Delta Air Lines Wants To Know If Elites Will Use Check-in Kiosks Instead Of Airport Agents

Delta wants to know if they can save money by using agents for elite travelers. They have pushed general passengers to self-service kiosks, while maintaining full service for their most frequent customers.

They are surveying their customer focus group, made up of a group of elite customers, about whether they use kiosks in areas outside of air travel, what features they want from kiosks, and whether the Pandemic has made them more open to a shift to kiosks.

They want to know if you prefer staff or kiosks. I think it's a bit of a toss up. It depends on the staff and the kiosk. A good user experience is quick and efficient, and others put too much of a burden on the end user. People can adjust to the needs of the customer, while computers are programmed to send everyone through the same one size fits all funnel. There are no kiosks for expert users.

Why would you use a kiosk?

Is the swine flu making you more open to kiosks? This is a question that I think is odd. There is a shift towards less human interaction. When you are traveling you are already in an airport which lacks good air quality and is often not as clean as an aircraft. While Covid is spread through aerosols, we don't know if these are cleaned often.

What are the kiosk features that you care about the most? The cart is placed before the horse. I would do more things on a kiosk that was more efficient, in expert mode, and didn't make me go through too many decision trees or acknowledgement screens.

The goal is to reduce counter staffing costs that assist frequent flyers and they want to know how to get you to be more willing and likely to use a kiosk.

I rarely use a kiosk. I use the app for boarding. If I can't get on an earlier flight without seeing a person, I use a priority line. I need to see a person when there is a paper certificate of some kind that prevents check-in, and I know when I need to see a person.

American kiosks are too slow and take too long to complete simple tasks. There are too many screens. When I need to check my bags, I wait for 3 people in line ahead of me. I will use a kiosk when there are more than 4 people ahead of me. I don't expect to see a kiosk experience that's better than an elite agent experience in the near- or even medium-term.

Do you travel with a kiosk? What would make you use a kiosk more? Do you care if the kiosks actually did the job as intended for the audience in a user-appropriate way?

The check-in kiosks at the airport are the most unsanitary part of the airport. I decided to find out the cleaning regimen of each airline. There was no cleaning regimen.

February 18,


Kyetra Bryant flew American Airlines from Charlotte to Denver on Thanksgiving after a data matching error at Capital One. She and her companion paid for their checked bag at the kiosk. She says the charge appeared on her bank statement as African American.

February 1, 2021.


The LA Times Travel Blog asked if airlines should charge for carry-on bags. George Hoffer, a professor of economics at Virginia Commonwealth University, thinks that people in a hurry are the ones who want to get off the plane fast.

June 12, 2008.