ANother
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Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:32 am

In FR Online Check-in From DUB (by LS737 Jun 25 2006 in Civil Aviation) we got offtopic. However I am curious about airline proceedures, so I would like to continue the off-topic topic here.

The point was, with more and more people self-printing their boarding cards, this is slowing down the boarding because the gate staff have to tear off 1/3 or so of the self-printed B-C.

So I've got a few questions.

1. If I pre-tear the 1/3 will the check-in staff want to see the other 2/3 to verify they are from the same original piece of paper?
2. Why do they want the piece of paper anyway? It's got a bar-code which they scan *beep* - why do they need the paper.
3. Why can't they print 2 or more B-Cs on the same piece of paper? I figure they could get at least 3 on a single A4 (aprox 8 1/2 x 11)
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:37 am

here's my question..

Why can't they just use your Airline Card (ie: Advantage card, Dividend Mile card, SkyMiles Card, etc) and swipe it.. that way no paper. Do the same thing Bank Of America does and put your picture on the card. The only paper that would be required is for security check-in.. which can be tossed at the TSA station.

Sounds like a winner to me! It's reusable, quicker, and can preloaded with any information the airline/government sees fit..

Just a random though I had..
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Leskova
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:48 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 1):
The only paper that would be required is for security check-in.. which can be tossed at the TSA station.

And even that could be replaced by, for example, an airline-issued re-usable plastic boarding card (perhaps with a barcode that can be read at security and would give them your details which could be verified by looking at your ID).

Sounds like a reasonable idea to me - only problem is: passengers would probably get completely lost while boarding... most people seem to have trouble finding their seats with the boarding card in one hand while reading the row numbers... just imagine the chaos if they didn't have any piece of paper telling them where to sit down...  Wink
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tcxdegsy
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:59 am

Quoting ANother (Thread starter):
The point was, with more and more people self-printing their boarding cards, this is slowing down the boarding because the gate staff have to tear off 1/3 or so of the self-printed B-C.

BA don't tear off any part of the self-printed boarding card. It's simply keyed in/scanned at the gate. No tearing or ripping at all
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siromega
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:03 am

I flew AA this weekend, and even through they have a original and duplicate on the same piece of paper, they didnt tear it. However, the two different inkjet printers I used to print the passes were unscannable. So after the lady tries to scan it 4 times, she has to key it in, slowing the boarding process down.
 
nosedive
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:26 am

Quoting ANother (Thread starter):
The point was, with more and more people self-printing their boarding cards, this is slowing down the boarding because the gate staff have to tear off 1/3 or so of the self-printed B-C.

WTF does that!?

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 1):
Why can't they just use your Airline Card (ie: Advantage card, Dividend Mile card, SkyMiles Card, etc) and swipe it.. that way no paper. Do the same thing Bank Of America does and put your picture on the card. The only paper that would be required is for security check-in.. which can be tossed at the TSA station.

That'd be a nice bonus for the higher ups in the FF programs  thumbsup  but for the rest of the idiots who'd lose the damn thing  thumbsdown 

Another reason why I don't think the card will fly is that airlines are saving a bit of money by having you do all the grunt work at your PC, even if I do like the concept  Wink
 
ANother
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:31 am

Quoting TCXDegsy (Reply 3):
BA don't tear off any part of the self-printed boarding card. It's simply keyed in/scanned at the gate. No tearing or ripping at all

BA (or their groundhandlers) do at Geneva - They've done it to me a number of times (although - I've gone back to using the kiosks at GVAAP)
 
raffik
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:23 am

I checked in online for my MAN-LHR flight last month and I got to keep the whole boarding pass, which was better than the situation when I flew Ryanair. The boarding staff moaned about how difficult it was to tear off the little slips. It does actually say on the printed out boarding pass that you should fold it in preparation of the boarding agents, but it was still difficult.
Why would FR need to keep the slips if BA don't?
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JER757
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:54 am

Quoting Raffik (Reply 7):
The boarding staff moaned about how difficult it was to tear off the little slips.

Believe me its a pain in the a**e! But door frames now have a use!

If possible tear half of the bottom slip off, especially if you're flying to a smaller station where we don't have the fancy barcode readers at the gates.

Also I've always been told that we need to keep the boarding cards for at least 24hrs after ATD for Triple A rules and the like, so not sure what other stations do, maybe a blind eye is turned to it???

Anyway keep using the internet check-in, it saves the check-in agents a bit of work!
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UALFAson
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:48 am

I know policies are different in the U.S. and Europe, but most U.S. airlines I have flown on/seen do not rip off the bottom part of the print-at-home boarding pass, even though it says in the instructions to separate the pages. They just scan the paper under the bar code reader and hand the whole thing back to the passenger.

As was previously mentioned, airlines want pax to do as much for themselves as possible so they can cut costs. Print-at-home boarding passes require less cardstock as well as theoretically fewer check-in podiums and ticket agents, plus shorter lines in ticketing lobbies. While FF trusted traveler cards are good in theory and would be great for those "road warriors," the time and convenience savings wouldn't be worth the extraordinary start-up costs.
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Jano
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:52 am

Quoting ANother (Thread starter):
3. Why can't they print 2 or more B-Cs on the same piece of paper? I figure they could get at least 3 on a single A4 (aprox 8 1/2 x 11)

That'w what NW does. They print up to 3 BPs on one sheet of A4. Then they scan the bar code at the gate. There is no need to cut each BP from the paper. It's a very efficient system. Much better now than about a year ago when they printed each BP at a separate sheet of paper.
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bond007
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:54 am

Yes, in the US it's actually easier than the standard boarding pass. With the standard pass they have to tear the end off anyway....on the own-printed pass, they either scan it, or just keep it if you tore off your copy.

