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Topic: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: TheSonntag
Posted 2013-04-27 12:43:38 and read 11539 times.

Today I accompanied a friend to HAM Airport. She had a flight booked on LH from HAM to CGN.

There were no check-in counters, only check-in machines. She had baggage but had to go to the check-in machine first, then was guided to the single Baggage Drop Off. The machine is extremely uncomfortable. No Problem for normal aged people, but certainly a challenge for older passengers.

In Business class and First class there were check-in counters availabe.

I know that it is possible to check-in online. But this is a real disgrace to the customers. Why fly Lufthansa if youre treated like sh..t by this airline - its almost like ryanair.

OK back on topic: Have all airlines shifted over to a online-check-in policy? IMHO this is a really rediculous policy for an airline like LH. I do check-in online regularly, but removing the counters entirely - thats simply too much for me.

Michael

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: peterjohns
Posted 2013-04-27 13:07:12 and read 11405 times.

Welcome to the new world!
You must understand that is all in favor of the passenger. The passenger actually wants it that way.
No more complaints (have you tried asking the machine for a better seat?), no more queues, no more stressed staff at check-in. Lots of advantages for the pax.

Now if you don´t like that- wait until you board the A380 at their nice new gates at FRA. No more staff there either!!
You have to board yourself with your computer board card or Iphone, hold it against the electronic eye, and if it goes Beep with a green light, your allowed to go through the gate, which closes behind you, waiting for the next Beep!!
No joke. I felt like a damn sheep going to be sheared. There was one LH employee present however, if someone against all odds of the modern technology, couldn´t get the gate to beep, would of course explain this sorrow individual how to get on the plane.
Old age pax are supposed to feed the ducks at the pond and not fly around in the modern and sophisticated enviroment of today, don´t you think?

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: anstar
Posted 2013-04-27 13:07:37 and read 11403 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
I know that it is possible to check-in online. But this is a real disgrace to the customers. Why fly Lufthansa if youre treated like sh..t by this airline - its almost like ryanair.

How are passenegers being treated like s..t as you say?

To be hones I prefer to use a check in machine and do my own bag drop than have to deal with a miserable ground agent at a desk.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: tonystan
Posted 2013-04-27 13:10:30 and read 11367 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
I know that it is possible to check-in online. But this is a real disgrace to the customers. Why fly Lufthansa if youre treated like sh..t by this airline - its almost like ryanair.

The only think 'sh.te' here is your attitude!

Nothing wrong with electronic checkin. Very easy, and if you do have a problem with it just ask a member of staff who is always floating around the kiosks and I'm sure they will help you!

Now calm down dear, it's only called progress!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: boeing773ER
Posted 2013-04-27 13:20:28 and read 11295 times.

It's just not LH, at EWR UA pretty doesn't have that many check in agents any more either. They have rows of check in machines, with a one attendent for every couple of machines. Personally I prefer this check in, it is much more convient to me. I don't have to get attitude from agent who doesn't want to be at EWR at 4:30 AM as much as I do.

But of course I can see this being a problem for the older generation. I was flying international with my mother and cousin and I had to assit both of them when the machine prompted them to slide their passport barcode through the top part of the machine. My cousin is only in her 20s and she had a difficult time understanding what the machine meant and what to do.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: flyingthe757
Posted 2013-04-27 13:26:27 and read 11252 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
I know that it is possible to check-in online. But this is a real disgrace to the customers. Why fly Lufthansa if youre treated like sh..t by this airline - its almost like ryanair.

VERY harsh tones there.

The set up gives more choice to the customer taking charge of their travel. If there is an issue, there are customer service hosts around and a lot more available then if they were sat behind a desk. It's called using technology. If we did not change and enhance with all the latest tech coming out, we would be a totally different world then we are now.

If my 80 something granddad travels (as he is in 2 months) and he does not have an iphone, or net access at home, he will still be able to fly, and if flying. He will go see a customer service agent in the terminal who will be more then happy to assist him with all the normal stuff in the airport.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-04-27 14:03:07 and read 11062 times.

Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 5):
If my 80 something granddad travels (as he is in 2 months) and he does not have an iphone, or net access at home, he will still be able to fly, and if flying. He will go see a customer service agent in the terminal who will be more then happy to assist him with all the normal stuff in the airport.

  

I'm not as old as your granddad, but getting there, and I don't own a mobile phone.

Automated check-in is common with Air New Zealand at AKL and I don't have a problem with it. I like it, fast, easy and efficient.

mariner

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RWA380
Posted 2013-04-27 14:18:20 and read 10981 times.

