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Air New Zealand enhances Domestic Travel Experience

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Tuesday, 4 November 2008

On Monday, at Auckland Domestic Airport, Air New Zealand unveiled its new state-of-the-art check in and boarding experience, introducing a new layout and design, new kiosks that enable customers to print their own bag tags, a direct to conveyor belt bag drop zone to eliminate queues, new gate scanners for straight to gate check in and boarding for customers without bags and several new technological enablers for frequent flyers.

Air New Zealand Group General Manager Short Haul Airlines Bruce Parton said the launch will mean a speedier journey through domestic airports, something long asked for by regular domestic commuters.

"We challenged ourselves 12 months ago to create and deliver a new experience that would allow our customers to move quickly and seamlessly through domestic airports. Our goal was to get rid of frustrating queues, cut customer waiting time and make checking in and boarding as quick and easy as possible," he said. "Customers will now have much greater freedom and choice - they can choose to book their seat online, obtain their boarding pass in the way that most suits them and deal with their checked baggage in a quick, efficient way."

Auckland is the first domestic airport to have the extreme makeover, to be followed by Christchurch on 17 November and Wellington soon after.

New kiosks will be progressively introduced to other larger domestic airports over coming months, and gate scanners allowing customers to scan their boarding passes will be in place at all 26 domestic terminals used by Air New Zealand from 3 November. In total, 112 new kiosks and 84 gate scanners will be introduced.

The airline has invested more than $30 million in the new airport experience, which is just one of a large number of changes being made to benefit domestic travellers.

"We expect the changes to be very appealing, particularly to business travellers. Those who aren't carrying baggage will be able to go directly to the gate and self-board, and those with baggage won't waste any time standing in queues," Mr Parton added.

There will be a number of new and improved options available to customers, including email, mobile phone or a permanent unique RFID identifier. New technologies used include:

myBoarding Pass - passengers choosing their seats online will receive a boarding pass by email featuring new 2D barcode technology in addition to their e-ticket, which can be used to confirm their seat at the kiosk or directly at the gate;

mPass - a boarding pass including a 2D barcode that is sent to a mobile phone and can be scanned at the kiosk or gate;

ePass - Gold Elite, Gold and Silver Airpoints members, as well as Koru members, will be provided with this RFID tag ePass to attach to the back of their mobile phone. This can be scanned at the kiosk or the gate and used as a boarding pass.

Air New Zealand has already introduced its new piece baggage system, which provides a free baggage allowance of up to 25kg for the first bag checked in. This is a 5kg increase on the previous free allowance of 20kg.

The developments are a continuation of the airline's overhaul of its domestic offering which started early this year with the introduction of its popular KoruHour service on weekday 737 flights, which includes complimentary morning newspapers and fresh plunger coffee, and in the evenings, complimentary beer or wine and a cheese plate. A snack selection is available throughout the day and on weekends.

Air New Zealand also recently completed reconfiguring its fleet of 16 Boeing 737 aircraft to provide a new Space+ section in the front half of the cabin, offering an additional 2-5 inches of legroom to regular travellers.

A new Koru lounge has been opened in Tauranga and the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Koru Lounges have all been expanded and had significant overhauls. 

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, HotelsPromotions, New Hotels, Air New Zealand, Airports, Auckland, New Zealand

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