Korean Air will change all of its staffed economy class check-in counters at domestic airports to self bag drop counters for passengers who have already checked in either via mobile, web or airport kiosks at airports in Korea.
Passengers who use the self-check-in through mobile, web services or airport kiosks can choose their seats and reduce waiting time at the airport, according to the airline.
The Korean flag carrier says that at Incheon International Airport, 70% of economy class passengers used the self-check-in service in August and as a result, bag drop counters were crowded, causing passengers to wait in long lines during peak hours.
The airline has already replaced all its economy class check-in counters at Gimpo International Airport, including international domestic terminals, with self bag drop counters. The service will be rolled out at Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 from September 1.
However, the bag drop counters will not be introduced to the family care service counters. These counters – used by passengers requiring assistance such as unaccompanied minors, pregnant passengers, as well as first class, prestige class and Morning Calm Club members – will continue normal operations. The counters for US-bound economy class passengers at Incheon International Airport will also continue normal services.
Self check-in refers to the process of passengers checking in for a flight, assigning seats and printing out a boarding pass on their own through mobile, web services or airport kiosks.
The airline’s mobile and online check-in service is available 48 hours before the flight departure time for international flights (24 hours for US flights). The self-check in service on international flights is available until an hour before the departure time, while for domestic flights it’s available until 40 minutes before the departure time. Airport kiosk check-in is available 60 minutes before departure for international flights, and 20 minutes before departure for domestic flights.
For children and infants accompanied by adults, self check-in became available for international flights in January 2019, and for domestic flights in June this year. Starting from April this year, passengers travelling in groups were allowed to check-in through mobile and web services.
Korean Air also plans to introduce a “self-tagging” service by the end of 2019, which will allow passengers to pick seats and register baggage at the same time as they’re checking in at the kiosk. This service is expected to cut down over 30% of the check-in time for each passenger. Passengers can simply print out their baggage tags at the kiosk and put them onto their baggage, then drop them at the bag drop counter.