Tigerair Australia is rolling out a new tablet application in a bid to reduce queues, get its staff out from behind the checkin desk and hopefully improve the passenger experience at the airport.
The low-cost-carrier has 15 tablets with the Max Airport by Levarti app installed at its biggest base Melbourne Airport. Brisbane and Sydney airports are due to follow in the coming weeks before it is eventually deployed to all Tigerair ports.
Initially, Tigerair staff working at the airport will roam the terminal with the Apple iPad mini fitted with a special case that will enable them to checkin passengers, change their seats, print boarding passes and even offer extra legroom seats or luggage for sale.
The tablet is also fitted with a credit card swipe to facilitate payments and a scanner that can be used to board passengers at the departure gate. Meanwhile, staff will also carry a separate mini printer to issue boarding passes.
The information is transmitted in real-time to the airline’s operations systems, meaning crews can know how many people have boarded and what the weight of the baggage on board is.
And the Virgin Australia-owned low-cost carrier also has plans to use the app in the future for disruption management, given it can rebook passengers affected by delayed flights onto to other services and send them updated flight information via email or SMS.
Tigerair Australia commercial director Adam Rowe said the airline was the first in Australia to roll out this Max app across all ports in its network.
“It is absolutely fantastic technology,” Rowe told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
“It is taking them out from behind a desk and getting them queue combing and walking around the terminal actually engaging with people wherever we are.”
“The transaction time is much reduced.”
Rowe said about 60 per cent of Tigerair’s passengers currently did not need to queue at a checkin desk given they had checked in online or via their phone prior to arriving at the airport and could head to either an automated bag drop machine or the departure gate.
For those that haven’t used web checkin, Rowe said the app gets them out of the queue, with staff able to issue a boarding pass as they arrive at the terminal.
“Then they can go off, get a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy themselves,” Rowe said.
“For those that don’t need to be in a queue, part of our philosophy is that we should remove them from the queue.”
Levarti was founded by three former Virgin Blue staff, Rowe said.
Tigerair was also planning to introduce a new booking interface on the airline’s website which Rowe said was more suited to Australian consumers looking to book domestic flights.
The airline currently shared its internet booking engine with Asia-based Tigerair Singapore and Tigerair Taiwan.
“That serves a different market to what we have,” Rowe said.
“The needs of the two are subtly different and so we have built a new booking engine that actually fits with the Australian market and what is best for that.”