Delta replacing Hartsfield ticket agents with kiosks

 
Old Feb 24, 03, 1:56 pm
  #1  
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Delta replacing Hartsfield ticket agents with kiosks

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/s...ml?t=printable

From the February 21, 2003 print edition
Frequent Traveler


Delta replacing Hartsfield ticket agents with kiosks
Chris McGinnis
Delta Air Lines Inc. is planning a major re-do of the lobby of its check-in area at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport this spring, which should make the passenger experience quite different than it is now.

In May, when a Delta passenger enters the airport, a greeter will direct him or her to a check-in kiosk instead of the ticket counter. (Delta says it will double the number of kiosks available.) Even if you are checking luggage, Delta wants you to use a kiosk to check in first, and then you'll bring your bag to an agent.

If you've got a complex ticketing matter that a kiosk can't handle, Delta wants you to use new phone banks that it will install in the check-in area alongside the new kiosks. Agents answering these phones will be able to print out boarding passes from printers built into the phone banks.

Only as a last resort will a Delta passenger actually deal face-to-face with a ticket agent.

Delta already has the new lobby redesign and passenger flow up and running at New York's La Guardia Airport.

To entice us to become accustomed to its new kiosks, Delta is offering a one-time bonus of 500 miles for your first use of a kiosk, and a 100-mile bonus for each additional use up to five total, through May 15.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 2:03 pm
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well i guess now there really is no need to have medallion status rather than the early plane boarding - of course - once everything is RJs that won't matter either

i guess there was a reason behind the MQM deal after all - since they knew they were getting rid of most of the services/benefits anyway
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Old Feb 24, 03, 2:32 pm
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This is actually old news.... possibly even discussed here before. 2 years ago Delta had 8 kiosks in the Atlanta terminal while American had dozens. These days the Delta terminal at Atlanta is nothing but kiosks, and in my opinion things move much swifter than when everyone had to see an agent. Of course, I rarely do either as I print out my boarding pass before departing from home.

By the way, a new thing begins tomorrow for those of you that drive to the Atlanta airport.... Mandatory searches of vehicles prior to parking in the decks. Oh joy.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 3:13 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum21/HTML/009223.html
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Old Feb 24, 03, 3:41 pm
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All this Kiosk stuff begs the question:

Are there special Kiosks only for First, Biz-E and FO/GM/PM'ers? There was such a line in the days of the Delta ticket agent counter.. so why not extend the same idea to have a Kiosk for their higher level flyers? I'll be d*mned if i'm going to stand in line at some airport with everyone flying coach.. priority lines are definitely one of the more valuable perks..

Steve G
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Old Feb 24, 03, 4:30 pm
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How bout this bit of news from the ATL CRC

This spring, in addition to the Lobby redo the coucourse agents will be replaced by banks of phones were misconnecting pax will be directed to get rebooked.

TW

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Old Feb 24, 03, 4:49 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Tolarian Wind:
How bout this bit of news from the ATL CRC

This spring, in addition to the Lobby redo the coucourse agents will be replaced by banks of phones were misconnecting pax will be directed to get rebooked.

TW

</font>

And all this in conjuction with the "right sizing" of the Delta Call Centers.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 5:08 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by heckler:
Are there special Kiosks only for First, Biz-E and FO/GM/PM'ers? There was such a line in the days of the Delta ticket agent counter.. so why not extend the same idea to have a Kiosk for their higher level flyers? I'll be d*mned if i'm going to stand in line at some airport with everyone flying coach.. priority lines are definitely one of the more valuable perks..

</font>
Those "special" first class/medallion lines are not always what they are cracked up to be. As often times as not, I have had to wait longer in the medallion line since there were usually many more agents serving the regular line.

I have stood in line in ATL for the kiosks with the "regular folk" and it is not bad - the kiosk line moves FAST. For every station that used to have an agent, there are now four machines - you can do the math.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 8:24 pm
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This seems logical if done correctly. The downside is that Delta loses "face" time with its customers. It has its pros and cons, but in the current economic environment it seems like a smart move.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 8:35 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CountinPlaces:
This seems logical if done correctly. The downside is that Delta loses "face" time with its customers.</font>
It's Delta's effort towards an all digital world... right?

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Old Feb 24, 03, 8:38 pm
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I have to admit that I am a bit worried about the larger airports going almost exclusively to the check-in kiosks.

We have had ATM machines for about 25 years in our country - there are STILL people that are stupified every time they pull up to the drive-up ATM at the bank.

They have had ATM swipe-type machines in grocery stores for five years and there are STILL people that can't figure out how to ask for cash back.

Thankfully the majority of flyers still use the live agent lines. Every time I use the kiosk there is always the person reading the each screen like it was a multi-million dollar contract. Now imagine if "Joe Once In His Lifetime Traveller" only has the option of using the kiosk. Again, imagine hundreds of "Joes" in front of you, as the PM showing up with the least amount of time before your flight possible, and you have travel hassle that makes TSA security checks seem like a minor inconvenience.

I, for one, believe Delta MUST put in Medallion kiosk lines in the major hubs.
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Old Feb 24, 03, 9:15 pm
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As a supplement, these are great.
As a replacement, it is dangerous.

There are too many people that do not get it. Never did, never will.

If you can get a kiosk to handle things in 60 seconds, why does it take a TRAINED agent 10 minutes to rekey the last testament to do the same thing? Duh!?

All this is a waste anyway, since the current direction taken by the sheep in this country is to shut the airline business.

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Old Feb 24, 03, 9:17 pm
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The point of having machines instead of people "serve" you is that because the machines are cheaper, the business can afford to supply enough machines so that there is rarely a line, rather than usually a line.

I never had to wait in line for an ATM except a few times during peak hours when I lived in NYC, and the wait was only a couple of minutes. Waiting for a teller always took at least 20 minutes.

The only time I have had to wait in line at all for an airline kiosk was NWA at LGA, but that's because they only have four kiosks, and that time it was a morning flight and one of the kiosks was down. The regular line was much, much longer.

The only time I have observed a long line for any machine was buying a NJ Transit ticket at Penn Station or a Metro-North ticket at Grand Central during rush hour. I can understand a short line for a machine during peak hours, but come on, this happens every single day, but of course the government can't figure out that they need more machines.

So, it appears to me that in the private sector, while it is unfortunate that jobs are lost when people are replaced by machines, there is rarely a wait for a machine.


Back to airlines -- because I almost never take simple round trips, the kiosks never work, so I have to see an agent anyway. Because the agents who check in bags for the kiosk passengers are just standing there, waiting for customers, I get to use the short- or non-existent kiosk line AND I get to use an agent! It works great!

[This message has been edited by JS (edited 02-24-2003).]
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Old Feb 24, 03, 9:29 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Those "special" first class/medallion lines are not always what they are cracked up to be. As often times as not, I have had to wait longer in the medallion line since there were usually many more agents serving the regular line.</font>
keeton....agree with you 100%. If there are more than 3 people in the FC/Medallion line, I'm standing in the regular line. For some reason, most folks in the "special" line have an issue of some sort that takes forever to resolve. All I want to do is check my bags.
Have used the kiosks lately and, when they work, I agree it's relatively painless.
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Old Feb 25, 03, 11:24 am
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I must say that I'm not looking forward to the day when I have some serious travel issues that I need DL to resolve. This agent-via-phone business doesn't smell too good, IMO. In general, I seem to have a higher rate of success when I speak to someone face to face as opposed to over a wire.
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