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Nothing wrong with electronic checkin. Very easy, and if you do have a problem with it just ask a member of staff who is always floating around the kiosks and I'm sure they will help you!

Now calm down dear, it's only called progress!

Yes dear, the elimination of service personal in a service industry, definitely is progress. To all those who claim there are plenty of people to help you just floating around, have not yet been in a situation where 100's of people are trying to check in all at once, and when system problems have those said 100's of people looking for a person to aid them through an unfamiliar kiosk check in. It's not progress when a machine takes a human job away in a service oriented business.

Don't you love making a phone call to a company only to get a lengthy phone tree to navigate? Remember when you just got someone when you called your bank, hotel or airline right off the bat? Progress my ass, it's just another way to cut a salary.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: flyingthe757
Posted 2013-04-27 14:46:08 and read 10888 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
Yes dear, the elimination of service personal in a service industry, definitely is progress. To all those who claim there are plenty of people to help you just floating around, have not yet been in a situation where 100's of people are trying to check in all at once, and when system problems have those said 100's of people looking for a person to aid them through an unfamiliar kiosk check in. It's not progress when a machine takes a human job away in a service oriented business.

Employee costs are some of the biggest costs in an airline company, and if, using innovation like self check in/tagging etc means that staff can be better utilised in other key positions, and hosting in more areas then so be it. It has to be managed well of course, and the staff have to be motivated and customer service oriented for it to work 100%, but looking around in all types of industry, technology is becoming more and more useful and more and more used.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: IH8BY
Posted 2013-04-27 15:12:46 and read 10770 times.

Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 8):
Employee costs are some of the biggest costs in an airline company, and if, using innovation like self check in/tagging etc means that staff can be better utilised in other key positions, and hosting in more areas then so be it.

As long as that is the case, and check-in doesn't become a copy of the self-checkout rows at a windswept retail park Tesco Extra, with half the machines out of order and a disenfranchised staff member perched on a wobbly chair at the end.

This may sound a rather odd concept to many people here, but I think for many people, particularly those who are nervous or infrequent flyers, it's reassuring and even enjoyable to be guided through the process by human beings. If there are actually hosts at the online check-in machines, the replacement of desks doesn't seem too much of a problem, but one host and one bag drop open (all the time you save checking in online you lose again by queuing at the 'fast' bag drop) is hardly a step towards travel happiness...

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: tonystan
Posted 2013-04-27 15:16:26 and read 10751 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
Yes dear, the elimination of service personal in a service industry, definitely is progress. To all those who claim there are plenty of people to help you just floating around, have not yet been in a situation where 100's of people are trying to check in all at once, and when system problems have those said 100's of people looking for a person to aid them through an unfamiliar kiosk check in. It's not progress when a machine takes a human job away in a service oriented business.

Ah pet, ya know you're right.......lets go back to the days of high employee costs and therefore extremely high ticket costs!!!

But sure it'll all be for the better during those 1% times it does all go wrong!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: flyingthe757
Posted 2013-04-27 15:17:28 and read 10751 times.

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 9):
As long as that is the case, and check-in doesn't become a copy of the self-checkout rows at a windswept retail park Tesco Extra, with half the machines out of order and a disenfranchised staff member perched on a wobbly chair at the end.

That is where proper management of the members of staff come in, making sure they give the best customer service, are approachable, smart and actually there to make a difference (and not just collect a pay check)

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: BD338
Posted 2013-04-27 17:53:19 and read 10408 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
Remember when you just got someone when you called your bank, hotel or airline right off the bat? Progress my ass, it's just another way to cut a salary.

...but if we insisted on service and actual people, a.net would then be full of posts about how folks can't believe how ridiculous (read: a few hundred dollars) to fly half way around the world!  

can't win...passenger wants cheap cheap cheap but while you're at it Mr Airline why is my legroom now 30-31"?, what do you mean I have to pay for IFE/wi-fi that cost you money to provide?, why haven't I got a steak?, you mean the $450 dollars (including $150 of fees) from SFO to LON doesn't make me entitled to ship my entire worldly goods on your aircraft for nothing extra?    

personally, I like the automated stuff, its generally quick and simple...only offering the obvious question of why does it take so long to check in, check a bag if you do use an agent?

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: AngMoh
Posted 2013-04-27 18:12:34 and read 10338 times.

Quoting BD338 (Reply 12):
personally, I like the automated stuff, its generally quick and simple...only offering the obvious question of why does it take so long to check in, check a bag if you do use an agent?

