KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has introduced a new self service check-in system, based on IBM kiosk technology, at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
The new "KLM e-check-in" system prints boarding passes, allows passengers to choose seats, update their frequent flyer status and obtain receipts for e-tickets. The specially designed e-service centres are also equipped with an integrated passport reader, which allows passports and visas for passengers travelling to the US and Australia to be processed directly.
KLM e-check-in supports six languages and was developed and installed together with IBM, which is also responsible for its maintenance. Passengers can receive boarding passes for up to four people travelling together. Furthermore, they can check in for up to four flight segments simultaneously. It also allows all four passengers to be seated together. KLM has installed 10 e-service centres at Schiphol Airport, and plans to add additional units in the future.
IBM designed the solution so that e-check-in in other cities around the world can be managed from a central location in The Netherlands, since KLM plans to install e-service centres at several other airports.
The KLM e-service centres have a 15" ultra bright LCD screen on the outside and IBM ThinkPad personal computer technology on the inside along with an AIT passport reader and a Thales ATB-2 printer. The configuration uses IBM middleware that will comply with the IATA Common User Self Service (CUSS) standard in the future. The IATA CUSS standard will allow several airlines to offer check-in services from a single self service check-in unit - enabling airlines to further leverage technology to achieve cost savings and optimise use of space in airport terminals.
"KLM, along with all other airlines, has had a difficult time since the September 11 attacks. Nevertheless, e-check-in was installed on schedule according to the previously agreed plan," says Erik van Ooijen, Information Manager Passenger Services at KLM. "We are very happy with the capability, flexibility and professionalism demonstrated by IBM in this project. KLM
passengers were able to use the new e-service centres just a few minutes after they had been installed back in December. That says it all for us."
"Customer service is a top priority for airlines today," said Michael Hulley, general manager, IBM Global Travel & Transportation Industry Group. "KLM's new e-check-in system combines technology and convenience into an innovative solution which we were able to rapidly develop and deploy within six months of the contract being signed."
IBM has previously developed self service check-in systems for a number of major airlines and airports including Air Canada, Alitalia, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and South Korea's Incheon Airport.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the oldest scheduled airline in the world still operating under its original name. Measured by international revenue ton-kilometre, KLM ranks 6th among the 250-plus International Air Transport Association (IATA) carriers. KLM and its partners serve over 400 cities in 78 countries on six continents. In its core activities of passenger and cargo transport, KLM has established itself as one of the markets's leading carriers. In fiscal 2002/2001 KLM carried more than 16.1 million passengers and 502,000 tons of cargo and provided engineering and maintenance services to more than 35 airlines.
More information on KLM's network and services can be found on http://www.klm.com .
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more information, visit the IBM home page at http://www.ibm.com. For additional information on IBM products, services and solutions for the airline and travel industry, visit: http://www.ibm.com/industries/travel .
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