Business class check-in queuing T5

Old Sep 30, 19, 5:07 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by AverageHighFlyer View Post
To make the system more efficient and decrease the time wasted by people having to move to the right counter, it could be improved to “pre-announce” numbers, that is, telling people to go to a counter and wait for it to become available. .
No - then you end up behind someone with a major issue while the other queues move on. I hate they way they do this form of queue (or line) at certain US immigration points.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 9:35 pm
  #17  
 
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I use Airportr. They come to your house the day before you fly, check your boarding pass and passport, and take the bags away. So you just pass through security with your boarding pass, no need to fight the crowds at check-in. It's well worth it if you haven't tried the service, I think it currently works thorughout the M25.
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Old Oct 1, 19, 1:04 am
  #18  
 
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I was shocked to see recently that all the the standard check-ins are now self service. Apparently they have been for ages. How effortless are these? I hated the AA version in amsterdam even required for business class.

I am the sort of person that still hates supermarket auto check outs....
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Old Oct 1, 19, 1:18 am
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When T5 opened, there was no separate business class check-in on the basis that you wouldn’t have to queue for any cabin....so many machines and desks you’d just breeze in, do the business and pass on through to the shopping mall. We’ve come a long way since then, mainly backwards. It’s not a simple as fewer staff since the process itself has changed with self-tagging of bags etc, It’s a shame that the whole checkin experience has slowed with a shifting of effort from staff decked to the passenger, but that’s the price you pay for a low fare culture.
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Old Oct 1, 19, 1:42 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
Part of that issue could be solved by placing a display at the head of the single queue which would tell you which desk to go to when it became free! I've seen a supermarket in Portugal implement that, and that wasn't that far off the size of T5!

This was implemented at EZE on arrival for immigration, made it very efficient.
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Old Oct 1, 19, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by allturnleft View Post
I was shocked to see recently that all the the standard check-ins are now self service. Apparently they have been for ages. How effortless are these? I hated the AA version in amsterdam even required for business class.

I am the sort of person that still hates supermarket auto check outs....
They’re very easy - plonk heaviest bag on the belt, scan boarding pass, press OK and it spits out a bag tag which already has the sticky bits exposed and it’s clearly marked as to which bits to stick together. Press again to send the bag, machine asks you if you have any more bags to check in (and if you’d like to check in your hand luggage) and then spits out a receipt after the final bag. Done! I think at some point in the process a screen about prohibited items comes up as well.

It’s a big improvement on the early versions where the self check in kiosk printed out the baggage tags which had very complicated instructions on how to fix the tag to the bag.
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Old Oct 1, 19, 5:33 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
Asss someone who does research on queueing, seeing this nonsense of separate queues really gets my blood boiling. One queue only until the last possible moment.
But for efficiency you need a mechanism to direct the head of the queue to the freed serving position. The mechanism probably requires a human prepared to prod, shout or cajole HoQ away from smartphone interaction, though a large illuminated sign would do at a pinch.


As for blood boiling: at Doha immigration the single queue fractures into mini single-server lines, as the queue monitors direct HoQs to line up six-deep in front of each immigration desk. it keeps the Tensa'd maze element of the queue looking shorter, which is nice for tidy-minded airport.

OK, it's unfair of me to single out Doha, as this happens all over: just that I got trapped last week in a sub-queue behind a problem customer
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Old Oct 2, 19, 1:35 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
But for efficiency you need a mechanism to direct the head of the queue to the freed serving position. The mechanism probably requires a human prepared to prod, shout or cajole HoQ away from smartphone interaction, though a large illuminated sign would do at a pinch.


As for blood boiling: at Doha immigration the single queue fractures into mini single-server lines, as the queue monitors direct HoQs to line up six-deep in front of each immigration desk. it keeps the Tensa'd maze element of the queue looking shorter, which is nice for tidy-minded airport.

