Northwest 30 Million Self-Service Check-In

15th Jul 2003

ST. PAUL, MINN. - (July 14, 2003) - Northwest Airlines today announced that its customers have used either its Internet check-in service at, or one of its 655 e-Service Center kiosks in 155 airports, a total of 30 million times. The milestone was reached during the first week of July.
“Northwest’s trailblazing self-service check-in program has transformed the airport experience for our travelers,” said Robert Isom, senior vice president of customer service. “Instead of asking our customers to come to Northwest to obtain their boarding pass, Check-In brings a fast check-in process directly to them through the convenience of their personal computer at home or the office.”
In celebration of performing 30 million self-service check-in transactions, Northwest honored customer Tom Parrelly, who has used the carrier’s self-service check-in options more than any other Northwest customer. Mr. Parrelly has used Northwest’s self-service check-in products 313 times since their inception, including obtaining a boarding pass 274 times over the Internet at Check-In. Northwest awarded Mr. Parrelly 30,000 WorldPerks frequent flyer miles in recognition of his use of Northwest’s self-service check-in options.
“ Check-In is the one service of most personal benefit offered by Northwest,” said Parrelly. “It enables me to bypass the check-in line and choose or change my seat assignments at will.”
Northwest launched its self-service check-in program in 1997 with the introduction of e-Service Centers at the carrier’s Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. In 2000, the airline was the first global hub and spoke airline to give travelers the option of obtaining their boarding pass over the Internet at Check-In.
The recent implementation of “Interline” e-ticketing with KLM, the airline’s seventh Interline e-ticketing agreement, allows customers to use a single electronic ticket on either airline, making self-service check-in available to every market served by Northwest Airlines worldwide. In addition, the carrier has continually expanded the services offered through its self-service check-in options, pushing usage in June to an all-time high of 50.9% of eligible customers.
“Travelers are responding to the global availability and array of self-service options that Northwest offers,” said Al Lenza, vice president of e-commerce and distribution. “By turning every personal computer into a convenient outlet for a customer to obtain a boarding pass, Northwest customers can check in quickly from virtually anywhere.”
Northwest has the airline industry’s most developed self-service program. In addition to the millions of personal computers (PC’s) that can issue Northwest boarding passes from home or work, Northwest has 655 e-Service Center self-service check-in devices in 155 airports, more locations than any other airline. An additional 105 e-Service Centers will be installed by the end of 2003.
Northwest has led the airline industry with several self-service “firsts” among global hub and spoke airlines. Northwest was:
* First to launch Internet check-in. In 2000, Northwest became the first global airline to provide customers with the option of obtaining their boarding pass over the Internet. Since its inception, nearly five million customers have checked-in at Check-In.
* First to offer alternative flights via self-service during irregular operations. While other airlines offer self-services that help customers avoid airport lines under normal circumstances, Northwest was the first to launch self-service technology that helps them when their flight is delayed or cancelled. In 2001, Northwest began providing customers whose flight were delayed or cancelled with alternative flight options, the ability to select and book a flight, and check in to their new flights. The service is offered through both e-Service Centers and Check-In.
* First to offer self-service check-in up to 30 hours prior to departure, and round trip check-in. In August of 2002, Northwest extended the availability of Check-In from 24 hours prior to departure, to up to 30 hours prior to departure. In addition, Northwest introduced the option of round-trip check-in, allowing customers to check-in for their return flight when scheduled to depart within 30 hours. Responding to its customers’ preferences, Northwest made the change after discovering that a significant number of its customers were attempting to check-in online between 24 and 30 hours prior to departure.
* First to offer self-service check-in to Asia and Europe. In November of 2002, Northwest became the first airline to offer self-service check-in for travel originating in the U.S. and Canada to Asia and Europe, through either Check-In or an e-Service Center.
* First to offer duplicate boarding passes or add frequent flyer numbers. Early self-service check-in technology only allowed customers one check-in transaction, so if they misplaced a boarding pass, or forgot to enter their frequent flyer number, they were unable to re-visit a self-service outlet. In January of 2003, Northwest was the first airline to allow customers to re-enter the check-in process, obtain a duplicate boarding pass or add their WorldPerks frequent flyer number. This service is offered through both Check-In and e-Service Centers.
* First to offer self-service check-in from Asia. In May of 2003, Northwest was the first U.S. carrier to offer self-service check-in for travel originating in Asia. Travelers originating in Asia/Pacific can obtain their boarding pass through one of 11 Web sites, which include translations into four Asia languages, a service not offered by any other airline.
* First to offer self-service excess luggage check-in. In June of 2003, Northwest was the first airline to accommodate excess luggage check-in at its e-Service Center luggage lines. The service also makes it possible for customers to pay for excess luggage fees through an e-Service Center.
* First to offer self-service check-in systemwide. In June of 2003, Northwest implemented “Interline” e-ticketing with partner KLM, allowing customers to use a single ticket for travel on either airline. The implementation makes self-service check-in available to every market served by Northwest Airlines.
Northwest’s Check-In product and e-Service Centers offer consumers more functionality than competing services, including the ability to:
* Check-in for international and domestic flights to and from any destination Northwest serves worldwide.
* Exchange tickets through Northwest’s industry-first ticket re-issue technology.
* Select or change seat assignments.
* Change flights, including payment of any applicable change fees.
* View changes to an itinerary if a flight has been delayed or cancelled, and confirm a choice of alternative flight service.
* Purchase “e-First” upgrades to domestic First Class at special low rates when traveling on select fares and space is available.
* Print e-ticket receipts.
* Add a WorldPerks frequent flier number to flight reservations.
Through December 31, 2003, first-time users of Northwest’s self-service Check-In who are also members of Northwest’s WorldPerks frequent flier program will receive a one-time bonus of 1,000 frequent flyer miles for checking in at A complete list of terms and conditions can be viewed at
In addition, between now and December 31, 2003, members of WorldPerks can receive a one-time bonus of 1,000 frequent flyer miles for the first time they use any of Northwest’s e-Service Centers to check-in for a flight to a destination outside the United States and Canada. A complete list of terms and conditions can be viewed at
No advance registration is required for either offer; however, membership in WorldPerks is required. Fast and easy online WorldPerks enrollment is available at


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