Poor workflow in USAirways self check-in kiosks

I ran into an ugly edge case attempting to use a self check-in kiosk to fly from Boston to Nassau on my UK passport last weekend. It turns out that its not possible – while one can use a self check-in kiosk to fly to the Bahamas on a US passport, or on a UK passport to the UK, it is not possible to use the kiosk to fly to another country using a different country’s passport.

Only the kiosk didn’t tell us that for a while…

After Kristi checked in successfully, we scanned my passport and informed the kiosk I am a UK citizen. At this point, the machine should have told me to see a ticket agent. Only instead, it chose to waste my time and that of the people waiting in line by prompting us to enter my name, passport number etc from a slow on-screen keyboard. Only at the end, after being prompted to enter my emergency contact information did the kiosk tell me to see the ticket agent, who informed me that what I am attempting was actually impossible. Thanks a bunch whoever programmed the kiosk. Great job on designing that interaction.

The kiosk did amuse me by telling me “The FAA requires that you provide emergency contact information” and then asking me do I want to provide contact information. What kind of requirement is that?

One thought on “Poor workflow in USAirways self check-in kiosks”

  1. When we first met, I hated you based on that single term “workflow”. Workflow isn’t meant to be used in every day language.

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