Alaska Airlines is starting up a tech incubator in Silicon Valley to enhance the travel experience

Tech-driven enhancements are coming fast and furiously to airports across the country, including San Jose where Alaska Airlines is testing out new technology to advance the way people travel. 

Our innovation team plans to modernize travel at every major city we fly, from reimagining the lobby to testing innovative technology that streamlines the airport experience to boarding your flight with biometrics.

“As we grow our airline and fly more people to more places, we are looking for unique ways to create a seamless travel experience for our guests. We’re using tech to also empower and equip our employees with the latest tools to offer the most caring service for our guests,” said Charu Jain, SVP of merchandising & innovation. “California is the epicenter of tech and the perfect place to test out these innovations.”

Faster check-in and self-bag drop. 

In San Jose, we’re testing out a new check-in and self-bag drop system that will streamline the check-in process, reduce confusion and decrease the time needed to drop off your bag(s).

On average, people spend about 8.5 minutes in the lobby. Our new enhancements will cut that time in half and give our guests more opportunities to bypass congested areas of the lobby.

If you’re looking for the quickest way to get from the lobby to your gate, we recommend checking in for your flight on our mobile app or online before arriving to the airport. While on the app or website, you can check-in, pay for any checked luggage and pre-order your favorite meal for your flight.

“Alaska Airlines’ use of emerging technology to enhance and streamline the passenger experience at San José Mineta International will provide more seamless transit of flyers coming to SJC—and create a more welcoming gateway to San José,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

With technology, we’re giving our guests more ways to have a seamless experience anywhere in our lobby. At SJC, you’ll spot our tabletops equipped with Apple iPad Pro that you can use to quickly scan your boarding pass, print your bag tag(s), and self-tag your bag(s). Our customer service agents are also equipped with iPad Mini to be able to immediately take care of guests at any Alaska touchpoint.

Alaska was the first airline to implement self-serve airport kiosks in 2007—and we hope to be the first to remove them,” said Jain. “Simply because we’re our best when we can meet guests where they’re at and be able to take care of them the second they enter our space.”

From there, if you’ve checked a bag, you can take your tagged bag and head to our self-bag drop to give us your luggage—no more waiting in line!

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