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Cory6188
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Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:28 pm

I was walking through the (lengthy) AMS departure hallway to the KL check-in counters a few weeks ago, and I was surprised by how many ticket sales counters (both airline-branded and otherwise) that were in the terminal. To clarify, I mean for ticket purchase, not for check-in/bag drop. On a similar note, I was flying out of BLL as part of the same trip, and my flights had gotten rebooked due to a strike on AF, and the check-in agent at the bag drop counter directed me to the ticket office to have the agent there straighten it out. Being a DL flyer normally, I was a little surprised - any time I've had an issue, the regular ticket agent at the counter is able to handle it (or I get sent to "special services" line, but nothing specifically like a ticketing office).

This could be my US bias showing, but I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days. Is anyone really showing up to the airport in-person to purchase tickets? I've seen a handful of them at JFK T4, but I couldn't think of any other places I've been in the US that have them (admittedly, I haven't been in the international terminals at LAX, SFO, etc. recently). What's the rationale for still having these in the airport? Cash purchases for destinations with low credit card usage? Something else?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:31 pm

Instant ticketing (certainly rare in the U.S. these days but I don't know other patterns). Unaccompanied minors. Cabin pet fees. Ticket changes. Cash purchases - again rare in the U.S. but not necessarily elsewhere.
 
KarlB737
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:35 pm

Cory6188 wrote:
I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days.


I would expect that these ticket counters are jammed when flights are cancelled or delayed because of major weather issues or aircraft issues.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:42 pm

People show up all the time at the airport to buy tickets. Once at TK in IAH i had a guy want to buy a ticket to Moscow via IST. I had to draw him a rough map of Houston to show him where the Russian consulate was so he could get the visa he didn't know he needed.
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stl07
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:47 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
People show up all the time at the airport to buy tickets. Once at TK in IAH i had a guy want to buy a ticket to Moscow via IST. I had to draw him a rough map of Houston to show him where the Russian consulate was so he could get the visa he didn't know he needed.

And I thought I was bad buying tickets to Goa, India a week and a half before the flight from ORD
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FGITD
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:34 pm

From my experience there's usually a few agents who how to handle ticketing for an as needed basis. Things like rebooking connections due to delays, etc. It doesn't happen too often but there are certainly people who show up in need of a ticket. More often than not, it's cheaper for them to buy it online while standing at the counters, but all the same...it's an option.

I do think the end is in sight for at airport ticketing, at least outside of the major hubs. Most issues that are handled at the airport can be taken care of online, via app, or on the phone. It's a shame to lose that face to face interaction, but it does make life easier for pretty much everyone. No more going to the airport, waiting for the office to open, waiting in line...all to change your flight.
 
canyonblue17
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:35 pm

Plenty of people still like to buy tickets in person. Especially the older crowd - from my experience.
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airbazar
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:37 pm

In my experience ticket counters are used every time you need to pay for anything, be it an actual ticket or just something as mundane as extra baggage charges. So they serve other purposes besides just buying a ticket. I don't think check-in agents have the ability to charge a passenger's credit card. At least in my experience that's been the case.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:53 pm

airbazar wrote:
In my experience ticket counters are used every time you need to pay for anything, be it an actual ticket or just something as mundane as extra baggage charges. So they serve other purposes besides just buying a ticket. I don't think check-in agents have the ability to charge a passenger's credit card. At least in my experience that's been the case.

My experience, too.

Also, I've read that some jurisdictions (like Germany) actually mandate in-airport ticket counters to airlines. During IROPS (destination airport closed due to weather) while on flying on Lufthansa from Frankfurt, I was directed to "LH Ticketing" area, upstairs above the departure hall in Terminal 1. The employees of "Ticketing" readily conceded that they rarely if ever handle actual ticket sales, but during IROPS, they handle all stranded passengers.
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Virtual737
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:01 pm

When working in continental Europe (and living in the UK) I would often tack on an extra 2 or 3 days to my trip and then just turn up at the airport, look at the departure boards and pick a destination I'd never been to and then waltz over to a ticket counter and buy a ticket. On arrival, I'd hire a car and drive at least 2 hours in the opposite direction of the city and see where I ended up, which was almost always well away from the "touristy" areas. I highly recommend it. I discovered parts of Ukraine, Poland and several others that I'd likely never visit otherwise.

