Singapore - Singapore's Changi Airport opened a cutting-edge, new terminal on Tuesday with a fully automated check-in system including facial scanning and computerised baggage drop points, but some passengers struggled with the new technology.
SEE: #PlanePorn: The world's greatest airport now plans to cut wait times for passengers
Terminal 4, built at a cost of 723 million US dollars, will have an annual capacity of 16 million people and is aimed at coping with an expected increase in passenger numbers through one of Asia's top travel hubs.
It is packed with new technology, meaning passengers should in theory be able to check-in and board without having to talk to airport staff. The new technology with a fully automated check-in system and includes facial scanning and computerised baggage drops. On its first day of operations, more than 100 passengers arrived in the morning to take the inaugural service out, a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. But not everyone managed to get to grips with the self check-in machines, forcing travellers to use counters manned by airport staff instead.
"I think it'll take a while for people and systems to get used to it," Loh K Ling, who tried to use two self-service machines before giving up and going to a manned counter, told AFP. At the boarding gate, several travellers also had trouble getting used to the facial scanning technology and were redirected to manned counters.
Changi, often voted the world's best airport, is among hubs worldwide rolling out new technology as the fight intensifies for long-haul travellers.
Along with hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai, Singapore is scrambling to attract the growing army of travellers - on trips such as Australia to Europe - who can choose the routing of their journeys.
A growing number of mainland Chinese are also visiting Southeast Asia, and there is competition between Singapore and other local hubs, such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, to attract the new passengers.
SEE: #PlanePorn: The world's greatest airport is about to get even better
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Lucky charms around the world
- #AfriTravel: Ethiopian flies Africa's first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- #WildlifeWednesday: 5 SA animals you should get to know better