An airport kiosk is a standalone desk or an interactive computer terminal that provides information, goods, or services. In many airports, individuals can purchase tickets, check baggage, and monitor the status of arriving and departing flights at a specific airline's computerized kiosks. Several airlines rely on kiosks to ease congestion and prevent long lines at check-in counters. An airport kiosk may also be a booth where people can purchase food, magazines, or souvenirs from a salesperson before or after a flight.
Computerized, self-service kiosks are found near the check-in counters for many large airlines. At these terminals, individuals can review prices and flight times, and either purchase or confirm reservations. Many kiosks allow customers to print boarding passes and baggage check receipts. An airport kiosk might feature a mouse and keyboard setup similar to a desktop computer, or utilize an interactive touchscreen so that customers can make their choices by pressing selections on the screen. Many terminals cater to international customers by offering information in a number of different languages.
A self-service kiosk is able to confirm a traveler's identity by prompting him or her to input a confirmation number and insert the credit card used to purchase tickets. The kiosk has access to an airline's information database, and is able to immediately access profiles and payment information. If the terminal is unable to confirm a purchase or a customer does not have his or her credit card handy, the screen usually directs the traveler to a manned ticked counter so that he or she can speak with a customer service agent.
An interactive airport kiosk offers many advantages to both customers and airline employees. Computerized terminals allow customers to avoid long lines at ticket counters and check in for their flights at their own convenience. Customer service agents are relieved of the burden of manually entering information and checking in large numbers of passengers before flights. Instead, they are able to help people who have difficulties with kiosks and those who need to discuss special accommodations.
Many retail outlets set up booths known as kiosks to provide goods and services to customers. A retail airport kiosk might sell souvenirs, snacks, newspapers, magazines, and other items. An employee of a retail company or an airline usually works at a kiosk to answer questions and make sales. An automated teller machine is a fixture of many kiosks, allowing people to withdraw money or check the balance of their bank accounts immediately.