Qantas adds self-service check-in kiosks at Sydney Airport T1

Qantas adds self-service check-in kiosks at Sydney Airport T1

Qantas will begin moving to self-service check-in and baggage drop facilities at Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal this week.

The kiosks are similar to those already used by Qantas at Sydney's T3 terminal. Passengers can check-in for their flights, collect their boarding pass and head straight for the security gates (and the lounges beyond) if they have only carry-on luggage, or can tote their checked bags to the automated bag-drop machines.

The new check-in area is located to the left of the Qantas first class and business class check-in counters at Zone D, and has replaced the Zone C check-in counters.

A spokeswoman for Qantas told Australian Business Traveller "we're transitioning from a predominantly counter based check-in environment to a self-service check-in model for Qantas economy passengers, which will be hosted by our customer service agents."

The spokeswoman confirmed this would mean a reduction in the number of Qantas staff assigned to the traditional check-in counters, saying "there will be fewer general check-in counters," although this is not expected to impact arrangements for premium economy, business or first class check-in.

"Premium customers can choose to use check-in counters or this hosted self-service zone to complete their check-in and baggage acceptance," she added.

While Qantas is the launch partner for the self-serve system, other airlines are slated to follow, according to a spokeswoman for Sydney Airport.

Are you a fan of self-service check-in kiosks and automated baggage drop, or do you prefer to deal with airline staff – even if it means lining up a little longer?

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • sdtravel


    14 Mar, 2018 06:52 am

    Is it for all flights?
    What about the US bound passengers and the special interview screening that needs to take place? How do the kiosks confirm that the interview was conducted?
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  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    14 Mar, 2018 07:24 am

    I always thought that one of the tasks of check-in staff was to check the passenger's passport and visa to ensure that the airline could successfully take the passenger to the flight's destination. How would that task be done by a kiosk?
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  • Doubleplatinum


    14 Mar, 2018 08:31 am

    Ever heard of a thing called smart gate that is in almost every international airport in Australia?
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  • AJW


    14 Mar, 2018 05:41 pm

    Smart gate has nothing to do with visa checking for destination countries. It is for Australian border control only.

    That said BA have had self service checkin at T5 (and presumably elsewhere) for a number of years and if going to a country that requires a visa after checking in you were directed to a visa check counter.
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  • Yvan J Drake


    14 Mar, 2018 08:49 am

    If it's like the AirNZ Kiosks, it can scan your passport while you're there. I'm not sure about the Visa situation, however.
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  • reeves35


    14 Mar, 2018 09:12 am

    Air NZ self check-in asks a series of questions including proposed US address. Obviously this meets the requirements of US customs. I assume Qantas will do likewise.
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  • Yvan J Drake


    14 Mar, 2018 09:52 am

    That makes a lot of sense
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  • henrus


    14 Mar, 2018 10:10 am

    They've already got them in Brisbane and if there is any doubt regarding Visa's or a required USA interview then in prints out a piece of paper telling you to go visit a normal desk.
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    14 Mar, 2018 03:09 pm

    Try leaving through the smart gate with a dodgy passport... AFP here they come!
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  • David Pateao


    14 Mar, 2018 08:06 am

    This is fairly common across the world - love using it with Cathay in HKG. Kiosks are more than capable of checking passports (just like smart gate).
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  • patrickk


    14 Mar, 2018 08:14 am

    In the US the passport is checked at the kiosk by sliding it in like the smart gate. I expect it wont apply to the US because of the interview process
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  • MarkJohnSon


    14 Mar, 2018 08:59 am

    The wins keep coming for QF, well done!

    Regarding US-bound flights, I’ll be utterly shocked if these flights aren’t excluded from using the kiosks.
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  • reeves35


    14 Mar, 2018 09:14 am

    US flights won't be excluded. Air NZ already use a similar system without issue.

