Forced kiosk usage

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Juanefny, Oct 18, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Juanefny

    Juanefny Silver Member

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    During the past year I flew quite a bit on US and was often told to use the kiosk or they did it themselves on the kiosk. I was told that US kept track of what percentage of passengers checked in using a kiosk and were dinged for high percentage of manual ticket agent check ins.

    So do you think the "new American" will continue doing this or will it be more like were used to.
     
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  2. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    I was told by the US personnel in Boston that traack was
    kept of the percentage of manual vs. kiosk checkins.
    But they also told me to see them whenever possible,
    as they were able to provide far more flexible service
    than the machines and seemed rather gleeful about
    being able to do so. This was earlier this year; I haven't
    visited them since they were relegated to nonexistence.
     
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  3. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    I'm old, and old-school, and like dealing with a person so I try to avoid the kiosks. But it really makes me angry when I'm forcibly made to use a kiosk - usually in MIA or DFW - when I know that I will need to see an agent (international trips, usually), I go through the motions, and then I'm directed back to an agent. Some things I like to feel like I still control, even though I know I don't.
     
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  4. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    I avoid the kiosks and the agents and check in on my phone if at all possible. Unless I'm flying international. If I'm going intl I like the feel of the card stock boarding pass from the agent in my pocket...
     
  5. Juanefny

    Juanefny Silver Member

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    Here's why I don't like the kiosk. 85% of the time, I check in on my phone. I don't even go to the agents. Then there's that 15% of the time when I need to check in and they have to verify b/c of a visa, or I have a checked luggage and I have to see someone anyway. Soooo... in those times, I want to see someone in person.
    Does anyone know how the "new American" is handling this?
     
  6. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    I am the opposite. I prefer to avoid human contact. lol

    Kiosks are faster than waiting in line to have someone manually process me.
     
  7. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

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    I was forced recently when flying from Portland Maine. It was a US Express flight. I was 'forced' by the agent to use the kiosk, but I just ignored and stood in line at the Premium line. I do hope that this is not the spiral downwards on Premium service like how United does it. In my opinion, if you are paying premium price for your ticket or eligible to use the Premium line, you should have the choice to do check-in yourself at the kiosk or get an agent to do it for you.
    I have never been asked to do this with the old 'AA', so actually being 'forced' to use the kiosk the other day was somewhat surprising for me.
    Please AA, don't sink down to the level of United - even @ Delta there is no such treatment if you are eligible to use the Premium line at check-in.

    Cheers!
     
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  8. Juanefny

    Juanefny Silver Member

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    Unless you have bags to check and have to see someone to do that anyway... or have an international visa check in and they have to process it anyway... Usually I don't use the kiosks or go see someone, I do it all on my phone and use a mobile boarding pass. That said... the times I do need to go see them, I don't want to use the kiosk.
     
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  9. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    I always check a bag. Its nice to see that some airports have bag drop locations, where once you check in at a kiosk, you walk over and pretty much hand your bag over.

    Im a simple guy..... I want to check my bag and print my boarding pass.

    I see it like the post office. Its much faster for me to work on the APS and drop my package in the slot than it is to wait behind someone who wants to know all the options and costs to get the package out the door. Same with the ticket counter. If it was as simple as walking up and talking with someone immediately, im cool with the human contact. But waiting behind someone with a 20 minute problem..... The kiosk is faster and less hassle for me.

    But to each his own. ;)
     
  10. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    My experience with the kiosks is that they are often slower. You get stuck behind infrequent flyers checking bags and have to wait for them. If there were an elite flyer line at self-check in, I'd be more apt to want to self-serve, but you get mixed in with the herd and things get dicey. the business and first lines (where available) usually move pretty quickly. I think I'd just tell them no if they asked me to use the kiosk. You can't force me to do that.
     
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  11. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I actually had a US rep refuse to check me in until I tried the kiosk in PHL this summer. I generally have a good sense when I can't check-in at home whether I'll be able to do so via a kiosk, so this definitely annoyed me. I didn't know US was grading their employees on this. Seems a bit silly to me. I don't know if the process will continue.
     
