I’ve seen the future and it sucks

Hawaiian Airlines has removed check-in counters at Honolulu Airport. Instead, you do it yourself at futuristic computer hubs. This is supposed to improve efficiency, but I’m thinking it just improves their bottom line. It certainly wasn’t very efficient for us. Husband had a return ticket, but me and the Sprogs only had one-ways, so we couldn’t check-in together and we couldn’t get seats together, because you can’t discuss non-traditional situations with a computer, you can only press a touch-screen. No, wait, you can have a conversation with someone, they just can’t help you. Friendly Hawaiian-shirted “agents” hang around, but they can only press buttons and attach your luggage tickets, and that’s only if they’re not assisting less technically able passengers through every single step of the electronic check-in process, particularly the Japanese ones who try to weigh three large suitcases and their golf clubs all at the same time (even though they have chosen to get their instructions in Japanese). When the friendly Hawaiian-shirted “agents” finish helping hapless Japanese tourists, many minutes will have passed and your boarding information will have disappeared from the screen. You will try desperately to grab an “agent” for an explanation, but they will rush past looking stressed and shout over their shoulder that, yes, you will have to start the electronic boarding pass process again, from scratch. This will make you very cross, but you will sigh and attempt to scan your passport again. The computer will refuse to accept your passport and you will stand there fuming, vainly trying to catch the attention of another harried “agent”. When you finally grab one, you will be pretty fed up and will make lots of strident comments about the inefficiency of the system. The “agent” will promise to bring it up with her manager, right after she finishes sending your luggage to Timbuktu to teach you a lesson about being rude to people in the service industry who are just trying to do their job (Husband will never learn, I wonder how much waiter spit he has inadvertently consumed in his life?) And so, you will eventually make it through customs etc with barely enough time to spend your remaining American cash, but you will do your valiant best, grabbing five magazines, two ugly key rings, one ugly fridge magnet, a chicken Caesar salad and a goat’s cheese salad before hearing your final boarding call and gazing forlornly over your shoulder at the chocolate macadamias and hula statues and plastic flower clips and diamanté thong necklaces you could have bought if you’d just had another five minutes.
“Progress”, I bloody hate it, don’t you?

4 thoughts on “I’ve seen the future and it sucks

  1. try flying in china!!! my brother had a flight beijing – shanghai – sydney booked months b4… he & his wife & kids travelled round for the holidays & ended up in shanghai… he asked could he just hop on the plane there with them, as they had shanghai – sydney booked… no, he had to fly back to beijing, to get on the flight back to shanghai…

  2. Terrible that a family can’t even sit together! Wouldn’t be helpful in an emergency either!

    Hawaii was an extrememly anal and rude airport last I travelled (a few years ago now). All the passengers were shocked and whispering to eachother, ‘What are we, little brats?’ Why are they being so rude to us???’.
    The only time I used self check-in was at our Sydney Domestic Terminal and was amazed that you could board the plane without showing anyone a single piece of ID!

    • They’re now doing this thing at customs where you check yourself back into the country by swiping your ticket and a machine taking your photo. Comforting to know everything is in such safe hands …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s