You may never need to check-in with a desk agent again when visiting Dubai. That’s because Dubai is actually working toward completely eliminating all physical check-in desks at airports. The news is coming straight from the mouth of the CEO of Dubai Airports.
What will passengers do instead of visiting check-in counters when flying in Dubai?
The plan is to offer check-in services at the time of booking. This means that you will be able to complete all check-in activities at a travel office or from home. The obstacle that is standing in the way of the goal of completely eliminating in-person check-in procedures is baggage. However, CEO Paul Griffiths believes that technology will soon make it possible to tackle that problem. Individual airlines out of Dubai are already taking the first steps toward making virtual check-in practices possible. Emirate introduced its Home Check-in program a year ago. This program allows customers to complete the check-in process prior to a flight from anywhere as long as that anywhere is in Dubai. That includes homes, hotels and offices. Passengers who use the service have their luggage transported to the airport just before a flight is scheduled to depart.
How does that happen?
A check-in agent from Emirates will actually show up at your preferred location to weigh your bags, put tags on them and haul them away. That same agent can also take care of the check-in process for you and issue boarding passes. It will then be up to you to get to the airport and pass through immigration. Keep in mind that Home Check-in does come with a fee. It is open to all customers traveling in all classes on Emirates flights.
It makes sense that Dubai would be focused on speeding up the check-in process in any way possible. Dubai International Airport is currently the busiest airport in the world for international travelers. Its annual traffic for 2018 was more than 89.1 million passengers. However, the airport has managed to do something that few airports have been able to in a world where airport traffic is reaching all-time highs. Dubai International actually managed to reduce wait times by 28 percent. That big reduction in wait times is mostly owed to the airport’s decision to introduce smart gates and other high-tech features. The wide-scale elimination of check-in gates will no doubt help Dubai International to get wait times down by an even larger margin.
[Image Source: Flickr/ Abhinav Gautam]