How do you establish an off-site check-in program?
This really varies, depending on the focus of the program in a particular geographic location. One thing is certain: one size doesn’t fit all situations and/or locations.
There are many parties to bring together on any off-site program. Airport, airline, security, location and vendor personnel must all be at the table when developing such a program.
There are generally several agreements by and between the various parties. While this can seem to be a challenging task, it is really a necessity.
What are the costs of establishing such a program?
The costs also vary depending on the factors in each respective program. There is no simplistic way to quantify the costs, given the number of potential variables.
With that said, the costs of developing an off-site program certainly pale in comparison to the potential savings and customer service benefits that stand to be realized by de facto extension of the airport to the customer.
What are the real challenges to establishing an off-site check-in program?
The biggest challenge can be getting the orchestra of different parties to all sing together in tune. There are many varied interests among the involved parties (and just as many different benefits that stand to accrue). One party needs to ensure that all move forward together, balancing all of the interests and agendas through to a positive conclusion.
Once up and running, awareness becomes a challenge. Making sure that potential users are aware of the availability of the service is critical to its ultimate success. There are usually many outlets for such awareness, such as in-flight magazines, website announcements, room announcements (hotel or cruise ship) and other
What criteria must a location fulfil in order to be suitable for off-site check-in?
The specific criteria necessary is dependant on the specific elements of a particular off-site check-in location. It will be different for a hotel location versus a convention location, versus a cruise ship location, versus a multi-modal transport station location, etc.
In general, the location should be VERY convenient to the target customers. It cannot be situated in a location that is far off the beaten path of those potential customers.
It should have adequate work room, including a secure storage area for checked luggage. It should also have adequate access to the baggage transport pickup. Adequate power and data, along with appropriate environmental conditioning round out the requirements.
Can off-site check-in work in any location?
I believe that it can indeed work in almost any major city, though probably with different driving factors for different locations. For example, what works in Las Vegas wouldn’t necessarily work in Chicago. However, I do believe that in any major city, there is some factor or set of factors that likely makes off-site processing of passengers an
What regulatory approvals are needed and how are these secured?
There are a series of regulatory hurdles to overcome in any location. In some cases, these requirements are location-specific.
Generally speaking, security will play the largest role, from a regulatory standpoint. Working closely with the appropriate security personnel from the very start is a must!
How prevalent is door-to-door pick-up of luggage at present and could it become the number one choice of passengers?
I don’t know how prevalent it will become, but it certainly could play an increasingly larger role. One thing is certain regarding off-site check-in: The passenger reaction to the program, in its many different operating implementations around the world, has been phenomenally positive. The benefit to all parties of taking the airport to the passenger simply can’t be overstated!