    Once again, your barracking is a bit tiresome. Self check-in is a mixed blessing, great for some, confusing for others (particularly elderly). The airlines love it because it is cheap, not because they believe it really improves passenger experience.
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  • Fonga


    14 Mar, 2018 10:19 am

    OK count me as someone who loves self check-in. It's a simple process that my elderly parents have no problem with. There is nearly always an attentive staff member nearby who can pick who may need a little extra help. I nearly always step up to a free kiosk and a free bag drop. I think it is a great improvement by Qantas and in line with what other airlines are doing.
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  • David Flynn


    14 Mar, 2018 10:35 am

    I love self-checkin for speed, when I have no baggage – was a big fan of the original 'tap and go' towers in Sydney's T3 Qantas terminal.
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  • Mrminivee


    14 Mar, 2018 06:36 pm

    Why dont you just check in before arriving at the airport?
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  • Say Mee


    14 Mar, 2018 12:10 pm

    It has been in use in BNE for quite a while for all passengers. The plan there is to reduce the check in staff to one or two who can help with issues. The moment you place the passport, most of the process is pretty straight forward. Like anything, this may affect the not so frequent traveller and elderly and people with language barriers!

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  • peteshep


    14 Mar, 2018 12:11 pm

    People are commenting on the details of visas, destination address, passports and US “security interview”:

    1. Visas, address and passport details are normally entered in the “enter APIS” section on your booking online so shouldn’t be needed again at check in, but if not entered online the machines should be able to read a passport just like many other airlines do, and ask for other information on visa, address etc.

    2. I went to the US in late January and was asked a total of ZERO additional questions by check in staff. It was the QF First check in counters in Melbourne, and we were chatting away with the staff so not sure if they forgot or just don’t bother. I’m sure the machine could easily ask the same questions an attendant needs to.
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  • P1


    14 Mar, 2018 02:56 pm

    I sincerely hope they don't put attendants with KPIs in the checkin hall directing all and sundry that they MUST use the self service checkin kiosks, like they did in the domestic terminals.

    I was horrified to see one a few years ago telling a 80 year old couple lined up at the manned checkin counter, who had no clue what a computer even was, that they MUST checkin using the kiosk.

    Then she tried it on me, and I told her where to go.
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  • Adam T


    14 Mar, 2018 02:58 pm

    Love this. Great move Qantas. Oh and to all the “but what about......” questions, kiosk checkin for international isn’t exactly cutting edge, it’s been around for a while at other cities. But I will say IMPO Qantas do kiosk & bag drop better than any other.
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  • reeves35


    14 Mar, 2018 03:04 pm

    I've done it with Qantas, Air NZ, Tiger and Jetstar. Experience is pretty much the same as you'd expect. None is bad but being greeted by a CSO who is enjoying their job is always a much brighter experience regardless.
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    14 Mar, 2018 03:12 pm

    Spoke to the check in folk last week whilst heading to Europe. They are mixed about it. Standing up for hours at a time. Less interaction with PAX. Being a QFF Platinum I like the idea of a priority check in and that interaction. But progress and Mr. Joyce wait for no one...
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  • Rick Krever

    Rick Krever

    14 Mar, 2018 03:20 pm

    Wonder why all the discussion is on US travel, which is relatively straight forward. The key question is how it will deal with other countries for which visas are needed because the Qantas has to not only sight the visa but record the number in the system - e.g., Chinese visas - before they let you board. Presumably it will work as they do elsewhere in the world by directing you to staff where the flight ends in a country for which Australians require visas.
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  • Georgina MONAGHAN


    14 Mar, 2018 03:43 pm

    No, not a fan of auto check in or auto baggage drop but then only time I have endured this process is in US, where Customer Service is wanting at best!!

    Qantas & any most airlines in Australia are more Customer oriented than in US so I don't see a problem.

    Comments about Passports, Visa etc are not an issue, info is entered when booking flight so should not required again, if info not available passport reader will direct the person to "another line".

    Having said that, if going to US is irrelevant what is done anywhere else, US will do, what US does best!!

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  • David Henshall

    Red Cee

    14 Mar, 2018 06:09 pm

    Give me a person at a check in desk anytime. Talking to a robotic neutral machine does nothing for me. Looking at the above posts, it appears I am in the minority.
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  • sdtravel


    14 Mar, 2018 07:08 pm

    I actually prefer a person as well. This is why I dont use self serve checkout at Woolworths.
    I also prefer the cardboard boarding passes not the thin thermal paper ones you get from kiosks.
    So for me I will continue to see the service desk to checkin.
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  • samueljones561


    14 Mar, 2018 08:08 pm

    I would be interested to know if I use the self check-in and are flying business if there is a way to still use the express path without the invitation? Will they let you in if you show on your ticket that you are flying business?