I also did the same from Miami and managed to visit Costa Rica (without the hire car part of the journey). The ticket counters can be very useful. On more than one occasion I basically said... ok that's too much, where can I fly to for $X and be back by Sunday.
 
FATFlyer
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:21 pm

Cory6188 wrote:
What's the rationale for still having these in the airport?


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Xcarrier
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 pm

6 years working on an airline ticket desk at LHR taught me that one of the main purposes of a ticket desk was to ensure customers had someone to shout at, threaten, gesticulate at or plead with whenever something went wrong, regardless of reason or responsibility. Can't say that I miss it!
 
Cory6188
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 pm

FGITD wrote:
From my experience there's usually a few agents who how to handle ticketing for an as needed basis. Things like rebooking connections due to delays, etc. It doesn't happen too often but there are certainly people who show up in need of a ticket. More often than not, it's cheaper for them to buy it online while standing at the counters, but all the same...it's an option.

I do think the end is in sight for at airport ticketing, at least outside of the major hubs. Most issues that are handled at the airport can be taken care of online, via app, or on the phone. It's a shame to lose that face to face interaction, but it does make life easier for pretty much everyone. No more going to the airport, waiting for the office to open, waiting in line...all to change your flight.


The IRROPS piece is a fair one. I guess I'm maybe used to the fact that in the US, at least from my experience, any agent can handle rebooking as needed at the ticket counter and/or the gate (unless you're in a larger airport where there's a separate customer service desk). Might also be different in Europe where the ground handling staff aren't necessarily airline employees, so they really are only trained for check-in/bag drop, whereas in the US, the staff (generally) work for the airline and are probably more extensively trained across functions.
 
Lootess
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:28 pm

OP is showing their US bias. Ticket offices are common mainstays in cities even in the Middle East.
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:42 pm

When travelling out my local airport I bumped into someone I knew leaving the facility on enquiring where they had been they told me that they were using airline compensation vouchers for voluntary bumping but they could only be redeemed if used at an airport ticket counter. Although even this is probably not necessary now.
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:46 pm

When I lived in HKG I would often use the CX Marco Polo Club counters whenever I needed to make changes or alter an existing reservation. It was so much faster and easier than calling in. Granted I would never go out of my way to go there, I would only stop by when I happened to already be in the airport.
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stylo777
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:50 pm

In the past, another fact of the existence of ATO's are the missing link between Check-In and Reservation Systems. Nowadays, this has also been solved with establishing the connection of both and enabling the check-in agents to offer additional services such as direct collection of extra fees, rebooking to other flights, issuing tickets to other airlines during irrops, issuing vouchers for hotels, f&b, ground transport, etc. Nevertheless, we can still see that those transactions are limited to cashless payment and it also requires some form of legality (agreement between ground handler and airline).

True ticket sales (new) is surely not the reason why ATO's still exist, because it's very rare; it's definitively all the other services (even in ME, Asia and Europe)
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:57 pm

Lootess wrote:
OP is showing their US bias. Ticket offices are common mainstays in cities even in the Middle East.


Are you referring to city ticket offices? If so, I don't believe the OP is discussing or asking about city ticket offices. I believe he is only referring to ticket offices located within the airport. The title of his thread is "in-airport" ticketing counters.
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:58 pm

I’ve had to use airport and city ticket counters a number of times.

They are especially useful in dealing with IROPS due to strikes and civil disturbances on complex international reservation.

