Continental Self-Check-In Network Expands to all Domestic U.S. Airports

Continental Airlines today announced it has completed the installation of eService Center self-check-in kiosks in all of the airline’s airport terminal check-in areas in the continental United States.
The last airport to receive Continental’s eService Center kiosks was Reno,
Nev., where one unit was placed on line on Dec. 31. The airline now
operates 779 eService Centers in 130 U.S. airports.

“Continental’s domestic customers now have the option of checking
themselves in at an eService Center kiosk or at, no matter
where in the United States their trips begin or where in the United States
they’re going,” said Christopher Frawley, Continental’s managing director
of eCommerce.

In 1995, Continental was the first airline to deploy electronic self-
check-in kiosks - the first were installed at Newark Liberty
International Airport—and today leads the industry in deploying this
technology, making self-check-in an option for all U.S. customers using
electronic tickets for domestic travel.

Continental has revolutionized the way travelers check in for flights,
evolving the self-service concept from a novelty nine years ago to the
predominant method of customer processing. Airlines around the world have
begun to offer self-service check-in as an option to customers. In the
past year, more than 18 million customers have used this service on
Continental alone.

More than 70 percent of eligible customers—those using electronic
tickets for itineraries within the United States and its territories—
bypass conventional ticket counters to use eService Centers, or curbside kiosks to check in for their flights.


Since Continental began deploying eService Centers, then called E-Ticket
Machines, nine years ago, the airline’s deployment of self-check-in kiosks
has outpaced the industry. While most U.S. airlines had relatively few of
the units available until 2001, eService Centers were available at the
majority of Continental airports by 2000.

Customers can perform a variety of functions at Continental’s eService
Centers, including checking in an individual or group for a flight on the
day of departure, selecting or changing a seat assignment, buying a ticket
or “Continental Currency” which can be redeemed for in-flight beverages
and headsets, adding a OnePass frequent flyer number to an existing
reservation, and printing baggage tags for checked bags.

Continental Airlines ticket agents actively encourage customers to use
eService Centers to expedite customer check-in and so that agents can
spend more time with customers who require additional assistance.

In most cases, customers can check in and print their boarding passes in
less than one minute, significantly reducing and in many cases eliminating
ticket counter line waits.

The first eService kiosks, converted from automated teller machines,
offered check-in, seat selection, frequent flyer verification and baggage
check. Soon after, Continental added same-day flight change and upgrading
capabilities. In 1999, Continental replaced E-Ticket Machines with the
technologically more advanced eService Centers, and made English-Spanish
translations available.

Continental introduced Web site check-in at in 2003.
Customers, including those with luggage to check, can check in online up
to 30 hours before departure.

In 2004, Continental plans to add more self-service options, including
international check-in.