There are many things that can go wrong with computers these days as it is normal and everyday life.
As with a washing machine, tumble dryer or laptop continued use can cause technical faults which are not anyone’s fault but just happen.
This is the same for touch screen kiosks after a computer glitch left planes nationwide grounded and passengers experiencing delays for the whole weekend in a chaos-filled nightmare.
United Airlines suffered a computer break on 18th June 2011 which resulted in flights being delayed for hours or cancelled altogether, stranding thousands of travellers.
The airline officials said the computer issue began at about 7:10pm causing many holidaymakers to sleep overnight at the airport’s various terminals across America over Father’s Day weekend.
The flight mess was blamed on a network connectivity issue for knocking out its computers for at least five hours.
Alexandria Marren, Senior Vice President of system operations control for United Airlines, said in a statement: “While we will be experiencing some residual effect on our flight operations throughout the weekend, United is committed to restoring normal operations as soon as possible.”
The carrier apologised for the disruption and rebooked passengers.
Major airports affected included Chicago, San Francisco and Denver where long queues of passengers were pictured. Just in Los Angeles International Airport alone the kiosk fault disrupted flights for some 3,000 travellers.
Hundreds of touch screen units were closed and so boarding passed couldn’t be issued and bags couldn’t be checked.
Protouch helped Birmingham Airport fast track its passengers without any technical glitches with our express lane kiosks. Its new kiosk features a 19” touch screen, chip and pin, coin and note acceptor, change dispenser and receipt printer with a branded laminate; and give passengers the choice whether to be processed as per normal or to buy a priority pass from the kiosk.
Trust Europe’s number one manufacturer and distributor of touch screen technology to deploy kiosks that are fully efficient; and if something should go wrong our dedicated in-house IT Support department and network of field engineers offer support services for our entire range of kiosks and touch screen solutions. This includes a first class helpdesk, return to base repairs and flexible on-site support agreements.
Click here to find out more about installing a kiosk in your airport.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has sued United Airlines on the claim that their airport kiosks, which use touchscreen technology, cannot be used by blind passengers.
It seems the nation’s oldest organisation of blind people and three blind individuals in California, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The pressure group alleges that the airline is violating the California Disabled Persons Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act because the services it provides through its’ kiosks are not available to the blind.
The self -service kiosks in which they are arguing about presently provide flight information and allow passengers to check in for flights, print tickets and boarding passes.
The NFB maintain that audio interface, a keyboard or interactive screen reader technology could easily be added to the touchscreens as many other airlines have done.
Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The airline industry has an unfortunate history of discriminating against blind passengers, and now United Airlines is repeating that history by deploying inaccessible technology that we cannot use.”
The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to provide special services for passengers who aren’t physically capable of using kiosks, such as assistance from staff in using the kiosk or allowing the passenger to come to the front of the line at check-in.
In a rebuttal statement, the airline said: “United Airlines is committed to providing quality service to all of our customers and to remaining in full compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
Mike May, CEO of the Sendero Group, a manufacturer of technology for the blind, has supposedly said “it is easy” for United to make its kiosks accessible. He said: ”There is simply no excuse for the long wait and inconvenience that other blind United passengers and I continue to experience at airports.”
We recently reported how Italian banks have installed ATMs that are accessible for the blind and visually impaired in Rome.
Touchscreen technology in the business industry is ever-growing and the supply and need for them is expanding.
Protouch are Europe’s number one manufacturer and distributor of touch screen equipment.
Airlines and airports around the globe are jet setting into the world of self service to enhance customer experience when travelling the world.
And the move to implement self service kiosks has proved a massive hit with passengers after a recent survey revealed that six leading airport hubs across five continents has seen a 20 per cent growth in adoption of self service check-in options over the last year.
This change in passenger habits has also seen more passengers demanding improvements in security procedures and airport dwell times as they check-in less baggage.
The survey conducted by SITA, also found that convenience as much as price is driving online booking which is now close to 100 per cent availability in mature markets, 63.7 per cent of those questioned in the survey booked online.
On top of this consumer habit, passengers are spending more though the airline websites in ancillary services such as hotels and car hire and their numbers are expected to double.
Airlines are now clocking onto this and have designed their websites to become a channel of choice for pre-flight and post-flight customers services. 50 per cent of passengers interviewed, for example, are using airline websites to modify reservations or update frequent flyer information.
The 4th annual SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self Service (PSS) survey is a detailed look at the attitudes and trends of a representative sample of the 232 million passengers who use these six leading international airports: Harsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International; Charles de Gaulle, Paris; Moscow Domodedovo; Sao Paulo, Guarulhos, Brazil; and OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg.
The data is extracted from interviews with 2,193 passengers who conducted the survey at the departure gate earlier this year.
The top four steps that passengers would most likely change about their journey was the: security screening, 18.2 per cent, dwell time at the airport before flight departure, 14.8 per cent; in-flight experience, 14.5 per cent and waiting for checked baggage on arrival, 9.3 per cent.
Dominique El Bez, SITA Director, Portfolio Marketing, said, “The survey does provide a good news for the air transport industry, and airlines in particular, because it proves that self-service has passed a tipping point in the last 12 months.
“We have seen a 20 per cent increase in adoption of self service check in options across all these hubs. It is also significant that this holds true among transit passengers who exercised the self service check in option at over 200 other airports.
“The main obstacles to the further rise of self service are check in baggage which is being addressed by the industry through revised bag-drop processes, and the necessity to have access to a printer to acquire a boarding pass through web check-in.
“This last issue is being addressed by the industry through adoption of the mobile Bar Code Boarding Pass (BCBP) which will allow a BCBP to be sent from the web check-in interface to the passenger’s mobile phone. In fact, 66 per cent of the self service check-in users would prefer an electronic boarding pass.”
In 2009, the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, found that self service check-in reached a record 83.9 per cent in 2009, up from 64 per cent in 2008.
Web check-in was used by 25.6 per cent of departing passengers at Mumbai International Airport making it by far the most popular self service option for Indian passengers. Kiosk check in is still the most popular self service user option at Atlanta (45.8 per cent) Paris (18.9 per cent) and Johannesburg (8.1 per cent) while web check-in proved the most popular option with passengers in Moscow (9.2 per cent) and Sao Paulo (6.4 per cent).
There has been a very positive attitude among passengers when it comes to checking in with kiosks, with 75 per cent preferring this option to 62.5 per cent opting for website check-in and 44 per cent of passengers more positive towards mobile check in.
Passengers flying on more than 100 different airlines and representing over 80 different nationalities were interviewed during April/June 2009 in this independent survey.