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August 21, 2022 3:57 pm

Israel’s International Airport Vows to Cut Hours-Long Check-In Queues With Digital Kiosks

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Travelers at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on April 18, 2021. Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Israel on Monday announced plans upgrade its main international airport with digital tech booths to cut hours-long waiting times for passengers.

“Our main objective is to improve services for passengers in the immediate and, in the long-term, to become a digital airport and one of the most advanced of its kind in the world,” said Israel Airports Authority CEO Hagai Topolansky in a statement.

Topolansky said that the IAA has allocated the equivalent of around $15 million toward the digital project in 2023, which he hopes will improve services and the flight experience for passengers at Ben Gurion Airport. Today, more than 50 percent of travelers prefer to check in online, the IAA stated.

Since coronavirus-related restrictions were lifted earlier this year, Ben Gurion Airport has been struggling with a large flow of travelers coming in and out, in particular during the summer months, leading to hours-long queues at security and check-in counters at times until outside the departure terminal. In August, the IAA expects more than 2.3 million passengers to travel through Ben Gurion Airport on international flights following about 10 million travellers since the beginning of the year.

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In the first stage of the digital project, the IAA will install advanced “touch-and-fly” self-service kiosks at the airport’s departure terminals early next year, where passengers traveling abroad will be able to weigh their luggage independently and pay for overweight pieces, according to airlines’ requirements.

Travelers will also be able to print out their suitcase tag and sticker and send their luggage directly to the plane after scanning the tag code at independent “drop off” conveyor belts.

Passengers will undergo security checks only after completing their flight check-in either at the new self-service booths or online from home, the IAA said.

In addition, the IAA announced that in the coming days, the check-in screening area for people traveling with hand luggage only will be expanded to improve services and reduce waiting lines.

Today, more than 90 percent of passengers can pass border control at Ben Gurion Airport by scanning their passport to move on directly to the duty-free hall and departure gates.

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