No more check-in counter staff?

We visited the newest terminal (4) of our little red dot’s Changi airport for an open house last year in August. And while we awed at the crisp new carpets and hardware of the terminal, the thing that caught our eyes were these odd looking pods at what appears to be the check-in area.

Except that there is no counter where a check-in associate will attend to you.

Instead, you will find this pod where you will place your passport for scanning. And to issue you the boarding pass you’d need to put your face into it too… heheh… ok, position your face at a certain angle. So that the software can take a quick scan and determine if you are you. And that you are not someone else who claims to be you. You got that?

Anyway. The iPhone can already do that. Big deal.

Put in your own luggage and should it be overweight, make payment somehow. Or take out some stuff… wonder how that will work in practice though at this stage there are folks around to guide you (yep the terminal went live in October last year). There has been lots written about the terminal since, and we will be trying it out for ourselves finally next month.

It is interesting to see how they do this to verify and issue you a boarding pass, but do not do the same at the passport control. There, you will still see customs and border officers looking at the photo in your passport and and then glancing back at you, perhaps asking some odd questions like why are you coming or leaving. Got any money on yea? How much? Good ole fashion verification… kinda odd isn’t it?

We wrote about travel likely getting easier (here), but we also wrote about it getting trickier (here). Will we make up our minds? Do you see the dilemna here?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

17 thoughts on “No more check-in counter staff?”

  1. I remember having to use the online check-in counter at Narita on a school trip to Tokyo and having forgotten to print out the boarding pass, been forced to use it twice. Honestly with the subjectivity of threats you could have boarding the plane, it’s going to be hard for customs to be completely automated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That could be true! But what of the technologies that they can verify identity? If they can do that, what’s next is the security scanning. But that said, will it really be easier or harder to get through all these procedures? Time will tell!


  2. I hate self check in. It usually has so many problems that you need someone to help you anyway and it ends up taking longer. I’d really rather line up and just get it done the first time. I suppose it will get better. The electronic passport control at Brisbane arrivals works well so I guess they’ll figure out the departures as well. Anything that’s quicker and easier when getting through departures is a big plus for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Self check-in has been around for a long time. We recall it being there when we were living in Holland. But then it seems that the adoption has been slow, probably because one would still be inclined to have someone to work with?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Heheh… then we all wait…
      Besides they still check the passport photo and us – presumably the face to verify… kinda hard since the photo in the passport may not be the most representative nor updated…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just don’t like much how you do stuff ( pay in a store for things you want to buy or else) without interaction with people.. at the airport they have all those machines who take the place of people working….. really what is wrong with talking to a human being ?

    Liked by 1 person

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