Alaska Airlines has unveiled its new ‘Airport of the Future’ location at Los Angeles International Airport in the newly remodeled Terminal 6, where the carrier has replaced traditional ticket counters with customer-friendly check-in kiosks and bag-check stations.
The carrier’s move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) also offers travelers more convenient access to U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoints and to alliance partner Delta Air Lines, located in Terminal 5.
A tunnel links Terminal 5 and Terminal 6 and another tunnel leads from the international arrivals gates at Terminal 6 to the U.S. Customs checkpoint.
“We want Alaska to be the easiest airline to fly on, and our new terminal in Los Angeles furthers our mission to make travel hassle-free and seamless for our customers,” says Bill Ayer, Alaska Airlines’ chairman and CEO.
“Our new terminal has a friendly and spacious feel, with a state-of the-art check-in process, a shorter walk to the security checkpoint, convenient connections with international flights and access to electrical outlets throughout our gates,” adds Ayer. “These features should make Alaska’s LAX passenger experience one of the best in the country.”
At LAX Terminal 6 at LAX, instead of waiting in line at a ticket counter, Alaska Airlines travelers who haven’t already checked in online or with a mobile device can print their boarding passes and pay for checked bags at a self-service kiosk.
Travelers with carry-on luggage can proceed directly to the security checkpoint located one level above Alaska Airlines’ ‘Airport of the Future’.
After checking in at self-service kiosks, passengers checking luggage then proceed to a nearby bag-check station, where customer service agents scan customers’ boarding passes and attach bag tags. A new conveyor belt system weighs the luggage and moves it automatically through a new security screening system and then on to the aircraft.
The airline expects the Terminal 6 design to reduce average wait times for customers with checked bags from 20 minutes to less than four minutes, as it has in Anchorage and Seattle, where the carrier already uses its ‘Airport of the Future’ design.
Today, according to Alaska Airlines, more than 70 per cent of its customers check in online, on a mobile device or at a kiosk, which are available at nearly all of the 92 airports Alaska serves. Travelers with carry-on luggage only spend just a minute or so checking in.
The 13-month LAX construction project was a collaborative effort between Alaska Airlines, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Transportation Security Administration. After breaking ground in February 2011, terminal construction was completed on time at a cost of about $238 million — $33 million under budget.
“Alaska’s Terminal 6 is an example of what can be achieved when government and private business partner,” says Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The renovation, delivered on-time and under budget, is part of L.A.’s $4.1 billion investment in modernizing LAX.”
Adds Villaraigosa: “In addition to dramatically improving the travel experiences of both domestic and international passengers, the Alaska Terminal 6 project supported more than 1,000 direct jobs in our region.”
Other features of the renovated Terminal 6 include a new Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge, electrical outlets at half the seats in spacious gate areas, a central service counter, and gate information displays.
The construction project also incorporated many sustainable building practices in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Alaska Airlines’ Board Room lounge was designed for certification under the LEED Green Building rating system, with numerous energy-efficient and environmental features. These include low-flow water fixtures that reduce consumption by 30 per cent compared to traditional fixtures; energy-efficient lighting systems; and Energy Star-certified appliances.
The airline says it was the first in North America to sell tickets online in 1995 and, four years later, was the first carrier worldwide to offer Internet check-in and boarding passes.
Alaska Airlines operates 40 flights a day to 19 destinations from Los Angeles. The total includes 15 international flights – the carrier saying that, together, it and sister carrier Horizon Air operate more international flights out of LAX than any other airline.
Altogether, Alaska Airlines has 706 L.A.-based flight crew, 205 of whom are pilots and 501 of whom are flight attendants. The airline employs 186 customer service airport staff at LAX, as well as 91 other ground and maintenance employees, including 6 Horizon Air maintenance workers.