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MSc Thesis_Devleoping a Simulation Model for Airport Check-In

MSc Thesis_Devleoping a Simulation Model for Airport Check-In

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Thesis explaining the development ot the simulation model with use of Excel for Airport self service check-in and fast bag drop-off
Thesis explaining the development ot the simulation model with use of Excel for Airport self service check-in and fast bag drop-off

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Mihir Baxi

DEVELOPING A MODEL TO ANALYZE IMPACTS OF SELF-SERVICE AND WEB CHECK-IN AT AIRPORTS

School of Engineering

MSc Airport Planning and Management

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

School of Engineering

MSc Thesis

Academic Year 2006-2007

Mihir Baxi

DEVELOPING A MODEL TO ANALYZE IMPACTS OF SELF-SERVICE AND WEB CHECK-IN AT AIRPORTS
Supervisor: Mr. Ralph Anker September 2007

This thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Airport Planning and Management

© Cranfield University 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports i Abstract

ABSTRACT
This research deals with the development of a simulation model to understand the impacts of the self-service and web check-in and estimate the requirements for the same. The research is divided in two parts. Firstly, it deals with collecting the relevant data from the airports and analyzing the data to identify the key parameters that affect the new check-in process. Secondly these parameters and understanding are used to develop a simulation model to estimate the resources and analyze the impacts of various what-if scenarios. It was realized from case studies that there are many variables that affect the process but the arrival profile and the processing time can explain the queuing patterns at the airports. The simulation model developed is based on this understanding. To keep the model flexible arrival profiles have been kept as a variable input. As a result of research, a simple tool which could be used on any computer to analyze and estimate the requirements for the self-service and web check-in at airports has been developed successfully.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports iii Acknowledgement

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Joining Cranfield University was one of the toughest decisions taken by me, which would not have been possible without inspirations from Dipan and Murali, who have influenced my actions a lot and deserve much more than thanks. I would like to thank my thesis supervisor Mr. Ralph Anker for his insightful discussions which always gave me new ideas. Thanks, Mr. Richard Moxon for taking pain to arrange the visit to the airport. A special thanks to Elizabeth Hegarty at LCY, Martyn Davies at MAN, and Nicky Stubbs and Pete Hiller at LHR and to all others who made this research possible. Lastly, I would like to show my deepest gratitude to my parents and brother who have unlimited confidence in my capabilities to succeed and given me strength to do so. Hope I meet their expectations. Finally, I think this work will be incomplete if I do not mention the name of the person who has given unconditional support and believed in my stupefying talks for whole year. Mansi, this was never possible without your dedication and sacrifices.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports v Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract .................................................................................................................... i Acknowledgement .................................................................................................. iii Table of Figures ....................................................................................................... xi Table of Tables ...................................................................................................... xiii Acronyms ............................................................................................................... xv 1.0
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6

Introduction................................................................................................... 1
Capacity Constraints at Airports.................................................................................... 1 New Technologies and IATA Initiatives ......................................................................... 2 Problem Statement ....................................................................................................... 4 Research Objectives ...................................................................................................... 5 Research Methodology ................................................................................................. 5 Thesis Outline................................................................................................................ 6

2.0

Literature Review........................................................................................... 7

2.1 Research Theses............................................................................................................ 7 2.1.1 Reducing the air travel hassle factor through Self-service Check-in process improvements....................................................................................................................... 7 2.1.2 Simulation of Passenger flow in Self-service Check-in........................................... 8 2.1.3 Common User Self-service Check-in: Benefits to the air transport Industry.......... 9 2.2 Books and Peer Reviewed Papers ............................................................................... 10 2.2.1 Books and Standard References .......................................................................... 10 2.2.2 Peer Reviewed Papers ......................................................................................... 10 2.3 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 12

3.0

Self-Service and Web Check-In ..................................................................... 15

3.1 History of Self-service Kiosks....................................................................................... 15 3.2 Self-service at The Airports ......................................................................................... 16 3.3 Check-in Process.......................................................................................................... 17 3.3.1 The Traditional Check-In Process......................................................................... 17 3.3.2 Check-In with Kiosks ............................................................................................ 18 3.4 Check-in Configuration................................................................................................ 19 3.4.1 One Step .............................................................................................................. 20 3.4.2 Two Step.............................................................................................................. 21 3.4.3 Three Step............................................................................................................ 21 3.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 21

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports vii Table of Contents

4.0

Case Studies................................................................................................. 24

4.1 Methodology............................................................................................................... 24 4.2 Case Study 1- London City Airport, London ................................................................ 25 4.2.1 Arrival Profile....................................................................................................... 26 4.2.2 Processing Time................................................................................................... 27 4.2.3 Queuing Time ...................................................................................................... 30 4.3 Case Study 2- Manchester Airport .............................................................................. 32 4.3.1 Arrival Profile....................................................................................................... 32 4.3.2 Processing Times ................................................................................................. 33 4.3.3 Queuing Time ...................................................................................................... 36 4.4 Case Study 3- London Heathrow Airport .................................................................... 37 4.4.1 Arrival Profile....................................................................................................... 38 4.4.2 Processing Times ................................................................................................. 39 4.4.3 Queuing Time ...................................................................................................... 40 4.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 41

5.0

Simulation Model......................................................................................... 43

5.1 The Approach .............................................................................................................. 43 5.1.1 Arrival Profile....................................................................................................... 43 5.1.2 Processing Times ................................................................................................. 44 5.1.3 Service Standards ................................................................................................ 46 5.2 Description of Model................................................................................................... 47 5.3 Assumptions................................................................................................................ 49 5.4 Validation .................................................................................................................... 50 5.4.1 Comparison to Existing Data ............................................................................... 50 5.4.2 Comparison to Existing Standards....................................................................... 52 5.4.3 Concluding Comments......................................................................................... 53 5.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 54

6.0

Application of Model.................................................................................... 55

6.1 Existing Situation......................................................................................................... 55 6.1.1 As Is Model .......................................................................................................... 55 6.1.2 Scenario 1 ............................................................................................................ 56 6.1.3 Scenario 2 ............................................................................................................ 57 6.1.4 Scenario 3 ............................................................................................................ 57 6.1.5 Discussions .......................................................................................................... 58 6.2 Other Experiments ...................................................................................................... 59 6.2.1 Scenario 4 ............................................................................................................ 59 6.2.2 Scenario 5 ............................................................................................................ 60 6.2.3 Discussions .......................................................................................................... 61 6.3 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 62

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports ix Table of Contents

7.0
7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5

Discussions .................................................................................................. 63
Dedicated versus Common Use .................................................................................. 63 CUSS versus Web Check-In.......................................................................................... 64 Emerging Technologies ............................................................................................... 65 Bag Drop-off ................................................................................................................ 65 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 66

8.0
8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4

Conclusions.................................................................................................. 67
Overall Discussion ....................................................................................................... 67 Statement of Research Value...................................................................................... 69 Further Work and Research ........................................................................................ 69 Final Conclusions......................................................................................................... 71

Works Cited ........................................................................................................... 73 Further Reading...................................................................................................... 77 ANNEXURE A Results from Statistical Analysis for Processing Times ANNEXURE B Simulation Model: Description and Users Guide ANNEXURE C Results from Simulation Model: Scenario 1 – Scenario 5

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports xi Table of Figures

TABLE OF FIGURES
Figure 1-1 Penetration of CUSS at airports Compiled from: (IATA(b) n.d.) ................ 3 Figure 3-1 Passenger Processing Flow........................................................................... 17 Figure 3-2 Check-in through Kiosk.................................................................................. 19 Figure 3-3 Typical Stand Alone Kiosk Photo by Mihir Baxi .......................................... 20 Figure 4-1- Self-service Kiosks for Air France and CityJet Photo by Mihir Baxi .......... 25

Figure 4-2 Arrival Profile for Air France, LCY .................................................................. 26 Figure 4-3 Arrival Profile for VLM, LCY ........................................................................... 27 Figure 4-4 Processing Time per Pax - Self-service Kiosks, LCY ....................................... 28 Figure 4-5 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, LCY ................................................ 29 Figure 4-6 Processing Time per Pax- Check-in Counters, LCY ........................................ 29 Figure 4-7 Queuing at Air France Kiosks, LCY ................................................................. 30 Figure 4-8 Queuing at Air France Bag Drop-off, LCY ...................................................... 31 Figure 4-9 Queuing at VLM Check-in Counters, LCY....................................................... 31 Figure 4-10 Self-service Kiosks at MAN Photo by Mihir Baxi...................................... 32

Figure 4-11 Arrival Profile - Monarch, MAN................................................................... 33 Figure 4-12 Processing Time per Pax- Self-service Kiosk, MAN ..................................... 34 Figure 4-13 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, MAN............................................ 35 Figure 4-14 Processing Time per Pax - Check-in Counters, MAN................................... 35 Figure 4-15 Queuing at Monarch Check-in Counters, MAN........................................... 36 Figure 4-16 Self-service Kiosks at LHR Photo by Mihir Baxi....................................... 37

Figure 4-17 Arrival Profile for Lufthansa, LHR ................................................................ 39 Figure 4-18 Processing Time per Pax - Self-service Kiosks, LHR..................................... 40 Figure 4-19 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, LHR.............................................. 40

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

xii Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports
Table of Figures

Figure 5-1 Arrival Profiles ................................................................................................. 1 Figure 5-2 Process Model for Simulation ....................................................................... 48 Figure 5-3 Simulation result of wait times for MAN ...................................................... 51 Figure 5-4 Actual wait times at MAN ............................................................................. 52 Figure 5-5 Arrival Profile for Simulation representing IATA assumptions ..................... 53 Figure 7-1 Check-in Mode Forecast by IATA .................................................................. 65

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports xiii Table of Tables

TABLE OF TABLES
Table 2-1 Processing Times Compiled by Author, based on (Lejarraga 2004) ............ 9 Table 4-1 - Details Observed at the Airports.................................................................. 24 Table 4-2 Flight Schedule Air France, LCY....................................................................... 26 Table 4-3 Flight Schedule VLM, LCY................................................................................ 26 Table 4-4 Processing Times at LCY.................................................................................. 28 Table 4-5 Passenger Wait Times for AF and VLM, LCY ................................................... 30 Table 4-6 Flight Schedule Monarch, MAN...................................................................... 33 Table 4-7 Breakups for Passenger Check-in for Monarch, MAN.................................... 34 Table 4-8 Processing Times for Monarch, MAN............................................................. 34 Table 4-9 Passenger Wait Times for Monarch, MAN ..................................................... 36 Table 4-10 Flight Schedule Lufthansa, LHR .................................................................... 38 Table 4-11 Processing Times for Lufthansa Airlines, LHR............................................... 39 Table 4-12 Passenger Wait Times at LHR, Lufthansa Airlines ........................................ 41 Table 5-1 Processing Times and Distribution profile...................................................... 45 Table 5-2 Inputs in the Simulation Model ...................................................................... 50 Table 5-3 Comparison with the existing and simulation results .................................... 51 Table 5-4 Results for the simulation of 2500 TPHP........................................................ 53 Table 6-1 Total Process Time for As-is model ................................................................ 55 Table 6-2 Summary of the Results.................................................................................. 56 Table 6-3 Total Process Time for Scenario 1 .................................................................. 56 Table 6-4 Summary of Utilization of Servers.................................................................. 57 Table 6-5 Total Process Time for Scenario 2 .................................................................. 57 Table 6-6 Total Process Time for Scenario 3 .................................................................. 58

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

xiv Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports

Table 6-7 Service Standards for the Scenario 4 and 5.................................................... 59 Table 6-8 Summary of the results for Scenario 4 & 5 .................................................... 60 Table 8-1 Processing Times for all Check-in Modes ....................................................... 67

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports xv Acronyms

ACRONYMS
ADRM AF ANOVA ATM BA BAA BCBP CUSS CUTE DLR ET EU IATA IRSS LCY LHR MAN MWT Pax RFID StB STD TPHP Airport Design Reference Manual, 9th Edition, IATA Air France Analysis of Variance Automatic Teller Machine British Airways British Airport Authority Bar Coded Boarding Passes Common User Self-Service Common User Terminal Equipment Dockland Light Railway Electronic Ticket European Union International Air Transport Association Intelligent Resource Simulation Systems London City Airport London Heathrow Airport Manchester Airport Maximum Wait Time Passengers Radio Frequency Identification Simplifying the Business Standard Time of Departure Typical Peak Hour Passengers

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 1 Introduction

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The aviation industry has grown at an unprecedented rate recently due to various reasons. The EU aviation market has shown growth because of liberalization and low cost airlines, while the Asian market is growing faster than ever because of strong economic growth in Asia. In 2006, the airports of emerging economies have shown the growth in double digits. The busiest hubs of India Mumbai and Delhi, have shown 20% growth in the last year. A few European airports like Dublin, Hamburg and Oslo have also shown double-digit growth rates. At the global level, air traffic showed 5% growth (Pilling 2007a). The Global Traffic Forecast, ACI1 has predicted traffic growing at 4.6% in the following decade and for the next 20 years the growth rate is to be 4% (Pilling 2007a). The Airbus Global Forecast shows that on average the traffic is supposed to grow at 4.8% per annum until 2025 (Airbus 2006). The report also forecasts a doubling of frequency, which might create a problem for the airports world over for infrastructure and air space management. To cope up with the growth airports have to expand the terminal facilities and meet new standards of operational efficiency. The growth in traffic requires a huge investment by airports to develop new terminals and airside facilities. The capacity at airports is constrained if new projects are not implemented on time. The new technologies are evolving to relieve the congestion at airports, requiring airports to change their operational strategy and expansion plans.

1.1

C APACITY C ONSTRAINTS

AT

A IRPORTS

Air traffic is growing continuously, but the development of airports is constrained by the funding and space available to expand the terminal. The new projects have also to take care of the new environmental constraints along with the operational constraints already existing at a site like Heathrow Terminal 5. There has been a situation of unacceptable queues at Heathrow and the only solution is more facilities (ATI News 2007). Pan European air navigation agency Eurocontrol is warning that lack of airport capacity will constrain the growth in traffic by 2025 (Kaminski-Morrow 2004). Assuming no capacity constraints on air traffic and airport capacity, traffic is supposed to grow at

Airports Council International is a forum of airports worldwide and they publish reference documents relevant to the industry.