    PS. There is nothing wrong with “barracking“ for an airline you are pationate about. It is only natural when you travel a lot with one airline that you grow a personal attachment to it. Say what you like but I think of Qantas very highly and it makes me happy to see them succeed. So as long as it’s not hurting anyone I don’t see a problem with barracking. I’m sure there have been a lot worse things said on these threads than that.

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  • David Flynn


    14 Mar, 2018 09:28 pm

    I did an online checkin and print-out-at-home boarding pass recently (for a Qantas flight to Hong Kong) and it included the Express Lane logo etc on the same sheet as the boarding pass.
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  • Richard Dinkelmann


    15 Mar, 2018 01:00 pm

    ICM Airport Technics (ICM) is the provider of most of the technology in the solution. We provide:

    • Airline Application for self-tagging check-in kiosk
      This is a brand new application, which is a major enhancement of the previous version.
      Exceptions such as visa and other checks are handled by a “Staff Assist” mode, which allows the passenger to be assisted by a staff member at the kiosk.
      This is much more convenient than being redirected to a separate manned counter.
      If bags need to be checked in, the kiosk prints the bag tag(s) and the passenger applies the tag to the bag.
    • Auto Bag Drop (ABD) hardware and software
      The self-service bag drop unit allows the passenger to drop off their bag without assistance from an airline staff member.
      It weighs the bag, reads the bag tag, checks the bag for conveyability and processes it into the baggage system.
      In some airports, for example Changi Singapore, face-to-passport biometrics is integrated into the solution.

    This process has been use in Qantas’ domestic terminals since 2010 and is now available to international travellers.
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  • David Flynn


    15 Mar, 2018 01:04 pm

    Thanks Richard, I'm sure if any of our readers have questions about the system & technology itself they'll be glad to know there is somebody here they can ask ::
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  • Andrew Barkery

    Andrew Barkery

    16 Mar, 2018 01:41 pm

    Have used the (Air)NZ self check in 4 times now, 3 internationals and 1 NZ domestic.
    Can't complain, about it.
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  • andredfb


    18 Mar, 2018 07:08 pm

    I just walked past the new checkin area at T1 and they have signs up directing US bound travelers to the standard assisted checkin desks.
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  • Andrew


    20 Mar, 2018 05:45 am

    I for one love DXB. I worked there for 11 years and I have to say that all the armchair experts out there about safety/lgbt treatment/treatment of women do not know the place. Armchair experts. Yes Emiratis can sometimes be aloof but I worked with many of them and I find them to be good people with attributes that many of we Australians should aspire to.

    Contrary to misguided belief expressed here, there are many Australian businesses thriving in the UAE, particularly in Dubai. Official stats show that Australians are a significant and growing proportion of tourists visiting the Emirates.

    On a personal note, I much prefer DXB terminal 3 concourses to the shabby and dated offering in Singapore, where I often stop on my way to the UAE, Africa, EU and USA. The only really good part of Changi is the Emirates lounge.

    Also I'm delighted that ultra shabby and rude Qantas will no longer pass through Dubai. As an airline that has consistently disappointed me in the past, I will never step inside Q metal again. And I have many a belly laugh when I read the constant carping about poor Qantas behaviour by self-confessed Q frequent flyers. Wake up people!

    Yes Emirates is certainly not perfect. Some things definitely need improvement. CR in particular, but Qantas is equally woeful there.

    The best thing about Qantas no longer using Dubai is that there will be less QF plats cluttering up the superb F lounges in concourses A and B. Another punishment of loyal and misguided Qantas FFs who will only fly QF metal. Good luck I say. I'm EK platinum and the treatment EK gives its premium passengers is much better than the poor Qantas effort. I certainly don't miss what Qantas does to its misguidedly loyal customers
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  • gcd123gcd123


    16 Apr, 2018 06:34 pm

    A few weeks on: The new self check in at T1 Sydney is causing some issues. OK if it is a straightforward route and name. However, multiple names, hyphens, groups and anything else the system doesn't recognise? - go to the back of a very long queue to an under-staffed counter. More QF cost saving at our convenience.
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21 Mar, 2019 11:12 am


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