The Chicago Department of Aviation announced that O’Hare International Airport will be implementing a new procedure in order to reduce the time that customers stand in the customs line. The new procedure is for U.S. passport holders who are returning to the United States on international flights, to improve their customer service experience with customs officials and decrease wait time in line. It is intended that by July 1st, in the midst of the travel season, customers will no longer fill out the paper customs declaration forms on the plane. Instead, after departing the plane, U.S. passport holders will be directed to a self-service kiosk. Once they are at the kiosk, the U.S. passport holder will scan his/her passport to start the claiming process, all before any interaction with a customs official. The customer is then issued a receipt from the machine, with the answers to questions they have answered at the kiosk, to give to the customs official for verification.
This new customs process is an adaption to keep customers satisfied by keeping lines short. The new procedure also includes a few of the five service dimensions that we have learned in class. O’Hare is demonstrating the second service dimension, responsiveness. Implementing the self-service kiosks is in response to the additional four international airlines that will be servicing out of O’Hare this summer. The Chicago Department of Aviation, allowing O’Hare to use the new self-service kiosk devices, is also showing empathy towards the customers. O’Hare and The Chicago Department of Aviation are considering and empathizing with customers by recognizing the stressfulness of standing in line for hours and waiting to complete the customs process upon re-entry into the county. The tangible service dimension is also considered in the new and, what is expected to be improved, paperless customs process. The whole process of communicating with the customs officials is being altered with this new equipment.
The system has been tested with the Canada Border Services Agency and has proved to be useful at the Vancouver International Airport over the past year. The successful trial in Vancouver encouraged The Chicago Department of Aviation to put the new self-service kiosk into action at O’Hare International Airport. This new technology is a breakthrough improvement. There has been little to no change to improve and expedite the re-entry in to the U.S. customs process in the recent past. This new change is much needed.
Personally, after first hand experiences of standing in the customs control line for hours, I am excited for the self-service kiosks to be put into action. For frequent fliers, once they learn the new technology, they will be flying through the line.
How do you feel about the self-service kiosks for the purpose of speeding up the process of re-entry into the United States? Do you think this will be helpful/beneficial to both travelers and customs officials? Do you foresee any problems that may arise from this change?