OK, it's unfair of me to single out Doha, as this happens all over: just that I got trapped last week in a sub-queue behind a problem customer

See my other post above. I've seen a massive supermarket in Portugal implement this without human intervention for a massive row of check-out points. They had a large sign *and* an automated voice announcer telling customers to go to check-out X when that became free.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 3:40 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
See my other post above. I've seen a massive supermarket in Portugal implement this without human intervention for a massive row of check-out points. They had a large sign *and* an automated voice announcer telling customers to go to check-out X when that became free.
Yup - I'm sure visual indicators AND an alerting sound do it

Flashing lights over the service position might help too: I've seen seen heads of queue apparently mystified by cardinal numbers. To my shame, I've found myself urging GO! to those heading the line.


Multi-server, single queues are clearly the way to go, especially where service time has significant variation. Wearing my statistician hat i get a measure of comfort from seeing a simple theory and those pesky algorithms translating into such easy efficiency. Just, as you say, the system need to be managed.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 4:11 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Multi-server, single queues are clearly the way to go, especially where service time has significant variation.
There are two observable differences between a supermarket and an airline check-in area, though. This is from personal observation, and so a statistician may be able to say whether or not these might add up to a significant factor. The walk from the head of the queue to each service position tends to be longer in an airline check-in area like T5's, and people take longer to do it because they're encumbered by bags and (sometimes) children or less mobile passengers. Does this mean that the staff have a lot of wasted time between passengers, compared to a separate queue for each service position?

Please don't be embarrassed about shouting at the dozy person at the head of a queue in the supermarket. I frequently do it. And in single queues for immigration desks, where these exist.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 4:48 am
  #26  
 
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I loathe mini queues that are spawned from a single queue. If the distance to a desk is sufficiently far to waste staff time then at least make the mini queue no more than one person. It's really frustrating to be stuck behind four other people while a dozen folk after you swan through neighbouring positions.

With a queue of just one person, it's esy enough to switch to another queue if you end up behind a complicated transaction. When everything around you is six deep it's not so simple.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 5:32 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
See my other post above. I've seen a massive supermarket in Portugal implement this without human intervention for a massive row of check-out points. They had a large sign *and* an automated voice announcer telling customers to go to check-out X when that became free.
Yes, and the missing point in your explanation is that (in a supermarket) the till operator triggers the sign and voice by pressing an 'I'm now free' button. The operator of the check in desk could press that button as soon as he / she has handed out the boarding pass. The next passenger can walk up whilst the previous one is still putting boarding passes / bag receipts / passports etc away. So very little time lost there.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 9:13 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
There are two observable differences between a supermarket and an airline check-in area, though. This is from personal observation, and so a statistician may be able to say whether or not these might add up to a significant factor. The walk from the head of the queue to each service position tends to be longer in an airline check-in area like T5's, and people take longer to do it because they're encumbered by bags and (sometimes) children or less mobile passengers. Does this mean that the staff have a lot of wasted time between passengers, compared to a separate queue for each service position?

Please don't be embarrassed about shouting at the dozy person at the head of a queue in the supermarket. I frequently do it. And in single queues for immigration desks, where these exist.
It seems to me the big difference between the two systems is probably in the range of transaction times.

Apart from that, I'm not convinced there's that much difference in the approach and preparation element of transaction times: where it's the traditional side-by-side supermarket checkout, server positions are spaced out in a way similar to airport check-in desks - the troublesome part for both systems is the number of server positions. In both cases, more servers mean longer mean approach times; and, perhaps more importantly, means greater initial confusion for customers recognising and locating the free agent.

Longer approach times might not be such a bad thing, arriving immediately at the service point (supermarket or airport) the customer can be blocked from service while the server goes through preparation phase (supermarket customer packing bags, luggage a check-in being transferred to the belt etc).

But it seems clear that the need for guidance and management elements in both systems increases with server numbers. And that includes getting supermarket customers to have cash/credit cards to hand, and passengers to have documents ready. That will give me more time to finesse my seat allocation
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Old Oct 2, 19, 10:14 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
I loathe mini queues that are spawned from a single queue. If the distance to a desk is sufficiently far to waste staff time then at least make the mini queue no more than one person. It's really frustrating to be stuck behind four other people while a dozen folk after you swan through neighbouring positions.
Then there's the lovely mini queues of 6 people (with baggage) when there's only really space for 3 people... *cough* US Immigration *cough*
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