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Old Sep 1, 12, 8:59 pm   #1
 
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Bag Drop Kiosk Protocol Question.

Sorry if this has been discussed, but I wanted to see how this situation should be handled. My wife and I recently took a MCO-MDW round trip, and checked bags both ways. I checked in on-line (t-24) so we already had BPs and used the Express Bag Drop lines. At MCO, as kiosks opened up, most of the time the people at the head of the line didn't move until one of the agents called out that certain kiosks were available. There were 6 kiosks working, with 3 agents, each covering a pair. My expectation for kiosk usage is that the next person or group should use any open kiosk without needing to be directed to it. We ended up waiting about 10 minutes, which isn't too bad, but I was ready to go to the beginning of the line and start directing people to open kiosks. Several times kiosks were unused for a couple of minutes at a time. My wife thought that since the agents were eventually calling people up, it was correct to wait to be called.

At MDW, more of the same, except that they had a monitor that displayed the next open kiosk. The monitor didn't appear to be automatic, it seemed that an agent had to do something to tell it that a kiosk was available, and they generally didn't until both kiosks that particular agent was manning were open.

So what is the preferred protocol, wait to be called, or step up to a kiosk as soon as the previous pax is done?
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Old Sep 1, 12, 9:34 pm   #2
 
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I just about never check a bag aside from a one off about a month ago. Once I was at the front of the line I went directly to a kiosk that displayed the ready splash screen without being called. You're right that people do not proceed and my take is that they do this simply because they don't know any better and not because they aren't supposed to. I was also a bit irritated as my flight was scheduled at 6:00p, delayed to 6:40p (thankfully, as I was running late myself) and people were moving so slowly that I was in danger of missing the new time despite the line only being about 10 to 15 people deep.
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Old Sep 2, 12, 5:41 am   #3
 
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You are correct. If there is no agent to direct you to the kiosks, one is to go directly without being asked. Be careful though. You might find yourself contending with someone from the FlyBy lane (like me) that technically has the first dibs on any open kiosk.
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Old Sep 2, 12, 1:59 pm   #4
 
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I've been chastised by an agent at MDW more than once because I walked up to an open kiosk rather than wait for the system to direct me. Its definely not automatic, they have to push something that then opens that kiosk on the indicator. I've seen the agents take their time in doing that for whatever reason.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 6:56 am   #5
 
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Don't get me started on this one! Perhaps my biggest and only WN pet peeve!

I have been flying out of BWI a few times recently with an infant, so we are put in the non-bag drop only line that is slower to begin with as folks in front of us have to ask questions to the attendants like is this a plane I'm getting on today, etc (OK, just kidding).

I counted up to 9 kiosks once all with the "its go time screen", ample room around them, and nobody appraoching them. And as I posted a year ago, I politiely asked someone in front of me to approach the kiosk and he yelled at me that that's not how it works, you wait till your called (as someone here chimed in, does he not use self service gas pumps until a personal invite from the gas station manager?)

It does not help the nerves when you have an ansy child with you and nobody is appraoching them and the line is therefore needlessly slower!

I have this feeling the front line staff are hesitant to get a que matic or what not in place because they will have to work faster.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 10:01 am   #6
 
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I would ask politely the people in front of me to step up. If I got a negative response I would go ahead and just walk up to the kiosk. You really should not be wasting your time because of other peoples lack of logic.

This same procedure exists in many other airlines with check-in kiosks @ full service counters and it works the same way everywhere.
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Old Sep 14, 12, 12:00 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
I've been chastised by an agent at MDW more than once because I walked up to an open kiosk rather than wait for the system to direct me. Its definely not automatic, they have to push something that then opens that kiosk on the indicator. I've seen the agents take their time in doing that for whatever reason.
Then why not just dump the kiosks and have the agent complete the process from behind the desk?
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Old Sep 27, 12, 9:52 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHLflying View Post
I politiely asked someone in front of me to approach the kiosk and he yelled at me that that's not how it works, you wait till your called...
I recently had a similar issue at SLC. No yelling but a stony glare and a sarcastic "You don't think I should do what the employees working here tell me to do?" Whether intentionally or not, the ticket counter agents are encouraging the "wait until called" behaviour because folks in line hear folks ahead of them being called up, but fail to notice that more experienced pax go to an open kiosk without being called. The problem is going to keep getting worse unless the agents modify their call up protocol.
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Old Sep 27, 12, 10:10 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftnoob View Post
I recently had a similar issue at SLC. No yelling but a stony glare and a sarcastic "You don't think I should do what the employees working here tell me to do?" Whether intentionally or not, the ticket counter agents are encouraging the "wait until called" behaviour because folks in line hear folks ahead of them being called up, but fail to notice that more experienced pax go to an open kiosk without being called. The problem is going to keep getting worse unless the agents modify their call up protocol.
It would be best if WN just removed the ambiguity by posting signs that either say "please step up the next available kiosk" or "Please wait until directed to a kiosk".
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