FRANKFURT, Germany (August 13, 2008) – Star Alliance has launched the first ever airline alliance product aimed at simplifying the often complex task of verifying travel documentation requirements, especially for itineraries which cover several countries. “Auto Doc Check” was developed by a joint Star Alliance initiative involving experts from eleven of its member carriers. Singapore Airlines will be the first Star Alliance carrier to implement Auto Doc Check, with further carriers planning to make use of this product in the future.
“Up to now it has often been a challenge for check-in personnel and passengers to keep current about what documents are needed for traveling abroad,” said Lee Hock Lye, vice president, Products and Services, Star Alliance. For example, a Singapore resident traveling to Australia and then to South Africa with a British passport – does he need a visa for any part of the journey?
“With ‘state-of-the-art technology’ now evaluating the passenger’s travel documents and deciding if the passenger is allowed to travel, Auto Doc Check is taking the guess work out this decision,” Lee continued.
Auto Doc Check returns a clear and concise “Yes,” “No” or “Conditional” response at check-in. Travel warnings and conditions associated with the rules of the country are presented on screen in an easy-to-understand format that is then accessed by a carrier’s host system and individually tailored for their passengers. This is done via an extensive database containing travel rules for every country. Nevertheless, passengers should continue to ensure that they have the necessary documentation prior to travel.
Auto Doc Check also helps expand the scope of off-airport check-in initiatives, especially for international travel. Passengers checking in via the Internet or at Self-Service Units can use the same service. “Once a passenger indicates the documents he plans to carry with him, Auto Doc Check immediately lets him know if he has sufficient and valid documents or not,” explained Lee. This can reduce the number of touch points at the airport, since document checks have already been performed at the first point of check-in.
Not only do passengers benefit, but this product is of major importance to airlines as well. If a passenger is allowed to travel without the proper documents, he can be turned away at his destination and the airline can face heavy immigration fines. As well, delays will be reduced since it takes less time to process customers at check-in. “Carriers are looking for ways to significantly expedite check-in processes and Auto Doc Check does just that,” Lee said.