Sometimes it is much better to be face to face with an individual in such circumstances, especially if the agent’s second language is English.

Instances come to mind when flying to BOM when the Taj was attacked, leaving TLV when all airport workers went on strike, going to BKK when the yellow shirts closed down the airport, and when my RTW J class ticket reservations all disappeared while in HKG.

All were better handled in person at the airport ticketing counter or at the city ticket office.
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:10 pm

airbazar wrote:
In my experience ticket counters are used every time you need to pay for anything, be it an actual ticket or just something as mundane as extra baggage charges.


At the airport I worked at those fees where collected by the info desk, even when most airlines had their own counters. They just did ticket sales and changes.

I don't think check-in agents have the ability to charge a passenger's credit card. At least in my experience that's been the case.


Depends, in DUS at least Delta cki can charge CC with card present.

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CaptSkibi
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:24 pm

I know in the US, Allegiant charges a fee for purchasing the ticket online. One of my co-workers saved several hundred dollars for his family of 5 to fly to Orlando-Sanford on G4 by purchasing the tickets at the airport, versus buying them on their website.
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Cory6188
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:26 pm

stylo777 wrote:
In the past, another fact of the existence of ATO's are the missing link between Check-In and Reservation Systems. Nowadays, this has also been solved with establishing the connection of both and enabling the check-in agents to offer additional services such as direct collection of extra fees, rebooking to other flights, issuing tickets to other airlines during irrops, issuing vouchers for hotels, f&b, ground transport, etc. Nevertheless, we can still see that those transactions are limited to cashless payment and it also requires some form of legality (agreement between ground handler and airline).

True ticket sales (new) is surely not the reason why ATO's still exist, because it's very rare; it's definitively all the other services (even in ME, Asia and Europe)


I think you've probably nailed it. Being from the US is probably a key reason behind my question, given that ticketing and check-in needs in the US can be typically be equally handled by the same staff, at least in the majority of cases (e.g. IRROPS, fee collection, etc.). For new tickets, I'm not sure how many ticket agents for US airlines can/will book a new ticket from scratch at the counter these days (NK, F9, and G4 being notable exceptions) - I've never tried, but I'd bet they'd tell you to go to the website or call reservations. Given that, there's no real need for a separate ticket office.

If anything, as I mentioned above, there might be a "special services" counter at larger airports for people with issues that need solving, but it's just part of the regular bank of ticket counters (most of the time, anyway).
 
VSMUT
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:26 pm

Cory6188 wrote:
I was walking through the (lengthy) AMS departure hallway to the KL check-in counters a few weeks ago, and I was surprised by how many ticket sales counters (both airline-branded and otherwise) that were in the terminal. To clarify, I mean for ticket purchase, not for check-in/bag drop. On a similar note, I was flying out of BLL as part of the same trip, and my flights had gotten rebooked due to a strike on AF, and the check-in agent at the bag drop counter directed me to the ticket office to have the agent there straighten it out. Being a DL flyer normally, I was a little surprised - any time I've had an issue, the regular ticket agent at the counter is able to handle it (or I get sent to "special services" line, but nothing specifically like a ticketing office).

This could be my US bias showing, but I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days. Is anyone really showing up to the airport in-person to purchase tickets? I've seen a handful of them at JFK T4, but I couldn't think of any other places I've been in the US that have them (admittedly, I haven't been in the international terminals at LAX, SFO, etc. recently). What's the rationale for still having these in the airport? Cash purchases for destinations with low credit card usage? Something else?


The one in Billund is for handling any issues and problems that can't be quickly solved at the mostly unmanned check-in desks. As an example, I was directed to it when my luggage allowance didn't show up on the ticket once. I am certain that 99% of the tickets they sell there are for people who missed their flights or had them cancelled at short notice by Ryanair etc.
 
schernov
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:28 pm

I have observed couple scenarios:

- In US almost all airport agents can do all types of transactions as long as you pay with a credit card. They have system rights to do it. Sometimes they don't do it because it is more efficient to send passengers to central rebooking area. But in general they can do it.

