Imagine booking your airline ticket, checking your baggage at the airport and boarding your plane, all without dealing with a single person. It seems that is the future of airline travel for many regular flyers.
Since 30 April 2014, this has been the reality for many travellers passing through Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal B. This $170 million state-of-the-art terminal is a United Airlines and Massport initiative that is bristling with self-service travel technology.
When you enter Terminal B you get a taste of this brave new world and a snapshot of what is expected to become an increasingly automated airport experience.
The new Terminal B, which brings all of United Airlines operations together under the one roof, has a dedicated ticketing area featuring 24 hour self-service kiosks. Here passengers can self-tag and check-in their baggage, and get their boarding passes in minutes.
In addition, self-serve kiosks will enable passengers to resolve issues themselves, such as booking a new flight if one is cancelled. While this service may appeal to leisure travellers, most business passengers would agree it’s far easier and time efficient to make one phone call to their travel manager to sort out a flight cancellation and re-booking.
Taking the process to the next level, passengers can also self-board their flights using their smart phones at the gate. The use of this technology has proven to be more efficient as it eases congestion, the plane fills faster and more flights get away on time. According to the airline it also frees up staff to help those passengers that require assistance, so it is a win/win situation for all travellers.
Terminal B facility also features large interactive flat screens that allow passengers to tap on the screen to navigate the terminal maps and to find the services they want. Another response to the age of technology is the fact that every seat in the terminal has an electrical charging outlet, while the luxurious new United Club Lounge features uninterrupted views of the airfield and Boston harbour.
All of these self-service processes are designed to give passengers, and especially regular business travellers, more control and improved convenience.