I like this question. Last week I was in AMS stuck behind a big group of tourists trying to figure out how the machine works. It took horribly long. Next comes the bag deposit machines and again there are lots of infrequent travellers trying to figure out how these machines work. Total there were 4 ground staff helping people to operate the machines. I was thinking at that time that traditional check in counters with the same 4 ground staff should be more efficient if the process is well designed. But it seems manual checking seems to require 10 times the amount of information to be entered over self service machines which I don't understand.

I still believe that the frequent flyer card could be used to create a fast checkin process, but nobody seems to do that.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Airvan00
Posted 2013-04-27 20:38:13 and read 10114 times.

I use my qantas frequent flyer card for check in, but I think it is only for domestic flights so far.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2013-04-27 22:54:31 and read 9906 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
Yes dear, the elimination of service personal in a service industry, definitely is progress. To all those who claim there are plenty of people to help you just floating around, have not yet been in a situation where 100's of people are trying to check in all at once, and when system problems have those said 100's of people looking for a person to aid them through an unfamiliar kiosk check in. It's not progress when a machine takes a human job away in a service oriented business.

I can well remember the days when UK airport terminals had lots of check in staff, unfortunately these were invariably accompanied by lots of queues. Join a long line, wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle, until at least half an hour later I emerged from at the front. Now I check in on line, drop my bags, and head for airside. Even better there always seems to be staff available to help the few who require help. On my last trip through LGW we paused just before the check in machines in order to make sure that we had our paperwork to hand ready for ther bag drop, and a member of staff was on hand within a few seconds asking if we required any assistance. A quick "no thank you" and she carried on patrolling the line.
Previously at the same time, there would have been hundreds of people clogging up the terminal, the vast majority of whom required no assistance, but just wanted to check in and move on. Yes it is progress.

I just don't get this "I must have staff falling over me to help do things I am perfectly capable of doing myself" attitude.

Its just the same at the supermarkets, here in the UK they ask "do you require a packer" I don't as I can perfectly well do it myself, and can pack things in a logical order dependent on where they are heading when I get home, meanwhile when in the USA I get my shopping packed for me whilst I watch, three times as many bags, all with next to nothing in them, and little of it where I want it, but I'm privileged as i've received "great service"

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: 707lvr
Posted 2013-04-27 23:05:29 and read 9880 times.

We were warned life would be like this (and the people after us would be perfectly agreeable and comfortable with it,) back many years before the population of our planet hit 7 trillion.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-27 23:20:33 and read 9840 times.

Qantas has a similar system, with only Business Class and Silver/Gold/Platinum FFs allowed to use a real checkin desk.

The self-check machines (which are probably more intuitive than your average ATM) print your luggage tags as well as your boarding passes, and you can then go up to the bag drop machine, put your bag on the conveyer belt and jobs a gooden!

What I'm most impressed with is that QF have made the system so simple that I very rarely see people needing assistance (language seems to be a much bigger issue than age). And it is VERY quick!

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 13):
I still believe that the frequent flyer card could be used to create a fast checkin process, but nobody seems to do that.

Qantas does this. At the entry to the terminal is a weird column looking thing, you touch your FF card to it and you are automatically checked in. As you board you scan your card and a print out is produced with your seat assignment on it.

If you have checked luggage it's no harder, as each FF has "Smart Chip" luggage labels. You go up to the bag-drop machine, scan you FF card, and your checked baggage details are loaded onto the "Smart Chip" automatically. No need for actual luggage tags, all very quick and simple. (It's a lot easier in real life than it sounds)

Quoting Airvan00 (Reply 14):
I think it is only for domestic flights so far.

Trans-tasman as well.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
I can well remember the days when UK airport terminals had lots of check in staff, unfortunately these were invariably accompanied by lots of queues. Join a long line, wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle, until at least half an hour later I emerged from at the front. Now I check in on line,

Precisely, before Qantas brought out there new check-in system I would routinely wait 30 minutes to drop off my bag. The number of times I would arrive at the airport over before departure, and then eventually have my flight called to the "Flight Closing" desk (seemingly with half of the other passengers on the plane!) just before cut-off time is uncountable. Since 2010, though, I haven't spent more than about 2 minutes checking in. Big improvement.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
when in the USA I get my shopping packed for me whilst I watch

Don't get me started! They bag-pack for you in Australia as well, and I have to sit on my hands not to ask them to just scan, let me pack, and together we'll get the job done in less than half the time. urgh! It's the main reason I only use self-service check outs now. That and I can seemingly scan items faster than 90% of supermarket employees as well!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: nz2
Posted 2013-04-27 23:33:58 and read 9788 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
There were no check-in counters, only check-in machines

In New Zealand we have had check in kiosks for some years, even international got kiosks at least 18 months ago. Doemstic all you do is swipe you credit card or NZ have an RFID tag which you stick to (say) your cell phone and you just wave that at the kiosk. Very fast, smooth and efficient. For Intl you have to scan your passport but just as fast. By and large no issues and very fast.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: enzedder
Posted 2013-04-28 01:09:16 and read 9099 times.

back in march i experienced automated check-in at AKL for the first time. i was taken by surprise and slightly irritated at first. but after all much faster than convential check-in. and easy to get used to. and there was plenty of staff around. but i guess some people here will even miss a lift boy these days.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: lhcabincrew
Posted 2013-04-28 02:29:17 and read 8472 times.

