afrol News, 30 September - Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and various airlines in the country have introduced a new system that allows passengers to make flight bookings online or on their mobile phones.
The system, which was implemented for South African domestic flights earlier this month, will also allow passengers to print their own boarding passes.
The system was to be available for international travellers as soon as approval has been received from the Pretoria Ministry of Home Affairs and 1Time Airline will only be ready next year.
"Passengers will no longer have to queue at the airport for check-in as their seat is assigned at the time of booking, while they can also print their boarding pass on any home laser or ink-jet printer," said Bongani Maseko, ACSA's Group Executive for Airport Operations.
He added that this would reduce the volume of people using check-in desks and give airlines real-time monitoring of which passengers have already checked into the secure area.
International travellers would be able to use the new 2-D barcode verification system, which according to Mr Maseko, is the new standard in air travel that has been adopted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Airlines were to offer a 2-D barcode printing service at their check-in counters for passengers who do not have the ability to print their pre-booked boarding pass. Passengers who use the 2-D boarding pass were required to carry positive identification, which must be produced at the boarding gate, ASCA informs.
The overall objective of the new system was to simplify the check-in process for the airlines and provide "greater flexibility and convenience" for air travellers.
ACSA has been working with industry players and partners such as the Airlines Association of Southern Africa and the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa over the past two years to put in place the system that requires the implementation of certain technologies, standards and functionality.
The system is being rolled out in a phased manner, starting with OR Tambo (Johannesburg), Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein international airports, and George and Kimberley local airports. King Shaka International and three other airports were expected to be operational by the end of the year.
An on-going education and information campaign was to be implemented by ACSA to help passengers and the industry to make the "necessary adjustments" to this new system, the compnay further informed.
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