Alaska Airlines wants to get customers from airport lobby to security in five minutes or less

23 Apr 2023 by Mark Caswell
Alaska Airlines bag tag station (image from

Alaska Airlines has outlined plans to improve the lobby experience for customers at its hub and focus airports including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anchorage.

Over the next three years the oneworld carrier is investing $2.5 billion on improvements aimed at getting passengers through the lobby and onto security in five minutes or less.

New bag tag stations are being introduced to replace “dated kiosks”, allowing customers to pay for a tag checked luggage using iPad tablets. The airline said that “most airports will transition to the new bag tag stations by the end of 2023”.

These will be followed in spring 2024 by the rollout of self-service bag drop-off counters at the carrier’s hub airports, enabling passengers to drop off checked luggage following a scan of their face, government-issued ID and bag.

Rendering of the Alaska Airlines lobby area at Seattle airport (image from

Alaska Airlines stressed that “we will always have customer service agents available” for those who need them, but said that three our of four customers had already started to adapt to new technology, for example by bringing their boarding passes in hand to the airport.

Commenting on the news Charu Jain, Alaska Airlines senior vice president of innovation and merchandising, said:

“As we thought about how to provide the most caring experience for our guests, it was clear the lobby was a pain point. We realized the majority of our guests were doing most of the kiosk actions on their own phones and we could reduce the congestion in our airports.

“Alaska was the first airline to introduce kiosks more than 20 years ago, and we’ll be the first airline to remove them. We’re looking forward to offering the new full guest experience next summer.”

Last year Alaska Airlines outlined plans for the renovation and expansion of its lounges at Seattle-Tacoma International airport, as well as the refreshing of facilities at Portland and Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines expanding and renovating Seattle lounges

Loading comments...

Search Flight

See a whole year of Reward Seat Availability on one page at

Business Traveller February 2024 edition
Business Traveller February 2024 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below