August 30, 2008

Smooth Check-in for Transit Fliers

By Arpit Basu

KOLKATA: Here's some real good news for those travelling by low- cost carriers (LCCs), Kingfisher Red (Deccan) and JetLite.

Henceforth, they will be spared the trouble of checking in more than once while covering multiple sectors along the way.The botheration of collecting the luggage at the transit destination and then checking in again will soon be a thing of the past. Both the LCCs will now be equipped with an advanced check-in system to facilitate passengers.

While Kingfisher Red will introduce the system from Friday, JetLite will do so from September 5.

The on-line software, known as Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment (SABRE), automatically forwards luggage to the transit carrier, domestic or international. In India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher are already part of it. So are most major international airlines. Air India uses a different system that provides the same facility.

Under this system, if a passenger is travelling to a destination in the US via Delhi or Mumbai, he or she can avail of an LCC flight to these airports and then board the US-bound flight of another airline without having to check in again either in Delhi or Mumbai airport.

The same advantage is on offer in the domestic sector, too. The system will also help both domestic and international passengers book tickets to any destination across the world from the airline's counter in Kolkata.

Earlier, passengers had to purchase tickets from respective carriers before embarking on their journey.

"SABRE is hosted on the global distribution system (GDS) for airlines. This means details of all international airlines worldwide that are under GDS will be incorporated in our system," said an airline official.

The same facility will be available to overseas passengers while travelling to India. This means that a traveller from the US can book tickets on any sector in the country and check in the registered baggage only once at the point of departure.

(c) 2008 The Times of India. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.