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22 July 2016 | Case study

Automated Check-in with Swiss International Air Lines

According to the 28 members of the Star Alliance, universal automated (auto) check-in is just around the corner. By 2018, the alliance wants all member airlines to provide facilities that enable passengers to check-in online or via airport kiosk, simplifying the process for travellers and airlines alike.

Beyond 2018, the next logical goal for the alliance members would be full automation of check-in processes that still require manual interaction.

These developments follow in the footsteps of our friends Swiss International Air Lines, who recently launched automated (auto) check-in services with 15below – putting them at the forefront of automated, personalised travel.

Automated check-in service – How does it work?

SWISS use a single workflow to drive both auto check-in and online check-in reminders, maximising the number of passengers who are checked-in before arriving at the airport.  This not only improves operational efficiency but also secures the financial sale for the airline.

As auto check-in is not currently supported across the world, the 15below notifications platform checks who is eligible for the service using pre-configured business rules. 

  1. A time-based trigger is received from the reservation system (e.g. flights departing within the next 24 hours) and PNR data is retrieved for the flights selected within that specific period
  2. The platform then runs through a series of tailored business rules to determine which of the retrieved PNRs qualify for the auto check-in service by checking:
    • If auto check-in is offered for the passenger’s destination.
    • If the passenger has registered with a boarding pass preference.
    • If the passenger has completed the necessary regulatory requirements, including the compulsory advanced passenger information (API).

3. All passengers who pass these checks are then checked-in. 15below sends a notification containing a boarding pass or check-in confirmation, via the passengers preferred communication channel.

4. Passengers identified as NOT eligible for auto check-in receive a reminder notification to check in online

SWISS is continuing to roll out the service across all eligible countries and flights in which it operates.

What does this mean?

Scalability

By automating check-in, SWISS have improved their operational efficiency, creating faster and smoother processing using tailored business rules and automated workflows. Maximising the number of passengers checked-in before getting to the airport helps reduce process times and manage queues at the bag drop desk. 

With IATA expecting passenger numbers to reach 7 billion by 2034, SWISS are well prepared to scale these automated processes with 15below.

Smoother journeys for passengers

Auto check-in gives the passenger one less thing to worry about.

By automating simple and repetitive processes, SWISS can provide an extra level of customer service ensuring passengers can be on their way to the departure lounge quickly.

Financial impact

Auto check-in takes place without the need for human intervention. Using a process that requires no staff action saves significant time, resource and money, even at the busiest times.

Integrating tailored ancillary offers into the notification creates opportunities to generate additional revenue by invoking interest at just the right time for the passenger.

Next Steps

Auto check-in and home-printed bag tags are one part of SWISS’ suite of passenger notifications and workflow solutions, provided by 15below. But the work doesn’t stop once the project is delivered.

There must be constant development and continuous iterations to improve the customer experience. For SWISS this means having complete digital flexibility, harmonising the design and delivery of notifications across any device, and any channel – More to come on this.

Testimonial from SWISS:

"Whilst the IATA Fast Travel programme hasn't yet created the goal to eliminate the check-in process, we at SWISS have seen increasing interest from our customers in this area. Initiatives such as Automated Check-In and Home-Printed Bag Tags implemented by our friends at 15below are designed to smooth journeys for our customers whilst reducing unnecessary operational burden on the business - and this can only be a good thing for the industry."

Gianrico Monsch, Manager - Ground Product Development

SWISS International Air Lines

SWISS selected 15below in 2015 to become the airline's notifications provider. Find out more about the partnership here.