New airport launches smart solutions

June 23, 2014 - 6:53:18 am
Staff assisting passengers and visitors in using ‘Web Check-In’ and ‘Pay-on-Foot’ machines at the airport.

BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB

DOHA: Passengers and visitors at Hamad International Airport (HIA) can use smart solutions such as ‘Pay-on-Foot’ automatic parking fee payment system and self-service ‘Web Check-In’ to avoid waiting in long queues. 

‘Pay-on-Foot’ machines enable visitors to make payments through 16 machines at strategic locations inside the terminal.

They not only save a lot of time of passengers, but also help them avoid paying extra fee for the time waiting for their turn in queues to exit parking bays. 

Although there are staff at almost every nook and corner inside and outside the airport to assist people in using cutting-edge technologies, visitors still need to be familiarised with the system, especially first-timers. 

The HIA recently announced car parking fees which took effect yesterday. 

To use ‘Pay-on-Foot’ machines, visitors must carry parking tickets instead of leaving them in their vehicles. 

Although there is easy access from the departure (first floor) and arrival (ground floor) terminals, passengers travelling for the first time often get confused about the location of arrival and departure.

Locating their cars in huge parking bays (short-term) is also a problem for those who do not remember the numbers of parking slots and levels they have used. 

“Despite assigned numbers for each parking slot, some passengers still face difficulties in locating their cars. Visitors, who do not remember the location of their cars after parking, some times take more than an hour to find their vehicles, especially at night,” said a security guard at the parking bay.

“People often complain about the distance of the parking bay from the passenger terminal.” 

Parking for the first 30 minutes is free while QR5 is charged for the first hour.

The ATM-like machines not only accept payments for parking fees, but also give the balance if you enter a big denomination note. They also have the facility to use coins but since there are no coins more than 50 dirhams, the option cannot be exercised.

“This is a very good system; I like it because I do not have to pay for the time waiting in the queue. Even after making payment through the machine, one still has a 30-minute grace time to exit,” said a passenger who used a machine. 

Another passenger said: “This is a very good airport, we should all be grateful for having such a wonderful facility. But there is still some confusion related to the departure and arrival terminals, and there should be a separate exit or queue for motorists who are making payments through ‘Pay-on-Foot’ machines to encourage the use of this facility.” 

‘Web Check-In’ machines allow passengers to get their boarding passes and enable them to select their favourite seats.

Parents of Christian Jasper, a teenage basketball player, said: “My son is travelling to Manila alone for the first time. We were concerned if he will be able to do the check-in and other formalities on his own. But because of the ‘Web Check-In’ machines we could help our son get his boarding pass in front of our eyes.” 

The Peninsula

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