booking. However the passenger may decide to choose their own seat during self check-in
Step 6: Confirm flight details and Boarding Pass will be printed. If a credit card is used to make a flight booking, it must be inserted in the credit card slot when asked for at the kiosk for verification unless the ticket was sponsored.
The entire self check-in procedure will take a customer previously exposed to the system, approximately 15-20 seconds to complete.
While customers are not required to produce any form of identification during self-check-in, they may be asked to do so at the boarding gates. It is an illegal practise to check-in under someone else's name or to allow another person to travel on your booking.
Customers of Gauteng must ensure their boarding passes have an e-ticket number (e.g. 0831234567891) printed on the boarding pass or a paper ticket inserted in the back pocket. If neither of these are adhered to, the customer will be sent back to the check-in counters and not allowed to board the aircraft.
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