Killing the check-in desk isn't a terrible idea, but it should be replaced by something more efficient and helpful. EasyJet will likely do a better job at it than its peer Ryanair.
The low-cost airline easyJet is bringing what was once a great tradition to an end when it this week consigns check-in desks to the history books.
Check-in desks once epitomised all that was glamorous about air travel, when passengers were greeted by well-heeled air hostesses on the first stage of their journey.
In more recent times, however, long, stressful check-in queues have become one of the greatest bugbears for air travellers.
Now easyJet, the low-cost airline, is bringing what was once a great tradition to an end when it this week consigns check-in desks to the history books.
The airline, famous for its bright orange branding, will tell all passengers to check in online before arriving at the airport.
Check-in desks will be changed to swifter “bag drop” queues, where passengers who have already printed off their boarding passes can deposit their luggage before proceeding to the airport’s security gate.
Passengers with hand luggage will be told they can go directly to security.
A spokesman for easyJet said a large proportion of its passengers – as much as 88pc on some days – already checked in online before arriving at the airport and printed out boarding passes at home.
However, during recent research the airline found that some passengers were still standing unnecessarily in check-in queues when they could have saved time and gone straight to the security gate.
However, the company insisted that customers who forget or who are unable to check in online beforehand will not be penalised and will still be able to do so at any of the bag-drop desks.
EasyJet will also this week start trials of mobile boarding passes on smartphones, which will remove the need to print out anything.