It is quite to sad to see that gate agents are fading away. I always liked them at different airports around the globe. They would have always asked me: Aisle or Window? And at my Homebase HAM they used to be friendly most of the time.

The problem described is more the generation-thing. People don't talk anymore to each other they way they used to. They want silence, read their E-Books, play with their Pads and listen to music and surf the web. They don't really care about the person sitting next to them, as long as it's not an "obese" person (I know different topic).

I find it sad to see that Lufthansa is stepping back more and more from a customer service oriented point of view...

And for all my Check-In people around the globe! I still enjoy all your services! Even at 4. AM.  

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2013-04-28 04:15:26 and read 7689 times.

Quoting lhcabincrew (Reply 20):
They would have always asked me: Aisle or Window?

Thats a bone of contention, yes they asked you "aisle or window" but you happen to be an airline employee. Many passengers just got told "B" or "J" On line check in actually gives us all the available choices, before if we asked for an alternative we got told "sorry nothing else is available" We didn't believe it, but short of hurdling the desk and personally looking at the screen we had no way of disproving it.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: something
Posted 2013-04-28 04:35:10 and read 7524 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
There were no check-in counters, only check-in machines.

When was the last time you were at HAM? This has been this way since forever.

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 1):
Welcome to the new world!

Hardly ''new''.

Quoting anstar (Reply 2):
To be hones I prefer to use a check in machine and do my own bag drop than have to deal with a miserable ground agent at a desk.

It's not about personal preference but about passenger's having issues using the system, but..

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
if you do have a problem with it just ask a member of staff who is always floating around the kiosks and I'm sure they will help you!

There are usually 1-2 LH agents at those ticketing machines. I believe there are 10 check in kiosks, plus 4 or so to the right of that. There are an additional 4 or so right next to the security-check line. You can walk into the terminal, less than 10 steps, do the online check in, another 10 steps and you're already through security.

The advantages are quite obvious.

The only problem I could maybe relate to is the relatively user-unfriendly interface of LH check in systems. Air Berlin's check-in kiosks are quite the pleasure to work with though.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-04-28 06:46:35 and read 6645 times.

There is nothing wrong using technology, but what happened to the Full/Premium Service Airline part. It is acceptable with Southwest/Ryan/AirAsia but not with legacy carriers. If technology saves money, where is that savings, is LH passing on that savings to passengers.

Of course you can use technology for any problem, if an elderly slowing down boarding process, a puff of compressed air along with well phrased liability disclaimer will do the job.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: planesailing
Posted 2013-04-28 09:15:15 and read 5575 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):

Yes dear, the elimination of service personal in a service industry, definitely is progress. To all those who claim there are plenty of people to help you just floating around, have not yet been in a situation where 100's of people are trying to check in all at once, and when system problems have those said 100's of people looking for a person to aid them through an unfamiliar kiosk check in. It's not progress when a machine takes a human job away in a service oriented business.

Passenger representation for a flight has always been a difficult thing and the CUSS machines cannot help this either. It might be quicker to check-in with a machine, but then you have to either go to a human or a machine to drop your bag off and when this is involved, queuing times are comparable to just checking in with a human in the first place.

Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 8):

Employee costs are some of the biggest costs in an airline company, and if, using innovation like self check in/tagging etc means that staff can be better utilised in other key positions, and hosting in more areas then so be it. It has to be managed well of course, and the staff have to be motivated and customer service oriented for it to work 100%, but looking around in all types of industry, technology is becoming more and more useful and more and more used.

A little bit misguided. The majority of the ground staff you will see at the airport are not employees of the airlines, they work for ground handling companies. Without the jobs, the do not have jobs. There is no opportunity to move them elsewhere. SLA's with the airport have more staff employed than would ever need to be utilised on hosting.

