From September 1, Korean Air will transform all economy class check-in counters in domestic airports to bag drop counters for passengers already checked in using mobile, web check-in services or airport kiosks.
According to the airline, the change will enable Korean Air to provide more efficient, convenient baggage check-in services to self-check-in users. Passengers who use the self-check-in through mobile, web services or airport kiosks can choose their seats and reduce waiting time at the airport.
At Incheon International Airport, 70 per cent of economy class passengers used the self-check-in in August. As a result, bag drop counters were crowded, causing passengers to wait in long lines during peak hours.
The transformation of counters will be applied to all domestic airports used by Korean Air. As of August 13, all of the economy class check-in counters at Gimpo International Airport, in both international and domestic terminals, were converted to bag check-in counters for self-check-in passengers. The service will be rolled out at Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 from September 1.
The family care service counter, used by passengers requiring assistance such as unaccompanied minors, pregnant passengers and so on, as well as first class, prestige class and Morning Calm counters will continue normal operations. The counters for U.S.-bound economy class passengers at Incheon International Airport will also continue normal operations.
In the beginning, Korean Air employees will assist passengers at airport kiosks and operate help desks in each section to assist passengers who are having problems checking in.
Self-check-in refers to the process of passengers checking in for a flight, assigning seats and printing out a boarding pass on their own through mobile, web services or airport kiosks. Mobile and web check-ins are available between 48 hours prior to flight departure (24 hours in case of the U.S.) and an hour before (40 minutes for domestic flights). Airport kiosk check-in is available until 60 minutes prior to flight time (20 minutes for domestic flights).
Major airlines in airports such as Atlanta, Paris, Amsterdam and Singapore have already started using self-check-in and expanding baggage check-in counters.
Korean Air has been continuously improving self-check-in services by expanding the scope of its users. For children and infants accompanied by adults, self-check-in became available for international flights in January 2019, and for domestic flights in June 2019. From April 2019, passengers in groups were allowed to check-in through mobile and web services.
Korean Air also plans to introduce a ‘self-tagging’ service by the end of 2019, which will allow passengers to pick seats and register baggage at the same time while checking in at the kiosk. This service is expected to cut down over 30 per cent of check-in time for each passenger. Passengers can simply print out their baggage tags at the kiosk and put them onto their baggage, then drop them at the bag drop counter.
Moving forward, Korean Air will continue to expand and develop self-check-in services to improve passenger convenience.