The FINANCIAL — Star Alliance is improving customer experience at Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) through a combination of co-locating the member airlines in a one single check-in zone and the progressive introduction of more automation. The aim is to offer customers a wider choice of check-in options, giving them more control over this part of the travel process and creating time savings.
As a prerequisite to providing these enhancements, check-in for all 10 Star Alliance member carriers operating out of TBIT has been consolidated in one singe aisle. The check-in counters for Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, SWISS and Turkish Airlines are now all in aisle “C”, at the north end of the terminal. This not only allows customers to easily identify the location of the check-in desks, but also permits the member airlines to share counter space to even better match capacity to the actual demand, according to Star Alliance.
A range of joint automated services is also progressively being made available by the TBIT based Star Alliance member carriers. Passengers are being encouraged to make use of the various mobile and web check-in options available. For those needing to print boarding passes at the airport, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has installed 24 common-use kiosks, which can print both boarding passes and luggage tags. In addition to the traditional full service check-in desks, fast bag-drop counters can also be made available for those who have opted to self-tag their bags.
To further support these improvements, LAWA will be opening a new North Security Checkpoint located at the end of Aisle “C” sometime in March.
TBIT is also home to Star Alliance’s Award Winning Los Angeles Lounge, managed by Air New Zealand. Opened in September 2013, the premium customer facility offers space for around 400 Business Class and Star Alliance Gold passengers, as well as an exclusive area for First Class passengers. The 18,000 square foot (1,675 square meter) lounge features a unique open air terrace, offering panoramic views of the northern runway towards the Hollywood Hills. The lounge’s experience zones are designed to accommodate passenger needs ranging from social gatherings to quiet time away from home.
The lounge offers a bar area for socializing, a library space, a den, a study and a media room. Those wishing to freshen up before their flight can do so in one of eight shower rooms.
Guests wishing to work will be able to do so from various locations throughout the lounge, which is equipped with high-speed wi-fi and offers printing, fax and copy services on request.
With Scandinavian Airlines set to begin services to Los Angeles from Stockholm from mid-March, the total number of Star Alliance airlines serving the airport will rise to 15. Scandinavian will join the current 10 members in TBIT, with Air Canada and Avianca offering flights from Terminal 2, COPA from Terminal 6 and United from Terminals 7 and 8. Jointly they offer around 1,150 daily flights from the airport, connecting 79 cities in 24 countries.
The changes at TBIT are being implemented in close cooperation with LAWA and have to a large extent come from the experience Star Alliance made during the Terminal 2 project at London – Heathrow Airport, where a completely new check-in concept was put into effect. All Star Alliance member airlines use the same check-in kiosks, make use of common bag-drop counters and even share Economy Class check-in desks. Using the success of the Terminal 2 project as a base, the Alliance is enhancing the customer experience at other airports around the globe, implementing various technological advances made in London.