Since the announcement from EasyJet of the imminent closure of their check-in desks, replacing them, instead with bag drop desks, the face of airline travel is set to change.
More than 80% of airline passengers now choose to check-in online and can do so from 30 days before departure to 2 hours before the flight, printing their boarding passes at home.
This innovation spells the end of the ritual of the queue at check-in desks at airports around the world, ultimately reducing airport congestion and speeding up the entire process of check-in, with the potential of increasing operational efficiency and productivity for airlines.
Bag drop desks do not have to be airline-specific. ARINC have developed ExpressDrop desks, for use by passengers who have checked in online, travelling with various airlines, providing a single drop-off point to simplify, expedite and offer passengers an enhanced experience with greater control.
The idea is not a new one, by any means. Ryanair closed their airport check-in desks in 2009, but does charge passengers inordinate fees if they forget to check-in online.
Another advantage to the introduction of ExpressDrop or other bag drop desks, is that waiting times are reduced. This will produce great sighs of relief for travellers, who may arrive at the gate as late as 30 minutes before departure.