From Lobby To Boarding: How Alaska Airlines Plans To Revolutionise Your Airport Experience

Alaska Airlines has announced it is taking steps to reduce the time passengers take from the airport lobby to security. This move is part of the airline’s efforts to eliminate the long lines that kill passengers’ vibes and improve the overall travel experience for its customers.

According to the airline, the new initiative will see passengers getting through the lobby and to security in 5 minutes or less

Inside an airport
According to the airline, the new initiative will see passengers getting through the lobby and to security in 5 minutes or less. © Alaska Airlines

How Exactly Will This Work?

The U.S. flyer has mapped out three strategies to implement this initiative by the end of 2023.

Getting Ready to Travel

This is more like the “change begins with you” motivation. The airline says the first step to kick start this process begins with you, the passenger.

So passengers are encouraged to check in and secure a boarding pass via the Alaska Airlines app before leaving their homes, offices, schools or wherever for the airport. According to the airline, this will provide passengers peace of mind and allow them to plan their day of travel better.

Although customers can also check in on a desktop and send a boarding pass to their phone or print one at home, it suggests that the “Alaska Airlines app is the perfect pre-trip tool”.

The app now offers real-time flight status updates, gate information, and the ability to change or upgrade seats. In addition, the airline is also working on improving its mobile app to make it easier for passengers to manage their travel plans.

Tagging your Luggage

Another way Alaska Airlines plans to reduce wait times is by offering self-tagging baggage kiosks. New bag tag stations will replace dated kiosks in lobbies allowing passengers to print and tag their bags using iPad tablets.

With a system that requires passengers to complete some actions before arriving at the airport, this will only take a few quick steps freeing up time for airport staff to focus on other tasks.

Most airports will transition to new bag tag stations by the end of 2023. The airline has also increased staffing at security checkpoints, ensuring a smoother and more efficient process.

Dropping your Luggage Off

Alaska Airlines is also implementing new technology to streamline the boarding process. The airline has announced that starting in spring 2024, the lobbies in their hub airports will have an innovative technology allowing passengers to drop their bags off with just a few quick scans.

Passengers can simply scan their faces at the gate, matching their identity with their boarding pass and allowing them to board the plane faster.

A passenger with her luggage
New bag tag stations will replace dated kiosks in lobbies. © krakenimages on Unsplash

A Three-Year Plan

The airline revealed that the transformation would be fully implemented across its airport hubs in three years. In its announcement, the airline stated:

Over the next three years, we’re investing $2.5 billion in improvements to enhance the airport experience within our hubs and focus cities, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anchorage.

We’re working on getting you through the lobby and to security in 5 minutes or less—meaning fewer lines and more time for that pre-trip snack. Much like mobile technology widely used to access sporting events and concerts, your phone is all you need to fly through the lobby.

What do you think of this initiative? Do you think it will work? We will be reading your thoughts in the comments.

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Chiamaka Okoh
Chiamaka Okoh
Aviation Reporter - Chiamaka is an experienced writer and copyeditor with strong skills in SEO and search optimisation. Her writing adventures have cut across various niches like technology, entertainment, product reviews/recommendation (affiliate marketing), and celebrity lifestyles (biographies, net worth) which are targeted at both foreign and local readers.