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 9):

This may sound a rather odd concept to many people here, but I think for many people, particularly those who are nervous or infrequent flyers, it's reassuring and even enjoyable to be guided through the process by human beings. If there are actually hosts at the online check-in machines, the replacement of desks doesn't seem too much of a problem, but one host and one bag drop open (all the time you save checking in online you lose again by queuing at the 'fast' bag drop) is hardly a step towards travel happiness...

Exactly. The airlines think that in going to a few machines and only one desk to drop the bag off, equates to having the number of desks you would have had open. I used to do CUSS machines at LGW and I had to process 12% of passengers through the machines. On the busiest of days that would be 800+ people through 4 machines and two bag drop desks. Yet the other 7000 people would have the use of 20-30 desks. So passengers would then end up queuing to drop their bags.

Quoting BD338 (Reply 12):

personally, I like the automated stuff, its generally quick and simple...only offering the obvious question of why does it take so long to check in, check a bag if you do use an agent?

At present, a lot of the airlines use a DCS using native entries. I used a simple DCS when I was a check-in agent and could check in a couple with 2 bags at an average of 60s a transaction. The native entries are time consuming to operate. You might remember the strings and be quick at entering them, but you still have to type that. Things are changing with DCS now using shortcuts and pop ups to speed up the process. F6, F3, Enter are a lot quicker! Star Alliance airlines are migrating towards CM which is a much easier and quicker system to use.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 13):
I like this question. Last week I was in AMS stuck behind a big group of tourists trying to figure out how the machine works. It took horribly long. Next comes the bag deposit machines and again there are lots of infrequent travellers trying to figure out how these machines work. Total there were 4 ground staff helping people to operate the machines. I was thinking at that time that traditional check in counters with the same 4 ground staff should be more efficient if the process is well designed. But it seems manual checking seems to require 10 times the amount of information to be entered over self service machines which I don't understand.
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
I can well remember the days when UK airport terminals had lots of check in staff, unfortunately these were invariably accompanied by lots of queues. Join a long line, wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle - wait - shuffle, until at least half an hour later I emerged from at the front. Now I check in on line, drop my bags, and head for airside.

A passenger cannot ask a machine a question. Therefore, when a passenger checks in with a machine, it is told that the passenger has X bags, is going to X and that is it. When people go to desks, a lot of people ask questions, which invariably slows down the check-in process. If everyone approached the desk with 1 male, 1 female, 2 bags and their passports, you'd be surprised how quickly people could be checked in. The problem is that within that people will ask "is the plane full", "what gate are we at", "where is security" and this all adds time. A lot of the questions are not necessarily important or necessary.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 17):

What I'm most impressed with is that QF have made the system so simple that I very rarely see people needing assistance (language seems to be a much bigger issue than age). And it is VERY quick!

They have been innovaters with their DCS over recent years. They got onboard with Amadeus and became the guinea pigs for CM, which is a brilliant system to use.

Quoting lhcabincrew (Reply 20):
The problem described is more the generation-thing. People don't talk anymore to each other they way they used to. They want silence, read their E-Books, play with their Pads and listen to music and surf the web. They don't really care about the person sitting next to them, as long as it's not an "obese" person (I know different topic).

This has bigger ramifications for society on a whole, but people seem happy for it to progress this way.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 21):
Thats a bone of contention, yes they asked you "aisle or window" but you happen to be an airline employee. Many passengers just got told "B" or "J" On line check in actually gives us all the available choices, before if we asked for an alternative we got told "sorry nothing else is available" We didn't believe it, but short of hurdling the desk and personally looking at the screen we had no way of disproving it.

This is actually going to happen more and more in the future. New systems work using algorithms to allocate seats to passengers and your standard check-in agent does not have the ability to override the master seat plan. Basically, for you as passenger X, the system will only show the available seats to you, not necessarily the available seats on the aircraft. A lot of the times as well, before the flight is open, the seating is edited, so very little remains as available before the flight is open.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: sandyb123
Posted 2013-04-28 09:31:58 and read 5573 times.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
Its just the same at the supermarkets, here in the UK they ask "do you require a packer"

I have never had that in 31 years of living in the UK. Which supermarket does that happen at?

Although there is an interesting correlation, in most of the major UK supermarkets they have self-service checkouts. They generally work well, require less staff and mean you get out the shop quicker.

Unless it doesn't recognise the weight of an item you've scanned, which is it's Achilles Heal. I am all for automation and simplification.

Keep up!

Sandyb123

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: babybus
Posted 2013-04-28 11:50:04 and read 4630 times.

It's ok when a few items in the travel list are electronic but if too many do the system will begin to fail.

It's like the rapid immigration machines at London airports. It's ok when the system is working but when it fails there is no one there to sort it out. On more than one occasion I found people trapped in the passport scan machine and had to call for assistance.

