easyJet has revealed plans to introduce mobile check-in using handheld machines by as early as October. It is also planning mobile scanning of boarding passes in a bid to reduce airport queues and staffing costs.
The Luton-based carrier is about to conduct trials of the system, called Project Halo. At a conference in Las Vegas next month it will unveil further details in a presentation entitled “EasyJet to Kill off Check-in Desks”.
However, the airline has made it clear that it would abandon check-in desks altogether, following an incident a fortnight ago when Ryanair passengers were stranded at Stansted airport because of insufficient check-in desks. It also has no plans to charge for check-in at airports.
A spokesman for the airline said: “EasyJet has always been a leading innovator in the aviation industry and is constantly looking at the use of the latest technology to further develop its operation and to make flying more pleasant for its customers.”
Doug McVitie, managing director of Arran Aerospace, an aerospace consultancy, told The Times: “Airlines just have to get costs out of the system and, if they can process more passengers with fewer staff using technology, that will lower their costs.
“But there can be a divergence between technology and its application. You still need a human factor and that is why Ryanair has gone too far with removing all its desks. There is little chance that will be adopted as standard among other carriers.”