1

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

2 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Introduction

least 2.5 times of the 2003 level (Toole and Thompson 2005). Airport capacity at present seems unlikely to meet these demands across the system. To meet new capacity demands the airports will need the investment of US $55 billion in Europe for infrastructure until 2025 (Toole and Thompson 2005). ACI also suggest that the current charge structure at the airports will not be sufficient to finance the projects. A similar situation exists at US airports where the airports are favoring a change in policy for the passenger facility charge to finance the new infrastructure projects (Hughes 2005). Airports in the US estimate they will need US $71.5 billion for the capital improvements projects from 2005 to 2009 and they will fall short of US $3-4 billion a year (Hughes 2005). The expansion of airports is a complex exercise and needs to address issues like operational constraints and the environment along with funds. In the light of environmental restrictions on a new development, projects take longer to complete and have to follow stringent regulations for completion. As a result, airport capacity is constrained and we find longer queues at the terminals. The new security requirements and the frequent changes increase inconvenience to passengers and there is a need for improving the process.

1.2

N EW T ECHNOLOGIES

AND

IATA I NITIATIVES

In response to the situation, airports have started implementing new technologies at the terminal for convenience of the passenger. The new solutions strive to improve operational efficiency and reduce queues at the airport. The new technology like selfservice and web check-in are being installed at many airports to increase Check-in capacity. Technologies like biometrics and Iris recognition are being implemented for increased security measures, while radio frequency identification is being tested for improved baggage tracking and management. IATA is taking various initiatives to improve the passenger experience, while taking into consideration the industry wide point of view. In the 2004 Annual General Meeting IATA won the airlines backing to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The agenda of Simplifying the Business (StB) was to improve the basic elements of travelers’ journeys while cutting through the expenses of the conventional legacy of an expensive and complex system (SITA(a) n.d.). The projects were selected to achieve increased efficiency for the airlines and cut down the costs of operations, while improving the customer service and making it possible to implement them on a larger scale (IATA(a) n.d.).

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 3 Introduction

The programme Simplifying the Business (StB) includes five projects in its initial stage, which are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. E-Ticketing (ET) Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP) IATA e-Freight Common Use Self-service Check-in (CUSS) Radio Frequency Identification for Aviation (RFID)

The Role of IATA is to educate and bring awareness to the industry about the common vision for simplified business model. It will also encourage adaptation of common standards and provide support and necessary market intelligence to all the stakeholders. Most of the technologies are on their way to implementation at the airports. The eTicket has been widely implemented by airlines as they see it as greatly beneficial. The savings from e-ticket are obvious and the advent of low cost airlines has speed up the process of implementing this initiative. Secondly, the CUSS kiosks are being installed at a number of airports and it allows passengers to check-in for multiple airlines. The cost saved per passenger being checked in by CUSS is US$ 2.50 (IATA(b) n.d.). Many airlines are already using the dedicated self-service Kiosks and IATA is pursuing airports and airlines to adapt CUSS as the industry standards. The Figure 1-1 shows the penetration of CUSS worldwide.

Figure 1-1 Penetration of CUSS at airports

Compiled from: (IATA(b) n.d.)

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

4 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Introduction

In addition it is being advocated that web check-in will gain more importance in the coming years. All major airlines now allow passengers to check-in through the web, which is enabled due to BCBP. Each project has its own benefits, but each also plays an important role in enabling airports and airlines to provide the passenger with a full self-service model. Thus it is essential to link all the three systems of e-ticket, CUSS and BCBP to realize significant profit and efficiency.

1.3

P ROBLEM S TATEMENT

In recent years the airlines have started using innovative Check-in technologies. The dedicated Self-service Check-in kiosks are now an integral part of the airport facility and the new e-ticket also allows the use of the internet for check-in. These processes enable airlines to reduce the time and number of staff required, thus saving substantial costs in operations. These changes in the process have allowed airports to handle more passengers in the same space (Weiss 2006) and the winding queues have been reduced. But there are many issues related to the implementation of the selfservice check-in. Further to this, IATA is advocating CUSS, similar to standardized ATMs at banks. New CUSS standards will allow the sharing of kiosks among airlines similar to CUTE and also give access to the technology for the smaller airlines. The advantages of adopting CUSS have been discussed in many papers and conferences alike and will be discussed later in detail. The impacts these new check-in technologies have on the design and operation of the airports and how far it has been successful in reducing queues is not quite evident. There is a need to understand the process and its implication on the effects that it will have on operations and implementation. Also it is essential to study what kind of changes will be required for moving from one technology to another. Also, there are no set standards for installing the system at the airports. Because technology is new, IATA does not have any standard procedures or thumb rules to estimate the requirements. There are many sophisticated simulation tools available that need a lot of inputs and are costly for an airport to acquire. The author feels that simpler tools, easily accessible to all will be sufficient for the problem and be more valuable. It is thus necessary to establish the common standards for estimating requirements for self-service and web check-in facilities.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 5 Introduction

1.4

R ESEARCH O BJECTIVES

The research objectives are as follows: • • • • • To establish the key parameters that affect the self-service and web check-in process and the factors that influence them. To develop generic standards which could be used to determine the efficiency and estimate the resources. To develop a simulation model with the understanding gained for estimating resources for the whole check-in system for any airport. The model should be simple enough to understand and should use commonly available software, so that it is accessible to all. To add value to the industry understanding of the self-service and web check-in process in a tangible way for future use.

1.5

R ESEARCH M ETHODOLOGY

In order to achieve the stated objectives, the author will conduct case studies at a number of different airports to understand the process and also collect the primary data to be used in the simulation model. The purpose of visiting different airports is to understand the variations in the process that exist at all airports and gather as much data as possible. The method of data collection will basically include observing the passenger in the process and other key issues at the airports. The data collected will be analyzed to understand the differences and various factors that might affect the check-in process at airports. The collected data will also help in establishing key parameters for the simulation model. The key parameters will be used as inputs for the simulation model to be developed in MS Office Excel. The simulation model will be validated against the existing situation and industry standards wherever they exist. This validated simulation model can be used for various experiments to explain the behavior of the check-in system as a whole and provide the airport planners with a tool to estimate requirements for check-in systems.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

6 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Introduction

1.6

T HESIS O UTLINE

This chapter explains the current position of self-service and web check-in in the industry and discusses the problems in determining the requirements and operations of new technology at the airport. The second chapter, literature review, looks into the various existing literature on and around the subject. It covers the literature explaining the general understanding and review of papers on check-in simulation and resource allocation. Chapter three explains the overall understanding of the process and steps involved in the self-service check-in. It enables the reader to understand the process of check-in with reference to self-service and web check-in. The fourth chapter discusses the case studies carried out at three airports and documents the critical observations for arrival profiles, processing times and queuing patterns. The next chapter deals with the process of developing the simulation model and discusses the parameters that affect the process. The critical assumptions and the validation of the model are also discussed in the same chapter. The Sixth chapter explains the application of model and key observations regarding the implementation of the new check-in process. This chapter explains the impacts of the new process with the help of various scenarios to estimate the requirements at airport in various situations. Chapter seven discusses the other technological developments that might affect the use of the model and results. The concluding chapter summarizes the learning from the research and brings all the understanding together.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 7 Literature Review

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
It is essential to find out what has already been done regarding the research that is being carried out to understand the scope and need of the research. The self-service and web check-in have been installed recently at the airports and there is not much research on the resource allocation models or the provision of space required for the implementation of such technology. However, there are a large number of papers and articles showing the importance and benefits of self-service and web check-in at airports. The literature review is divided in two parts; the first part discusses the theses that are available on similar topics and the second section looks at what is available as the standard reference on the subject and discusses various papers dealing with the simulation and resource allocation modeling for Check-in counters.

2.1

R ESEARCH T HESES

There are three theses available on the similar topic of interest; two of them are from Cranfield University and one from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research findings of each thesis and important points are discussed in details. 2.1.1 Reducing the air travel hassle factor through Selfservice Check-in process improvements This research thesis mainly deals with human factors involved in the implementation of the self-service check-in at airports. The thesis looks into the role of roving check-in agents and the usage of the self-service facilities. The author has analyzed the process at three US airports, namely Houston, Cleveland and Newark and has brought up interesting facts in terms of the operations of the self-service check-in by Continental Airlines. The research identified some key issues in the implementation of the services, as usage of the kiosks was dependent on the activity of the agent assigned to help the passengers. One more aspect was how efficiently do the agents perform and encourage the use of kiosks by passengers. It was observed that at times the agents performed the whole process for the passenger. In addition, the use of machines and the number of passengers waiting in line were dependent on the number of kiosks assigned to each check-in agent.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

8 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Literature Review

The author also conducted a survey amongst the check-in agents and passengers using the self-service kiosks. The findings for the attitude of check-in agents towards the self-service kiosks varied with the size of airport as they had different roles at different airports. At spoke airports, the self-service kiosks were seen as technology that enables the agents to perform the role more efficiently as they were responsible for many other activities. While at the main hub airports it was seen as a threat to the job and was not taken positively as check-in agents were only responsible for check-in. The passenger survey showed some positive results and it was seen that self-service is seen as a positive move by passengers. The passengers were ready to take control of the process and more than happy to check-in by themselves. Most of the passengers also showed the inclination to use the self-service rather than normal check-in if both took the same time. 2.1.2 Simulation Check-in of Passenger flow in Self-service

The main purpose of this thesis was to create a simulation tool to estimate the requirement for the Self-service check-in process for the low-cost carrier easyJet. The author carried out observations at East Midlands Airport, which was the only airport with self-service check-in for easyJet at the time of the research thesis. The author collected detailed information on the arrival patterns and profiles of the passenger. easyJet was insisting on 100% check-in using kiosks and the author collected information regarding the processing times for using kiosk and baggage dropoff. The model was developed using the Witness simulation software, used by BAA and many other airlines for the evaluation of the process at airports. A generic model was developed so that it can be used at any airport to estimate the requirements for check-in by easyJet. The interface was designed in Excel for the convenience of the users. The check-in process that was considered for modeling included the passengers tagging the bags printed by the kiosks by themselves and then dropping the bags at baggage drop off. The number of baggage drop-offs critically defined the overall processing times. The author observed that the processing times were normally distributed and were different in two cases, with queues and without queues. The transaction times considered were as follows:

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 9 Literature Review

Description Self-service Kiosk Tagging the Bag Time for Bag Drop-off
Table 2-1 Processing Times

Processing Times 1.6 Minute without queue 1.26 Minute with Queue 0.45 Minute*Number of bags 0.35 + 0.18 Minute* Number of bags
Compiled by Author, based on (Lejarraga 2004)

The thesis dealt with estimating the resources for the self-service check-in process dedicated to airlines with known flight schedules for the given time and day. The model developed was a management and optimization tool to determine the required resources. 2.1.3 Common User Self-service Check-in: Benefits to the air transport Industry The thesis discusses the benefits of CUSS to the air transport industry. The author has compiled information regarding the benefits of the CUSS and showed to what extent it can be beneficial to airports. The thesis gives a good overall view for the position of the CUSS in the industry. CUSS architecture has been explained in detail and various applications and interfaces required for the implementation are included in the discussion. The author has also calculated the costs for installing CUSS in the existing airport terminal at Belfast City Airport. The analysis of the cost shows clear benefits to the airlines in terms of manpower and for airports in terms of the cost of the infrastructure. The cost of installing per kiosk is calculated at around GBP 29,680. There would be additional costs for maintaining the inventory and training the staff. Raymond also looked into the queuing systems and the time that the system will require for the same number of passengers. The implementation of the CUSS shows a significant improvement in the processing and waiting times for the passenger. The author showed CUSS was successful in performing satisfactorily in different acute situations. The processing time considered for check-in was 1.85 minutes and for the kiosk it was 1.15 minutes, which was referred from other sources. The author did not try to develop some model to estimate the requirements but performed analysis to show the benefits to the stakeholders. The author has discussed the benefits at large but also points out that there are implications on airports for implementing CUSS, especially in fast bag drop-off and the security check area.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

10 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Literature Review

2.2

B OOKS

AND

P EER R EVIEWED P APERS

As explained the technology of self-service is very new and there are no papers particularly on the use of the technology and resource allocation. This particular aspect is not discussed in detail in the latest edition of IATA – ADRM2 and in the books that are considered authoritative texts on the design of airports. There are many papers available which look in to the resource allocation and simulation of the check-in counters both dedicated and using CUTE3. To understand the process some of the crucial ones are discussed in detail here. 2.2.1 Books and Standard References The IATA – ADRM describes the factors to be considered for the design of the check-in area for the check-in desks with CUTE. The manual provides some standard thumb rules based on the queuing theories and which are very useful in sizing the overall terminal at the initial stages. However, the manual as such is not adaptable and the inclusion of new technology at the airport cannot be explained by the standard formulas as the behavior of the passengers and space requirement changes. It is not possible to estimate the requirement of fast bag drop-off for the self-service kiosks. Richard de Nuefville and Amedeo Odoni in the book Airport Systems mentions that the standards established for check-in will not work in the 21st Century as the technology is continuously changing. Nuefville and Odoni (2003) mention that the electronic ticket and kiosk check-in will reduce the space requirements for the check-in hall. They go even further saying that the kiosk may eliminate the need of the traditional check-in hall. It also mentions the benefits of the common use equipments as not all the airlines will need extensive infrastructures like the one that is operating at the airport for the whole day. CUSS can be beneficial to the airports in the same ways and give the same facilities to all airlines. 2.2.2 Peer Reviewed Papers Most of the papers dealing with the optimization and resource allocation suggest the Check-in process is more appropriately represented by simulation rather than queuing theory. Dijk and Sluis (2006) have looked into the Check-in computations and

ADRM- Airport Development Reference Manual 9 Edition 2004 – Standard text that gives thumb rules for sizing various facilities in the Terminal. 3 CUTE- Common User Terminal Equipment, the facilities at the airports are shared between the airlines to reduce the space and resources required.

