Airline Reduces Human Contact with Self Boarding – Savvy or Stupid?

Continental is trying something new. Well, new to airlines in the U.S., anyway.

Do-It-Yourself Boarding

Self-boarding. In other words, instead of handing your boarding pass to an airline employee who then scans it and lets you pass – you do it yourself!

This experiment (and it is just a test at the moment) is now underway at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which is one of Continental’s hubs, and it’s apparently designed to reduce the need for a human being to perform this “chore”.

What’s in it For You

However, according the USA Today, an airline employee is indeed standing by to watch all this and make sure no one messes up, but maybe once everyone gets into the swing of it, the human will be taken out of the equation.

What’s in it for us passengers? Maybe it’ll make for faster boarding times, which is not a bad thing – sort of eliminating the middle man. Although as we all know, the real holdup for boarding comes during the logjam when everyone attempts to stuff their carryons bags in the limited overhead bin space but Spirit Airlines is doing its best to eliminate that problem with a new, hefty carryon bag fee.

Some bloggers seem unduly concerned with the safety of this new boarding method, but the TSA is reportedly is cool with it. About the only downside comes from an airline analyst quoted by the newspaper, who said “As long as you have someone to tell grandma where to stick the paper,” he says, “you’re fine.”

Where Do I “Stick the Paper”?

I don’t know how many grandmas this fellow has run into lately, but the ones I see are more than capable of telling anyone where to “stick the paper”. I am referring, of course, to the proper position of the boarding pass.

Hey, readers – do you like the self-boarding concept? Or do you want your human? Sound off, please.


Published: July 30, 2010