Also too many machines and people will begin to ask why aren't prices coming down?

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: 707lvr
Posted 2013-04-28 11:59:58 and read 4624 times.

We've come to the point where the few remaining gains in productivity come from transferring grunt work to the customers. And, evidently, the grunts are fine with it.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2013-04-28 12:11:33 and read 4544 times.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 23):

There is nothing wrong using technology, but what happened to the Full/Premium Service Airline part. It is acceptable with Southwest/Ryan/AirAsia but not with legacy carriers. If technology saves money, where is that savings, is LH passing on that savings to passengers.

Without the savings that come from such measures the legacies will quickly go out of business. A quick look at the accounts of airlines such as LH will show that these savings do result in more competitive ticket prices. Without them the competition will simply mop up all the passengers.

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 25):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
Its just the same at the supermarkets, here in the UK they ask "do you require a packer"

I have never had that in 31 years of living in the UK. Which supermarket does that happen at?

Tesco - its literally programmed in to the minds of the check out staff.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-28 15:30:44 and read 4085 times.

Quoting planesailing (Reply 24):
you have to either go to a human or a machine to drop your bag off and when this is involved, queuing times are comparable to just checking in with a human in the first place.

That one is frustrating, when you have to get your boarding pass from a machine but then line up in a long queue to drop your bag at a person. That has always struck me as pointlessly stupid.

The beauty of the QF system I described above if that they have so many bag drop machines (at least in the major airports) that queues are never an issue, you can basically walk up and dump your bag.

I guess its a question of investment, and how much airlines are willing to spend on making the check-in experience efficient.

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 25):
Which supermarket does that happen at?
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 28):
Tesco - its literally programmed in to the minds of the check out staff.

Also, at least when I lived there, Sanisbury's always ask "Do you require any help packing"

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-04-28 16:34:35 and read 3969 times.

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 25):
Although there is an interesting correlation, in most of the major UK supermarkets they have self-service checkouts. They generally work well, require less staff and mean you get out the shop quicker.

I was exclusively using self-checkout lanes at local stores until one of my friend explained it is not good for local economy. His explanation, if we wait in manned checkout lane, store has to open more lanes hence they have to hire more. Of course these are minimum wage jobs, but any additional jobs are good for local economy.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 28):
Without the savings that come from such measures the legacies will quickly go out of business. A quick look at the accounts of airlines such as LH will show that these savings do result in more competitive ticket prices. Without them the competition will simply mop up all the passengers.

I am well aware we have to help all these companies to survive. My question is if the legacy carrier service down to same level as Ryanair, what is the point using legacy carrier. At least one who uses low-cast carriers are mentally prepared for that kind of service. Also now-a-days most LCCs have newer aircraft than legacies.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-28 16:45:08 and read 3951 times.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 30):
My question is if the legacy carrier service down to same level as Ryanair, what is the point using legacy carrier.

Onboard service, lounge, frequent flyer status and redemption, longhaul network...

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 30):
At least one who uses low-cast carriers are mentally prepared for that kind of service

You raise an interesting point, but most people my age as well as time-sensitive business travellers probably consider cutting 5 or 10 minutes wait time as providing "good service"

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: AngMoh
Posted 2013-04-28 17:23:01 and read 3882 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 31):
You raise an interesting point, but most people my age as well as time-sensitive business travellers probably consider cutting 5 or 10 minutes wait time as providing "good service"

But the interesting thing is that LCCs are doing most to cut these waiting times, as this costs them money.
No checking at home and home printed boarding pass: pay extra.
Check in bag: pay extra.
Seating allocation: pay extra.

If you take the cheapest options, then there is no waiting in the queue at all. Go straight to the gate, board, and take the first seat you can find.

I always had the impression that a lot of costs could be saved by making check-in more efficient and it seems from what I read here that QF and NZ really have done a good job in this regard.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-04-28 17:26:05 and read 3864 times.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 32):
I always had the impression that a lot of costs could be saved by making check-in more efficient and it seems from what I read here that QF and NZ really have done a good job in this regard.

They sure have.

I find it quite tedious when I have to stand in line at airports that don't have automated check-in, and if there is a choice (kiosks or stand in line) I'll go for the kiosk.

mariner

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-28 17:36:45 and read 3849 times.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 30):
I was exclusively using self-checkout lanes at local stores until one of my friend explained it is not good for local economy. His explanation, if we wait in manned checkout lane, store has to open more lanes hence they have to hire more. Of course these are minimum wage jobs, but any additional jobs are good for local economy.