2

th

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 11 Literature Review

optimization by simulation and integer programming. The paper describes a process for optimization, which involves two steps • • A computation and optimization of the number of desks for an individual flight. A minimization of the total number of the desks and staffing hours.

The paper deals with the stochastic aspects of check-in computations in the first step and uses simulation to establish the initial requirements. Dijk and Sluis suggest using deterministic techniques for optimization of the allocated resources. The paper favors simulation for the check-in computation mainly for three reasons, which has uncertain behavior. • • • The number of actual travelers The traveler arrival times The check-in times for a traveler.

The paper uses the simulation results to estimate the hourly requirements of the desks for check-in and also suggest using variable desk opening like Joustra and Dijk (2001) to minimize the staffing hours and shared use for the available desks. The results of the observation was that for most flights only one desk is required for the last hour if the desks are opened before two and half hours before the departure times, unlike all the desks being kept open at airports. Joustra and Djik (2001) on similar lines show why the simulation is more appropriate for check-in at airports and supports it with a case study at Amsterdam Airport. The queuing at airports is explained as the function of the strong fluctuations and peak over the day in the number of arriving passengers. The queuing theory is incapable of explaining this variability and thus is not appropriate for calculating the required check-in desks. The paper considers the variations for check-in like • • • • • Common versus dedicated check-in Dynamic versus static opening and closing Extension of the Check-in period Overflow for economy class passengers Bank lining.

The authors consider the impact of various aspects on the queuing and resources required for each aspect. It is noted that the queuing theory can be applied to the use of common user Check-in as the arrival patterns will be fairly steady for the given set of counters. The important point that is brought up is that it is essential to use simulation if the results are to be reliable.

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12 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Literature Review

In another paper Park and Ahn (2003) explain in detail the model required to optimize the assignment of check-in based on the passenger arrival pattern. The main structure of the paper is similar and the factors considered for the calculations are the same as other papers. The authors mention that arrival patterns of the passenger are dependent on the flight departure times (time of the day), type of aircraft and the load factors. It also depends on the type of operations including charter or scheduled. The check-in requirements are not the same for all flights. Long haul international flights might be handled two hours prior to the Standard Time of Departure (STD), whereas it might be only thirty minutes for a domestic flight. The authors explained that the peak hour at the airport would be earlier than the airside peak hour as the first passenger will check-in three to four hours before the STD. Authors have based the model on Seoul Gimpo International Airport (GMP). The observations at GMP show that the average processing time for the passengers is 96 seconds. The passengers without baggage were processed in 68 seconds. To understand the passenger arrival pattern a survey was conducted at the airport. Only 1.5 % of passengers arrived at the airport 170 minutes before STD and 90% of them arrived 30 minutes prior to STD. Authors showed how these cumulative rates of the arrival affect the check-in requirements. The other interesting paper dealing with the check-in resource allocation is by Chun and Mak (1999). The model is based on Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport. Intelligent Resource Simulation System (IRSS) as described by the authors was used to estimate the check-in requirements. IRSS uses historic data and the airport database for different types of flights for arrival patterns and processing times for the passengers. The input is given in the form of flight schedule and IRSS calculates the counters required for each flight individually. The allocation model is a sophisticated one and needs a huge amount of data. The model enables the user to model various “what-if” scenarios easily and assess the possibilities for change. It also generates graphs and tables to compare different scenarios to understand the results easily.

2.3

C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter looks at the literature that is available on CUSS and related subjects. The author has tried to collect different viewpoints and different aspects of CUSS. It is important to understand the needs of new technology and the parameters that will affect the use of the new system. CUSS will definitely benefit the airports as can be seen in the discussion, but will have some implications for implementation. There are no papers or trade articles discussing in particular the disadvantages of CUSS; neither

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 13 Literature Review

do they discuss problems related to fast bag drop-off or any other consequence. The passengers are happy to embrace the new technology in general and airlines too are moving towards the use of CUSS from dedicated kiosks.

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14 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Literature Review

The papers on the resource allocation discuss the parameters that affect the check-in process and highlight the need of simulation against queuing theory. The important parameters that affect check-in process are • • Passenger Arrival Pattern Processing Times at Check-in

The models described in this chapter consider check-in by common use terminals and thus will be valid for CUSS. The common theme throughout the papers is to minimize the resources and maintain the service standards, which the author thinks, will be well addressed by self-service and web check-in.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 15 Self-Service and Web Check-In

3.0 SELF-SERVICE AND WEB CHECK-IN
The concept of self-service is not a new concept with the passengers as they come across self-service machines at various places like banks, shopping malls, railway stations, etc. The airline industry has adopted the model of self-service by switching to e-ticket where the customer completes the whole transaction on the computer without any human interface. The self-service kiosks for checking in have been a recent development at airports. The American airlines like Continental and Delta have been pioneers in using this new technology for efficient passenger processing. The self-service kiosks have become an integral part of these airline operations. The European airlines realized the importance of the self-service and adapted the model. In this chapter, the brief history of the self-service is discussed and the process is described to understand the use of self-service and web check-in.

3.1

H ISTORY

OF

S ELF - SERVICE K IOSKS

The use of self-service is not a new concept; banks have been using it for a long time now. The banking industry adopted the ATM concept for reducing costs and providing better services for the customers. The first ATM was installed as early as 1967 by Barclays Bank in London, UK (BBC News n.d.). The banks started installing ATM machines in the bank buildings first and where a cash dispensing machine was not linked to the account directly. With the spread of internet connectivity the ATM machines have become a part of the urban landscape and available at parks, shopping malls or airports with many more services on offer than just cash dispensing. The adoption of self-service is gaining importance in other industries for two main reasons, increased efficiency and reduced costs and labor. The customers are technology ready as they have access to computers and internet at home, and they feel comfortable interacting with the machine. It has been observed that customers are now more open to experiment with kiosks (Murphy 2007). Other industries like retail, finance, hotels, etc are considering use of self-service kiosks. Even libraries are trying out self-service technologies to issue books. The customers are now ready to make bigger transactions with kiosks and many models for self-service have been put to the test (Maras 2006). It will be interesting to note an example of the fully automated RedBox DVD Rental kiosk (Murphy 2007). The kiosk offers new DVDs for rent and can hold more than 500 DVDs with new titles being added every week. It has been observed that it is not the choice of titles but the idea of instant access to the service that is more important in

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16 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Self-Service and Web Check-In

selecting to use the kiosk. It is worth noting that eventually people will not need discs as they will be able to download full movies electronically and the kiosks might become useless. Thus, the use of self-service might be an intermediate solution for providing services as new technology and ways of distribution emerge in the market.

3.2

S ELF - SERVICE

AT

T HE A IRPORTS

Self-service kiosks were first introduced by Continental Airlines in 1995 at US airports (Miller 2003). Since then the self-service has become an integral part of providing services for passengers. Most schedule airlines now provide the option for self-service kiosk check-in at major airports. The low-cost airlines like easyJet insist on 100 % check-in through kiosks at smaller airports to reduce labor costs (Lejarraga 2004). The cost of check-in through kiosks is just $0.16 as against $3.68 with normal check-in with an agent (Weiss 2006). The airports have realized the benefits of the kiosks and IATA is now promoting the installation of CUSS instead of dedicated check-in. The Airport IT Trends4 for 2006 shows a rise in deployment of CUSS kiosks as against the dedicated one. There are only 8% airports planning to deploy dedicated kiosks as against 60% to implement CUSS. The airports and airlines have understood the importance of the shared facilities. The airports gain higher throughput and reduce the clutter of airline specific kiosks (Conway 2006). Vancouver Airport has increased throughput by 250% by installing CUSS. The airport has seen a 25% increase in domestic traffic, but the airport now employs 30% fewer check-in staff. Thus has been able to postpone the expansion plans until 2012 (Conway 2006). Another example is Las Vegas McCarran Airport, which has installed 100 CUSS kiosks at the airport and installed some off airport as well (Weiss 2006). McCarran airport claims to be a 100% common use airport. It has invested $1-2 million in CUSS, which saves the airport from a building expansion of $20 million (Conway 2006). Similar to the banking industry now the check-in kiosks are moving away from the terminal buildings. The kiosks at McCarran Airport are located in parking areas or hotel lobbies (Conway 2006). The passengers could check-in from their hotel lobby or from a convention center. It is simpler for the passengers with no baggage, whereas with baggage collection it requires a lot of effort from the airport to make it work. The off-site check-in helps free up space in the terminal during peak hours. The offsite check-in kiosks are now being installed at railway stations and airport hotels in Europe too.
ACI-SITA Airport IT Trends is a worldwide survey of around 200 airports investment strategy for IT Infrastructure.
4

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 17 Self-Service and Web Check-In

3.3

C HECK - IN P ROCESS

Airports provide facilities for processing the passengers efficiently and comfortably. Boarding the aircraft involves following systematic steps and the capacity of the terminal depends on the capacity of each system. In the last couple of years, the process has changed for various reasons like the change in security regime. The airports need to accommodate new technology like kiosks, Biometrics, RFID, etc. This section explains the traditional check-in process and the modifications in the process by installing self-service kiosks. 3.3.1 The Traditional Check-In Process Airport passenger processing is a systematic process and the airport capacity is as good as the weakest link. The traditional passenger processing is shown in the Figure 3-1 in blue. The passenger arrives at the airport and approaches the check-in counter. The check-in process is a one-step process where he/she can interact with the check-in agent and decide on seats and drop bags. After check-in, the passenger proceeds to the security check where the hand baggage and personal belongings are scanned. The check-in baggage in most of the European airports is scanned in-line unlike the new security requirement at US airports where the bags need to be scanned before taking them to check-in. Passengers are now in secured area and can shop and relax. Prior to boarding the aircraft they queue up in boarding lounge where the identity of the person is verified once again. If the flight is international, passengers will have to go through the Immigration process.

Figure 3-1 Passenger Processing Flow

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18 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Self-Service and Web Check-In

3.3.2 Check-In with Kiosks The new concept of self-service kiosks has divided the check-in process in two parts: getting the boarding pass and dropping the bags at bag drop-off. The passenger arrives at the airport and proceeds to the kiosk, which issues the boarding pass based on the information provided by the passenger. The passenger then proceeds to the fast baggage drop-off if he/she has any baggage otherwise can move to the security check. The main steps in the check-in process through kiosk are shown in Figure 3-2.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 19 Self-Service and Web Check-In
Figure 3-2 Check-in through Kiosk

It is easy to follow the instructions on the kiosk and very direct in most of the cases. The speed of checking in depends on the familiarity of the passenger with the kiosks and on the speed of the machine itself in processing the request. The kiosks are also equipped with the passport reader to enable international passenger check-in. The fast bag drop-off is generally manned and the baggage is tagged at the drop-off. Some airlines like easyJet expect passengers to tag the bags from the baggage tag printed through kiosks, which has more chance of mistakes. The baggage drop off facilities at most airports is airline specific and there are very few airports with common use bag drop-off. All major airlines now allow Web Check-in as an option where a passenger can print bar coded boarding passes at home. In that case, the passenger without baggage can directly move to the security check and board the aircraft without any hassles at the airports. The passengers with baggage can drop the bags at the baggage drop-off and proceed to the security check; this is represented in Figure 3-1. Web Check-in has seen a rise in passenger acceptance as it gives them a higher comfort level. It is believed that both the self-service and Web check-in will cater for most of the passengers in the near future.

3.4

C HECK - IN C ONFIGURATION

It is understood that the new technology will require new kinds of arrangements and changes in the existing facilities. The standard check-in process as seen is a single step procedure where boarding pass, bag tag and bag drop are all is done at one place whereas with kiosk the process can be either two or three steps. Although, kiosks as seen in Figure 3-3 are compact and require less space in comparison to same number of check-in desks. The stand alone kiosks are placed in a group of four or five kiosks and the location of kiosks is crucial to its success. With so many kiosk types available and with the changing requirements the configuration of the check-in kiosks depends on a large number of factors. The main aspects to be considered in the placement of kiosks are • • • Visibility Accessibility and movement of passenger traffic Comfort and privacy of the passenger

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20 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Self-Service and Web Check-In

Figure 3-3 Typical Stand Alone Kiosk

Photo by Mihir Baxi

There are many possible solutions for the layout of kiosks and it has been observed that for the efficient use of kiosks it is essential to have some roving agents to help the customers increase their transaction speed (Miller 2003). Some of the basic arrangements discussed by Miller (2003) and Tomber (2007) are presented here to understand the requirements but are classified by steps in the process. 3.4.1 One Step The implementation of CUSS kiosks with baggage drop can make the self-service process a single step process. The passenger will print his/her boarding pass and baggage tag at the kiosk and drop his bag on the baggage belt next to the kiosk. The process is almost similar to the traditional check-in except that the passenger has to complete the process on his/her own, and it takes almost same time. There are roving agents available to help the passenger. Two different approaches are adopted: the roving agents are behind the counters assisting the passenger with bag tag and bag drop-off. Similarly, the roving agents can be in front of the counters to assist more passengers and this kind of arrangement is more efficient and can process more passengers.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 21 Self-Service and Web Check-In

3.4.2 Two Step The advantage of using self-service kiosks is that the check-in process can be divided in two steps and it can process 40 to 50 passengers per hour. The location of kiosks decides the passenger flow pattern and convenience. The two steps include printing a boarding pass and dropping the bags along with bag tags at baggage drop off. The baggage drop off are manned and the agents print the tag and attach it to bags. This is more convenient as the passengers tend to make errors in attaching tags, which might prove costly in overall operations. This system has a larger throughput as the passengers without bags can be filtered and need less processing time. 3.4.3 Three Step The process can be further sub divided and one more step can be introduced: the passengers can tag their bags themselves and then can drop them to the bag drop. The difference here is that there are different platforms provided for tagging the bags and it is independent from the kiosk or bag drop. The processing rates are almost similar to the two step process but the space required might be less for the same number of passengers. easyJet Airline implemented a similar process at East Midland Airport. The main issue is the tagging of bags correctly and dropping them to bag drop. The roving agents are available to help the passengers. The staff required will be fewer as the passengers serve themselves.

