In a move that could soon be followed by others, Singapore Airlines (SQ) has stopped the use of self-service check-in kiosks at Changi Airport due to low usage and increasing online and mobile check-in.
The airline had 24 self-service kiosks at the airport that allowed passengers to pick their seats and print their boarding passes, local daily Straits Times reported on Tuesday.
The trend away from kiosks to online and mobile check-in has been growing worldwide. For several years it has been quite common at airports to see large numbers of kiosks unused while lines form at Bag Drop desks.
Somewhat surprisingly, The Airport IT Trends Survey 2011, a joint ACI, Airline Business and SITA found that 53% of the airports surveyed are still planning to increase the number of check-in kiosks, despite the maturity of online check-in and the surge in mobile check-in.
Singapore Airlines introduced the check-in kiosks in November 2006. They were provided by ground-handling firm sats.
SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides did not provide specific usage rates, but said that self check-in options via the Internet and mobile phones are more popular now. The airline expects this trend to continue, he said. About one in four SIA travelers flying out of Changi Airport now use self-check-in services, he said.
While the airline has stopped offering the kiosks, Changi Airport Group still provides the machines to airlines that wish to use them. Spokesman Ivan Tan said there are currently eight of the kiosks available. They are used by passengers of Cathay Pacific, Air France/KLM, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia also has its own check-in kiosks.