Hawaiian Airports Debut New Check-in Kiosks & Self-Adhesive Bag Tags

Hawaiian Airports Debut New Check-in Kiosks & Self-Adhesive Bag Tags
Mindy Hamlin
Published in: 

The ticketing lobby at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on the island of Honolulu was transformed late last year with fresh finishes and updated check-in kiosks that print a new breed of bag tags. Podium panels now feature custom graphics designed by a Maui tattoo artist. 

The new self-service kiosks, 54 in all, allow passengers to check themselves in and print their own tags for checked baggage. But you won’t find backing paper from the tags strewn about the floor or overflowing from garbage cans. The new kiosks at HNL print self-adhesive bag tags designed to save time and reduce waste. A special adhesive sticks the two sides of each tag together, but does not stick to bags, floors or passengers’ fingers and clothes. 

The kiosks and bag tags are part of a multimillion-dollar initiative launched last year by Hawaiian Airlines to renovate lobbies at five airports it serves. Updates have also been completed at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, Kahului Airport on Maui, and Hilo International Airport and Kona International Airport on the “big island” of Hawaii. 


Project: Terminal Lobby Renovations

Locations: Daniel K. Inouye Int’l Airport, Honolulu; Lihue Airport, Kauai; Kahului Airport, Maui; Hilo Int’l & Kona Int’l Airport, Hawaii

Funded By: Hawaiian Airlines

Project Management/Design Architect at HNL: Landrum & Brown

General Contractor: Hensel Phelps

Kiosks: VelocityOne, by Embross 

Bag Tags: eezeetags, distributed in the U.S. by Gateway Business Communications 

Signage Construction & Installation: Blue Skies Global

Podium Panel Design & Wall Motifs: Keone Nunes  

Digital Signage: CDW 

The renovation projects were spurred by the need to replace aging check-in kiosks; but the airline also took the opportunity to find new ways to improve the passenger experience. 

“The kiosks were about 10 years old,” points out Randy Arnold, Hawaiian Airlines’ project manager. “They typically only last five years, but we pushed them to the limits because we wanted to make sure the lobby design for each airport was just right.”

As the airline sought to ensure a consistent passenger experience at each of its airports, it turned to Embross for more modern, higher-tech kiosks. The self-adhesive bag tags they print, inspired by those used at a growing number of European airports, are provided by Dutch company eezeetags. To accommodate the tags’ unique adhesive, Embross partnered with printer manufacturer Custom to add special rollers to its VelocityOne kiosks.

“What we have now is the latest-generation kiosks,” reports Arnold. “They have a smaller footprint, but larger and more responsive touch screens.”  

Faster, More Efficient Self-Service

“Airports continue to look for ways to improve the passenger experience. Using eezeetags, airports are able to improve passenger flow and reduce operational costs,” says Jon Sikorski, account executive at Gateway Business Communications, the company’s U.S. distributor. 

While eezeetags are currently used at more than 50 airports worldwide, the company is hoping HNL and the four other Hawaiian airports will provide proof-of-concept for the U.S. market. Sikorski attributes the product’s acceptance in Europe to the preponderance of common-use facilities and systems. 

“We have been doing self-tagging for the past 10 years,” says Arnold. “When we first renovated Honolulu in 2011, we went to 100% self-tagging there. As part of our terminal lobby renovations, we decided to use the newest generation of kiosks, dual bag tag printing and flatbed passport readers.”

Borry Vrieling, founder and managing director of eezeetags, notes that the company’s self-adhesive tags speed up the bag-drop process, on average, by 20 seconds per passenger. Sikorski credits the simplicity of the product. “All you have to do is put two dots together,” he points out.

Last year, 50 million passengers used eezeetags, reports Vrieling. “This means less lines, less frustration and happy passengers who spend more money on food and beverage.” 

Island Touches

In addition to adding new check-in kiosks and bag tags, Hawaiian Airlines also refreshed its ticket lobbies.  As part of the project, it commissioned Keone Nunes, a master tattooist and cultural practitioner from Maui, to portray the canoe voyages ancient Hawaiians’ made between the islands. The symbolic design Nunes created highlights the lashing used on the canoes’ sails, but also includes subtle symbols that speak to the history and culture of each island. 

At HNL, the lobby refresh was just the beginning of a larger two-year renovation project. With congestion growing, Hawaiian Airlines turned to its long-time partner Landrum & Brown to help alleviate crowding in the ticketing lobbies of terminals 2 and 3.

Project designers arranged the new self-serve check-in kiosks in diagonal rows to facilitate passenger flow. “Previously, the ticketing areas were set up in a configuration of pods,” explains Mark Perryman, Landrum & Brown’s chief executive officer and managing director. “As a result, some kiosks didn’t get used at all. We worked the new Embross equipment into the design, and the ticketing process is now much more streamlined. Hawaiian Airlines ended up with more kiosks because of the configuration, and the flow is much more intuitive, allowing passengers to move through a lot faster.”

Arnold notes that now, passengers can easily see which kiosks are unoccupied as soon as they enter the lobby. 

Airline personnel estimate that the new kiosks will shave 30 to 60 seconds off the average time of three and one-half minutes passengers spend at the self-service terminals. 

Other improvements at HNL included reconfigured passenger queuing at ticketing counters to improve lobby flow and new signage and check-in podiums with bag scales. Future elements of the modernization program will include new counters for guest service, baggage drop and premium check-in stations. A self-drop bag area for travelers will be another major component.  

“We still have improvements to make in Honolulu, including an automated self-bag drop experience,” says Arnold. “This is what we are working on this year, and we are looking at several vendors who can develop the self-bag drop process for us.”

Each day, Hawaiian Airlines serves an average 32,000 passengers; and about 19,000 begin or end their travel at HNL.


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