I understand what you're saying, and you are of course right: the more people that line up at real checkouts the more people they have to employ. That's why supermarkets and other large retailers love self-check out machines. I've now used them at Home Depot and Bunnings (the Australian equivalent of Home Depot) which was fine for me, but created some interesting situations when people were buying, say, a door!

But if we take your friend's approach, where does it stop? Does he use ATM machines, or go into the bank to withdraw cash over the counter? That would create additional employment. And while we're at lets get rid of farm machinery and go back to picking crops by hand. That would also generate employment.

Obviously I'm over exaggerating, and I am not trying to be disrespectful to your friend. I was only use your post as an example. The simple fact is that machination has been replacing jobs for over 2 centuries, starting with the industrial revolution. Customer service industries are merely going the same way that manufacturing did over 100 years ago. You supporting your local economy is admirable, don't get me wrong, but over the longer term is probably almsot meaningless.

Whether that's "progress" or not is not for me to say

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: OB1504
Posted 2013-04-28 17:50:23 and read 3837 times.

At MIA, AA's non-premium customers are heavily encouraged to use the self-service check-in, though there's still a full service line available for those who don't wish to use the machines, as well as a resolution line for passengers who were unable to complete their check-in on their own. Each set of self-service machines is assigned two agents to assist passengers, plus a third agent at a podium at the end of the machine who tags baggage. Like at all other AA stations, self-service staff are outsourced.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-28 17:58:37 and read 3820 times.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 35):
Like at all other AA stations, self-service staff are outsourced.

Really? So the people actually helping with the kiosks and the one responsible for bag-tagging are outsourced employees?

Christ!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: macsog6
Posted 2013-04-28 21:28:27 and read 3663 times.

I am an "older" passenger by virtually any standard anyone cares to apply and frankly I am getting quite fed-up with the premise that because what little hair I have left is grey, I am something of a Luddite. I routinely travel with an Android smartphone, my tablet, and my laptop. I would vastly prefer a machine to check me in than stand in line for an agent, making minimum wage, who has been on duty for several hours.

Age has nothing whatsoever to do with technical skills, aside from motor skills which do decline with age, but otherwise, I embrace most every new technology that makes sense and saves me time and effort. I plan on continuing to do so as long as I can. Yes, I use an electronic flight planner, but I do carry my old E6B in case it fails to work.

But saying that older people are too stupid to use technology makes as much sense as saying that a black cannot do so or that Japanese pilots can't see well. When will we stop these erroneous assumptions?

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: zkncj
Posted 2013-04-29 01:13:05 and read 3434 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 29):
The beauty of the QF system I described above if that they have so many bag drop machines (at least in the major airports) that queues are never an issue, you can basically walk up and dump your bag.

With NZ system you don't even need to use a bag drop machine on Domestic, you simply walk up to the belt drop your bag and walk away. At International they just have people standing at the bag drop.

Since they introduced the self check-in at Intentional I can be from carpark to lounge in under 5 minutes

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: RWA380
Posted 2013-04-29 02:56:07 and read 3314 times.

Quoting tonystan (Reply 10):
Ah pet, ya know you're right.......lets go back to the days of high employee costs and therefore extremely high ticket costs!!!



Yes, I am OK with that. I pay for F or J and do it so I don't have to be corralled like many coach passengers are. I fly carriers that are interested in providing a customer service experience, rather than carriers that cut employees to save some change. It's not the passenger that benefits with lower fare costs, as much as the shareholders with bigger dividends.

The down side is I fly less than I would like, we used to go on 3-4 big trips a year after I retired early, but now it
s more like 2 big trips, and a couple to California or in this third of the country. Anyway, My point is, I pay for what level of service I require, so of course I an against eliminating customer service people at hotels I stay with, airlines I fly on, or waitresses at my favorite restaurant.

Quoting planesailing (Reply 24):
Passenger representation for a flight has always been a difficult thing and the CUSS machines cannot help this either. It might be quicker to check-in with a machine, but then you have to either go to a human or a machine to drop your bag off and when this is involved, queuing times are comparable to just checking in with a human in the first place.



I enjoyed this experience while flying home from Hawaii last December. I found when one checks in with HA for domestic flights you are forced to use a kiosk that weighs your checked bag, spits out your boarding passes and luggage tag, that you apply to your own bag, this all happens after you find an available kiosk, of course we were leaving early afternoon, and it was packed in the Hawaiian terminal. Then you get into another line to drop off your bag for agriculture inspection and then finally after it clears their x-ray process, then your bag is free to be handed over to HA after you wait in line again.
We had chosen to fly coach with our friends, I didn't notice if F had a special desk, I'm sure it did.