- in EU and other jurisdictions - there a more finite separation of duties. Some agents can check you in but not rebook. Some can rebook but not do something else. Some can rebook but then give you a slip to go pay at "ticket office". I just experienced that at Lisbon when doing a cash upgrade on TAP. Russia is same way regardless of carrier.

- in airports where handling is outsourced to say SwissPort or local airport staff - the situation is even worse. For example at ORD if you are flying Finnair - you better have your stuff buttoned up or it will take a while to get a boarding pass.

Sometimes I found it quicker and more effective to call the airline and have the phone agent do it vs asking agent an airport.

The most comical episode was when traveling on Aer Lingus on BA stock from DUB to LHR to ORD trying to stand by on earlier flight with AA EXP status. After visiting both Aer Lingus and BA and AA counters in DUB- I learned that There was "NO button" for that. Solution was to consume more Guinness and wait for ticketed flight when prior one was 1/2 empty in anticipation of sprinting in LHR to make the long haul segment.
Last edited by schernov on Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
bnatraveler
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:28 pm

Most of the ATOs versus check-in desks in non-US locations are due to the fact that at check-in desks, airlines typically employ a handling agent who uses a departure control system (DCS) that does not have access to the full PNR or a full set of functions. The DCSes employed by handling agents are often common across all of the airlines that they handle for and generally not a derivative of the operating airline's computerized reservation system (CRS). Check-in agents (in the lobby and at the gate) are trained on very specific tasks, not a broad set of duties like in the US.

Airlines do also use handling agents as the ATO desk agents, but those agents are often more broadly trained on the operating airline's systems and processes.

Many of the traditional ATO functions are now being covered by kiosks that have access both to the operator's CRS and the operator or handling agent's DCS in one device.
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:35 pm

FATFlyer wrote:
Cory6188 wrote:
What's the rationale for still having these in the airport?


Filming locations for "The Amazing Race"???? :rotfl:
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reidar76
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:54 pm

At my local airport and airports I most often fly to, there are only a few (or none) manned check-in counters. It is limited what you can do on the baggage tag printers and self-service baggage drop. In some circumstances you can't make last minute changes to your ticket in the app on your phone neither. In some other circumstances, like last minute cancelled flights, delays etc. the standardized options in the app is not want I want to do. Then I need to talk to someone.

So if I am at the airport then I go to the ticket office when I need help. The alternative is to call the ticket office, but usually it is better and quicker to go to the ticket office counter.

If it is a last minute rebooking to the same destination, only on a earlier flight, I usually do this at the gate (when traveling without checked-in baggage). The gate agent can't handle additional payments, so you need to have the correct booking class (flexible ticket). I mostly travel between cities connected by 30 to 40 daily departures (work related travel). With several departures every hour, I go to the gate that says "gate closing" to my destination, in order to catch the earliest flight possible.

I many countries/airports it is not the airline that handles baggage check-in, but an airport handling agent. Therefore they can't help you with ticket questions and changes. You need to do it in the app, call your airline or go over to the ticket office.

At the airline ticket office you will find more qualified staff that actually can make decisions and handle all ticket related problems and requests. A missed flight is also best handled at the ticket office.
Last edited by reidar76 on Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
friendlyskies22
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:02 pm

Don't know about the other guys, but UA requires BE pax NOT checking bags to go to the kiosk or counter to get a boarding pass.
(Can't get one online)
This presumably to let the agent have a look at the pax underseat carryon to insure they aren't trying to pull a fast one...
Gate agents were probably getting hammered with BE pax showing up with rollaboards claiming "they weren't told." Yeah, right.
I think DL & AA now allow overhead storage for BE's, but that just shifts the hassle to the overhead space issue, and slows the
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Gulfstream500
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:07 pm

