Automated processes are great, but use common sense. Please!

automated processes
Image credit: studiostoks /

There is something grim about standing in line at 5.00 in the morning, in an airport, waiting for an automated process to process you. This is at the best of times. When a certain airline who shall remain nameless (OK you forced me and yes it was EasyJet but I don’t think they are alone) makes it worse, for completely senseless reasons, it is truly grim.

Here is what you now do to check in a bag with EasyJet.

You walk towards the automated bag machines.

You realise that the crowd you have just pushed your way through is actually the line for the automated bag machines.

You join the end of the line.

You dance the airport shuffle, very slowly.

You arrive at a machine.

You play around with your boarding pass, your passport, your booking reference.

You print out a bag tag.

You put the bag tag on your suitcase.

You then – and this is where you get truly annoyed – join another line in order to have your boarding pass checked, along with your passport. Your bag tag is also checked, because who knows what manner of moron you might be and lo and behold, you then put your bag on the conveyor belt. And a human presses a button and off it goes.

You then proceed to security where, yes, your boarding pass is checked again.

An automated bag machine is a fine thing. There is no problem with it. The problem is that once you have used it you have to shuffle along to interact, for absolutely no reason, with a human being (who, at 5.00 in the morning, would much rather be in bed).

Surely, you could put the automated bag machines next to the conveyor belt and surely the machine could scan your boarding pass and your passport.

But no, airlines make you duplicate the shuffling time, for no apparent reason.

As more and more of our processes are automated, please let common sense be part of the plan. Sadly there will be more and more examples of this kind of insanity before we get to wherever we are going.

We will see a variation on the Internet of Silly Things emerge, which will be amusing. But not at 5.00 in the morning in an airport.

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