3.5

C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter explains the evolution of the Self-service kiosks in general and the airline industry. The development of the check-in kiosks can be compared to the banking industry, as similar to ATMs the check-in kiosks are now moving away from the terminals. It can be seen that the common use will be more beneficial in that situation, almost similar to withdrawing money from any ATM on the network. However, it can be seen in the discussion that we are moving toward paperless world and the electronic medium is spreading as the acceptable medium. Thus, kiosks might become secondary technology in the near future. This chapter also highlights the steps and process involved in using kiosks. The speed and accuracy of the check-in depends on the passengers and speed of the machines and steps involved in printing the boarding pass. There are various possibilities with the process and all of them have been discussed in the chapter. It is evident that all

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22 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Self-Service and Web Check-In

the processes will have different impacts on the airport design and operations.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 23 Self-Service and Web Check-In

The arrival pattern of the passenger might not be significantly different but the processing times will be different in all three type process. The airport thus has to decide what the best way is to implement the self-service check-in. It is important to note that the processing time will also be influenced by various other factors like availability of agents, technology readiness of passenger, location of kiosks, etc. Thus to ensure the proper allocation of resources in terms of kiosks the process to be implemented should be considered.

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24 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.0 CASE STUDIES
In order to understand the use of check-in technologies the process was observed at three airports. The observations at all the airports are discussed in detail in this chapter. The three airports used for data collection and observation have different profiles in order to encompass as much variability as possible in the collected data. The airports observed are London City Airport (LCY), Manchester International Airport (MAN) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The chapter discusses the data collected and analyzes the information to understand the process in a real life situation. At all the airports observed the self-service check-in was a two step process similar to the one discussed in 3.4.2.

4.1

M ETHODOLOGY

The main aim of collecting the data and observing the passengers at the airport was to understand the factors that affect the check-in process. There are many ways to collect the relevant information but it is important to select the right method for observation and collection to understand the passenger behavior without affecting the quality of the data required. To understand the process and measure the efficiency of the kiosks and fast bag drop-off in processing the passenger, it was necessary to find out the serving times and wait times for the same at airports. It was considered more suitable to gather this information by observing the passenger in process and making notes of the time taken for each step of the process. The interviewing of the passenger would not give the exact times and there is no opportunity to measure the performance of the system. Details Observed at Airports Group Size Baggage per Passenger Arrival Time Queuing Time Processing Time Type of Flights Flight Schedule Proportion of passengers using CUSS
Table 4-1 - Details Observed at the Airports

The key aspects that were observed at the airports are as shown in Table 4-1. The data allows one to understand the differences between profiles and type of operations taking place at each airport. The other supporting information like flight schedules and the number of passengers travelling and the proportion of passengers for each type of check-in mode was gathered from the airports where available.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 25 Case Studies

4.2

C ASE S TUDY 1- L ONDON C ITY A IRPORT , L ONDON

London City Airport (LCY) is a small airport in the Dockland area of London city. The airport handled 2.37 million passengers in 2006 (AirTransport Intelligence 2007). The main airlines operating from the airport are regional airlines like VLM, Scott Airways, CityJet, etc. The airport serves domestic and short haul European destinations. The terminal has 26 check-in counters and around 12 self-service check-in kiosks belonging to different airlines. The self-service kiosks belong to British Airways (BA), Air France (AF)/ CityJet, SAS, BMI, etc. BA and AF kiosks are located in front of the entrance to the terminal with a very good visibility. The operations for two airlines AF and VLM were observed for collecting data. AF and CityJet are both operated by Air France and use only self-service for check-in from the six kiosks that are available at the terminal to check-in the passengers. Two of the kiosks are placed in the corridor approaching the terminal from the DLR station. The rest of the four are in the terminal and have sufficient queuing spaces. There are four check-in desks available in total to AF and CityJet, which are used as baggage drop-off points.

Figure 4-1- Self-service Kiosks for Air France and CityJet

Photo by Mihir Baxi

VLM is one of the biggest regional airlines operating from LCY and uses traditional check-in counters to process the passengers. They have four check-in counters at the airport and one of them is used as a Business Class check-in. The passengers travelling were mostly on business and very few passengers had bags to check-in. Most of the passengers were travelling alone, the maximum group size was two, and the majority of passengers were above 35 years of age.

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26 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.2.1 Arrival Profile LCY is busy during the early hours of the morning and the check-in counters open at 6.00 AM. AF operates short-haul intra European flights and the first flight of the day is at 7.20 AM to Dublin. The check-in kiosks are open for check-in throughout the day for any flight. The flight schedule for the observed flights is given in Table 4-2. These same flights were observed for two days. Similarly, three flights for VLM were also observed for one day and are shown in Table 4-3. LCY is the hub for VLM and it operates short-haul intra European flights catering to business destinations.
Destination Time Seats Dublin 7:20 100 Paris Orly 8:00 100 Dublin 8:35 100
Table 4-2 Flight Schedule Air France, LCY

Destination Manchester Brussels Amsterdam

Time Seats 11:00 50 11:00 50 11:05 50

Table 4-3 Flight Schedule VLM, LCY

Figure 4-2 and Figure 4-3 show the arrival profiles for the two airlines. The airport as suggested mostly handles business passengers and it was reflected in the arrival profile of the passengers. Only 20% of passengers arrive at check-in 90 minutes before the STD of the flight. It can be seen from the figures that 40% of the passengers arrive in the last 45 minutes of departure time.

Figure 4-2 Arrival Profile for Air France, LCY

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 27 Case Studies

The large numbers of passengers coming between 45 to 75 minutes before STD (Figure 4-2) is because of the flight schedule, which has three flights at an interval of half an hour each. Though the self-service kiosks are available quite early, very few people arrive at the airport early to check-in. The passengers using the airport are business travelers and they prefer to arrive as late as possible to maximize the utilization of their time. The fact that LCY is a small terminal, there are significantly fewer queues at the airport and the passenger can be processed faster, which allows the passenger to check-in as late as 10 minutes before STD. The arrival profile reflects this behavior of the passengers. Most of the passengers do not have bags for check-in so they do not need to use the bag drop-off, which speeds up the process in general.

Figure 4-3 Arrival Profile for VLM, LCY

4.2.2 Processing Time As mentioned AF uses self-service kiosks for processing all the passengers, whereas VLM uses traditional check-in counters for the same. Passengers using kiosks need to go to baggage drop-off if required to check in bags. The processing time for each process is shown in Table 4-4. The characteristics for each method are discussed in detail in this section. 4.2.2.1 Self-service Kiosks As seen from Table 4-4 the processing time for the kiosk is 1.98 minute with standard deviation of 0.96 minute per passenger against the belief that it takes less than a minute for the kiosk. Further to this, the following was observed at the airport

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28 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

Figure 4-4 Processing Time per Pax - Self-service Kiosks, LCY

• • •

The minimum time was 0.56 minutes and on average it took at least a minute to complete a transaction and print a boarding pass. The processing times for the customer who had some experience of using a kiosk was significantly less than average. Most of the passengers needed assistance in completing the process and there were four roving agents helping passengers.
Average Maximum Minimum 6. 25 4.66 6.28 2 Pax 0.56 0.40 0.23 1 Pax Standard Confidence Sample Deviation Level Size 0.96 0.15 157 0.85 0.20 32 1.39 0.50 78

Self-service Kiosks Baggage Drop-off Check-in Counters Group Size Number of Bags

1.98 2.40 1.31 1.28 Pax 0.60 Bags

Table 4-4 Processing Times at LCY All times in minutes per Passenger

4.2.2.2 Baggage Drop-off There were four bag drop-offs available to drop the bags. As seen from Table 4-4 the baggage drop takes 2.40 minutes with a standard deviation of 0.85 minutes per passenger. The observation might not be a correct representation of reality as it was not possible to make systematic observations. There was a lack of signage and the passengers coming to the airport were not quite aware of the AF process of check-in through kiosks and used to queue up at the baggage drop assuming it was a full service check-in, resulting in chaos and lot of balking from queue. Thus the sample size (32) observed was very small and the results could not be accepted confidently.
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Figure 4-5 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, LCY

Figure 4-6 Processing Time per Pax- Check-in Counters, LCY

4.2.2.3 Check-in Counters Check-in counters were used by VLM and there were a maximum four counters open at the time of observation. The average time of processing per passenger is 1.31 minute with a deviation of 1.39 minutes. It could be seen that the average processing time is smaller than kiosks but has a huge standard deviation. This is a result of the efficiency of the check-in agent and the interaction with the customer. This human element causes significant variations in check-in times. Passengers without bags were processed faster and took 30 to 45 seconds to complete the transaction.

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30 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.2.3 Queuing Time The other important aspect that was observed in the process is the waiting times for each passenger. The maximum and average queuing times for each method are shown in Table 4-5. It could be seen from the table that there are no long queues at either kiosks or check-in counters and the passengers are processed quite efficiently.
Max Queuing Time 5.50 Min 4.66 Min 7.80 Min Average Queuing Time 0.56 Min 2.36 Min 1.86 Min

Self-service Kiosks Baggage Drop-off Check-in Counters

Table 4-5 Passenger Wait Times for AF and VLM, LCY

Figure 4-7, Figure 4-8 and Figure 4-9 show the number of passengers queuing at the kiosks, bag drop-off and check-in counters respectively. The main points and observations for the wait time were as follows • • It is quite evident from the comparisons that the kiosks though processing a greater number of passengers wait times are lower. The maximum number of passengers waiting for the services is 8 for kiosks against 19 in the case of check-in counters.

Figure 4-7 Queuing at Air France Kiosks, LCY

The baggage drop data as explained is not that reliable but it could be concluded that the efficient operation of kiosks will need organized bag dropoff arrangements.

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Queuing at VLM Check-in counters was a result of the unavailability of the check-in agent and a similar situation arose for AF where passengers were confused and waited for help from the roving agent, who might have been busy with other passengers.

Figure 4-8 Queuing at Air France Bag Drop-off, LCY

Figure 4-9 Queuing at VLM Check-in Counters, LCY

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32 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.3

C ASE S TUDY 2- M ANCHESTER A IRPORT

Manchester Airport (MAN) is the biggest airport in the north and handled 27.6 million domestic and international passengers in 2006 (AirTransport Intelligence 2007) with three terminals at the airport. Terminal T1 is the busiest of all and handles airlines like Aer Rianta, Ryan Air, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Fly, Lufthansa, etc. The terminal has 107 check-in counters and a number of CUSS kiosks, which are shared by three or four airlines.

Figure 4-10 Self-service Kiosks at MAN

Photo by Mihir Baxi

Monarch Airlines operates scheduled and charter flights from T1 at MAN to European tourist destinations. The airline has 10 check-in desks, 2 for frequent fliers and business class and the rest for normal check-in. There are 5 CUSS kiosks and 3 bag drop-offs in addition to the traditional check-in. It also allows for web check-in for passengers. The check-in counters open three hours before STD and the flights are available at the kiosk at the same time. 4.3.1 Arrival Profile Monarch Airline operates six schedule flights in the later part of the day; the schedule for the observed flights is shown in Table 4-6. The flights as seen are mostly leisure destinations and most of the passengers on the flights are leisure passengers going on vacation. These flights were observed for two consecutive days.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 33 Case Studies

Time 14:05 14:40 14:45 15:00 15:25 15:55

Destination Jerez Faro Tenerife Lanzarote Malaga Palma

Seats 180 220 180 180 220 220

Table 4-6 Flight Schedule Monarch, MAN

The arrival profile for the flights can be seen in Figure 4-11. Most of the passengers are leisure travelers and it can be seen from the figure that almost 20% of the passengers arrived at the airport even before the opening of the counters. It can also be seen that 80% of the passengers arrive more than 35 to 40 minutes before departure. The passengers also arrive in big groups with one bag per passenger at least. The average group size was 3.15 passengers. The main observation is that leisure travelers arrive early at the airport to avoid queues and for their own convenience.

Figure 4-11 Arrival Profile - Monarch, MAN

4.3.2 Processing Times The airport as discussed allows the use of self-service and Web check-in for check-in along with traditional desks. The process was observed for all three methods and the processing times were measured for each mode. The breakup of the passengers processed by each method is shown in Table 4-7. The results of the observation for the process are shown in Table 4-8.
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34 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

Self-service Kiosks Web Check-in Check-in Total

Pax 114 107 858 1079

23-Jul-07 % 11% 10% 80%

Pax 82 83 891 1056

24-Jul-07 % 8% 8% 84%

Table 4-7 Breakups for Passenger Check-in for Monarch, MAN Compiled by Author, based on Information from MAN

As seen in Table 4-8 the average processing time per passenger is 1.23 minutes by kiosks with a standard deviation of 0.88 minutes, while for check-in counters, it is 1.48 minutes with a standard deviation of 0.83 minutes. The sample size for the self-service kiosks is smaller but is 28% of the total population; thus it could be considered representative of the full population. The overall result for the kiosk and bag-drop cannot be accepted confidently, as the sample sizes are small. The following are the other observations that were made regarding the process at the airport
Average Self-service Kiosks Baggage Drop-off Check-in Counters Group Size Number of Bags 1.23 1.13 1.48 3.15 Pax 0.92 Bags Maximum Minimum 3.95 3.16 5.48 8 Pax 0.16 0.11 0.50 1 Pax Standard Deviation 0.88 0.73 0.83 Confidence Level (95%) 0.30 0.28 0.13 Sample Size 37 28 150

Table 4-8 Processing Times for Monarch, MAN All times are in Minutes per Passenger

Figure 4-12 Processing Time per Pax- Self-service Kiosk, MAN

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Figure 4-13 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, MAN

Figure 4-14 Processing Time per Pax - Check-in Counters, MAN

• • • • •

All passengers approached the check-in in groups of 3 or 4. Passengers were unaware that they could check in through kiosks and had to be pulled from the normal queue to use the kiosks. The kiosk displayed the numbers of the counters being used as Bag Drop-off, which were visible and had appropriate signage. Most of the passengers required assistance and the roving agents played a key role in getting people to use the kiosks. The arrangement of the kiosks was facing the approach of the passengers and was placed so that they were easily accessible and visible.

