CPH Airport – The Swipe Intervention
Diagnosis: The diagnosis was that most passengers were uninformed about the fact that they needed to have their passport swiped before they could board. The reason they needed their passport swiped was in order to update the travel information on the given passenger.
Solution: The swipe intervention was a Power Point slide. The slide informed passengers to approach the boarding counter in order to have their passport information updated. The intervention was twofold. 1) Handlers at the gate would be charged with calling out via the loudspeakers, asking passengers to look at the monitors in the boarding area. 2) If a passenger saw their name on the TV monitors the text in the slide would give them appropriate information, prompting the relevant passengers to report at the boarding counter, so that handlers could update their travel and passport information.
The time it would take for the handler to update the relevant passengers information would then be entirely removed from the boarding sequence, as the interventions intention was to move this timespan to the waiting phase, rather than having it happen during the actual boarding phase. This would mean that the passenger only had to be processed like any ‘normal’ passenger who just needed to show their passport and boarding pass.
One disclaimer that somewhat works against this intervention is that passengers whose names are called and shown on the monitors would have to be present at the boarding area. However, with any interventions that make use of the waiting phase, this would be a slight problem. We found that this was not of major concern, as it would be unlikely that none of the passengers who needed their information updated, would be present at the gate during the waiting phase. Another reason we found this intervention desirable was that the other way of reducing boarding sequence, was for ground handlers to process the task of swiping the passport quicker. We found this form of solution to be undesirable, as this would require extensive training for ground handlers, and would be nigh impossible to carry out across all ground handlers at the airport.
Almost half of all passengers who needed their passports swiped would approach the boarding counter before the boarding was commenced. By all accounts, this should decrease the time spent on boarding these passengers during the boarding phase, because we have moved an otherwise time consuming activity from boarding phase to waiting phase.
The takeaway here is that passengers are willing to approach the boarding counter to get their passport swiped before boarding begins. Moving swipe activities from the boarding phase to the waiting phase then alleviates some of the time constraints during the boarding phase, as exemplified below.
By way of regression, we were able to identify that passport swipe was a statistically significant predictor, meaning that there is a correlation between passport swipe and boarding time (Passport: B = 27.986 t (1440) = 26.74, p < .001). Each passenger who needs their passport swiped takes 28 (rounded up) seconds longer to board than the average passenger. This means that for each passenger who has his or her passport swiped during waiting, Norwegian save 28 seconds during the boarding phase.
One of the concerns introducing the interventions was whether handlers would engage in the intervention. When introducing the intervention, handlers immediately seemed to like the idea of calling passengers to the boarding counter prior to boarding.
The swipe intervention seemed to have some possible positive features related to usability. One of the possible positive features was that instead of handlers having to call all the names of passengers having to have their passport swiped the only had to refer to the list on the monitors. This saved handlers time by not having to call the names. Another possible feature was that passengers could check the monitors for their names, in case they were in doubt whether their names had been called or not.
One thing we found to be very useful for handlers, was to have a list with the names of passengers who needed their passports swiped. Once a passenger had had his or her passport swiped, their name could be crossed of the list. This ensured that handlers would not call the names of passengers whose passports already had been swiped.