Alaska's check-in a step to "Airport of the Future" - How it works

Alaska Air Group opened the first phase of its new $18 million check-in facility at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday, replacing traditional ticket counters with self-serve check-in kiosks and bag-check stations. Alaska Airlines says this "Airport of the Future" approach has cut check-in times in half at its Anchorage terminal.

The first phase opened Monday to serve Alaska Airlines customers, and beginning in February it can be used by Horizon Air passengers as well. By summer, the terminal will have 50 check-in kiosks and 56 bag-check points.

Alaska Airlines will station "lobby coordinators" in the terminal, "ensuring (passengers) know where to go with this very new look," said spokeswoman Amanda Tobin Bielawski.

1 . Customers who haven't already checked in online can print their boarding passes at Alaska's kiosks, above. Customers with only carry-on baggage then go directly to the security checkpoint.

2 . Passengers checking luggage go to one of the bag-check points, where customer-service employees, left, scan boarding passes and attach bag tags. A new conveyor-belt system at each bag-check point weighs the luggage and automatically moves it onto the main conveyor belt, on its way to the aircraft.