My guess is that anyone flying commercially these days is hyper-aware of contagion risks and just about bathing in sanitizer liquid when in a terminal or on a plane, so the fear of using touchscreens can seem a bit overwrought.
You touch something, you sanitize …
That stated, if you don’t need to touch something at all, even better. Particular if it’s an improvement over how things were previously done.
American Airlines has introduced a new touchless check-in kiosk experience for travellers that seems to make sense because of its speed and convenience, as much as its safety.
The airline has adapted its check-in terminals at more than 230 US airports to pair a smartphone app or messaging with the reader device on the kiosk. You could already check-in just via phone or on a PC, but if you were checking bags, you had to work with a terminal to get luggage tags, or get in a line (not that lines would be all that long right at the moment).
Now people traveling domestically, on a single itinerary, can indicate how many bags they plan to check on the American Airlines app or at the airline’s website.
When the customer arrives at the check-in kiosk, they can scan the boarding pass on their personal mobile device or one they printed out at home. After the boarding pass is scanned, the kiosk automatically prints the bag tags, all without the customer having to touch the kiosk.
So it should be faster than boinking away on a screen to get those tags spit out from the machine.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.