In an effort to reduce wait times for passengers, as well as labor time for its own employees, Indian budget airline SpiceJet has launched a check-in system at Hyderabad that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Near Field Communication (NFC) radio frequency identification technologies. The solution, which enables passengers to check in for flights via the SpiceJet smartphone app, was officially launched late last month. The airline is now in discussions with other airports to expand the system.
At most Indian airports, passengers must obtain a paper boarding pass, either at the airport or via a web-based check-in process. The paper adds an extra layer of security since it is stamped by security officers so that flight-gate personnel can ensure that each passenger has completed the screening process. This paper-based process, however, can lead to long queues, according to Glory Nelson, SpiceJet's senior vice president of IT. Passengers arrive at the airport up to three hours in advance of their flight, then line up in order to check with an airline and receive a boarding pass. Security officials inspect and stamp every pass, and airline personnel and security agents at the gate examine each stamp. Even if an airport accepts electronic boarding passes, passengers must use the app or the website to input their ID and check in.
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