If someone misses their connection or their flight is cancelled, then they must go to the counter to retrieve a new ticket. It’s also necessary for checked bags or to pay for an upgrade.
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Jetty
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:14 pm

Cory6188 wrote:
I was walking through the (lengthy) AMS departure hallway to the KL check-in counters a few weeks ago, and I was surprised by how many ticket sales counters (both airline-branded and otherwise) that were in the terminal. To clarify, I mean for ticket purchase, not for check-in/bag drop. On a similar note, I was flying out of BLL as part of the same trip, and my flights had gotten rebooked due to a strike on AF, and the check-in agent at the bag drop counter directed me to the ticket office to have the agent there straighten it out. Being a DL flyer normally, I was a little surprised - any time I've had an issue, the regular ticket agent at the counter is able to handle it (or I get sent to "special services" line, but nothing specifically like a ticketing office).

This could be my US bias showing, but I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days. Is anyone really showing up to the airport in-person to purchase tickets? I've seen a handful of them at JFK T4, but I couldn't think of any other places I've been in the US that have them (admittedly, I haven't been in the international terminals at LAX, SFO, etc. recently). What's the rationale for still having these in the airport? Cash purchases for destinations with low credit card usage? Something else?

AMS is my home airport and I've used them more than once. It's useful when I can barely make a flight: when they sell me a ticket at the airport I'm sure I can make it (or get a refund). Also with many airlines ticket sales online stop 2-3 hours in advance while you can still book a ticket at the airport closer to departure.

Some ticket desks are for last minute package holidays as well.
 
LOT767301ER
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:17 pm

^Basically, non-US/Canadian carriers have a worse setup for DCS/CRS/POS thats why they have in airport ticket counters.
 
bennett123
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:15 pm

I recall missing my flight from EDI to BRS in 2014.

I was allowed to go back landside and bought a new ticket to BHX, as I had missed the last flight back to BRS.
 
Puissance
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:06 am

If you purchase a ticket online for someone other than yourself to certain high fraud risk destinations, Delta may make you present yourself with your credit card at the Airline Ticket Counter. I have had to make two trips to DTW to do this. Turkish also has this requirement. By contrast, TAP wanted ID and partially blanked out credit card scan by email.
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:16 am

LOT767301ER wrote:
^Basically, non-US/Canadian carriers have a worse setup for DCS/CRS/POS thats why they have in airport ticket counters.


Even with the US setup, I'd estimate probably 85-90% of agents couldn't sell a ticket if they needed to simply because it isn't a common task.
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:20 am

canyonblue17 wrote:
Plenty of people still like to buy tickets in person. Especially the older crowd - from my experience.


This. I work in customer service outside the airline industry and there are still plenty of folks (as you said, often older) who very strongly prefer to interact with an actual person even if a purchase over the internet is available. I can't tell you how many times I've answered a phone and had the person on the other end say something like "thank god! an actual person!" and my company doesn't have a particularly long automatic interface (just language selection and different service categories). I would assume the same is true with airline ticketing.
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AtomicGarden
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:23 am

Back in 2012, when mobile phones were not as smart as today, a friend and I booked a OW last minute ticket on U2 IIRC because we missed our flight (basically, the story is much longer). There was a multi company tickets office and a very nice fella gave us the best option. My friend gave him a cuban cigar as a gift.

Now in 2020 I'd probably do the same thing, try to find a person to help me. I'd probably mess up with the stress of the situation, and many booking websites and companies have fraud prevention procedures with last minute sales.

I believe in smaller airports or in airlines with small operations, check-in staff do ticketing also.
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Oilman
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:23 am

In 2018, I had to make a trip from ATL-SRQ with no notice. I grabbed my “go bag” and went to Hartsfield. I was really surprised the Delta kiosk couldn’t sell me a ticket. I ended up using the app to buy the ticket and then check-in.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:57 am

Oilman wrote:
In 2018, I had to make a trip from ATL-SRQ with no notice. I grabbed my “go bag” and went to Hartsfield. I was really surprised the Delta kiosk couldn’t sell me a ticket. I ended up using the app to buy the ticket and then check-in.


