Northwest Airlines has announced that effective immediately, it is asking customers to arrive at the airport 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and 120 minutes prior to departure for international flights.
The change is a 25% reduction from the current “two hours-in-advance” request being made by Northwest and many other airlines, and a 20% reduction from the two-and-a-half hours requested of customers on international flights. The 90- and 120-minute requests are the same advance arrival times that Northwest asked of its customers prior to mid-September.
The carrier`s innovative check-in technology, such as Internet check-in at nwa.com and its 260 E-Service Centers self-service kiosks in 41 airports, also played a role in Northwest`s decision to reduce airport arrival times.
“A growing number of Northwest customers are avoiding lines and airport waits by taking advantage of our line-busting technology,” said Al Lenza, vice president of e-commerce and distribution. “For example, on October 25, nearly 4,000 Northwest customers used nwa.com Check-In from the convenience of their home or office, saving valuable time.”
Northwest is the only major network carrier to offer Internet check-in. At 3,984 transactions, the number of customers checking-in over the Internet on October 25 was the third highest in Northwest history. More than 750,000 online check-ins have occurred since the introduction of nwa.com Check-In in November of 2000.
Last month, the carrier reported that the number of customers checking-in over the Internet or through its E-Service Centers had increased 20%, from 13% of eligible customers prior to August 1, to nearly 16% of eligible enplanements in October. Northwest`s Internet check-in program is available to all customers flying on E-Tickets within the United States and allows travelers to print their own boarding passes, change flights, change or confirm seat assignments, add or change a WorldPerks number in a reservation and obtain WorldPerks Elite upgrades or “E-First” electronic upgrades to First Class.
Northwest also credited its ability to shorten airport wait times through the many services offered by hundreds of its “line-busting” E-Service Centers located in most U.S. airports. Services include:
—Check-in for domestic flights (with E-Tickets).
—Request a First Class upgrade (Elite members of WorldPerks).
—Add their WorldPerks frequent flier number.
—View changes to their itinerary if their flight has been delayed or cancelled and confirm their choice of alternative flight service.
—Check luggage (at select locations) or use Curbside luggage check-in (where available).
Northwest customers holding E-Tickets can also check-in at any Continental Airlines “eService” Center.