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36 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.3.3 Queuing Time The wait times were observed to assess the efficiency of the system. There were not many people waiting at the self-service or the baggage drop but the queue at the check-in counters was very long. The results of the observations are shown in Table 4-9 and Figure 4-15.
Maximum Queuing Time 0.96 26.83 33.46 Average Queuing Time 0.00 7.13 24.10

Self-service Check-in Bag Drop-off Check-in

Table 4-9 Passenger Wait Times for Monarch, MAN

The queuing at the check-in counters reflects the arrival profile of the passengers; the initial surge of passengers creates a high demand, which the system is unable to meet and thus the queues persist until the end of the process. The other reason for the long queuing is the passengers arriving in groups for leisure trips. There was virtually no queuing to use the self-service kiosks. The following were the observations at the airport

Figure 4-15 Queuing at Monarch Check-in Counters, MAN

• •

The crucial part was the operational aspect of the kiosks; on both days there was a time when the kiosks broke down and affected the overall operation. On Day 2, it was observed that only two kiosks were working for the majority of the time and it was difficult to manage the passenger queues.

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The reason for the no queuing at the kiosks was because most of the passengers were not aware of their use and the roving agents were responsible for fetching the passengers from the queues of check-in counters. The check-in counters could not be opened earlier than three hours before the flight because of the technical issue of data transfer between systems (Davies 2007). There were significant wait times for the Bag Drop-off, which could further discourage passengers from using the kiosks.

4.4

C ASE S TUDY 3- L ONDON H EATHROW A IRPORT

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the busiest airport in the UK. There are four terminals which handled 67.5 million passengers in 2006 (AirTransport Intelligence 2007). Terminal 2 mostly handles European flights. Terminal 2 caters to the airlines like Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia, Olympic Airlines, etc.

Figure 4-16 Self-service Kiosks at LHR

Photo by Mihir Baxi

Lufthansa Airlines has 6 check-in counters and 9 self-service kiosks to process the passengers. The kiosks can be used by the other airlines in the alliance. There are 4 fast bag drop-offs for serving the passengers. The check-in counters open two hours before STD. The kiosks are stand-alone in the front of the check-in counters to attract more passengers and there are roving agents to help passengers. The Quick bag dropoff could be open or closed depending on the intensity of traffic (Hiller 2007).

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38 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

4.4.1 Arrival Profile The airport operates various destinations throughout the day; the flights observed for the day are shown in Table 4-10. The flights as mentioned earlier are to short-haul European destinations. The flights extend from late afternoon to the end of the day and there are a lot of business travelers in addition to the leisure passengers going on vacation in the mid afternoon flights.
Time 16:30 17:05 17:40 18:05 18:25 18:25 18:35 19:00 19:10 Destination Dusseldorf Frankfurt Stuttgart Frankfurt Dusseldorf Hamburg Cologne Bonn Frankfurt Munich Pax Travelling 64 98 58 108 91 92 70 85 101

Table 4-10 Flight Schedule Lufthansa, LHR Compiled by Author, based on Information from LHR

It has been observed that 60% of the passengers arrive more than 60 minutes before the STD. The other 40% of passengers are dispersed and arrive at regular intervals. The business passengers are generally travelling single and there were occasional big groups of leisure travelers but most often the group size was 2. It can be seen in Figure 4-17 that there are very few passengers arriving in the last 20 minutes but else there is a steady flow of passengers.

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Figure 4-17 Arrival Profile for Lufthansa, LHR

4.4.2 Processing Times Lufthansa Airlines allows check-in with traditional and self-service kiosks but only the data for self-service kiosks and fast bag drop-off were observed. Table 4-11 shows the results of the observations. The average processing time per passenger at the kiosk was 2.16 minutes with a standard deviation of 0.95 minutes, while processing time at the bag drop-off was 1.46 minutes with a standard deviation of 1.11 minutes.
Average Self-service Kiosks Baggage Drop-off Group Size Number of Bags 2.16 1.46 1.34 Pax 0.70 Bags Maximum Minimum 6.16 9.16 3 0.48 0.31 1 Standard Deviation 0.95 1.11 Confidence Sample Level Size 0.13 191 0.21 101

Table 4-11 Processing Times for Lufthansa Airlines, LHR All times are in Minutes per Passenger

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Figure 4-18 Processing Time per Pax - Self-service Kiosks, LHR

The other observations that were made regarding the process are as follows • • • The location of the kiosks made them very accessible and easily visible before the passengers could see the check-in counters. There were passengers who could complete the transactions without any help from the roving agents unlike the other two airports. The longer average time might be the result of the steps at kiosk or the speed of the machine in printing the boarding pass.

Figure 4-19 Processing Time per Pax - Bag Drop-off, LHR

4.4.3 Queuing Time

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The results of the observations are shown in Table 4-12. It was observed that there were no queues for the use of the kiosks on the day of the observation. There were some queues at the bag drop-off but not significantly long and the average wait time per passenger was 0.65 minutes. The queuing at the bag drop was sometimes the result of packing and unpacking the baggage to meet the weight or security requirements.
Maximum Queuing Time 0.00 7.50 Average Queuing Time 0.00 0.65

Self-service Check-in Bag Drop-off

Table 4-12 Passenger Wait Times at LHR, Lufthansa Airlines

4.5

C ONCLUSIONS

The case studies show that there are significant variations in the results depending on the profile or operations of the airport. It can be observed that the queuing at the airport is affected by three aspects namely • • • Arrival Profile Group Size and Bags Processing Times

The arrival profiles as seen from the case studies vary at all airports. The passengers at LCY arrive nearer to the STD while at MAN the passengers arrive early at the airport. LCY is a small airport and mostly handles business passengers who prefer to spend as little time as possible at the airport. It could be seen that the profile at LHR is uniform except for the later part when there are significant number of business passengers arriving at the airport. The arrival profiles will affect the use of resources and the queues develop at peak times when the arrival rate is bigger than processing time. The processing time is directly proportional to the group size and the number of bags per passenger. The group size and number of bags depend on the type of passengers travelling. Leisure passengers will travel in a bigger group with more bags as could be seen at MAN as against business passengers who will travel alone at most with one bag as observed at LCY. The processing times for all three methods were observed and interesting results could be seen. It takes longer to check in from kiosks at all airports. It was noticed that it takes at least one minute to check in from kiosks even if everything goes right. It was

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42 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Case Studies

also noticed that there is a difference between processing times for check-in kiosks at different airports. This could be a result of various reasons. The time at the kiosk is dependent on the number of interaction steps and clarity of the steps. The other aspect in the use of kiosks is the typing errors in giving input and correction time. A further analysis and discussion on processing time per passenger is carried out in the next chapter. In addition to this it was observed that most of the passengers at LCY and MAN needed assistance to use the kiosks. It was seen that many times the roving agents performed the whole process without encouraging the passenger to use the kiosk on their own. The situation needs improvement for increased efficiency, which could be achieved by deploying kiosks similar to Fast Ticket dispatch machines at London Underground, which have a “Call for Assistance” button on the screen for the passengers who get stuck or confused, thus requiring assistance from the agent only when required whilst encouraging the passenger to use the kiosk on his/her own.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 43 Simulation Model

5.0 SIMULATION MODEL
The previous chapters explain the ideal process and the real conditions at the airports. The complexity of the process is evident from the discussion and estimating the requirement for the changing process will be interesting to explore. Estimating the requirement on the basis of the queuing theories might not give exact results for the large number of passengers as discussed by Joustra and Dijk (2001). It is also suggested by Yan, Tang, and Chen (2003) to use simulation for assessing the requirements for the Check-in process. The process gained another dimension with the introduction of the kiosks and web check-in. The model developed can be a useful tool for estimating the requirements for the airport in the planning and design stage and also for studying the impact of the new process on the airport. While developing the model the utmost care was taken to incorporate as many variables as possible. The process and assumptions are discussed in this chapter.

5.1

T HE A PPROACH

As discussed earlier, the process of check-in has evolved over the last few years and there are no standard tools to estimate the requirements for the combined resources required by the airport to check in the passengers. Thus, the simulation tool provides such a tool to airport planners and operators. It was also realized that it was necessary to keep the model as flexible as possible to make it useful. The main factors that affect the efficiency and flexibility are identified and discussed below. 5.1.1 Arrival Profile There are many papers explaining the importance of the arrival profile at an airport and the factors that affect it. It is an accepted fact that no two airports have the same arrival profile. The arrival profiles depend on a lot of factors and sometimes there are drastic differences in the behavior of the passengers at the same airport for different flights. The case studies discussed in the earlier chapter also support this view as three distinct arrival profiles could be seen at three airports. The resources can be allocated reflecting the changes in the arrival of passengers to maintain the required service standards. The main factors that affect the arrival profile at an airport (or for any flight) are as enumerated below:

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• • • • •

Time of departure - Early Morning, Afternoon or Evening Type of flight - Scheduled or Charter, Low Cost or Full service, etc Destination being served - Business or Leisure Airport access mode available - Underground Metro Rail or Car Check-in Open Times

While developing the model it was realized that the arrival profiles should be flexible in order to keep the model widely applicable. Thus, the simulation model has three profiles as shown in Figure 5-1 based on the case studies, but new profiles could be added after observations for the analysis of the airport being modeled.

Figure 1a - Leisure Figure 5-1 Arrival Profiles

Figure 1b - Business

Figure 1c- Mix

The profiles depict three distinct behaviors of the passengers, namely leisure, business and a mix of both for scheduled airlines. As seen from figures the leisure profile has a lot of passengers coming in early while the business profiles has it later. It is essential to determine the type of traffic and arrival patterns at the airport to estimate the requirement correctly. 5.1.2 Processing Times The results from the case studies show that there are variations in the processing times at the three airports. The passengers arrive in a different size of groups with different ratios of bags per passenger. The passenger group size and number of bags depend on the type of passengers travelling. Leisure passengers will arrive in bigger groups with more bags in general as seen at MAN, while LCY and LHR show a smaller group size and lower proportion of bags per passenger where there is significant proportion of business passengers. The processing times for groups were converted in to processing time per passenger. These processing times for one airport were then compared to other airports to
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measure the variance in the data and to see if the data among the airports varies due to the group size. The results of the analysis were used in the model to generate the processing times for the passengers joining the system. The details of the statistical tests and results are given in Annexure A. 5.1.2.1 Check-in Counters The use of check-in counters was observed at two airports, LCY and MAN. The single factor Analysis of Variance test (ANOVA) (Refer Annexure A) was carried out to find if the difference in the data is significant in these two independent samples collected randomly. It was concluded that there is no significant variation in the data. The mean and standard deviation for the combined data is given in Table 5-1. The processing time includes the variation for passengers with or without bags. In addition to this it was noticed that the service times for the counters were exponentially distributed. 5.1.2.2 Self-service Kiosks The process times for kiosks were observed at all three airports. The results of the ANOVA test showed that there was no significant influence of the group size on the processing time per passenger. The mean and standard deviation for the combined data is given in Table 5-1. It could be seen that the processing time per passenger is higher than the check-in counters but has a slightly bigger standard deviation and it was observed that the service times from kiosks were normally distributed. 5.1.2.3 Bag Drop-off The data for bag drop-off was collected from all the three airports. As with check-in and kiosks the results from the ANOVA test suggested that there was no significant variation. It can be assumed with fair confidence that there is no significant effect on the per passenger processing time by the number of bags and group size. The mean and standard deviation are shown in Table 5-1. The process times were normally distributed as against the exponential distribution for the counters. The difference in the distribution is because there is mostly one bag per person and they already have a boarding pass whereas at the check-in counters the passenger may have a bag or not and the processing times will be significantly different in both situations.
Average Time Standard Deviation 1.43 0.83 1.93 0.96 1.51 1.13 Distribution Exponential Normal with Skew Normal with Skew

Check-in Counters Self-service Kiosks Bag Drop-off

Table 5-1 Processing Times and Distribution profile

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5.1.3 Service Standards The service standard at airports in terms of the check-in process is the wait time and the overall processing time per passenger. The resources at any airport are provided to give adequate service standards and allow for queuing to some acceptable limit. It is sensible to maintain less wait time at the bag drop-off than check-in counters, thus the resources required will be larger. The number of passengers arriving at the airport is dependent on the arrival profile for the airport or flight. The resources could be adjusted to match the service standards; one more counter could be opened or closed to maintain similar standards throughout the process. There would be more resources required in the case of leisure profile where there are a lot of passengers waiting for the services initially. The resources are designed keeping in mind the peak hour traffic, but the peak hour in itself has variations, explained by the arrival profiles, thus it makes sense to determine optimum resources catering for most of the traffic with acceptable service standards. During the development of the model efforts were made to understand the impacts of such aspects on the overall performance. While developing the model it was seen that one way to optimize the resources was to provide similar standards throughout the whole process. In normal circumstances, first few passengers would not be required to wait as the system would be completely idle, while it would be completely busy at times. Passengers coming in late would have longer wait times than ones coming early and the average time would still be below required standards. Thus, the numbers will not represent the actual situation where some of the passengers would have to wait for a longer time than is acceptable. It was desirable to spread these longer wait times in to the system to achieve a lower variation. In a normal first come first serve queuing model the passenger coming first will be served immediately at arrival if the system is idle. In the simulation model developed, the passengers are provided the services as late as possible, within the limits of the Service Standards (MWT) provided by the user. This helps to spread the wait times to the time where there is none; as a result the number of passengers waiting is more but the average wait time is lower and the passengers waiting more than MWT are at an acceptable level.

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5.2

D ESCRIPTION

OF

M ODEL

The simulation model is developed in MS Excel 2007. The model is kept simple and users need to input all the parameters in the first sheet and can see various results like wait times, processing times, usage of resources, etc on different sheets in the workbook. A further description of the model and the key features are explained in the Annexure B for reference. The self-service process considered for the model is a two step process as discussed in 3.4.2. This section describes the overall process that a passenger follows in the model. Peak hour passengers at the airport are determined and are the key input for the model. The passengers using each type of check-in technology are assumed and the appropriate type of passenger profile is selected. The passengers arrive at the airport in the pattern generated by the arrival profile. The passengers are segregated as per the break-up suggested by the user for the appropriate check-in method. There are three different queues in the system. The model is developed with three different bank queues serving the multiple servers for check-in counters, kiosks and bag drop-off. The passengers segregated for each process join the required queue. The passenger has to wait in the queue till the server is available to process him/her. The different processing times are assigned to each check-in methods. The bag drop-off has a special arrangement and the passengers already checked in through the web approach the bag drop-off directly on arrival at the airport. Passengers from the self-service kiosks required to check baggage join the same bank queue for bag drop-off. After finishing the process the passenger leaves the system for a further process required to board the aircraft.