In the USA it's also much easier to read than the standard one.

I've also noted that some airline printed boarding passes are now using cheaper thin paper instead of card, so there's also no difference in quality than one you print yourself.

Jimbo
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KaiGywer
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:00 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 1):
Why can't they just use your Airline Card

I know you can travel with only your EuroBonus card in Norway. Swipe the card at security, swipe it again at the gate.
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lincoln
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:50 am

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 5):
WTF does that!?

CO Contract/tiny stations do... I'm positive that they do it at ONT (Where, as far as I can tell, CO is handled by Delta) and I'm really tempted to say that they also do it at ATL as well.

I really wish that the kiosks would print boarding passes on something more substantial (like a real boarding card or paper ticket)... The cheap receipt paper winds up mutilated by the time I get to the gate.

I have a system for my CO print-at-home boarding passes:

Fold in half vertically
Fold left side in (to back) at the edge of the BP image
Fold right side in (to back) at edge of the BP image
Fold top over (to back) at edge of BP image.

This makes it conveniently pocket size, stiffer, and doesn't do anything to affect the readability of the barcode.

It also means that at stations like ONT it's easier for the agent to tear off the top part of the pass (which has the barcode, seat number, flight number, and PNR number)

Lincoln
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deltairlines
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:21 pm

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 1):

Why can't they just use your Airline Card (ie: Advantage card, Dividend Mile card, SkyMiles Card, etc) and swipe it.. that way no paper. Do the same thing Bank Of America does and put your picture on the card. The only paper that would be required is for security check-in.. which can be tossed at the TSA station.

Delta did this for Medallion members back before 9/11. You could check-in for your flights by either calling in or something like that, and then you go to the gate, they scan the barcode on the back of the Medallion card, and it would print out on of those receipt things. After 9/11 though, when TSA required a boarding pass to get through the checkpoint, this was dropped.

Jeff
 
jhooper
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:25 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 14):
Delta did this for Medallion members back before 9/11. You could check-in for your flights by either calling in or something like that, and then you go to the gate, they scan the barcode on the back of the Medallion card, and it would print out on of those receipt things. After 9/11 though, when TSA required a boarding pass to get through the checkpoint, this was dropped.

I suppose the scanners still have this capability; there's a small card slot on the front of the machine that reads the cards
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UALFAson
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:38 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 11):
I've also noted that some airline printed boarding passes are now using cheaper thin paper instead of card, so there's also no difference in quality than one you print yourself.

You're right about this. I hate those cheap-o little receipt-quality boarding pass slips that curl up and have the ink fade before you even get to the gate.

UA still uses heavy cardstock for all its boarding passes, including those printed at Easy Check-in self-service machines.
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chase
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:43 am

Quoting Leskova (Reply 2):
an airline-issued re-usable plastic boarding card

I agree that most travellers would lose these cards. Especially those who fly once a year (or, once a year on a given airline).

On TZ, I was the web developer who wrote the code to self-print boarding passes. They print such that each page looks like this:

Customer copy
--------------
Airline copy

So if you're flying 4 segments, when you hit "print", 4 pieces of paper come out. I definitely like the idea mentioned above to print multiple segments on the same page. However, it does present the following problems:

1) Not everyone has good eyesight. If we put twice as much info on the page, everything will be half as big. So some people may have trouble finding and/or reading their seat number.
2) Okay, say I have a boarding pass where on one piece of paper I have my copy for segment 1, airline's copy for segment 1, my copy for segment 2, airline's copy for segment 2. This would make the tearing even more of a headache...at boarding for segment 1, the agent needs the 2nd 25% of the paper, thus requiring 2 tears. But I admit, that's not *that* big a deal, and could certainly be implemented. Too bad I don't work there anymore or I'd suggest it - it would be great to save that much paper!
 
flyboyaz
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:54 am

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 13):
CO Contract/tiny stations do... I'm positive that they do it at ONT (Where, as far as I can tell, CO is handled by Delta) and I'm really tempted to say that they also do it at ATL as well.

We handle CO's flights in TUS and we have to rip the boarding pass. Actually since there are security concerns with them now, we actually print them a normal boarding pass at checkin time. It verifies that they are actually on the flight and also helps us speed up boarding.
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antoniemey
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:07 am

I must say that flying back and forth BNA to CLE on CO, I've NEVER had the paper torn with my self-printed pass... on theother hand, the one time I had to go WN, they just kept the whole thing, naturally.  Smile

What they've done in BNA and CLE is just key in the sequence number and hand me the paper back where they don't have the scanner, or just scan the barcode, which has never been a problem.
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bond007
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RE: Self-printed Boarding Cards, User Friendly?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:50 am

Quoting Chase (Reply 17):
On TZ, I was the web developer who wrote the code to self-print boarding passes. They print such that each page looks like this:

Customer copy
--------------
Airline copy

So if you're flying 4 segments, when you hit "print", 4 pieces of paper come out. I definitely like the idea mentioned above to print multiple segments on the same page.

US does the same...but I like one sheet per leg - it solves all the problems of tearing parts off etc. etc. Worse case is you tear off the 'agent copy'.

I just print all sheets at home and cut them in half so I have separate 'agent' and 'customer' copies.

I fly 4-6 legs per week and this works great!

Jimbo
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