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  12. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I remember when the airlines offered online mileage bonus' to buy your ticket online vs the CTO (city ticket office). You know what happened to the CTO? They're all gone.

    If we use the machine to check in, one of these days there won't be any agents to help us check in/answer questions and issues.

    You heard it here (on Inside Flyer) first. ;)
     
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  13. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    Reminds me of last January in EZE. A sign next to each AA kiosk said to use it ONLY if you had no baggage to check, despite it being unlikely that anyone flying from Argentina to US would have only carry-on. Nevertheless, that's what the sign said. So I proceeded to the check-in counter, where a humanoid life form directed me back to the kiosk, explaining that the sign is wrong. So, back I went, got my boarding pass from the kiosk, then back to the check-in counter to dump my luggage.
     
  14. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    But personal preference aside, I dont think the company should force you to use a kiosk. I wouldnt be surprised, however, if they started charging to have a staff member check you in vs. a kiosk. Alot of companies have "nudged" people to use self-service by penalizing facetime. I know cell phone companies charge for taking a payment over the phone vs. the automated system or online.
     
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  15. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    Ok, so the company (AA or otherwise) "forces" you to use the kiosk to get your boarding pass. Now, what are you supposed to do with your luggage?
     
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  16. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Friendly and efficient self-service. :D

    Seriously, re electronic vs paper boarding passes, however the latter are obtained, I have had two occasions in the last year where having the paper boarding pass was essential in getting flight credit. Both times I would have had lower status (this year and next) without those documents.

    I prefer the human check in over the kiosk because they can deal with any eventuality and machines are always fallible.
     
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  17. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    They would have to have a dedicated line for baggage drop. I have seen these at several airports. It does speedup the process.
     
  18. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    ALB and SYR are the two places, in the USAirways days, that forced me to use kiosks. Those trips were domestic, most of mine require a Passport. My Passport, for whatever reason, doesn't get read very well by those stupid kiosks (granted, it's old, issued in 2007). I get tired of having to prove to an agent they don't get read by kiosks....it's a waste of my time and their time.

    If the airlines are insistent on reducing labor costs, lobby the U.S. Government in getting electronic BPs through US pre clearance in Canada.
     
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  19. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    Hmmm, I have my doubts about this. Many infrequent flyers will have no clue about the kiosk arrangement, and will search in vain for a check-in counter. Then, once the kiosk procedure is done, everyone must present a boarding pass to the baggage handler, who must check the flight number, destination, etc. and make sure the proper tags are issued. Seems to me, the "old" way was far simpler: Check in at the counter, get your boarding pass and the attendant tags your bags -- a one-stop procedure, with far less risk of a mixup.
     
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  20. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    While I agree that the old way was quicker, I do not think it is anymore... We were in PHL yesterday. A colleague of mine waited in line at the ticket link as she wanted to change her flight. She is Plat, and I am Gold, so we each used the priority area. I used the kiosk to print my boarding pass, and a dedicated ticket agent for bag drop called me over and I handed it on. Very fast and easy. She, on the other hand, didn't move one spot. In fact, after 15 minutes of waiting, she didn't move at all. There were 2 agents in her area, but it seems the issues are getting more complicated and maybe the agents have less power to make decisions? Im not sure.
     
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  21. mevlannen
    Original Member

    mevlannen Silver Member

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    One big advantage of talking to a human agent instead of mashing squishy buttons at a kiosk is that the agent can (if their instructions and expertise allow it) help accommodate unusual situations. In most of the rural airports I frequent, the groundside agents are also the airside agents, thus rendering that level of good service easier to accomplish.

    In case of IRROPS or delated programme credit, a cardboard boarding-pass:

    a) doesn't depend upon continued battery life to be functional and...

    b) honours the tax-man's dictate, "if it's not on paper, it didn't happen."
     
  22. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

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    In my opinion, every time if someone is forced to use the kiosk, drop customer service an email. This is really most probably the new AA trying to find ways to cut cost or to have a valid reason to reduce the availability of agents at check-in kiosks.
    This really is going in the wrong direction, again, seems AA is becoming a UA wannabe in my opinion.

    Cheers!
     
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