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Figure 5-2 Process Model for Simulation

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 49 Simulation Model

5.3

A SSUMPTIONS

The simulation model is a simplified representation of the reality. The model was designed on the basis of some assumptions to simplify the process and also to represent the results correctly. The simulation model is limited to 2500 peak hour passengers and 25 servers in each method of check-in and bag drop-off. The following were the assumptions made in the development of the model. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The whole system is Common Use. All the passengers arrive individually at the airport. Passengers do not arrive before the check-in open times. The Arrival profile for all three methods of check-in is the same. The inter-arrival rate is the Poisson distribution following the arrival profile. All counters, self-service kiosks and bag drop-off open at the same time. The kiosks do not serve passengers before the check-in open times. All three queues and the system are unique and independent. The passengers join the last position in the queue and do not leave the system or change the method of check-in from counters to kiosk or vice versa. There is no separate provision for special counters like Business class, Frequent fliers, etc. at any stage in the system. The processing times at all airports will have similar distribution profiles. Passengers using the kiosk and bag drop-off do not take a break and walk times are not considered. All the kiosks are assumed to be at the airport. The number of bags per passenger is ignored and taken into account by the variation of process times. No technical breakdowns, change in staff or maintenance have been considered in the model.

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5.4

V ALIDATION

In the development of any model one of the most important aspects is the validation of the model. There are a number of ways for the validation of the model, but it is not possible to use all the methods to validate the model (Sargent 2005). The simulation model developed cannot be compared to any other existing model due to the lack of access. There is no possibility of conducting experiments in real time and validating the model. The existing data collected in all cases is just representative and cannot be used for validation of the model except for one occasion. The data collected at MAN could be modified to fit as input to the model and the results can be compared to the available data. The other method of validation will be comparing it to thumb rules given in ADRM-IATA. The model was tested against these assumptions to see if it gave similar results. 5.4.1 Comparison to Existing Data The data for the airport was collected and the proportions for the various check-in methods are also available and the resources used for each of them are known. The simulation model could be tested against the available data to see how the model performed or represented the same.
Pax 82 83 891 1056 Units 5 7 3 % 8% 8% 84%

Self-service Kiosks Web Check-in Check-in Total Kiosks Check-in Counters Bag Drop-off

Table 5-2 Inputs in the Simulation Model

The key inputs for the simulation model are shown in Table 5-2. The check-in open times were considered as 180 minutes. At the airport there was a separate desk for the frequent fliers, which is not possible in the model. Thus, 7 desks are considered for the comparison.
Check-in Queue Maximum Queuing Time Average Queuing Time Reality 33.46 24.10 Simulation 35.20 23.91

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Table 5-3 Comparison with the existing and simulation results

The simulation was run with this input and the key output, the queuing times were compared with the real data collected. The comparison of the results is shown in Table 5-3. The data for the kiosks and the bag drop-off was not similar to what happened in reality. At the airport, the passengers for the kiosks were fetched from the queue of counters and did not follow any arrival profile. The simulation model as explained cannot represent this and thus gives different results. Figure 5-3 and Figure 5-4 show the similarity of the queuing patterns at the airport. The observed data was collected for the usage of the two counters over a period of the time and the author observed that the queue lengths were similar at all the counters.

Figure 5-3 Simulation result of wait times for MAN

The results from the experimentation suggest that the simulation model is able to represent the reality with a fair accuracy. The wait time is the only output which is comparable as there are no other factors that are available from the real data.

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Figure 5-4 Actual wait times at MAN

5.4.2 Comparison to Existing Standards Apart from comparing the model with the existing data it is also important to compare the model with the industry standards. The comparison to only existing collected data is not sufficient as the collected data might not be representative of all the situations and there might be some error in the collection of the data. Also the model was developed from the same data source so it was necessary to benchmark the model with the external source. To overcome the above problem the simulation model was compared to the results generated from thumb rules given in ADRM-IATA. Chapter F of ADRM deals with airport capacity and provides the thumb rules for calculating the resources required for the airport. The ADRM calculates the check-in counters requirements based on the peak 30 minute demand in the peak hour. It also segregates the requirement for the business class check-in. ADRM gives an example for the calculation of the check-in counters. The same example is considered for the comparison to the simulation model for simplification and authenticity, though the requirements specified in the example need some modifications to make them comparable to the simulation model. The problem requirements are given below • • • • Peak hour PassengerEconomy Passengers Peak 30-min Demand Maximum Queuing Time 2500 Pax 100% 906 Pax 30 Minutes

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The check-in counters required for a 90 second average processing time per passenger were 26.5 counters. The simulation model can calculate requirements for 2500 peak hour passengers. It was necessary to develop an imaginary arrival profile for the calculation to be relevant to ADRM as shown in Figure 5-5. The other assumptions were the same as the calculations. The results from the simulation model are shown in Table 5-4. The simulation model gives MWT with 24 counters.
Peak Hour Passenger Check-in Counters Average Wait Time Max Wait Time 2500 24 16.96 29.66

Table 5-4 Results for the simulation of 2500 TPHP

As seen from the result the model compares with the assumptions of IATA. The result enables to confirm that the model is based on sound assumptions.

Figure 5-5 Arrival Profile for Simulation representing IATA assumptions

5.4.3 Concluding Comments The above tests help in checking the reliability of the model and to see how close the model is to the reality. Although the model is able to show reliable results for both the situations there are some more points which need further consideration.

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54 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Simulation Model

There are no industry wide standard rules for estimating the resources for the kiosks and bag drop-off and the model was not directly validated for estimating the requirements for the same. There is no sufficient data about existing conditions for kiosks and bag drop-off to validate it with simulation. But the results for the check-in counters could be successfully validated and as the whole the model is based on similar assumptions the results for the kiosks should be reliable. It would have been beneficial to carry out some more validation tests for the kiosks and bag-drop off directly to add more reliability to the model.

5.5

C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter explains the process of the model development. The approach for developing the model as explained was to keep it as flexible as possible. The important aspects in the process were grasped and put together in the model to represent the reality as close as possible. The main factors that affect the efficiency and utilization of the resources are the arrival profile of passengers. But the provision of resources is guided by the service standards to be provided and the MWT allowed for the passengers. The model gives an opportunity to observe the queuing patterns at the airport in relation to the arrival profiles and adjust the resources to meet the service standards. This chapter also discusses the validation process for the simulation model. The model was validated in two ways against the actual collected data and the industry standards. It was established that the model depicts the reality with a fair accuracy and is based on the sound assumptions to use in real life. It was not possible to validate the performance of the model in relation to the kiosks and bag drop-off. The main reason was the lack of industry standards and data to support the results of simulation for the kiosks and bag drop-off. The research had a limited time scale and it was not possible to collect the data again for validation. It was concluded that as the assumptions for the check-in counters are validated and the whole simulation model is based on similar principles, the results for the kiosks and bag drop-off should be fairly accurate. It can be concluded that the model will be useful in estimating the results for an airport.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 55 Application of Model

6.0 APPLICATION OF MODEL
All the previous chapters have discussed the check-in process with self-service kiosk and development of the model to study the impact of the technology on the airport design and operations. The process was observed at the existing airports and the information and understanding gathered was used to develop the simulation model. The model was validated to see if it reflects the reality and is based on valid assumptions and principles. The next stage is to test the model in different conditions and determine the utility of the model. It is essential to see if the model can simulate various scenarios and what can be derived from the results. The details of how to use the model and the structure are discussed in Annexure B. The model was used to simulate the existing and hypothetical situations to compare the results in various scenarios. The simulation model was used to test different scenarios to find out what would be the optimum solution for a given situation. The details of all the experiments are discussed in this chapter.

6.1

E XISTING S ITUATION

As discussed earlier, in the data collected at all three airports, the data for MAN has lot more details and could be used as input for the simulation model. The existing situation was simulated and various scenarios were developed to see how the resources affect the queuing and overall operations at the airport. The existing breakup of the passengers using different check-in methods and different resources used at the airport are shown in Table 6-2. The model was run for 1060 peak hour passengers with a check-in opening 180 minutes before STD. 6.1.1 As Is Model The first situation considered was the exact replication of the existing conditions. It could be seen that the queues are as long as in the case studies. Amongst the kiosks, only two kiosks process 80% of passengers. Thus it could be said that the kiosks are underutilized. The bag drops are being used uniformly and there are no queues longer than 5 minutes. The average total times for all the three are as shown in Table 6-1.
Average Total Process time Check-in 21.11 Kiosks 1.80 Fast Bag Drop-off 2.23
Table 6-1 Total Process Time for As-is model

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56 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Application of Model As-Is Scenario 1 1060 Passenger Break Up 84% 72% 8% 20% 8% 8% Resources 7 7 5 5 3 3 Waiting Time Check-in 30.08 23.94 20.29 7.86 93% 49% 89% 27% 58% 14% Waiting Time Kiosks 0 4.43 0 0.65 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% Waiting Time Bag Drop-off 4.61 24.62 0.69 6.61 0% 50% 0% 22% 0% 9% Scenario 2 Scenario 3

Peak Hour Passengers Check-in Kiosks Web Check-in Check-in Counters Kiosks Bag Drop-off Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min More than 10 Min More than 20 Min Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min More than 10 Min More than 20 Min Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min More than 10 Min More than 20 Min

72% 20% 8% 6 5 4 29.75 20.85 93% 90% 62% 5.57 0.81 4% 0% 0% 9.12 2.06 18% 0% 0%

60% 25% 15% 6 5 4 20.46 5.33 32% 26% 1% 7.68 1.33 9% 0% 0% 19.08 6.74 45% 30% 0%

Table 6-2 Summary of the Results

6.1.2 Scenario 1 In this scenario the resources are kept constant but the possibility of 20% of the passengers using the kiosk has been evaluated. The kiosks are utilized in the more or less uniform pattern. The queuing at counters has reduced and there are very few passengers waiting more than 20 minutes. But the change has an adverse impact on the bag drop-off and the passengers have to queue for dropping the bag. The average wait time is 6.61 minutes and MWT is 24.62 minutes.
Average Total Processing Time Check-in 14.87 Kiosks 2.32 Fast Bag Drop-off 5.88
Table 6-3 Total Process Time for Scenario 1

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 57 Application of Model As-Is Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Check-in Counters 14% 14% 17% 14% 17% 18% 14% 13% 17% 14% 14% 17% 16% 13% 17% 15% 14% 15% 14% 15% Kiosks 50% 34% 26% 31% 22% 26% 12% 17% 21% 6% 15% 15% 1% 11% 12% Bag Drop-off 39% 31% 28% 31% 32% 26% 29% 36% 25% 20% Scenario 3 19% 19% 17% 18% 13% 15%

Server 1 Server 2 Server 3 Server 4 Server 5 Server 6 Server 7 Server 1 Server 2 Server 3 Server 4 Server 5 Server 1 Server 2 Server 3 Server 4

27% 20% 21% 17% 15% 28% 26% 25% 21%

Table 6-4 Summary of Utilization of Servers

6.1.3 Scenario 2 To measure the sensitivity of the bag drop, in this scenario the proportion of passengers is kept the same but one bag drop has been added, leaving the counters at 6. The results are interesting because the queues at the counters are at the same level as in the as-is model. There is a significant improvement at the bag drop and no passenger has to wait more than 10 minutes. Thus it might not be a good idea to increase the number of bag drops.
Average Total Processing Time Check-in 13.44 Kiosks 2.58 Fast Bag Drop-off 4.38
Table 6-5 Total Process Time for Scenario 2

6.1.4 Scenario 3 This scenario was to see what would be the impact if the proportion of passenger using the other two increases significantly. There are 60% of the passengers using check-in by counters and the other 40% kiosks and web check-in.

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58 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Application of Model

It could be seen that the maximum queuing time at both counters and bag drop-off has increased but there are very few passengers who have to wait for more than 20 minutes. The average total processing times are as shown in Table 6-6.
Average Total Processing Time Check-in 7.76 Kiosks 3.30 Fast Bag Drop-off 6.64
Table 6-6 Total Process Time for Scenario 3

6.1.5 Discussions The as-is model shows the in efficiencies that already exist at the airport. The scenarios were developed assuming that it is not possible to increase the resources. Monarch Airline had 10 check-in counters including the bag drop-off. Scenario 1 shows that if the proportion of passengers using the self-service kiosks increases the queues built up at the bag drop-off. This will make the overall process time longer for the passengers. To reduce the queues at the bag drop in Scenario 2 the number of bag drop-offs was increased by one. The analysis models shows that the process at bag-drop off speeds up but the queues built up at check-in counters. Thus the change does not improve the overall situation. Scenario 3 was developed to see how the further increase in the proportion of the selfservice and web check-in passengers affect the queues. The average and MWT increased for both counters and bag drop-off. But there are only a few passengers waiting more than 20 minutes and the average total processing time is reasonable. It was noticed that the queues at the counters are at the earlier part due to the arrival pattern (leisure), while the queues at the bag drop-off are at the later part as it is the second step in the process. Thus, one more bag drop-off can be added by reducing the number of counters when there is a smaller queue at counters probably. It could be seen in all the scenarios that the Self-service kiosks are enough to cater to the assumed traffic levels. Thus it could be concluded that the main contribution to the queues is the result of the lack of counters. Scenario 1 seems to be the appropriate break-up of passengers and resources, which will allow the airport to achieve maximum efficiency. The queues at the bag drop-off can be reduced as suggested by Scenario 3. While the further increase in the proportion of passengers as seen in Scenario 3 will benefit the airport operations and increase efficiency.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 59 Application of Model

6.2

O THER E XPERIMENTS

The simulation model was used to analyze various what-if scenarios to study the impacts of the evolution of technology on the resources at the airport. The input used in various scenarios is summarized in Table 6-8. Scenario 4 is based on Leisure arrival profile and Scenario 5 on Business. The peak hour passengers are constant in all the experiments. The experiments show the different resources that would be required to meet the different proportions of passengers by each check-in method. The leisure passengers would have lower service standards as against the business passengers. In all the scenarios the service standards to be achieved were kept constant to estimate the resources for each scenario and are shown in Table 6-7.
Check-in 20 10 Kiosks 10 5 Bag Drop-off 10 5

Leisure Business

Table 6-7 Service Standards for the Scenario 4 and 5

The results from the simulation model are shown in Annexure C. Table 6-8 summarizes the main results and key figures from the simulation model results. The critical observations are discussed for each of the scenarios. 6.2.1 Scenario 4 These set of scenarios demonstrate the impact of changes in the proportion of passengers on the resources required for leisure passengers. The key issues that were observed in obtaining the results is that due to the arrival pattern maximum resources are required in the earlier part of the process and are seen in results of simulation in Annexure C. The increase in passenger by self-service is more likely in the near future, and scenario 4B reflects the same. It could be seen that the number of kiosks required gets doubled to meet the same service standards. It could be seen that the total number of counters and bag drop-off required have increased. The required check-in counters have been reduced but to maintain the same standards the number of bag drop-off have increased substantially. Similarly in Scenario 4C, a further increase in the proportion of passengers using fast bag drop-off means a larger number of bag drop-off is required, but the need is not significantly higher. It should also be noticed that the check-in counters required are very minimal. The total counters and bag drop-off required are 31 in Scenario 4C.

