Analysis: Kiosk Uptime, Revenue

Self-service kiosks are becoming more and more prevalent at airports and predictions show this trend will continue.

Other advocacy groups, such as the International Transport Association, are pushing for standardizing kiosks for interoperability. IATA's Common-Use Self-Service (CUSS) guidelines for kiosks in the airline industry promote multi-airline service capabilities in a single terminal. IATA claims that utilizing a CUSS-compliant system can save airlines approximately $2.50 per check-in, or $22 million dollars per year in the U.S. alone. (This calculation is based on the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics findings that approximately 74 million people flew in the year 2005 and 12 percent of them used a check-in kiosk.)

As the airline industry finds more efficient and profitable ways to utilize and deploy kiosks, we will begin to see more creative applications and locations for kiosks. The next generation of CUSS-compliant kiosks could include other travel services such as hotel or ground transportation check-in or reservations. In-flight kiosks could help passengers check in for connecting flights, or order ground services before arrival. Restaurants, tourist attractions, and busy urban hubs could all present opportunities for self-service kiosks.

With an estimated 265,000 retail kiosks in the market with an expected growth rate of 20.4 percent over the next year (according to Venture Development Corporation), the airline industry is sure to see a significant portion of that growth impact its bottom line.

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