The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Alaska Airlines attained Platinum status for Fast Travel implementation, which recognizes carriers that offer four or more Fast Travel compliant options to at least 80% of their passengers.
Alaska is just the fifth carrier in the world to achieve Platinum status, and the second North American carrier.
The Fast Travel program consists of six self-service options. They are:
- Self-check-in and/or automatic check-in
- Bags ready-to-go
- Document check
- Flight re-booking
- Bag recovery
According to IATA’s 2014 Global Passenger Survey, nearly 75% of passengers would prefer to check in automatically or via a text message from their airline. Only 15% prefer to receive their boarding passes from an agent at an airport check-in counter.
In the event of a travel disruption, 60% of passengers would prefer to be informed and offered new booking options via a kiosk or the internet or sent a new boarding pass electronically.
Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ Executive Vice President and COO, said:
“Our mission is to be the easiest airline to fly and we’re honored to receive this recognition, which tells us we’re on-track towards meeting that goal. Flying should be convenient and simple. At Alaska, we’re working hard to pioneer the use of technology that will reduce wait times and let our customers speed through check in and security.”
Minicucci said Alaska is continuing to innovate using technology in hopes of creating a more hassle-free travel experience.
For 2015, IATA is targeting Fast Travel access for at least 35% of passengers and by 2020, 80% of passengers should be offered a complete suite of self-service options based on industry standards.
The Fast Travel Projects are:
- Check in: allowing passengers to receive their boarding pass via self-service channels (web, kiosk, mobile phone or automated), avoiding long lines at check-in desks
- Bags ready-to-go: enabling passengers to deliver their bags tagged and ready for acceptance to an airline representative or a self-service bag drop
- Document scanning: allowing passengers to scan their travel documents at kiosks for data verification and compliance with destination and transit requirements
- Flight rebooking: allowing passengers to get proactively rebooked and obtain their new boarding pass via a self-service channel such as kiosks in case of delays or cancellations and so avoiding long lines
- Self-boarding: allowing passengers to self-scan their boarding token to gain entry to the aircraft, potentially using automated boarding gates similar to a train or metro station
- Bag recovery: enabling passengers to report a missing bag via a self-service channel instead of waiting in line at a baggage claim service counter
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