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60 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Application of Model

Peak Hour Passengers Passenger Arrival Profile Check-In Open Times Check-in Kiosks Web Check-in Kiosks Web Check-in Check-in Counters Kiosks Bag Drop-off Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min More than 10 Min More than 15 Min Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min Maximum Waiting Time Average Waiting Time More than 5 Min

Scenario Scenario Scenario Scenario Scenario Scenario 4A 4B 4C 5A 5B 5C 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 Leisure Leisure Leisure Business Business Business 120 120 120 120 120 120 Passenger Break Up 60% 40% 20% 60% 40% 20% 20% 40% 40% 20% 40% 40% 20% 20% 40% 20% 20% 40% Passengers using Bag drop-off 100% 50% 80% 50% Resources 16 11 6 19 13 6 10 20 20 11 20 20 14 22 25 10 14 18 Waiting Times Check-in 19.12 18.42 17.61 11.89 11.86 10.81 11.83 12.06 9.88 4.72 4.84 3.68 90% 89% 85% 45% 41% 34% 78% 69% 50% 16% 14% 5% 19% 32% 16% 0% 0% 0% Waiting Times Kiosks 8.33 8.73 8.00 4.57 4.09 5.60 1.99 2.06 1.87 0.74 1.19 1.25 22% 23% 20% 0% 0% 5% Waiting Times Bag Drop-off 9.45 8.39 6.83 5.41 5.20 5.07 1.68 1.86 1.52 1.67 2.25 1.59 14% 23% 10% 5% 1% 0%

Table 6-8 Summary of the results for Scenario 4 & 5

6.2.2 Scenario 5 The scenario is similar to 4 but uses the business arrival profile. In scenario 5A the number of counters required is larger in order to maintain the high level of service standard. The use of bag drop-off is limited but the number of bag drop once again reflects the service level to be provided. With an increase in the proportion of passengers using kiosks the total number of counters and bag drop-off is reduced to 27. The kiosks required are doubled and four more bag drop-offs are required.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 61 Application of Model

In scenario 5C the proportion of passengers using the Web check-in is increased to 40%. The impact is seen on the counters. Now only 6 counters are required to maintain the same level of service standards. It could also be seen that the total resources required for the counters and bag drop-off is only 24. 6.2.3 Discussions It could be seen from Table 6-8 that the arrival profile has a very large impact on the utilization of the resources. The service standards in terms of queuing times determine the resources required. The results demonstrate that the change from one technology to another does not actually improve or reduce the resources required if there are a lot of passengers using bags. The total number of check-in counters and bag drop-off required remains almost constant for Scenario 4, nor does the service standards improve significantly with a change in technology. The airport may gain capacity increase in the case of a lot of business passengers as there will be spare resources. The number of counters required reduces to 6+18 with the increase in passengers using alternative technology. The number of bag drop-off required is not as high as in the case of Scenario 4. Scenario 5 leverages the benefit of breaking the process in two steps, namely the printing boarding process and bag dropoff. It was also noticed that 19 check-in counters are required in Scenario 5 as against 16 in Scenario 4 for the same number of passengers, as the service standard is higher. In contrast to this, for kiosks the same number of kiosks is sufficient in both scenarios. Further to this only 18 bag drop-off are required in Scenario 5 as against 25 in Scenario 4. Thus, fewer resources are required for the total passengers in Scenario 5 than in Scenario 4, but with fewer bags. In the process of determining the exact resources required, various other observations were made. They are as follows • There is no gain in the efficiency of the process by just improving only one element of the process. The increase in the number of kiosks increases the throughput and the queues at the bag drop-off get longer. There is a lag in the use of the bag drop-off as seen from all the figures and there is a scope of optimization and proper operational strategy to use resources efficiently. The number of resources was selected keeping in mind the optimum usage of all the resources and average total process time.

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62 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Application of Model

It was seen that one additional kiosk reduces the wait time significantly, while the addition of one counter increased the efficiency marginally.

6.3

C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter explains the application of the model to the real life situation and shows the utility of the model. The simulation model helps to understand the check-in process and allocate resources as required for the whole system. From the experiments carried out with the help of the model the process of evolution of technology could be analyzed. The implementation of new technology can be evaluated with the results from the simulation results. It was realized as a result of experimentation that the self-service and web check-in process are beneficial for the airports operating passengers with fewer bags. If there are lots of passengers with bags it is easier to process the passengers at check-in counters. But having said that it was also seen that the counters required are the same and changing or adapting to the new technology should not be an issue within the context of space and resources required. The model suggests that efficiency of the self-service and web check-in is completely dependent on the bag drop-off. The model was used only to evaluate some simple scenarios, but the author realizes that it could be used for various situations. The model could also be applied and used for • • • • • Estimating the resources at a new airport or for a particular flight. Determining resources for various “what-if” scenarios in terms of arrival profiles and the proportion of the passengers using different technologies. Allocating resources at existing airports Studying the queuing patterns and impacts of changes of resources on queues. Predicting the peak queue times and allocating resources accordingly.

Thus the model could be used for various situations to either improve the efficiency of the system or estimate resources. The model acts as a tool and adds value to the tacit understanding already existing in the industry for the use of kiosks and fast bag dropoff.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 63 Discussions

7.0 DISCUSSIONS
During the duration of the research, the author came across several other pieces of information and it was thought necessary to discuss some of the observations and information so as to understand the process better. The information will also help understand the impact of the new check-in process on the airports. The main aspect covered in the discussion is related to the evolving technology and the seamless integration of the various aspects in to the system.

7.1

D EDICATED

VERSUS

C OMMON U SE

This debate of dedicated versus common use is always going on between airports and airlines. The airlines will prefer to maintain their own identity and service standards and customer connection; for this they need to have dedicated resources. The airports on the other hand argue that it is more convenient for them to operate common use resources as that would require fewer resources and consequently less infrastructure and cost. The installation of CUSS is no exception. There are many major airlines operating dedicated kiosks at a number of airports. As seen earlier the use of CUSS is spreading at airports. The important point that is raised is should the bag drop be common use or not. There are very few airports like Vancouver (Pilling 2005) which has a common use bag drop-off facility. At most of the airports the bag drop-off is airline dedicated so the passenger has to look for a specific location for bag drop-off. It was observed that the kiosks at MAN were CUSS kiosks, but were more or less dedicated to Monarch Airlines, as they were located near the counters of Monarch Airlines and hosted by the airline roving agents. Thus the kiosks were effectively dedicated to Monarch Airlines. A similar situation existed at LHR, where all alliance airlines could use the kiosks but which generally did not happen. Thus, the success of CUSS is dependent on the successful integration of bag drop-off in the system. There are some solutions available for the same and are discussed later in the chapter. The model for simplicity assumes that kiosks and bag drop-off are common use.

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64 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Discussions

7.2

CUSS

VERSUS

W EB C HECK -I N

The other important aspect which will affect the requirements at the airport is the domination of Web check-in. The use of e-ticket and BCBP has enabled the airlines to use the internet for checking in the passengers. The experience from the other industries like banking shows that more and more customers are switching to paperless mode and airline industry could not be an exception. BA and KLM believe that online check-in will gain importance in the near future (Conway 2006). But there are many issues to be addressed before that happens. The current Web check-in applications has three to four hour cut-off times for checking in. This situation created a barrier at MAN, as the normal counters and kiosks could not be opened before this cut-off time due to technical reasons (Davies 2007). Many airlines do not allow passengers with bags to check-in through web. The other aspect is that the web check-in is to cater to different group of passengers (SITA(b) n.d.) and takes 4 to 6 minutes to complete the transaction. At any airport there will be passengers who will not have direct access to the internet and a printer, thus there will always be a need for check-in at airports and CUSS might be a more efficient way forward. Figure Figure 7-1 shows the IATA estimates for the breakup of check-in technologies. The author believes that though the Web check-in will gain importance it will not be able to replace Self-service check-in at airports. Also, an increase in web check-in means more bag drop-off at the airports as shown by the model. The resources required for various methods of the check-in modes can be evaluated using the model as shown in the previous chapter.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 65 Discussions
Figure 7-1 Check-in Mode Forecast by IATA

7.3

E MERGING T ECHNOLOGIES

The simulation model was developed keeping in mind the current self-service process at the airports. The author realizes that the process is evolving and there are new technologies being tested in order to further gain efficiency. It could be seen that the current process is developed by dividing the traditional check-in process in two steps. The efficiency of the system is mainly due to the filtering of passengers needing bag drop off facilities. The BCBP has enabled passengers to print their boarding passes at home using the internet. This aspect has been included in the model and only the passengers needing bag drop-off approach the counters. The advantage of 2D BCBP is that the medium of print becomes irrelevant and it can be printed on any format i.e. paper or digital. This has enabled the development of a check-in process using a mobile phone. This enables passengers to check-in using their mobile phone and there is no need for kiosks or online check-in. The main advantage is that the passenger does not need to print the boarding pass, as the BCBP can be saved on the mobile phone. This technology is being used extensively in Japan and Finland and is very popular amongst the business travelers (Baxter 2007). The process can use either SMS or a special hardware linked to the phone. The other possibility is using Bluetooth and wireless enabled PDAs to check in at airports on entering the terminals (Zimmerman, et al. 2001) with special travel cards linked to PDA. It is evident that the process again takes advantage of filtering the passengers which will not require using bag drop. This will enable the airports to increase capacity but it should be kept in mind that providing sufficient space for the bag drop-off in a two step process is essential for efficiency. This kind of process has not been included in modeling as this will require further data collection which was not possible.

7.4

B AG D ROP - OFF

As seen throughout the thesis a key step in the process is bag drop-off. It was observed that in two steps printing the boarding pass and bag drop-off, later is much more complicated. Thus, it requires more thought and consideration. It could also be seen from the discussions that most of the innovation and technological developments are for the first step of the process.

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66 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Discussions

Currently, at most airports the bag tags are printed at the dedicated bag drop-off counters from the BCBP. At some airports it is possible to print the bag tags from the kiosks and passenger can tag and weigh their bags and drop them at the bag drop-off. The simulation model is based on the first method, as at all the airports in case studies there was a similar process in place. The common use bag drop-off is not a common practice and as explained earlier limits the use of CUSS kiosks. The problems with the passengers self tagging the bags are discussed by Raymond (2005). The issue is further complicated by regulations which say once the bag is tagged it should be in the ownership of the airline (Conway 2006). Thus, it is clear that the bag drop-off process requires further improvements. The author believes that the breakthrough technology will be something similar to the baggage re-claim belts where the passengers just drop the bags with the tags already printed and attached. The main hurdles in such cases are the control of size and weight of bags and the correct tagging of bags. The use of RFID might make the sorting a little easier and automatic. The evolution of the bag drop-off might reduce the processing times and the model might need to be adjusted for the same. Although the model will not stand true for a three step process, it can be used for a one step process after some modifications.

7.5

C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter explains the factors that might affect the simulation model and the exceptions which could not be explained by the simulation model. It could be seen that new technologies keep on emerging to improve the efficiency. These new technologies will affect all the aspects of the process from the arrival profiles of passengers and the processing times per passenger. The simulation model could be used in a number of such occasions after some modifications, but obviously it cannot solve all the scenarios.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 67 Conclusions

8.0 CONCLUSIONS
This chapter concludes the research and discusses the important outcomes of the research along with the problems encountered during the research. This chapter also suggests the areas of further work required to add value to the model and the other problem areas for research.

8.1

O VERALL D ISCUSSION

The research was initiated with an understanding that there is a need for a tool to estimate the resources required for the changing technology. The self-service kiosks are seen as a positive move and it has been believed that it improves the check-in process and reduces queues at airports, although the author has not come across any academic research or case studies showing an improvement in the situation apart from the interviews and the claims from the airports in the trade journals and periodicals. The self-service check-in process is based on separating the two different processes of printing boarding pass and bag drop. This in particular is the reason for the improvement in the throughput of the system. The author undertook case studies to collect the data in the real life situation. The results of the case study regarding the processing times were particularly interesting. It is evident from the table that the total processing time for the kiosk plus bag drop is far more than the normal check-in process.
Average Time Standard Deviation 1.43 0.83 1.93 0.96 1.51 1.13

Check-in Counters Self-service Kiosks Bag Drop-off

Table 8-1 Processing Times for all Check-in Modes

Thus, the passenger using both needs to spend more time in the system for two reasons: more processing time and more waiting time in the queues for two processes. To maintain passenger comfort it will be necessary to maintain lower wait times at both the services, implying the need for more resources. It was seen that the arrival profiles at all three airports were different as suggested by the various papers in the literature review. The main factor that affects the arrival profiles is the passenger type travelling on the flights. The author believed that the arrival profiles for all three check-in methods would be different, but in the airports that were selected for case studies this could not be verified.