The only way to buy a ticket at Hartsfield without the app is to go to the special services desk and wait in line. Even then, any given agent may need to ask a more senior agent for the right formats. We've reached a state where the work of a "ticket agent" has been dumbed down to almost nothing, and in many cases, the agents have no clue how to issue or even reissue tickets. The deprofessionalization of the ticket agent that started after 09/11 is very unfortunate, and now we pay for their lack of training every time something goes wrong.
 
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:26 am

Ticket counters are immensely useful in the USA when a CC company puts a "Fraud alert hold" on your CC (always without notifying you in advance); and you find yourself having to change tickets or do other things - and pay cash. My wife and I typically do in fact carry emergency backup cash on trips. I cannot tell you how often that has quickly bailed us out of some situation somewhere.

My other experience is that when things go south because some system is not working (reservations, etc.) and there can be dozens of people affected. Indicating to the service agent that I can pay cash... (and sometimes that I don't need exact change) gets me quick service.

Electronic systems are wonderful... until they don't work. I've never had cash not work.

Have a great day,
 
Cedar
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:45 am

Cory6188 wrote:
I was walking through the (lengthy) AMS departure hallway to the KL check-in counters a few weeks ago, and I was surprised by how many ticket sales counters (both airline-branded and otherwise) that were in the terminal. To clarify, I mean for ticket purchase, not for check-in/bag drop. On a similar note, I was flying out of BLL as part of the same trip, and my flights had gotten rebooked due to a strike on AF, and the check-in agent at the bag drop counter directed me to the ticket office to have the agent there straighten it out. Being a DL flyer normally, I was a little surprised - any time I've had an issue, the regular ticket agent at the counter is able to handle it (or I get sent to "special services" line, but nothing specifically like a ticketing office).

This could be my US bias showing, but I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days. Is anyone really showing up to the airport in-person to purchase tickets? I've seen a handful of them at JFK T4, but I couldn't think of any other places I've been in the US that have them (admittedly, I haven't been in the international terminals at LAX, SFO, etc. recently). What's the rationale for still having these in the airport? Cash purchases for destinations with low credit card usage? Something else?



Many international carriers in Europe still utilize the separate ticket counter for ancillary sales on day of departure and to fix ticket issues. It is an older model, but they haven't moved away from it. US carriers have used technology to their advantage, thus eliminating the need for separate ticket counters for ancillary sales or collection of cash - so a regular check-in agent can collect payment and complete transactions normally done by ticket agent. In addition, they have used the advantage of apps to deal with disruptions, changing tickets, etc.
This model has not been fully adopted by European carriers - to the extent US carriers have.

Cedarg
 
HJM
Posts: 77
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:49 am

Airport ticketing usually employs a highly skilled agent with much airline experience. Presently not many new tickets are sold but every possible problem encountered ends up in ticketing. It is also the location where passengers come to vent their anger.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:58 am

canyonblue17 wrote:
Plenty of people still like to buy tickets in person. Especially the older crowd - from my experience.


How old do you mean by old? Many people in their sixties today we're using computers 30 and 40 years ago and are quite comfortable searching for tickets online.
 
Jetty
Posts: 1284
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:13 am

Cedar wrote:
Cory6188 wrote:
I was walking through the (lengthy) AMS departure hallway to the KL check-in counters a few weeks ago, and I was surprised by how many ticket sales counters (both airline-branded and otherwise) that were in the terminal. To clarify, I mean for ticket purchase, not for check-in/bag drop. On a similar note, I was flying out of BLL as part of the same trip, and my flights had gotten rebooked due to a strike on AF, and the check-in agent at the bag drop counter directed me to the ticket office to have the agent there straighten it out. Being a DL flyer normally, I was a little surprised - any time I've had an issue, the regular ticket agent at the counter is able to handle it (or I get sent to "special services" line, but nothing specifically like a ticketing office).

