As airports get crowded with large number of passengers and the infrastructure fail to cope up, airlines are adopting innovative methods to prevent long queues at check in counters, a normal phenomenon today.
Close on the heels of Kingfisher Airlines introducing roving check in agents to expedite the process of issuance of boarding passes, the largest airline in the private sector Jet Airways has adopted a similar procedure to provide instant check ins for its passengers.
After months of testing the technology, Jet Airways since Wednesday has deployed Roving Agents at the Mumbai airport to enable passengers with hand baggage to directly get a boarding pass without approaching the check in counter. At every given point of time two raving agents will be found moving around in the check in area approaching passengers to make use of the new facility.
This facility will be expanded to other metro airports in a phased manner and will be introduced in Delhi on December 28.
Roving agent is just like a mobile check in counter as he is equipped with a handheld interface device and a hip mounted printer. After checking the PNR from the e-ticket sleep or the coupon ticket, he can instantly verify the travel reservation details of the passengers and complete the check in formalities and generate a boarding pass instantly in less than one minute.
"Though we have 36 check in counters at Mumbai airport, still there is no escape from long queues of passengers especially in morning and evening peak hours. Our roving agents will greatly help in issuing quick boarding passes thus easing the pressure on normal check in counters. This will also help passengers with hand baggage to check in while walking in for security check," said Jet Airways airport manager Valarian Lobo.
Since Jet Airways handles nearly 9,000 passenger check ins every day for their 82 flights operating out of Mumbai, expediting the check in formalities has been a major challenge. Normally it takes between 45 seconds to 3 minutes for issuance of a boarding pass at a normal check in counter and to ease the burden the airline has facilities like tele check in, web check in and check in at kiosks placed at the Mumbai airport. The roving agent is an extension of this, said an official.
The roving agent approaches passengers standing on the queues or located anywhere in the airport lobby and issues them with boarding passes. In the days to come the airline is planning to create a dress code for the agents for better identification so that passengers can approach them for instant boarding passes. The handheld device and the printer are Yfi enabled and are attached to the main computer managing the check ins. It displays the available seats and provides the passengers with the option of choosing their seats. The main advantage of this facility is that the passenger can save time rather than waiting for his/her tern at the normal check in counter. The device costs nearly one lakh rupees