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68 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Conclusions

The aim of developing the simulation model was to understand the queuing patterns and transfer all tacit knowledge in to some useful tool for estimating the resources. Efforts were made to use all the understanding of the process in developing the model. But it was realized that there are very few important parameters that actually affect the process. It was necessary to keep all the input as flexible as possible to keep the model applicable to a large number of scenarios. It was concluded from that the arrival profiles were the only parameter which varies significantly at all airports and it was decided that the user should be able to modify it easily. The variation in processing times observed was not that significant and the statistical test also supports the observations. Thus, the processing time distributions were developed on the basis of the observations and cannot be modified by the user. Although if it is required to modify the processing time distribution for reasons like a change in technology or process improvement they could be adjusted without any major restructuring of the model. Any simulation model needs validation to make it reliable. The developed model was validated by two methods; first with the existing data and observations and secondly with industry standard practices. It was not possible to validate the data for the kiosks and web check-in as the author was not able to collect sufficient data and there are no industry standards in place to compare. It was realized that it would have benefited the model if it could have been validated with real life situations. But it was not possible to collect the data after making the simulation model as the data collection was delayed due to security reasons heightened by the terrorist attacks that took place during the duration of the project. In hindsight, it would have been ideal if the model could have been tested at any of the observed airports for reliability. While developing the scenarios and testing the model it was understood that the queuing pattern at the airport is the function of the arrival profile. The effects on the queuing pattern due to change in the resources could be analyzed with the help of the model. It was observed that the simulation model can be a useful tool for planning the requirements for the check-in process at airports.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 69 Conclusions

8.2

S TATEMENT

OF

R ESEARCH V ALUE

The learning and the value of this research can be divided in two parts as follows: Firstly, the research enables one to understand the key parameters that affect the new check-in process using self-service and web check-in. The research compiles all the facts about the self-service and web check-in process for the existing situation. It verifies and documents the process times and arrival profiles for each method by collecting data at three airports. The research also highlights the differences that exist at different airports in operations and passenger profiles. Secondly, it gives the airport planners a tool to estimate the requirements for the check-in process. The simulation model developed could be used for understanding the queuing patterns and measure the efficiency of the system in terms of the number of passengers waiting beyond the MWT, the percentage of passengers being processed by each server and the total process time per passenger. The simulation model developed has a very wide utility in the airport planning and operations of check-in systems. The results from the simulation model enable the users to assign the resources required for each method of check-in. The various scenarios analyzed in the research give an insight in the impacts of implementing the new check-in process. Any airport could use a similar process to analyze the requirements for the transitional stage in the implementation of new check-in technologies. Thus the simulation tool helps the planners to make a better decision and support the knowledge with tangible results. The model could identify or predict the bottlenecks that might exist in the system. The model allows the visualization of the impacts of increasing or decreasing the resources and to reach an optimum solution.

8.3

F URTHER W ORK

AND

R ESEARCH

The research conducted has helped in understanding the process, but it has also raised further questions which might need further research and analysis. After the development of the model the author realized that the following points could also have been addressed by the model.

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70 Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports Conclusions

In the model it would have been interesting to allow different opening times for the counters and kiosks as in real life the kiosks opening time is independent of the check-in open times. There should be a more detailed output like system idleness and queue lengths, which was implicitly available from the model, but required further effort and time.

The author realized that the model could be further developed for the optimization of the resources. Some efforts were made to optimize the use of the resources by controlling the wait time per passenger but were not successful and have not been included in the discussions and scenario analysis. But it was understood that flexible opening times for the counters and bag drop-off are key to optimizing the use of resources, and thus could be developed as an added feature in the model. It should be noted that the model uses a single bank queue for the kiosks, whereas the kiosks stand alone or in groups requiring separate lines. The impact of various configurations and layouts at the airport their contribution to efficiency could also be analyzed. The author believes that the key to improving further efficiency lies in the process improvements at the bag drop-off. It will be interesting to look at various new developments and understand the impacts of the self tagging process in a single or three steps. One of the most important aspects which could not be determined by the author was the analysis of the arrival profiles for different check-in modes. There is a need for research to establish the relation between the check-in mode and arrival patterns of passengers at the airport. Does the passenger arrive early as the kiosks are available at the airport irrespective to check-in times or does the passenger come late to the airport as it is perceived that check-in with kiosks is faster? Or is the arrival profile independent of the check-in method? This understanding could help in the allocation of resources and the location of the kiosks in the terminal and the use of bag drop-off. The use of kiosks also adds flexibility of location and the off-airport use of self-service check-in is gaining popularity. The benefits of such a process are quite evident, but it will be interesting to see how many passengers use such facilities, and a cost-benefit analysis and factors for locating the kiosks and bag drop-off at such places could be undertaken.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 71 Conclusions

8.4

F INAL C ONCLUSIONS

This chapter has put in place all the conclusions and important points that need to be considered for further research. The statement of research value shows that the stated objectives have been successfully met. The research demonstrates that the arrival profile is one of the important factors at any airport, which determines the queuing patterns. The total processing time for kiosk check-in and bag drop-off is significantly more than the traditional check-in process. The author was successful in developing the simulation model which could become an important tool estimating the requirements for the check-in process at the airport. The model is able to demonstrate the understanding gained in the case studies, which could be used for increasing the efficiency of the system. The model as shown could be useful in analyzing various what-if scenarios and in seeing the impact of changing resources. Thus the model empowers the airport planner with a tool for estimating the resources for the check-in process with self-service and web check-in.

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Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 73 Works Cited

WORKS CITED
A Joint ACI, Airline Business and SITA Survey. "The Airport IT Trends Survey, Executive Summary." http://www.sita.aero. 2006. http://www.sita.aero/NR/rdonlyres/F5953D0C-D08E-484A-8D349E05D2CA4AA3/0/AirportIT_Booklet06.pdf (accessed June 2007). Airbus. "Global Market Forecast, The future of flying- 2006-2025." 2006. AirTransport Intelligence. ATI -AirTransport Intelligence. 2007. http://www.rati.com (accessed August 2007). ATI News. "BAA Cheif: Passenger experience is unacceptable." http:\\www.rati.com. Edited by Keiran Daly. 2007. http://www.rati.com/news/item.asp?id=226256 (accessed June 2007). Baxter, Andrew. "Innovations: Airport Check-in: Board your flight by mobile phone." FT.com, May 14, 2007: 1. BBC News. BBC NEWS | Scotland | ATM inventor honoured 40 years on. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4135269.stm (accessed June 2007). Chun, Hon Wai, and Raymond Wai Tak Mak. "Intelligent Resource Simulation for an Airport Check-in Counter Allocation System." IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics—PART C: Applicaiton and Reviews 29, no. 3 (August 1999). Conway, Peter. "Common vision." Airline Business, January 2006: 40-42. Davies, Martyn, interview by Mihir Baxi. "During the visit at MAN." Personal. (July 23, 2007). Dijk, Nico M. van, and Erik van der Sluis. "Check-in Computation and optimization by simulation and IP in combination." European Journal of Operational Research 171 (March 2006): 1152-1168. Hiller, Pete, interview by Mihir Baxi. "During the visit at LHR." Personal. (August 06, 2007). Hooke, Raymond W. "Common use Self-Service kiosks: How will they benefit the air transport industry?" Unpublished MSc Thesis, Department of Air Transport, School of Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, 2005. Hughes, David. "Growing Pains." Aviation Week & Space Technology, August 8, 2005: 45-47. IATA. "Chapter F - Airport Capacity." In Airport Development Reference Manual, by IATA, 178-212. IATA, 2004. IATA(a) . "StBProgrammeSummary." www.iata.org/stbsupportportal. http://www.iata.org/NR/rdonlyres/00A6CD7D-9329-42E0-A8A1242749B3BCC7/0/April2007StBProgrammeSummary.pdf (accessed April 2007).
CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

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IATA(b). "StB_FactSheet_CUSS.pdf." http://www.iata.org/stbsupportportal. http://www.iata.org/stbsupportportal/stb_fact_sheets.htm (accessed April 2007). Joustra, Paul E., and Nico M. Van Dijk. "Simulation of Check-in at Airport." Proceedings of the 2001 Winter Simulation Conference. 2001. Kaminski-Morrow, David. Eurocontrol warns of severe airport constraints by 2025. London, December 15, 2004. Lejarraga, Amaya Barona. "Simulation of Passenger flow in a Self Check-in Procees." Unpublished MSc Thesis, Department of Enterprise Integration, School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science, Cranfield University, Cranfield, 2004. Maras, Elliot. "Self-serve kiosks address a changing customer." Automatic Merchandiser, March 2006: 20. Miller, Jared Keith. "Reducing the Air Travel Hassle Factor Through Self-Service Checkin Process Improvements." MSc Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. Murphy, Samantha. "Kiosk 411." Chain Store Age, January 2007: 68. Neufville, Richard de, and Amedeo Odoni. "Overall design of passenger buildings." Chap. 15 in Airport Systems: Planning Design, and Management, by Richard de Neufville and Amedeo Odoni, 605-654. McGraw-Hill, 2003. Park, Yonghwa, and Seung B. Ahn. "Optimal assignment for check-in counters based on passenger arrival behaviour at an airport." Transportation Planning and Technology 26, no. 5 (October 2003): 397-416. Pilling, Mark. "Efficiency drive." Airline Business, May 21, 2005: 70. Pilling, Mark. "Table Toppers." Airline Business, June 2007a: 6. Sargent, Robert G. "Verification and Validation of Simulation Model." Proceedings of the 2005 Winter Simulation Conference. 2005. SITA(a). "IATA's Simplifying the Business." http://www.sita.aero/News_Centre/Simplifying_the_Business/default.htm. SITA. http://www.sita.aero/NR/rdonlyres/95C8A775-CE4C-4B2F-ACAD02659B8067B6/0/SITA_SimplifyingTheBusiness_PP_A4.pdf (accessed June 2007). SITA(b). "Will Internet Check-in replace CUSS Check-in." http:\\www.sita.aero. (accessed June 2007). Tomber, Dave. "Check-in Evolution." Paasenger Terminal World, June 2007: 52-56. Toole, Kevin O, and Jackie Thompson. "Capacity Crunch." Airline Business, June 21, 2005: 50. Weiss, David. "Analysis: Kiosk Uptime, Revenue." Airport Business, July 2006: 9-11.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 75 Works Cited

Yan, Shangyao, Chin-Hui Tang, and Miawjane Chen. "A model and a solution algorithm for airport common use check-in counter assignments." Transportation Research Part A, no. 38 (October 2003): 101-125. Zimmerman, Thomas, Steve Ihde, Karsten Aalders, Scott Wright, Michel Wirth, and Stephen Hopkirk. "Travel Card: Airport Self-Check In using a wireless PDA." Intelligent Transportation System Conference Proceedings. Oakland, 2001.

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 77 Further Reading

FURTHER READING
Amer, Suzie. "Checking In, From far away." Succesful Meeitngs, February 2004: 19. Berkley, Blair J, and Amit Gupta. "Indentifying the information requirements to deliver quality service." International Journal of Service Industry Management 6, no. 5 (1995): 16-35. Cao, Yuheng, Aaron L Nsakanda, and Irwin Pressman. "A Simulaiton Study of the Passenger Check-in System at the Ottawa International Airport." DeNise, Antoinette. "Do-it-yourself Check-in is spreading." Meeting News, October 10, 2005: 32. Doshi, Naren, and Robert Moriyama. "Application of Simulation Models in Airport Facility Design." Edited by C.-H. Chen, J. L. Snowdon, and J. M. Charnes E. Yücesan. Winter Simulation Conference. 2002. Field, David. "Outside the box." Airline Business, Aug 2003: 48-50. Horonjeff, Robert, and Francis X. Mckelvey. "Planning and Design of the Terminal Area." Chap. 10 in Planning and Design of Airports, by Robert Horonjeff and Francis X. Mckelvey, 431-516. Mc-Graw Hill, 1994. Howes, John. "On the Cusp of CUSS." http://www.kioskeurope.com (accessed June 2007). www.kioskeurope.com. 2006.

John A Lawrence, Jr, and Barry A Pasternack. "Queuing Models." Chap. 9 in Applied Management Science: Modeling, Spreadsheet Analysis, and Communication for Decision Making, by Jr John A Lawrence and Barry A Pasternack, 501-550. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002. Kiran, Ali S, Tekin Cetinkaya, and Serafettin Og. "Simulation modelling and analysis of a new International Terminal." Proceedings of the 2000 Winter Simulaiton Conference. 2000. Odoni, Amedeo R., and Richard De Neufville. "Passenger Terminal Design." Transportation Research- Part A 26A, no. 1 (1992): 27-35. Ragsdale, Cliff T. "Queuing Theory." Chap. 13 in Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis: A practical Introduction to Management Science, by Cliff T. Ragsdale, 668702. Thomson South-Western, 2004. Rapport, Greg. "The time is right for Self-Service Kiosks." Convenience Store Decision, August 2006: 32-34. Schwartz, Adele C, and Douglas W Nelms. "Do-it-yourself check-in." Air Transport World, 2000, Summer ed.: 19-20. Slack, Frances, and Jennifer Rowley. "Kiosk 21: a new role for information kiosks?" International Journal of Information Management 22 (2002): 67-83.
CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY Department of Air Transport

Developing a Model to analyze impacts of Self-service and Web Check-in at airports 79 Further Reading

Snowdon, Jane L., Soad El-Taji, Mario Montevecchi, Edward MacNair, C. Adam Callery, and Scott Miller. "Avoiding the blues for Airline travelers." Edited by D.J. Medeiros, E.F. Watson, J.S. Carson and M.S. Manivannan. Winter Simulation Conference. 1998. 11051112. Sobie, Brendan. "Jumping the Queue." Airline Business, January 2007: 54. Yan, Shangyao, Chin-Hui Tang, and Miawjane Chen. "A model and a solution algorithm for airport common use check-in counter assignments." Transportation Research Part A, no. 38 (October 2003): 101-125.

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