This could be my US bias showing, but I didn't quite understand what the purpose of the ticket sales counters is in airports these days. Is anyone really showing up to the airport in-person to purchase tickets? I've seen a handful of them at JFK T4, but I couldn't think of any other places I've been in the US that have them (admittedly, I haven't been in the international terminals at LAX, SFO, etc. recently). What's the rationale for still having these in the airport? Cash purchases for destinations with low credit card usage? Something else?



Many international carriers in Europe still utilize the separate ticket counter for ancillary sales on day of departure and to fix ticket issues. It is an older model, but they haven't moved away from it.

Doesn’t apply to the main user of AMS though (KL), they have a separate payment desk for fees between check-in and security. Ticket desk is used for actual ticket sales and rebookings.
 
planecane
Posts: 1559
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:17 am

FATFlyer wrote:
Cory6188 wrote:
What's the rationale for still having these in the airport?


Filming locations for "The Amazing Race"???? :rotfl:

:rotfl:

Post of the year so far!
 
YLWbased
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:09 pm

Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:37 am

USAirALB wrote:
When I lived in HKG I would often use the CX Marco Polo Club counters whenever I needed to make changes or alter an existing reservation. It was so much faster and easier than calling in. Granted I would never go out of my way to go there, I would only stop by when I happened to already be in the airport.

you can't do any anymore, as no one can enter the terminal building without a valid tickets showing departure time within the next 24hrs.

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
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seemyseems
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:45 am

I saw the AF-KL ticket desk at MAN in full use yesterday morning (02JAN) due to the cancelled AMS service. The Menzies staff were working very well too
seemyseems in ATL
 
directorguy
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:16 am

EK for example has a large in-terminal office at DXB T3. Passengers who missed their flight (and need to reissue/rebook), or buy a ticket last minute were their main customers. Most people used credit/debit cards though certain nationaliyies seemed to prefer cash.
Interestingly EK even maintained a ticketing desk at T1 where they have no flights.
Check-in agents could do thinks like process upgrades but were usually very lousy at handling anything complicated. This was probably down to inexperience/lack of training. Anytime they had a problem with a ticket or with checking a passenger in someone from EK ticketing would usually save the day.
 
vfw614
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:25 pm

One other explanation could be that in Europe, terminals and check-in areas often are not "airline-specific", but common use (although the same airlines often tend to use the same check-in counters). So handling anything that requires more than a check-in system is maybe better dealt with at a dedicated airline counter, including stuff like cash-payments?
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:51 pm

airbazar wrote:
In my experience ticket counters are used every time you need to pay for anything, be it an actual ticket or just something as mundane as extra baggage charges. So they serve other purposes besides just buying a ticket. I don't think check-in agents have the ability to charge a passenger's credit card. At least in my experience that's been the case.

Depends on location/time of day/airline policy. I've certainly been able to pay (cash or card) at the check-in desk for additional fees on occasion (an orange liveried airline).
Last edited by ChrisKen on Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
LJ
Posts: 5289
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

Re: Role of in-airport ticketing counters?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:51 pm

Cory6188 wrote:
The IRROPS piece is a fair one. I guess I'm maybe used to the fact that in the US, at least from my experience, any agent can handle rebooking as needed at the ticket counter and/or the gate (unless you're in a larger airport where there's a separate customer service desk). Might also be different in Europe where the ground handling staff aren't necessarily airline employees, so they really are only trained for check-in/bag drop, whereas in the US, the staff (generally) work for the airline and are probably more extensively trained across functions.


It's not just rebooking, it's also arranging hotels, ground transportation and handing out the EC261 leaflet in case of IRROPS. Added benefit is that the person is not yelling in front of the check in counter or gate.

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