This was the first time I had been forced to use kiosk check in, up until then I had the option. I use the kiosk with AS when I fly with them, but if I don't feel up to it, or I need additional customer service I prefer an easy option.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: tonystan
Posted 2013-04-29 07:55:15 and read 3055 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 39):

Well aren't you privileged and fortunate! I hope you are aware of just how so you are. Sadly the majority cannot afford to be so frivolous and therefore should embrace any options which allow the consumer pay less and gain value!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: max999
Posted 2013-04-29 08:13:40 and read 3020 times.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):

Today I accompanied a friend to HAM Airport. She had a flight booked on LH from HAM to CGN.

There were no check-in counters, only check-in machines. She had baggage but had to go to the check-in machine first, then was guided to the single Baggage Drop Off. The machine is extremely uncomfortable. No Problem for normal aged people, but certainly a challenge for older passengers.

In Business class and First class there were check-in counters availabe.

I know that it is possible to check-in online. But this is a real disgrace to the customers. Why fly Lufthansa if youre treated like sh..t by this airline - its almost like ryanair.

OK back on topic: Have all airlines shifted over to a online-check-in policy? IMHO this is a really rediculous policy for an airline like LH. I do check-in online regularly, but removing the counters entirely - thats simply too much for me.

Michael

In 1998 flying NW, I saw a self check-in kiosk for the first time; there were only a few machines, but the lines were much shorter since most people were still checked-in by the airline staff. I'm honestly surprised it has taken this long to progress to full self check-in.

What you're describing is only a natural progression of automation in the airline industry...I don't think there's anything to get too concerned about.

[Edited 2013-04-29 08:23:50]

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Andie007
Posted 2013-04-29 08:59:15 and read 2952 times.

Uuuhhm... there are still classic check-in counters in HAM available. There are machines available to drop your luggage automatically (Emirates has the same in DXB) or you can just print your boarding pass and go to one of the drop-off counters (there are also the Business and First check in counters).

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-04-29 09:55:10 and read 2888 times.

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Now calm down dear, it's only called progress!

I suppose, but I'm still upset that momma didn't breast feed me!  
Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 8):
Employee costs are some of the biggest costs in an airline company, and if, using innovation like self check in/tagging etc means that staff can be better utilised in other key positions

Or, of course, the execs can bump up their salaries (a) for coming up with such brilliant innovations and (b) because they can.

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 9):
This may sound a rather odd concept to many people here, but I think for many people, particularly those who are nervous or infrequent flyers, it's reassuring and even enjoyable to be guided through the process by human beings.

I tried that line of reasoning but still got the rubber nipple, sigh...

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: a3xx900
Posted 2013-04-29 10:41:25 and read 2832 times.

Last year I took a trip to Turkey with my fiance, flying on Sky Airlines. It was like being taken back to the 90s with a human checking us in, a huge line of tourists waiting even an hour before the agent was there, and without the possibility to choose my seat before even checking in...

I personally like the convenience of internet-, phone- and self-service check-in and I would not want to live without. I can understand that elderly people might have difficulties, and I did experience that occasionally at the airport, but there were always staff (or other pax) around to help.

If there are people around who really do have serious issues using these modern techniques - MY GOD how do they survive in today's world?

Back to your original question: In CGN I noticed there are no check-in counters anymore, just like you described at HAM, but I couldn't tell you since when, I have been checking-in online or mobile for years and did not notice the counters (or rather the agents) disappear!

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: flyingthe757
Posted 2013-04-29 11:14:25 and read 2801 times.

Quoting planesailing (Reply 24):
A little bit misguided. The majority of the ground staff you will see at the airport are not employees of the airlines, they work for ground handling companies. Without the jobs, the do not have jobs. There is no opportunity to move them elsewhere. SLA's with the airport have more staff employed than would ever need to be utilised on hosting.

There are still a few airlines with their own staff at major stations.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: JHwk
Posted 2013-04-29 11:16:13 and read 2800 times.

UA's solution works pretty well for 90% of the passengers. The 10% (due to their own limitations or honest problems) have a lot of pain. Used to enjoy going to the 1K check-in counter and have happy people greeting me and helping out with whatever minor issue we might have; now it is about as bad as regular check-in.

Topic: RE: LH - No Check In Counters - Since When?
Username: TheSonntag
Posted 2013-04-30 03:42:08 and read 2463 times.

Thank you all for your insightful replies. Last time I flew from HAM was in 2011, twice in fact, and both times I used online-check-in so I did not notice the machines.

I still think this is not a good development. At least one counter should be kept open. Lets not forget, we talk about HAM here, not HHN.


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