Travel Hassles Eased by Self Check-In Kiosks at LAX

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Travel hassles are being eased by self check-in kiosks at Los Angeles International Airport.

The 160 kiosks spread through eight of the nine airport terminals are expected to get much more use as passenger volume increases. Volume this year could exceed the record 67.6 million in 2000.

''The real solution to all this stuff is automation,'' said David Stempler, president of the Washington-based Air Travelers Association. ''The more we can automate these systems ... the faster things will go.''

The kiosk ticketing began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Security measures created huge passenger bottlenecks as travelers waited to check in for flights.

United Airlines offers 49 kiosks, the most terminal lobby kiosks at LAX, followed by Delta with 24, American with 21 and Alaska with 18. USAirways, America West, Hawaiian, Northwest, ATA and Southwest also provide kiosks, and Southwest intends to add 18 more this year, said Larry Pitts, the airline's LAX station manager.

Kiosks allow people to check in more quickly and select and change seats. At LAX, kiosks are used by nearly 60 percent of United's passengers with electronic tickets, United spokesman Alan Wayne said.

''Lines? Yeah, there are lines in the peak (travel times) but they're rarely more than 20 minutes,'' said Wayne, whose Terminal 7-based airline is LAX's top carrier in passengers served.